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Slipstreaming Windows XP

Slipstreaming Windows XP

When Windows XP was released in 2001, it was not foreseen that specialized hard drive controllers for a new generation of hard drives would become the norm. As IDE died its slow death, the rise of SATA prevented the venerable floppy drive from going with it. While Vista accepts CDs and flash drives containing SATA drivers, XP recognizes only the dreaded floppy. Adding insult to injury, those lucky few who have a drive and the appropriate disk are met with scores of updates once Windows is installed. Pleasantly, there is a solution to these common irritations known as “slipstreaming.”

Once the domain of OEMs, slipstreaming allows a user to bundle newer service packs, updates, drivers or even applications right into the Windows install media. With the recent release of Windows XP Service Pack 3, there has never been a better time to build a disc to suit. In the following pages we’ll tailor your old Windows XP CD to reduce its size, install faster, recognize your SATA drives during install and pre-install your favorite applications.

All this customization was made easy by the 2006 release of nLite, which made the cryptic art of slipstreaming broadly accessible. A clever combination of intuitive menus, concise documentation and easy-to-use automation has made it a rapid success. In this feature, we’ll be using nLite to help us to customize a US English version of 32-bit Windows XP. Because any good project requires a little prep work, we’ll begin the process there.

Getting nLite Ready

Step 1A: Download and install Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 SP1

1B: Download and install nLite (v1.4.5 Final at the time of publication)

1C: Lastly, prepare a directory structure as seen in figure 1-1:

Fig. 1-1: Choose an empty folder and create these directories inside of it.

Preparing Items For Integration

Step 2A: Download the Windows XP Service Pack 3 Network Installation Package to the Service Packs directory you created in step 1C. Because nLite will integrate SP3 automatically in later stages of this guide, do not extract or run the executable.

2B: As previously indicated, it is possible to build SATA drivers directly into the Windows CD, thereby averting the need for a floppy drive. These drivers are often difficult to locate, so we have prepared a driver package for the major AMD, Intel and NVIDIA chipsets of recent make. You can download the driver package from our repository and extract it to the drivers folder created in step 1C.

More About SATA Drivers

The advertised features of a motherboard are shared between the northbridge and the southbridge. When Intel or NVIDIA release a new chipset, it is the northbridge to which we refer with such names as “P35” or “780i.” While the northbridge handles speedy tasks such as the x16 PCI Express or front-side bus, of particular interest to us is the southbridge which handles SATA.

NVIDIA and Intel are very supportive when it comes to drivers for their platforms. Both firms release driver packages that clearly state what northbridges and southbridges they support, and the support inside those downloads are quite vast. This means that any NVIDIA owner can go directly to NVIDIA, and any Intel owner can go directly to Intel, bypassing the often-slow motherboard manufucturers for support.

Conversely, AMD has traditionally left it to the manufacturer to decide which southbridge is best for a northbridge. Each motherboard based on an AMD design could be using one of up to three different southbridges, each with their own method of providing SATA support. Because of this, AMD can not provide a single driver package that will cover any motherboard using one of their northbridges. To compensate for this, we have categorized our drivers for the AMD platform by southbridge. Because of the southbridge’s importance on an AMD platform, the manual or manufacturer site for your board will always indicate what is used.

We have done our best to provide a wide variety of drivers for all the manufacturers spoken of here. If you feel your specific chipset has not been accounted for in the package we’ve provided, please post a request in our storage forum and we will do our best to provide the appropriate driver to you.

As per step 2B, these provided SATA drivers will now be in the drivers folder. Within the drivers folder should be three directories labeled “AMD,” “Intel,” and “NVIDIA.” For each manufacturer’s folder, a series of drivers are contained in various directories. In the table below, you can identify the folder which contains the drivers appropriate for your platform.

