I recently followed a guide to incorporate Service Pack 1 into my Windows XP Professional installation disc, a process the guide refered to as "Slipstreaming". After doing this I wondered wether or not I could do the same thing with other programs, such as my Anti-virus and Firewall software. I've seen quick restore discs that have programs already installed with Windows, so it seemed like a possibility. Can this be done? It would save hours of my time, should I have to install Windows again, if all of my most frequently-used programs could be slipstreamed into the Windows installation.

Thanks :D

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OK, maybe my post wasn't as clear as it could have been, so I'll start again! hehehehe ;)

The following link provides steps for creating a new XP installation disc which already has SP1a installed. This is perfectly legal, and Microsoft themselves encourage doing this - of course you have to own the origional XP disc, or else its not legal :P


Now, after I did that I thought to myself: "Hell, this will save me a lot of time should I ever need to install Windows again! I wonder if I can do something similar with all of my other software, to save me from having to install it all piece by piece when I do a fresh install of Windows." So, can anybody tell me if it is possible to do this, and if so, how? ;) To be honest, if I could just get my Norton stuff slipstreamed I'd be happy enough. I have Norton SystemWorks 2004 and Norton Internet Security 2004. I've searched the net for guides and tutorials, but there are only service pack guides!

Thanks a lot ;)

If you want to be able to do a fresh install of windows with your programs already installed, you'll need to create an image file by using some sort of ghost program to copy your hard drive. That's how those restore disks work.

Ahhhhhh! I see! Thank you!! I never thought of that (and this is NOT sarcasm, incase you think I'm being nasty to you or something lol). I actually never knew what those Ghost programs were either...so, you taught me two things at once! :D

Thanks a lot mate, you're a star.

Yeah, qt 3.14159 is right on this one. There are some Microsoft programs that you can slipstream into the installer, but there aren't that many I'm aware of.

Personally, I use Ghost when I need to do any system cloning, or if I know I'm going to trash a box sometime down the road, and will need to restore it.

Yeah, now that you mention it the only programs that I ever came across that could be slipstreamed were Microsoft programs. For instance, you can slipstream Office service packs into the Office installation (not the Windows installation). But I'll definitely take your advice on the ghost thingy. I'll do a fresh install, then install everything I need onto it, then clone it, then burn it, and hopefully that'll be me set! lol

Thanks a lot guys ;)

You can use this free utility in conjunction with this Linux rescue CD to take images and restore them as you wish. The utility currently only has experimental NTFS support, but so far it works fine w/XP for me...the author of the software says it will generally work for NTFS as long as the partition isn't too fragmented. You can take an image of a partition, once you've got a setup that you want to be able to restore, and then when you need to reinstall Windows you're back up in a matter of minutes. NTBackup, which is built into Windows, will also be a nice tool for what you're doing but you have to install Windows first and then restore the .bkf file which is too time consuming IMO. Symantec Ghost costs about $80 and will do what you're asking but the free open source utility I referenced above is much faster.

Thanks very much for those programs, they sound right up my street ;) I was tempted by Symantec Ghost but I don't feel like splashing out if I can get a free program which apparently does the same job faster! lol

Thanks again ;)

Creating an Image of drive is fine, but if you're like me and you upgrade your computer allot, an image will not work too well because if you move one windows installation to another motherboard with a different SATA or ATA controller, windows will not have the apropriate drivers installed, and will not boot. Does anyone know if there was a way to slipstream programs into a windows xp installation cd to get arround this?


Ghosting will work fine for you on the same hardware, but RIS / Slipstreaming will save you a lot of time and grief concerning hardware detection, and if you are in a Domain, will keep your SIDs straight. Working more complexly, in the corporate environment, you can also pre-name the machine accounts, and generate scripts, and really make it a quick, quality installation.

Not as simple as Linux Kickstart though.


Have you guys ever heard of Acronis. It lets you do a hard drive image, but has a "Universal Restore" mode to apply your image to a completely different system (or virtual machine).

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