Articles :: How To Make A Slipstreamed Win XP SP2 Disc ::

D'arcy Lemay · 02-21-2005 · Category: Guides

Getting Started

Now that you have all the necessary tools together, it's time to start organizing data. If you have multiple partitions this gets easier. Start by creating a few folders at the root of a partition, in my example the D drive. Here we'll make a folder for the files to be pulled from the original CD, one for the extracted SP2 files, and a third for optional hotfixes specific to your system that have come out since SP2 was introduced. We'll speak more about that later, first lets concentrate on getting the absolutely necessary files to their new homes. I created a WinXPCD folder, an SP2 one, and finally a Hotfixes folder. While kicking around File Explorer its going to be necessary to turn on some features that are usually left off, namely "show hidden files" and "show operating system files". The reason is to make sure that you do get all of the files when copying things around from one place to another. Otherwise something might get left behind and ruin all the work put in. After the new CD is made you can return back to hiding those file types, or just use it to reformat which by default has them turned off.


Now that you have got the folders made, it is time to fill them up. Place your Windows XP CD in the drive, and start copying. If you have not done so already, move the SP2 download to its new home while you wait. Once it is there we proceed to turn it from a large single file to a bunch of extracted smaller ones.

To do this you have to reacquaint yourself with the command line. Some of you probably haven't done this since the DOS days; others who deal with Linux will feel right at home. To get to the command line, hit start, run, and then type "cmd" into the box. From here you can shift to the directory where you have the working files saved. In my case, they are kept on my "E" drive, so to get there at the prompt you type "E:". To see the folders and files without using Windows Explorer, type in "dir/w". Putting in "CD XPSP2" moves into that directory, where I had earlier put the big file. To decompress it, type "WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe -x". The "-x" switch tells it to extract the files, and gives you a choice of where to put them. Since it had already picked out that directory, I just let it drop them right there. This takes a few minutes (or seconds, depending on the machine) to extract, and then you are ready to rock with the next step, of combining the two.

Command Line Extraction

For this, you get to have more fun with the command line. Within the decompressed files that were just created is the update function. To use this, you have to run the exe, add in the switch and the directory where the original CD files can be found.

Since you are already in the XPSP2 folder:

i386\update\update.exe -s:E:\WinXPCD

Windows Share Update

The "-s" switch causes the slipstream to occur, integrating the two sets of data, to create your base XP installation CD with SP2 already a part of it. After this is done, basically all that is left is to burn the newly combined packages to a bootable CD. Done!


  1. Introduction
  2. Getting Started
  3. Burning the CD

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