Intel SATA Drivers (Fig. 2-1)
Driver Version Chipsets Supported 865 and Variants
915 and Variants
925 and Variants
950 and Variants
943 and Variants
945 and Variants
946and Variants
955 and Variants
963 and Variants
P965 and Variants
975X and Variants
G3x and Variants
P35 and Variants
P45 and Variants
Q3x and Variants
NVIDIA SATA Drivers (Fig. 2-2)
Driver Version Chipsets Supported
9.64 nForce 790i Ultra SLI
nForce 790i SLI
nForce 780i SLI
nForce 680i SLI
nForce 680i LT SLI
9.53 nForce 590 SLI Intel
nForce 680a SLI
8.43 nForce 750i SLI
nForce 650i SLI
nForce 650i Ultra
16.08 nForce 630i
nForce 610i
9.35 nForce 590 SLI AMD
8.22 nForce 570 SLI Intel
9.16 nForce 570 SLI AMD
nForce 570 AMD
nForce 550 AMD
18.11 GeForce 8300
GeForce 730a
GeForce 720a
nForce 710a
nForce 750a SLI
nForce 780a SLI
14.10 nForce 630a
AMD SATA Drivers (Fig. 2-3)
Southbridge Used Chipsets Supported
SB600 AMD 790 and Variants
AMD 780 and Variants
AMD 770 and Variants
AMD 740 and Variants
AMD 690 and Variants
AMD 580 and Variants
AMD 570 and Variants
AMD 480 and Variants
CrossFire Xpress 3200
CrossFire Xpress 3100
CrossFire Xpress 1600
SB700 AMD 790 and Variants
AMD 780 and Variants
AMD 770 and Variants
AMD 740 and Variants
SB750 AMD 790 and Variants
AMD 780 and Variants
AMD 770 and Variants
AMD 740 and Variants
ULi-M1575 AMD 480 and Variants
CrossFire Xpress 3100

2C: In addition to drivers and service packs, nLite presents the opportunity to integrate applications with your Windows XP CD. These applications should be downloaded to the addons folder from figure 1-1, and should not be extracted or executed. These applications will be ready to use immediately after the installation of Windows is complete.

Extensive repositories of nLite-compatible add-ons can be found at the following locations:

It is also possible to design your own add-ons, and MSFN is an excellent resource on the subject.

Preparing XP For Modification

Having prepared the items we want to slipstream in advance, it’s time to start integrating these objects into the disc. At this time, you can launch nLite and press “Next” to skip the welcome screen (Fig 3-1).

Fig. 3-1: Simply skip this screen by pressing “Next.”

Step 3A: Press browse on the window indicated in figure 3-2, and locate the ROM drive that contains the Windows XP CD you’ll be using as the basis of the new disc. In this case, my original Windows XP CD is in my F:\ drive.

Fig. 3-2: Select your Windows XP CD in the browse window.

3B: Once you have selected the Windows XP CD, nLite will ask you where to save the contents of the disc. Direct nLite to the Windows CD directory created in step 1C. When nLite is done copying the disc, it will give you information about its size and version as in figure 3-3.

Fig. 3-3: Windows XP has been copied to the hard drive and is ready to be worked on.

3C: Because of the vast variety of options nLite presents when customizing an XP disc, it’s very easy to select one that will cripple support for a feature or type of hardware you find critical. Thankfully, when you are done customizing your XP CD you can save a presets file as a record of all the options you selected. If you load this file now, repeat steps 3A and 3B, and then proceed as prescribed throughout the remainder of the guide, you can easily correct any mistakes and burn a new disc in less than twenty minutes.

Fig. 3-4: You can load a presets file here to reload all prior settings and change them.

3D: nLite breaks the slipstreaming process down into four stages. In the “Integration” stage, all the materials we downloaded in steps 2A – 2C will be decompressed and added to the Windows CD we put on the hard drive in step 3B. In the “Remove” stage, you’ll be able to flag components of Windows for removal; these components include services, hardware support, languages and drivers. In the “Setup” stage, you can add custom Windows themes to the disc, tweak the appearance of the desktop, supply a CD key for automatic usage and more. Lastly, the “Create” stage will allow you to decide how you want your disc created: Either as an ISO, or directly to CD. Because all of these stages are important to us, configure this screen as in figure 3-5 and press next.

Fig. 3-5: Select all integration stages as seen here.

Integrating Prepared Customizations

3E: For the first step in our integration stage, we’re going to add SP3 to our Windows disc. To do this, press select and navigate to the service packs folder we downloaded SP3 to in step 2A. Once the file has been opened, nLite will decompress its contents and update your disc. When the process is complete, your nLite window should appear as in figure 3-6.

Fig. 3-6: nLite reports that our XP CD is now running service pack 3.

3F: In this step, all the applications we downloaded in 2C should be added via the insert buton. If you have any Windows hotfixes you would like to add, you can also add those at this time. Any hotfixes you’ve added will appear in the window, as in figure 3-7. Secondly, hit advanced and configure your window as shown in figure 3-8. This will save space on your CD and accelerate installation. When you’re all finished here, press next.

Fig. 3-7: Some commonly-chosen addons are ready for slipstreaming.

Fig. 3-8: These options make for a smoother time during Windows installation.

