Format, reinstall Windows with latest hot fixes all at the same time?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Jim W. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

As a computer professional, I enjoy your newsletter a lot because I learn so much from it, and the information is usually relevant to me and a lot of my clients.

Now, I'd like to ask you this. I find myself frequently formatting / reinstalling Windows for many of my clients (because their copy of Windows is too messed up to attempt any type of quick-fix). When I do a reinstall, there is often a ton of Windows updates I need to download, regardless of which Windows Operating System I'm working with. Is there any way I can consolidate steps by somehow integrating the Windows Updates into a fresh install of Windows? "

My response:

What you are referring to is called Slipstreaming; in essence, Slipstreaming means to "integrate the [latest] Service Pack into the Windows installation CD so that every new installation of the Operating System will also include the [latest] Service Pack fixes. The advantage to slipstreaming is that any (re)install of Windows XP will not require you to apply the Service Pack later. Slipstreaming also ensures that you will get the correct installation files if you need to repair or update components of Windows at a later time." (Source:

Note that slipstreaming is only available for Windows NT, 2000, and XP machines (my new XP Service Pack 2 install Guide explicitly covers this topic).

I also remember seeing a web page where someone implemented all the latest hot fixes into a fresh Windows 98 install disc, but I can't remember the address and I'm not really sure of the legalities or 'correctness' of this, as it is not supported by Microsoft. If anyone knows the web site, you can email me with the answer and I'll include an update to this post.

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