Manuals - Universal Windows Slipstreaming and Bootable CD Guide

A service pack is a product-specific collection of updates that fix security, program compatibility and system reliability issues. It also provides enhancements, administration tools, drivers and additional components that have been developed since the product's release. In short, a service pack helps to keep your product current and extends its functionality.

This guide will describe the easiest way possible to slipstream (also known as 'Integrate') a Service Pack into Windows 2000, XP or 2003.

To do this, we will only need one program - MSFN's very own popular nLite created by nuhi. While nLite is primarily aimed to remove components to slim down a Windows CD, it has the required tools to do just an automated Service Pack slipstream as well as create a CD image.


  • A Windows 2000, XP, or 2003 CD
  • The latest "Network Install" Service Pack for one of the above Operating Systems
  • Suitable CD Burning software capable of burning .ISO files (Nero, Alcohol, Easy CD Creator, etc.)
  • nLite

Before we start, make sure you are doing this on an NT Operating System (those are Windows 2000, XP or 2003) otherwise the slipstream will not work. nLite also requires the .NET Framework to function.

Let's get started!

Download the latest version of nLite from the nLite Download Page. If you prefer not to install nLite, you can grab the self-extracting archive instead. Start up nLite using the shortcut on the desktop (for Installer), or double-click on nlite.exe directly (from the self-extracted archive).

The first thing to do on nLite is to instruct where to find your Windows CD, and then instruct where to copy the files to on your Hard Disk; which are illustrated in the screenshots below:

Picture 1 - Initial nLite Window
Picture 2 - Click on Browse
Picture 3 - Choose location of Windows CD
Picture 4 - Choose where to copy to

After clicking on OK, files will be copied to a folder you specified on your Hard disk from your Windows CD:

Picture 5 - Copying files
Picture 6 - Copying finished

Click on Next. In here, we can choose a Service Pack to slipstream with the Windows Setup files we copied to the Hard Disk a moment ago:

Picture 7 - Browse to select a Service Pack
Picture 8 - Choose the latest Service Pack file

Once you have clicked on Open, the slipstream process will begin. You will see "extracting" and "updating files" windows appear during this time.

Windows Service Packs are 'cumulative' - in short, it includes fixes that past service packs contained, so there is no need to slipstream the first release, second and so on. In this case, I have chosen Windows XP Service Pack 2, which is the latest at the time of writing up this guide.

Picture 9 - Extracting Files
Picture 10 - Copy files to Windows installation folder
Picture 11 - Finish copy file to Windows installation folder

At this point, you can choose to click on Next and remove unwanted components from your Windows CD to speed up installation and various other advantages (see nLite homepage for more information). Otherwise, click on Make ISO to finish the job and create your ISO file (for personal preference, you may want to change your CD label in the highlighted area first in the screenshot below). Once finished, quit the program.

Picture 12 - Edit CD Label, then Make ISO
Picture 13 - Choose a location to save the ISO
Picture 14 - Making ISO will begin

You should now have a single ISO file sitting on your Hard Disk; it's an image dump of a CD which you can burn to CD using a capable burning application that supports ISO files. For Nero, you would go to File -> Burn Image -> select your ISO file, and start burning. It's as simple as that!



Lex van der Horst

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