3G: Windows XP recognizes two different types of drivers, the first of which is called a “PNP” driver. This is the kind of driver you install inside of Windows, such as the sort your video or sound card would use. The second kind are known as “Txtmode” drivers, and these are drivers required by the Windows XP setup routine to activate various pieces of hardware. To wit, all the drivers in step 2B are txtmode drivers that activate your computer’s SATA controller for use during installation. This is what will finally allow Windows to understand how to talk to your SATA drives and, subsequently, install on them!

Alternatively, if you have drivers you can extract to a folder that contain a .INF file, you can add them as PNP drivers and these hardware devices will be ready to go when you first install windows. Popular options include network drivers, video card drivers extracted from their executable installers, or the more simple sound drivers.

You may recall that in step 2B we provided an archive which contains various drivers for today’s most common chipsets. Because my computer uses the Intel P35 chipset, we can see that driver version in the Intel folder will support my SATA controller. At this time, press insert then single driver. Navigate to the folder which contains the driver appropriate for your chipset, and then add the .INF file contained in the folder. You’ll often be presented with a list of controllers the driver supports, so it’s best to select all of them if you’re not sure. Refer to figure 3-9 for a visual example.

Fig. 3-9: The INF file for a txtmode SATA driver has been opened, and all supported devices will now be recognized by the XP install.

The Removal Stage

As operating systems tend to be a “One size fits all” solution, they come pre-packaged with support for hardware, features and files you may never use. In the removal stage nLite allows you to eliminate unnecessary components, giving you the opportunity to shrink the size of Windows both on the CD and on the hard drive, with the added benefit of a small increase in performance.

When first accessing the window represented in figure 4-1A, nLite will give you the opportunity to select aspects of Windows XP that you do not want to remove under any circumstances (Fig. 4-1B). We have gone ahead and selected the four features that should not be removed under any circumstances. Doing this will hide the various options that work to provide these features from the extensive menus in 4-1A.

Fig. 4-1A: Checking a box flags that component for removal.

Fig. 4-1B: The four Windows components that must stay on the CD.

As can be seen here, there are a great many components that go into making Windows XP what it is. When expanding one of the dropdowns, you will be given a list of items of that specific category that can be removed. As a general rule, any item written in red is a critical component of the OS. However, virtually all the components you can select for removal come with a description of their function when you mouse over them. This way, even if the item is flagged as critical, you can determine if it’s truly critical for your needs. For example, there is little reason why an owner of an Intel-based machine would want to keep support for Transmeta or AMD CPUs in the hardware support section.

More About Components

In figure 4-1A, we have pre-selected the four categories of components that virtually everyone can safely remove:

  • Drivers: These are the drivers for common devices in 2001 when Windows XP was released. In 2008, there is little reason why any user would need or want such ancient drivers, so it is recommended that you remove them.
  • Keyboards: Windows XP ships with support for dozens of keyboard layouts for various languages. This will remove all of them except the standard QWERTY layout for US English. UK users will undoubtedly want to keep their own at the end of this expanded category.
  • Languages: Windows XP ships with support for displaying dozens of languages. Checking this will remove all languages but US English. Again, UK users will want to keep their dialect support at the end of this expanded category.
  • Directories: If you have never opened your Windows XP CD and extracted any of the administrative utilities on it, it’s a pretty safe bet that these directories are unimportant to you.

Other categories also have extensive documentation that you can consult when deciding what to remove:

  • Services: BlackViper has long been the authority on services for Windows. His site has an extensive list of the services, what function they perform, and under what circumstances you can keep or remove them.

For the remaining categories, you can invest the time to research each component, remove only the ones you’re explicitly familiar with, or simply move on to the next steps.

Automating Windows Setup

In the unattended section, elaborated upon in 4A through 4J, you can supply answers to boxes and prompts that Windows generates during the graphical portion of the XP installation process. This means that any page you have fully filled out in advance with nLite will no longer require your intervention; the answers will be automatically entered. No more selecting your time zone!

Step 4A: General tab

Here in figure 5-1, we have configured the page as we would use for my own PC. Here is an explanation of each option:

  • Unattended Mode: Determines how Windows should react if an answer is not supplied for a box during the graphical setup portion. The question mark explains each option in detail, but “Hide pages” is generally best.
  • OEM Preinstall: Determines whether or not XP should look for your floppy drive or the XP CD when loading SATA drivers. Leave the function set to enable, as we have slipstreamed drivers.
  • Program Files path: The location of your Program Files folder. Unless you’re particularly compelled to alter it, the default is suitable.
  • Data Execution Prevention: Enables or disables the use of a CPU’s buffer overflow protection
  • Product Key: Enter your Windows XP license code here.
  • Computer Type: Determines what HAL Windows should use. In this case, Windows really does know best, and this option should be left at its default.
  • Turn off Firewall: Disables the firewall introduced to Windows XP in Service Pack 2. If you are behind a router, it is recommended that you turn this feature off to save yourself considerable trouble.
  • Skip OOBE: Bypass the last stage of Windows XP setup where you create user accounts. Disable this, because this will be taken care of with nLite.
  • Turn off Hibernate: Not a fan of hibernation? Disable it from day one right here.
  • System Restore Service: The system restore service takes snapshots of critical Windows components and stores them on the hard drive. The idea is that these snapshots can be used to restore XP’s functionality in the advent of a catastrophe. Unfortunately, it rarely works as advertised and often ends up hogging disk space. We turn this off.

