Slipstream Windows XP CD to Add SP3 –

Slipstream Windows XP CD to Add SP3

Wouldn’t it be neat if you could transform your old Windows XP SP1 installation CD into the latest Windows XP XP3?. Downloading and installing SP3 usually takes more than an hour and if you are in a hurry to get your computer up  and running, or in a rush to return a computer to one of your clients, an extra hour can mean the world to you. How about creating your own custom made Windows XP installation CD and loading it with the latest “Service Pack 3” (sp3), so you do not have to waste time downloading and installing it every time you format your computer?   It can be done; the technique is called “Splipstreaming” and the process is easier than you think. In this tutorial I will teach you how to build your own customized Windows XP CD and add SP3 to it.

Why a Windows XP slipstreaming article in 2011?

Simple…  Countless companies, (like the one I work for) still use Windows XP and are not planning on upgrading any time soon. We, like many others spend vast amount of time updating Windows after an installation. Additionally, many IT professionals use XP as a tool to resolve Windows Vista and Windows 7 problems. Its low cpu and  memory requirements make it the perfect commercial operating system to customize, countless LicveCDs have resulted from it, specially for system and data recovery.  To this day, XP has more than 40% market share, well above Windows 7 and Vista.

What you need

- Any Windows Version running on your computer.
- nLite, a Freeware program to Slipsteam Windows CDs.
- The Windows XP CD you wish to slipstream.


Download and Install nLite. There is nothing important worth mentioning about the installation; just keep clicking next until you finish.

Open nLite, choose your language and click “Next” to continue.

Create a new folder somewhere on your computer so that nLite can place all the files it needs to work on. Insert the Windows XP CD in your CD-ROM, click on “Browse” and select this CD. Immediately nLite will ask you for an empty directory to store all files for your new slipstreamed Windows XP CD. Select the directory you previously created. Now nLite will start copying all files from your Windows XP CD to the folder you created. When finished, click “Next” to continue.

Next, nLite will ask to load previous settings. Since this is the first time we try to customize a Windows XP CD, we cannot have any previous settings saved. Just click “Next” to continue.

At the next screen choose everything you are planning to customize, by clicking on each button. Since we are just going to slipstream SP3, click on the first button named “Service Pack“. Click on the last button “Bootable ISO” so that nLite can create a bootable ISO image for your slipstreamed Windows XP CD.  Feel free to explore all other settings in this page, you will be amazed of how much customization you can do to your CD. Click “Next” to continue.

Next, nLite will ask you to browse and choose your SP3 file. Click “Browse” to do so. If, when you click “Browse” nLite asks you to remove previous hotfixes, do so as well. When you select your SP3 file, nLite will begin slipstreaming it into your Windows XP installation files. Click “Next” to continue.

Next screen will display the settings for creating your ISO image. On the top left of the screen you can choose to burn the image or just create the ISO so you can burn it later. personally I prefer to choose “Create Image” so I can mount it and test to see if it at least boots first before wasting a CD. On the same screen, click on “Create ISO“, browse to the desired location on your computer where you wish to save your image and click “Save“. NLite will begin creating your ISO file. Click “Next” to continue.

Click “Finish” and you are done! Now you have a new Windows XP ISO image slipstreamed with SP3 that you can burn and use.


  1. pcunite, 15. April 2011, 0:12

    XP is still a cool OS and I use it for testing things in VM’s all the time. I think Windows 7 x64 will become like XP … another good 10 year run of a great OS.

  2. Really, 17. March 2011, 0:23

    ;) back.

  3. Pablo Garcia, 16. March 2011, 9:50


    I updated the article to provide an explanation as to why am I writing an article about how to slipstream Windows XP in the year 2011. ;)


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