With XP Service Pack 2 just released, users and IT
departments across the world are scrambling to test and update their
Microsoft-based PCs with its new features. Unfortunately, updating to service pack 2 (SP2) is
a time consuming process, especially if you have more than one
PC to upgrade. As usual, Microsoft has published the service pack in the
form of a single downloadable file for IT professionals who need to apply it to
multiple machines over a network. This is all well and good, but
what if you are dealing with several, or dozens of new systems which require XP to be installed,
along with its latest service pack?
The idea of installing Windows XP first then
painstakingly applying its latest service pack to each machine seems...
unnecessary. Fortunately, that's exactly what it is - unnecessary - there is an
easier way, and PCstats is about to show you how to do it. The technique relies
on a little know capability native to Windows 2000 and XP; that Microsoft included the ability to 'slipstream' the installation process.
Slipstreaming refers to the process of
creating a new bootable installation CD or network file for Windows XP or
Windows 2000 installations which contains all the original operating system files, plus the
latest Service Pack.
In this guide, PCstats will detail how to create a
bootable Windows XP CD with Service Pack 2 included. We will also cover
the steps for creating a network installable file with the same modifications
for use by a large IT department, as well as a Windows 2000 bootable CD with the
latest Service Pack 4 included.
What do you need to do all this?
To create a Windows XP bootable CD or network file with
Service Pack 2, you will need:
- A legitimate CD copy of Windows XP Home or Professional
- A CD burner with recent CD creation software. Roxio Easy CD creator or
Nero Burning Rom version 6 or better.
- Isobuster software installed, available here.
- At least 1.5GB of free hard drive space for a CD install file.
- A copy of the Service Pack 2 install file for IT professionals (266MB,
Please note that while you can use the streamlining
method to create an updated version of your own Windows XP CD with Service
Pack 2 installed, this does not give you the legal right to use it on more than
one machine at a time. A Windows XP license can still only be used on a single
system at a time, unless you are using a volume license. OEM licenses (versions
of Windows pre-installed on assembled computers) are considered to apply only to
the computer they are first installed on, and may not be transferred to other
systems. Be aware of these issues when preparing and creating your new CD. For a
more in-depth look at the subject, see our article on Legally Copying Software.
With that out of the way, lets begin our step by step look at how to
Slipstream WindowsXP and Service Pack 2 onto one bootable installation CD...