Fig. 5-1: Our settings for the general tab.

4B: RunOnce Tab

This tab allows you to launch applications or run commands the first time you get to your desktop. To the average user, it’s not terribly useful, but if there’s any command you can’t live without on the very first desktop access, this place is for you.

Fig. 5-2: The RunOnce screen in its simple glory.

4C: Users Tab

nLite permits you to pre-configure user accounts that are immediately available after Windows has been installed. Different users will have varying requirements, however I have configured figure 5-3 as appropriate for my own system.

Fig. 5-3: My account configured as desired.

4D: Owner and Network ID Tab

On this tab you can define the parameters of your computer’s identity on a local network you may have. This screen also dictates some of what will be displayed when check the properties of the “my computer” icon on any Windows desktop; figure 5-4 shows the correspondence.

Fig. 5-4: The ID of the network and PC has been configured.

4E: Regional Tab

With this tab, you can completely skip the screens that prompt you to select your language, keyboard and timezone. If you’re using a US English copy of Windows, configuring the window (Adjusting for your timezone) as seen in figure 5-5 will set you right. Users of other languages or keyboard layouts will want to select the options appropriate for them.

Fig. 5-5: No more timezone screen.

4F: Network Settings Tab

If you elected to add PNP network drivers during step 3G, you can customize all the settings for that card now. Sadly, this tab isn’t terribly useful for WLAN devices, so we have configured ours as though it were wired.

Fig. 5-6: No more timezone screen.

4G: Themes Tab

If you have ever installed a custom theme for Windows XP, or are currently running one, hitting insert all local will automatically add your custom themes to the Windows CD. You can then determine which one is the system-wide default for your first boot to desktop.

Fig. 5-7: Slipstreaming the Royale Vista Compact theme.

4H: Automatic Updates Tab

As a matter of preference, I prefer to manually obtain my updates rather than Windows phoning home to do it for me. Under this tab, you can decide how to best manage Windows updates. These features set the options for the automatic updates tab as seen in figure 5-4.

Fig. 5-8: Windows XP will no longer manage update retrieval.

4I: Display Tab

If in step 2B you also chose to slipstream your video card drivers, you can set the properties your display will use at boot under this tab. If you have not slipstreamed a video card driver, this tab will have no effect.

Fig. 5-9: Display settings of the video card have been configured.

4J: Components Tab

Unless you intend to run your machine as a web server, which we strongly advise against if you’re running XP, it’s best to leave IIS disabled on this screen.

Options and Patches

These settings are the mundane sort that generally affect responsiveness and “Behind the scenes” elements of Windows. More advanced users can feel free to change the settings, but what we have provided in figures 6-1 and 6-2 are a solid solution for virtually anybody.

Fig. 6-1: The bolded options are changed from their defaults and accelerate installation.

Fig. 6-2: These settings enhance mouse responsiveness, accelerate internet connections, and let you use custom themes as in step 4G.

Hard-Wire Windows Tweaks

In the tweaks section, you can alter a myriad of settings that most people turn to the registry to enable once Windows XP has been installed. Rather than explain each setting in detail, we’ll show each category configured with some common choices that eliminate annoyances and speed up the operation of XP.

Fig. 7-1: These settings will accelerate startup and shutdown

Fig. 7-2: These settings will accelerate the access of network and internet resources.

Fig. 7-3: These settings will accelerate system responsiveness, particularly in Windows Explorer.

Fig. 7-4: These settings disable some of XP’s most commonly-irritating “Features.”

For the remainder of the tweaks and settings contained within the categories, they are largely up to user preference. Mousing over each one will generally reveal a small explanation about that setting’s particular role.

Compile and Burn

At this point, the next screen will result in a prompt that asks you if you wish to continue. If you feel that everything is in order, pressing yes will begin compiling every setting, addon, driver and hotfix you added to the CD in prior steps. If you feel you’ve made an error, or wish for once last chance to verify all your settings, pressing no will allow you to review what you have done. If satisfied, figure 8-1 demonstrates the integration process:

Fig. 8-1: nLite is now compiling our CD!

