Windows Server 2003 SP1 Slipstreaming

We’re currently delivering some sessions on Windows Server 2003 SP1 and SQL Server 2005.  The last demo of the Windows Server 2003 SP1 session takes an existing Windows Server 2003 i386 directory and slipstreams SP1 into it.  If you dig around on, you’ll be hard pressed to find documentation on how to do this.  It’s mentioned in the readme for SP1, but you really don’t get a good example in the docs. 

In order to do the process demonstrated, you’ll need to order the CD.  See for ordering instructions.  After you have the CD, you’ll notice srsp1.exe at the root.  You can dump the command line options using the srsp1.exe /? command.  Warning, this unpacks everything before it shows the options (see screenshot). I don’t particularly care for that, but I didn’t write the code.  I just get to whine about it.

SwitchesIf you look carefully, you’ll see some interesting options.  However, what you don’t see is the command line option we use in the demo. HA! Now you know why it’s important to come to a TechNet seminar.  Ok, that’s not the only place to get information, but it is interesting that searches in the MSN and Google search engines currently come up dry on the subject.

So how does an IT Dude do the slipstream?  Well, the key is to build a directory and do the merge.  You can see the demo (demo 5) at our TechNet website, or perform the following steps:

1. Create a directory and share it so that network installs can use it later.  We’ll create c:\DepShare.

2. Copy the contents of the i386 directory on the Windows Server 2003 CD to c:\DepShare.

3. Open a command console and go to the root of the SP1 CD, or if you copied the contents of the CD, change to that directory.  In our demo, we’ve copied the CD contents to c:\SP1.

4. Type srsp1.exe /s:c:\DepShare  and hit enter.

At this point, you should see the slipstream process begin.  It will take a few minutes to complete depending on the machine you are using for this merge.  For more information, see the Technical Center at

For merging SP1 with other updates, see How to Combine SP1 with Other Updates and Deploy to Multiple Computers.



Comments (4)

  1. Gabriel Zabal says:

    Hi, nice article, I also used to slipstream the Service Packs files on Windows files from the Windows 2000 days, there the switch was "/s:PATH" but starting from Windows XP SP2 and Windows 2003 SP1 its "/integrate:PATH", but the /s continues to work to maintain backward compat it seems.

    Just my thoughts

    Gabriel Zabal

  2. Keith Combs says:

    Good point. The demo we’re doing was written with the old switch for that reason. We’ll have to be careful since it’s now undocumented and could get dropped in SP2 or some future release like R2 or Longhorn.

  3. Jeffrey Tindillier says:

    Instead of doing this manually, you could also use a product called nLite to do this….

  4. Keith Combs says:

    Yes, I’m sure there are many programs on the market to accomplish similar feats. I took a look at You’re right, it does look like an interesting program. I’d love to test it, but with TechEd looming large, I’m focused elsewhere for the next 2-3 weeks.

    Thanks for the heads up for our readers.

    If someone does some testing, let me know what you think.

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