Installing WindowsXP and Service Pack 2 with 1 CD

Time Is Money

Installing or reinstalling WindowsXP typically requires the additional task of installing Service Pack 2 separately. After installing WindowsXP, users must then go through the tedious process of installing Service Pack 2 updates and drivers. However, Microsoft offers an alternative. Using a process called slipstreaming, users can burn CDs that combine a WindowsXP installation CD and Service Pack 2. This makes the whole Windows installation run considerably faster.

Administrators in larger companies can especially benefit from this method. But even private users can make their lives easier, especially if they have to reinstall their systems more frequently because of extensive hardware changes (modders, for example).

What Do You Need?

Integrating the service pack (the process is called slipstreaming) onto one CD requires:

  • the original WindowsXP installation CD, naturally with a legal license;
  • an application for extracting the boot loader (in our case, Isobuster);
  • CD burner software that supports bootable CDs (we use Nero);
  • Service Pack 2 in the network version;
  • a CD burner for creating the finished CD.

All classic versions of WindowsXP are suited to slipstreaming, so it does not matter whether it is an OEM version of WindowsXP Home or an update version of XP Professional. Even volume licenses for larger companies are supported. The only things that can cause problems are the special recovery CDs that come with most mobile computing systems. Often, special versions are used for these that create predefined partitions on the hard drive and install a complete system image. Slipstreaming is not always possible with these recovery CDs, but you can still try.