Once the compilation process is finished, you will finally be presented with the option to burn the disc you have created. In this stage, the label field should correspond to the version of Windows that you have. For those who don’t know, TackTech has an excellent list that shows the relationship between the version and the volume label. At this point, the only thing left to do is burn your disc! The settings file which we mentioned early on will automatically be saved to your fresh Windows CD.

Fig. 8-2: We can now write our CD directly to disc with the burn button.


As you can see, the slipstreaming process is a powerful one. In just a few hours, we have shrunk the size of our disc, sped up the install, hard-wired speed enhancements and laid the floppy to rest! The more you use nLite, the more comfortable you become with adding and removing Windows features. Because your original disc is never modified, reformatting back to the original disc to try your hand at another custom disc is always possible. As always, we’re on hand in the IC forums to provide continued to support for this and other articles.

Happy slipstreaming!


  1. Qeldroma
    Qeldroma I liked this especially because of the thorough handling of of the drivers and options issues. I remember cobbling together my own slipstreams with Nero- this answers a lot of the questions, gotchas and inconveniences.

    Well done, Rob- and thanks.
  2. QCH
    QCH I do slipstreaming all the time at work. I've always done it the manual way which takes more time and lot of screw ups along the way. When nLite started a few years ago, I tinkered with it but never gave it a serious thought.

    Rob (Thrax) has done a great job walking us through the process and, much to my chagrin, made my way of slipstreaming obsolete.
  3. Shorty
    Shorty Rob,

    You have outdone yourself. That's slick. Shall be following that in the week when I reinstall my desktop (finally!). Cool read :D
  4. zarlon
    zarlon Your article is amazing and very useful. You are the only who puts detail in their article that is actually useful. Keep up the good work.

    The only problem I had was getting the article printed out without all of the ads & comments. Not finding a print option on the web page :confused: I used print preview, paged through until I found "about the author" and used that to print out the pages up to that for each web page of the article.

    I am asuming that you play Tabula Rasa since your forum name is Thrax. Zarlon is my toon name when I play.

    Thank You

  5. Thrax
    Thrax No, I don't play TR. My name is actually inspired by a high score on the Autumn Valley track in 1994's The Need for Speed. :)

    I'm very glad I could help you with one of my articles, Zarlon! Thanks for commenting.
  6. jared
    jared I'll poke our web guru with a big stick to see if we can get a "print" button that will render a printable page in the future.

    Nice suggestion.

    cheers :jared:
  7. zarlon
    zarlon This may sound like a dumb question but here goes.

    You indicate that we can add programs by downloading them into the Addons directory. Do they just go into that directory or subdirectories?

    I am building two versions, one an OEM (for me at home) and other is a VLK for work. Knowing how they go into the Addons directory will save me valuable time both at work and with my family/friends.

    Thank You


    PS. I am in the process of looking at all of your articles. Man you are a fountain of information & procedures. You are :cool2:
  8. Thrax
    Thrax You download the .CAB/.ZIP/.RAR/.7z files to that directory. It's just a storage folder, really, to keep things organized.
  9. BeeWorker
    BeeWorker Hi!

    after a very long sleepless weekend, hours of foul language and one big pile of newly burnt useless winxp installation cds - I am left to discover that all hope is lost and despite my heroic efforts to manually (and later with nlite) slipstream blooming windows xp - so it could acknowledge the existence of my very real (just ask Fedora) WD80 SATA drive on my crappy ASUS P4S800D MOBO - the forces of money grabbing evil (i.e SIS hatred, Micro[on global scale]Soft Evil and the rest of the lot) have once more prevailed! for it seems a "txtmode" version of the SIS 180 or 180OB - which according to section 5 of the slipstreaming article is needed for the rest of the just battle - is no where to be found on the World Wide Web - so it seems the only solution will be to write this weird forum S.O.S!

    guys where's that driver in txtmode anyone anyone at all!?!?!

    thanks for the article btw if I didn't stumble upon in it (round 4 am or so but still) I would keep burning copies of winxp containing cursed PNP drivers for ever!
  10. BeeWorker
    BeeWorker ok think i got it now just had to drop the .oem file in the same folder as the drivers - this will be a good time to blow my brains off for being so dumb after all someone should hold responsible for all the suffering
  11. wildthing423
    wildthing423 can you tell me how to create this from the files stored in my recovery partition?

