Using the Windows 2000 Application Compatibility Tool

Microsoft® Windows 2000 Knowledge Center

Slipstreaming Windows 2000 Service Packs

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One of the most irritating tasks involving the Windows NT operating systems, especially during the creation of a new Windows NT workstation or during a roll-out of several of them, is the addition of Service Packs. While it’s true that you only need to install the service packs you need in order to include those service packs that were issued earlier (e.g. Service Pack 3 includes SP 1 and SP2), it still can be time consuming installing the operating system, setting it up, then adding the service pack and then making sure nothing broke in the meantime.

In Windows 2000, Microsoft has delivered on its promise to make this process easier. A new feature added to the Windows 2000 operating system called “Slipstreaming”, takes the hassle out of setting up installations. Now, whether you have one machine to do, or 10,000, you can install Windows 2000, along with the most recent Service Pack, at the same time. Microsoft refers to this feature as both “slipstreaming” as well as the “Integrated Installation”. For our purposes here, we’ll use the term “slipstreaming”, but you can refer to the process in either manner.

There a few ways to perform Slipstreaming, or an Integrated Installation.

  • One is by Slipstreaming Service Pack files into a network installation share,
  • Another is to Slipstream the files on your Remote Installation Services (RIS) server,
  • Another is to Slipstream the service pack files onto a second hard drive locally,
  • And yet another is to create a Slipstream of the installation files and service pack on a local hard drive and then burn the results onto a CD-ROM disk.

Slipstreaming an Installation Share
First, you will need to create a network share and copy the contents of the \i386 folder from the Windows 2000 CD-ROM to it. In our case we have three shares created, one each for Windows 2000 Server, Windows Advanced Server and Windows 2000 Professional. We named our Windows 2000 Professional share win2kpro, and it’s located on our installation server named WINDOWS2000 (and yes, we know, not very inventive). Ours looks like:


Once you have created the share, you will need to either download the complete Service Pack from Microsoft (SP1network.exe that is 87 MB), just make certain that you download the full version required for network installation, or you can order the Service Pack 1 CD (preferred, it’s less time consuming). Next, create a directory on your hard drive (or server hard drive) to hold the Service Pack update files. In our case we created:


You will need to extract the Service Pack to this update directory by typing:

SP1network.exe –x

The -x switch extracts the contents of the file without starting update.exe. The software automatically prompts for the location of the update directory when it is run.

The next step is to slipstream Service Pack 1 into the installation share. Note that this can only be done from a machine that is already running Windows 2000. Obviously you can use variations of the following command line to suit your situation:

[Path to Update Folder]\update.exe –s:[Installation Share]

The “-s” switch is used for slipstreaming. On our share we used:

\\WINDOWS2000\SP_1\update.exe –s:\WINDOWS2000\win2kpro\I386

This will launch the Graphical User Interface which shows you the the progress of the slipstreaming operation. When the operation is complete, the contents of your installation share has been updated and any installations of Windows 2000 made from this share will include Service Pack 1. In our case, we are able to perform slipstreamed (integrated) installations from the \\WINDOWS2000\win2kpro share. You’re not quite finished though!

If you have applied the service pack to an existing installation that did not occur through the use of the slipstreamed or integrated method,  the update process does not update the Recovery Console files. In order to update the Recovery Console files, you must perform another command line step.

  1. Open a command prompt.
  2. Type the following from the share you created above:
    winnt32.exe /cmdcons

    This procedure will update the Recovery Console

Integrated Installations and RIS
Remote Installation Services (RIS) can essentially deliver two types of images. The first is CD-ROM based, and the second is a specialized hard drive image called a Remote Installation Preparation or “RIPrep” image. The CD-ROM based images can be slipstreamed, whereas RIPRep images cannot.

To create a slipstreamed CD-ROM based RIS image:

  1. Perform all of the steps outlined above to create a slipstreamed or integrated installation share.
  2. Next, run risetup.exe on the RIS Server and select the location of the slipstream share just created. Any new installation of Windows 2000 using this CD-based RIS image will now include Service Pack 1.
  3. Note: You can include Service Pack 1 in a RIPrep image, however the process is somewhat more involved.
    • Start the process by deploying the RIPrep image to a client system.
    • Once you have the client system up and running, apply Service Pack 1 using update.exe.
    • Now that the Service Pack has been applied, you may now re-image the machine and mount your new RIPRep image with Service Pack 1 included on the RIS server.
  4. Just make a note to update the Recovery Console as mentioned earlier if you have applied the service pack directly. You can apply this fix from the slipstreamed share (installation point).

