If you run Windows XP, it’s very likely that you have a Windows XP SP2 CD,
which has Windows XP with SP2 already applied. You may even have an
original Windows XP CD with no service packs applied at all.
What you want is a single Windows XP SP3 installation CD. It can be handy to
satisfy the system file checker, and it can save steps if you find yourself
reinstalling Windows XP from scratch.
Fortunately, you can make one.
But we are going to get just a little geeky.
First, here’s what you’ll need:
Your Original Windows XP installation media, or the original installation files (often the infamous “C:\I386” folder), or the reinstallation files as part of a recover partition. If you do not have your original installation media or files you cannot create a Windows setup CD.
The Windows XP SP3 Network Installation Package – currently a 314MB download.
A CD burner and burning tool such as ImgBurn which I’ll use in the examples below.
A blank CD.
About 1.5 gigabytes of free space on a hard drive.
A willingness to work in the Windows Command line interface.
I’m going to dive right into the Windows Command Prompt for most of this work.
First we need a folder in which to work. I’ll create one called “SLIPSTREAMWORK” (my typed-in commands are in bold blue):
C:> mkdir SLIPSTREAMWORK
C:> cd SLIPSTREAMWORK
We’ve created and made C:\SLIPSTREAMWORK our current directory or folder.
From the download wxp10.zip we only need one file, w2ksect.bin, and that file must be placed in the root of your C: drive. I’ll use 7-Zip to extract the file from the “zip” container (which is in “C:\t”) and then move it to the root:
Compressed: 4145 C:\SLIPSTREAMWORK> move cds\wxppro\files\w2ksect.bin \
C:\SLIPSTREAMWORK> rd /s /q .
The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process. C:\SLIPSTREAMWORK>
The “rd” command at the end is a quick way to empty the working directory of anything left behind by the zip extraction. As long as the folder is empty when done, you can ignore the warning message.
Finally, we need to copy over the contents of our original Windows XP installation CD. I’m going to assume that I have my actual original Windows XP disc in drive E:, so I would do the following:
This’ll take a little while as the entire contents of the CD are copied to your hard drive.
The Actual Slipstream
The program will first extract all of its files into a temporary folder:
Then the program will update your Windows XP image:
And when it’s done, you have an updated Windows XP with SP3:
Now we just need to make a CD out of that. (You can delete the temporary folders created by the SP3 extraction at this point if you like.)
Burning an XP SP3 CD
As I said earlier, I’ll be using ImgBurn for this example.
Right-click on this link and download this file to a location on your machine: HTHSP3.IBB. That’s an ImgBurn project file with the settings needed to burn our work to CD. If you’ve used the default folder C:\SLIPSTREAMWORK as I have above, and you’ve placed w2ksect.bin in C:\ then you can use this file as-is. Just File->Open Project in ImgBurn. If you’ve used other locations or filenames, you can edit the project file in a text editor before loading it into ImgBurn.
Now, burn the resulting project to a CD.
When done, you should now have a bootable, Windows XP + SP3 installation CD.
(There are actually several other SP3 slipstreaming instructions out on the web. A tip of the hat to How To Haven for their summary which I found the most comprehensive of the batch.)