  12. Thrax
    Thrax It's not possible. A recovery partition is a proprietary piece of technology and generally cannot be harnessed to do anything outside of its intended purpose.
  13. Panduka85
    Panduka85 I have maybe the dumbest question... when i add the wmp11 exe to the addons, it says to either install wmp11 slipstreamer or to copy the installed .exe to the nlite root folder. and all the other addons are running the installations while nlite is processing the final steps. why is that ?? do i really have to re-install all my exe s to the pc ?? please help....
  14. Thrax
    Thrax Where are you downloading the version of WMP11 you're using for nlite from?
  15. Panduka85
    Panduka85 microsoft site...

    and can you help me with the 2nd and most critical problem ?? why do all the exe s prompt as if i have to install them ?? and when i cancel them, nlite says that the addon is not the expected type...

  16. Thrax
    Thrax The executables that can be integrated with nLite are not the same type of executable you can download from any website. In the application integration section of my guide there are three links to sites that have software specifically repackaged for the slipstreaming process. All of these sites carry WMP11 repackaged to work with nLite, and you must make sure that all software you're trying to integrate also comes from these three sites.
  17. Panduka85
    Panduka85 Thanks Buddy.. i should be able to carry the process from here onwards.

  18. Thrax
    Thrax Thanks for stopping by, Panduka. :)
  19. walnutz
    walnutz THANKYOU! THANKYOU! THANKYOU! I am one of those jerks that never posts comments, but I could not let this one go without expressing my gratitude. I am technical, but by no means a computer builder. Your Slipstreaming Forum was still able to walk me through step by step on how to bring myself out of 3 days of utter computer he((.

    I appreciate the help that even the tech at the computer store could not give me. I will tell everyone I know that may be interested in this article all about it, and I look forward to reading more of your work.

    You are a life saver. Keep it up.:bigggrin::bigggrin::bigggrin:
  20. Thrax
    Thrax Thanks, Walnutz. :) I appreciate your comments.
  21. Bandrik
    Bandrik Bookmarked. While I'm not ready to reinstall my XP builds, I'll sure be wanting to use this when that time comes. Thanks for putting together this how-to guide! =D
  22. BuddyJ
    BuddyJ Welcome to Icrontic Bandrik. Stick around for the fun ;)
  23. Thrax
    Bandrik wrote:
    Bookmarked. While I'm not ready to reinstall my XP builds, I'll sure be wanting to use this when that time comes. Thanks for putting together this how-to guide! =D

    No problem, Bandrik! Thanks for commenting!
  24. davelis great article
    it is the first i m integrating components and drivers into a winxp cd
    thanx a lot
  25. Jvince
    Jvince Fantastic article. I've fooled with slipstreaming before but never has it been made so easy. That being said I'm having one issue :D.

    I pretty much follow the recommended slimming of the XP install, adding SP3, firefox, AVG, a few small hardware drivers, etc. Nothing radical. However my install is lagging out when it starts to install network devices. I do have a blown LAN port on my motherboard, replaced with a PCI lan. Other than that it's fairly straightforward. Any ideas where I went wrong to be lagging out here?

    Thanks in advance,

  26. Thrax
    Thrax How is it lagging out?: during the actual installation of Windows? On a specific screen?

    Can you take a camera picture of that screen? :)

    Welcome to Icrontic!
  27. Jvince
    Jvince I didn't have a camera handy, and I've reverted back to SP2 for the moment, but here are a few more details:

    During the windows install, after it's installed all the system devices, I hang up at "Installing network components". The blue progress bar gets to about 30% then it will hang there forever. I let it run overnight just to be sure. My normal XPsp2 install cd works fine, and that's the one I used as a source with nlite.

    I tried another slipstream version this morning with the same results. That's odd, considering the very first time I tried this as a test on my test laptop everything worked great.

    A few other notes:
    -my first test showed the modern XP install screens, not the classic. No matter which option I chose last night and today I'm getting the classic install prompts.
    -possibly related? My blown onboard LAN started working after a fresh install, but when I installed SP3, it went dead again. Maybe SP3 has an issue with this particular lan?

    Thanks for the response and I look forward to browsing your forum daily!

  28. primesuspect
    primesuspect Welcome to Icrontic :)
  29. Thrax
    Thrax It is possible that SP3 is quirky with that LAN card. It's fussy with my Linksys WiFi drivers, so there's some corroborating evidence to prove that it's possible.

    Did you slipstream your network drivers when making an SP3 disc?

    Jvince wrote:
    I didn't have a camera handy, and I've reverted back to SP2 for the moment, but here are a few more details:

    During the windows install, after it's installed all the system devices, I hang up at "Installing network components". The blue progress bar gets to about 30% then it will hang there forever. I let it run overnight just to be sure. My normal XPsp2 install cd works fine, and that's the one I used as a source with nlite.