Slipstreaming A Local Windows 2000 Machine
If you do allot of testing on your Windows 2000 machine that requires you to reload Windows 2000 either occasionally or even frequently, or if you do allot of hardware testing, using a second hard drive with a slipstreamed (integrated) distribution point on it for your installations can come in mighty handy. In testing hardware compatibility for various systems that use the same base hardware, such a motherboards, processors and memory, however all other components are changed frequently, we have found this method saves considerable time. Granted, we might do this several times a day, while you may only use it once every three to six months, but in any event, it will cut your installation time in half. Here is the entire process, just don’t skip any steps.

  1. First, this must be done on a machine on which Windows 2000 is already installed. In addition, the second hard drive should be formatted as a FAT 32 files system. You can format the drive as NTFS, however this cripples backward compatibility. We will refer to this drive as drive D:\.
  2. Next, create a directory (folder) on drive “D” and name it Win2kpro. We will refer to this as your distribution point for installations.
  3. Now copy your Windows 2000 CD (Professional, Server or Advanced Server) to the win2kpro distribution point. As an example, if your CD-ROM drive is “F”, then copy the contents of the “entire” CD to D:\win2kpro\ . You must copy the entire contents of the CD, not just the I386 folder. In any event, at a minimum you will need the I386 folder as well as the CDROM_XX.5 (CDROM_IS.5 for server, CDROM_IP.5 for professional) and CDROM_NT.5 in the root of D:\win2kpro. We recommend the entire contents as it will fit into the example we have provided below in creating a CD with the service pack included.
  4. Now you will need to apply the service pack to the installation point. There are a number of ways of doing this depending upon whether you have downloaded the service pack (all 87MB), or you have the service pack on a CD-ROM disk. Here are the steps:

If you have downloaded the service pack:

  • Create a new folder (directory) for the expansion of the service pack, such as C:\serv_pack_1.
  • Now expand the service pack file to the new folder:
    sp1network.exe -x:D:\serv_pack_1

    After the files have been extracted, search for the file CDTAG.1 and place it into the root of the serv_pack_1 folder. You should now have a service pack folder that looks like this:

  • Now use the following command to apply the service pack to your distribution point.
    C:\serv_pack_1\i386\update\update.exe -s:D:\win2kpro
  • The update procedure will begin by opening a GUI windows showing you the progress of the update, and upon completion, your ready to install from your new distribution point.

If you have the Service Pack CD:

  • Insert your Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 CD-ROM disk into your CD-ROM drive. For the purposes of this example, we will assume that your CD-ROM drive letter is “F”.
  • When the AUTORUN window opens, click the “X” to close it.
  • Now open a command prompt and type:
    f:\i386\update\update.exe /s:d:\win2kpro
  • As in the example above, a GUI window will open and show you the progress of the update. At the conclusion, your installation files on the “D” drive are ready for installation on any system you chose. If need be, you can remove the drive and install it on another system and perform your installation there.

Closing Notes:

As we have mentioned above, if you have applied the service pack to an existing installation that was not created from a slipstreamed installation point, the service pack update procedure will not update the Recovery Console files. You can fix this by running the following command from the new installation point.

  1. Open a command prompt.
  2. Type the following from the share you created above:
    winnt32.exe /cmdcons

Links That You May Want Review

Burning Your Slipstreamed Files to a CD-ROM Disk
Windows 2000 Service Pack Installation and Deployment Guide
Q265381 – Release Notes for Windows 2000 Service Pack 1
Q263125 – SP1 Upgrade Does Not Update Recovery Console Files
Q265813 – Running Update.exe for More Than One Share Produces Only One .log File
Q265817 – Terminal Services Client Files Not Updated After Windows 2000 SP1 Installation
Q268178 – Setupapi.log Entries Appear After Running Update.exe
Q216417 – How to Install the Windows 2000 Recovery Console
Q229077 – Mirroring Prevents Pre-Installing the Recovery Console
Q236350 – Cannot Remove Windows 2000 CD-ROM in Recovery Console
Q258868 – Slipstream Switch Does Not Work with RIS Images
Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 Reviewed by Paul Thurrott

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