Skip to main content

Slipstream Service Pack 3 into your XP disc

Service Pack 3, the final major update for Windows XP, is now available for download. Rather than installing it on top of my XP installation, I prefer to slipstream it into a new install disc so it's already there upon installation. To create a bootable XP Home or Professional install disc that includes SP3, follow these steps:
  1. Create a folder on your C: drive named xp.
  2. Copy everything from your XP with SP2 install CD to C:\xp. If your CD doesn't already include SP2, you'll have to follow these same steps to slipstream SP2, then follow them again to slipstream SP3 on top of it.
  3. Download SP3 from Microsoft to the C: drive. You could use nLite's Integrate a Service Pack feature at this point to slipstream SP3, but for no real reason I like to use Microsoft's method. I still use nLite to create the ISO later.
  4. From the command line (Start, Run, cmd), run windowsxp-kb936929-sp3-x86-enu.exe -x:c:\sp3. This will extract the executable to a new folder called C:\sp3.
  5. From the command line, run c:\sp3\i386\update\update.exe /integrate:c:\xp.
  6. Once this completes, your C:\xp folder will have an updated copy of the XP installation files that includes SP3.
  7. Download and install nLite.
  8. Run nLite. Choose your language and click Next.
  9. When it asks for your XP installation location, browse to C:\xp. nLite should recognize this source as XP with SP3.
  10. Click Next until you get to the Task Selection screen. Select only the last task, Create a Bootable ISO. Click Next.
  11. Choose a label and filename for your ISO. nLite will create an ISO (disc image file) that you can burn to CD with your favorite ISO burning program. If you don't have a program that will burn ISOs, try ISO Recorder.
  12. Boot from this CD and install XP as normal, with one exception: don't enter your Product Key. Just click Next and choose to not enter it. Apparently it's better to do this with the Activation Wizard after installation.
Once installation completes, you'll have a fresh copy of XP that already includes SP3.

Thanks to Paul Thurrott of for his SP3 Slipstreaming Guide. You can hear Paul on the Windows Weekly podcast.
For more about nLite, see the slightly aged but still excellent nLite guide.


Popular posts from this blog

The difference between burritos, chimichangas, and enchiladas

I love Mexican food, but I'm embarrassed to admit that I always get confused between burritos, wet burritos, chimichangas, and enchiladas. Here are the descriptions, with the differences in bold and pictures following each description.

A flour tortilla wrapped around a filling (meat, beans, vegetables, etc)

wet burrito
A burrito that's covered in red chili sauce and cheese. Because of the sauce covering, it looks like an enchilada, but it's made with a flour tortilla, whereas the enchilada is made with a corn tortilla.

A burrito that's deep-fried. Sometimes covered with cheese or another topping.

A corn tortilla wrapped around a filling, covered with chili pepper sauce

Wikipedia: BurritoWikipedia: ChimichangaWikipedia: Enchilada

Edit scanned documents with Word 2007

Office 2007 includes support for converting scanned documents to editable text using OCR (optical character recognition). To get your text from a paper document to Word 2007:
In the Control Panel, open Add or Remove Programs.Find Microsoft Office, click it, and click Change.In the Office Installation Options window, expand Office Tools, click Microsoft Office Document Imaging, and select Run from My Computer from the dropdown.Click Continue or Next until you reach the end.You can now scan documents and convert the scanned images to editable text:
From the Start Menu, find Microsoft Office, then select Microsoft Office Tools, then click Microsoft Office Document Scanning.Choose your preset and options, then click Scan.The scanned image should open in Microsoft Office Document Imaging. To perform OCR and open the editable text in Word, click Tools, Send Text to Word.You can now edit and save the scanned document as a Word document.

Considering retiring this blog

I'm seriously considering retiring this blog. When I started it in 2008, it was a place for me to share thoughts and links on a variety of topics. For at least the last year, however, it's just been a place where I re-post book reviews from Goodreads.

You can see all my book reviews on my Goodreads profile, and subscribe to my Goodreads RSS feed to be notified of new reviews. I also intend to keep blogging about WordPress, web design, and web-related topics on my OptimWise blog, which also has an RSS feed.

Would you miss this blog if I discontinued it? Please leave a comment.