    I tried another slipstream version this morning with the same results. That's odd, considering the very first time I tried this as a test on my test laptop everything worked great.

    A few other notes:
    -my first test showed the modern XP install screens, not the classic. No matter which option I chose last night and today I'm getting the classic install prompts.
    -possibly related? My blown onboard LAN started working after a fresh install, but when I installed SP3, it went dead again. Maybe SP3 has an issue with this particular lan?

    Thanks for the response and I look forward to browsing your forum daily!

  30. Jvince
    Jvince Nope, the Realtek Lan on my motherboard is detected fine with a normal XPsp2 install, so the drivers must already be there. However now that I think of it I might have removed some of the old "dead weight" drivers from the source disk.

    If the slipstreamed XPsp3 disk doesn't support a driver will it hang like that? I always thought it just skipped over unknown devices and left the lovely "?" in device manger.

    Either way I took the long route and did a Sp2 install and spent the day installing updates and obscure drivers :P. I'm definitely going to make a custom Xpsp3 disk again for this machine as well as my others but without testing it further I get the feeling that tracking down this particular issue might be tricky.

    I'm thinking of starting fresh with another slipstream, this time only taking out a few things (not drivers this time) and adding the essential drivers I need (m.b., audio, video etc). Hopefully I won't need it anytime soon, but my data backup is current and I can always take the long route again if needed.

    An alternate idea is to troubleshoot this on my older machine. I don't use it for anything other than studio recording so it's super easy to test on. Maybe I'll try another custom install and see if I can replicate the network issue. If not I'm guessing it's the driver conflict with sp3.

  31. Thrax
    Thrax One thing you might try is to find a newer driver for your card and slipstream that onto the disc. Also go out of your way to be sure that you've not removed any networking components. Though if you followed the guide exactly as indicated, it should be okay. I still use a very similar setup for my discs, and I'm able to use a wired network connection w/ DHCP without issue.

    TL;DR -- I suspect an SP3/old-ass driver conflict.
  32. Jvince
    Jvince Thanks, I'll be sure to check into that. If there is indeed a conflict with Sp3 and the onboard lan there has to be a driver upgrade out there (well, maybe :D). I did follow the guide pretty much to the letter, adding firefox, avg and some unattended setup stuff. That exact install worked on another machine of mine, so I'm leaning towards that lan drive issue as well.

    Thanks again for the great original post as well as the prompt responses on the thread!

  33. David K After following the instructions, the resultant CD gets to "Setup is inspecting your hardware", then screen goes blank and nothing happens. I slipped the INTEL folder into windows. Left everything else defaulted. Burned to a CDRW.

    However, I installed Windows 2k successfully, then "upgraded" to XP also successfully.

    I would much prefer a clean XP sp3 install.

    Hardware = DELL precision t5400 with 2xQuad processor.

    Any advice?
  34. Thrax
    Thrax Are you familiar with what chipset that SMP quad rig is using? The AHCI controller may be slightly different than the reference version supplied in our package. Go to this post and download the drivers at the end. Slipstream the drivers from the flppy32 folder for 32-bit OSes, or the flppy64 folder for 64-bit OSes. That should get you going. :)
  35. Jonathan C I just found this website after needing to install XP on a PC with no floppy drive. The drivers on the Microsoft CD would not boot, so I used your software to add them to the installation CD. Worked a treat once I got all the correct drivers! Thanks for a great tool.
  36. QCH
    QCH Glad we could help you, Jonathan. We have a ton of cool articles and tips. ;)
  37. the_technocrat
    the_technocrat Just FYI, I've used this guide 3 times in the last year. Works every time.
  38. Kevin I have one question How do I include .net 2.0 framework in my install
    Thanks in advance
  39. Thrax
    Thrax Unfortunately nobody seems to have made an nLite addon for the .Net 2.0 framework. :(
  40. mel-uk
    mel-uk My Windows XP has only SP1 on it, (SP2 crashed the computer very badly when I tried to install it when it came out years ago, so ended up rolling back to SP1). I'm about to do a refomat to sort this and get up to date. However it would appear that I can't use the slipstreaming method as nLite needs net2.0 framework, and that appears to need SP2. Is this correct?


  41. Thrax
    Thrax Microsoft .NET 2.0 will install on Windows XP SP1, it's just not a supported configuration. :) Microsoft isn't very clear about that.
  42. mel-uk
    mel-uk Thanks, that was quick!

    By the way, great website, great information, very clearly written and very thorough.

