Slipstreaming Service Packs and Other Vista Updates

In Windows 2000 and XP, Microsoft supported a way to integrate, or slipstream, service packs and other updates into a Windows install image so that its largest corporate customers would always have up-to-date installation sources. Otherwise, as each Windowsversion grew older, and more and more updates were shipped via Windows Update, these businesses would have to waste enormous amounts of time manually installing updates each time they installed the OS; and because these companies often need to mass-install Windows on hundreds or even thousands of PCs at one time, such a process was painful at best.

Microsoft is successful because it caters to businesses, not consumers; but as is so often the case with enterprise-oriented niceties, its Windows slipstreaming capabilities were subverted by enterprising tech enthusiasts who figured out how to slipstream service packs into Windows 2000 and XP and then create new bootable Setup disks that were always up-to-date with the latest fixes. I’ve published a number of slipstreaming guides on the SuperSite for Windows (, including guides for Windows 2000 with Service Pack 2, and Windows XP with Service Packs 1, 2, and 3. With Windows Vista, Microsoft promised an even simpler method of slipstreaming service packs and other updates. Vista, ostensibly, would enable IT administrators (and, yes, tech enthusiasts) to simply drag and drop updates into a special Update folder that could be created in the root of the Setup disk directory structure. It sounded like a wonderful feature. It still does.

Unfortunately, drag-and-drop slipstreaming—a capability Microsoft calls offline updating— never happened, at least not with the initially shipped version of Windows Vista. The reason is because Microsoft discovered a bug in Windows Vista’s servicing stack. Therefore, with Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), which shipped in early 2008, drag-and-drop slipstreaming is not possible. However, Microsoft has made changes to the Vista servicing stack and hopes to provide this functionality in the future.

Just as unfortunate perhaps is that the old method of slipstreaming service packs, which I so thoroughly documented on the SuperSite over several years, no longer works with Windows Vista either. That’s because Microsoft has completely rearchitected the way that Windows Vista is deployed. The new system uses a single image file for deployment, whereas previous versions of Windows utilized thousands of tiny archived files. There are some serious advantages to Vista’s new image-based deployment scheme, but they’re of no use here.

So what’s an enterprising Vista user to do? If you have an original version of the Windows Vista Setup DVD and you’d like to create a slipstreamed version of this disk that also includes Service Pack 1 (SP1), are you completely out of luck? Of course not. Thanks to a handy and free third-party utility called vLite, or Vista Lite (, it’s possible to efficiently slipstream Service Pack 1 (and other updates) into the original Vista Setup files and then create a bootable Setup DVD that enables you to install everything at once. vLite performs a number of other functions as well, but for purposes of this discussion I focus solely on the application’s slipstreaming and diskburning capabilities.

After downloading and installing vLite, you must run it with administrative privileges (right-click the shortcut and choose Run as Administrator). With your Windows Vista Setup DVD in the PC’s optical drive, click the Browse button and navigate to the root of the optical drive. Select the correct Vista product edition from the list displayed in vLite’s Images window and click OK. At this point, vLite will copy the files to a temporary location on your hard drive.

Now click the Next button. In the Task Selection screen, you can choose from a number of tasks. Select Service Pack Slipstream and Bootable ISO from the list and click Next.

In the next dialog, you need to supply vLite with a standalone version of the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) updater. (See the previous section for details.) Once the file is downloaded, point vLite to the file by clicking Select. At this point, vLite undergoes a lengthy process whereby it combines the contents of the Vista Setup DVD with the updated files in SP1. Unfortunately, vLite isn’t very good about communicating what it’s doing. If you look in the lower part of the application window, you’ll see text appear that says Preparing, and then Extracting, and then Integrating.

After a very long time—up to 90 minutes—vLite completes the integration process with a pithy Finished! message. Click Next to proceed to the ISO stage, in which you’ll create a bootable integrated Setup disk. In the General section, select Direct Burn from the Mode drop-down list. Then click the Burn button to burn the disk.

When vLite has completed burning and testing your slipstreamed Setup DVD, you can use this disk to install Windows (with Service Pack 1) as you would had you purchased an integrated DVD at retail.

There is one difference, actually. Slipstreamed Setup disks created by vLite are specific to the Vista product edition you selected previously. For example, if you selected Vista Ultimate, you can install only Vista Ultimate with this disk.

Source of Information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

Installing Windows Vista Service Pack 1

Microsoft shipped the first Windows Vista service pack, Windows Vista Service Pack 1
(SP1), a little more than a year after it first made Windows Vista broadly available to consumers in January 2007. This section highlights the ways in which you can upgrade if you’re still running the original version of Vista.

• Automatic—Windows Update: Most users will want to upgrade to Service Pack 1 automatically using the Automatic Updating functionality in Windows Update. You won’t have to try hard to make this happen, as SP1 will show up as a recommended update and prompt you to install. Windows Update–based installs offer another advantage. They are typically much smaller than the standalone installer, and thus install faster because Windows Update can intelligently detect exactly which components need to be updated and then download only those components.

• Manual—Download the standalone installer: This is the brute-force install technique and is provided primarily for IT administrators who need to deploy SP1 to multiple PCs. There are two versions of the standalone installer, a 316MB version aimed at English, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish versions of Windows Vista, and a larger version for all languages. To find this update, search the Microsoft Downloads Web site ( for KB936330, the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Five Language Standalone, or for KB936330, the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 All Language Standalone installer. (This is a bit of an oversimplification. If you’re running a 64-bit x64 version of Windows Vista, you’ll need the x64 SP1 versions instead. Fortunately, the KB numbers are the same. Just add x64 to the search string to find the right files.) The standalone installer setup process is wizard-based and very straightforward. It requires one reboot and is usually completed in less than half an hour.

You can tell which version of Windows Vista you’re running by opening the System Properties window (from the Start Menu, right-click Computer and choose Properties) and examining the top section, Windows Edition. If you see a line that reads Service Pack 1, then you’re up-to-date. Otherwise, you’ll need to upgrade to Service Pack 1.

Source of Information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

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