  43. Thrax
    Thrax You're very welcome, Mel. Hopefully you'll stop by again in the future. I'm glad we could help. :)
  44. confused_newbie I am new to slipstreaming and trying to get my Dell Studio 1737 to dual boot Vista and XP Pro. I am stuck on which SATA drivers to use for my Mobile Intel 45 Express Chipset. Is what I need in the folder? Stuck with nLite on adding the correct driver. thanks in advance...
  45. Thrax
  46. confused_newbie rob, thanks for your help and the guide. try the install tomorrow.
  47. Thrax
    Thrax Absolutely. :) Let me know if you run into any stumbles.
  48. craig cahill hi,
    i get this to work no problem when inserting a single driver, but as soon as i nominate a folder, i get the blue screen saying windows has shutdown, hard drive corruption etc.
    i have an intel x38 chipset and select the iaStor sata .inf.
    1.can i take the iaahci ones out of the drivers folder?
    2.how many files do i need when trying to integrate a particular driver? just the .inf file?
    any help appreciated.
    btw i am installing onto a raid 0/1 volume and as i say it works no problem if i just select single driver/iaStor, but im hoping to slipstream my graphics, chipset driver, LAN driver and some other addons.
  49. Leonardo
    Leonardo The RAID driver won't be dependent on the chipset (Intel northbridge and southbridge set in this instance) drivers, rather the particular RAID chip that is installed on your motherboard. Have you looked at the manufacturer's site for their drivers list for your specific motherboard model?

    What brand and model motherboard are you using.
  50. craig cahill its a gigabyte X38-DQ6.
  51. Malloy
    Malloy Great guide, I've made a slipstream disc to incorporate my RAID drivers into an XP Pro install...problem is, my product code is no longer being accepted? I've made the disc label the same as the original disc but I'm thinking it's got something to do with me adding SP3 to the slipstreamed disc.
  52. Kris Tufford Complicated; NEED HELP. I have tried slipstreaming before with my friends gateway laptop with Nlite and could not get it to work. I then found out a site that told me what to download to a floppy, bought a usb floppy and got xp to install. New laptop now, for work.

    Acer aspire 5535
    AMD Turion X2
    320 seagate sata HDD
    Had vista on it

    Already did the research the chipset is "amd 770g"
    I have done a million things to get this to work and still no success. I am using a windows xp pro student edition if that matters. I followed the slipstreaming process on this site to a "T" and I get a blue window during the initial loading where on the bottom of the screen in light grey you see what is loading. Right after I load just about everything
    I get an error stating "The file ahcix64.sys cannot be found Press any key to continue" and when I do it restarts.

    In your driver pack for amd you do not have that driver, so I don't know what to do. I did the next best thing. So i manually put the "ahcix86.sys" file from your Driver/amd/sb700/x86 folder, onto the new install disk via the explore tab in NLite at the end after you create an .iso file. I manually coppied the file into the "I386" folder and both the folders I386/nldvr/001 - I386/nldvr/002. Now so you know I did find a file called ahcix86.sy_ which it labels as a SY_ file and not a system file like the computer said it was missing.

    Now the computer hangs up at the same point and displays the same error.

    I have downloaded the chipset driver from acer for xp and it is kinda complicated. If you reply to this i will send you pics.

    I know that my problem is with the driver for the chipset section, I really need some more precise help. I understand computers well, just not programming. Thank you for the help.
  53. Kris Tufford Hey I fixed the issue. And of course it was my mistake. You see, when I first inserted drivers I added both yours and the new ones that I downloaded from acer. Unfortunatly I did not understand the x64 and the x86. Now I do. For some reason when you download the acer chipset driver, they give you both and you only want one. My particular version of xp is 32 bit and for soem reason that correspondes to the X86 where as the 64 bit version corresponds to the X64 which actually makes sense.

    My other issue was that I had to start from scratch with NLite. If i loaded previous settings it only added them to the disk even though after a load I deleted the ones on there previously. Hard to understand that one but hey so far so good. I have at least made it to the formatting screen so we will see how it continues to go. Once again thank you for this amazingly well put instruction set on NLite. You are a life saver.
  54. Thrax
    Thrax Glad you got everything sorted out! :D
  55. Sledgehammer70
    Sledgehammer70 So i am jumping into this guide in hopes to get XP installed on my new system. I think the SATA drivers were the issue. But I have my first disc spitting out & will report what happens when i try it out :)
  56. Sledgehammer70
    Sledgehammer70 I ran into a snag where I jacked something up and when i re did everything somehow Service pack 3 copied over 2 times making the Windows CD folder to big to put on 1 disc. I re did the entire process and now have the size down to just over 400MB. Disc install & test to come.
  57. CaptCoolio
    CaptCoolio Robert,

    I want to thank you and this forum, it saved me big time. About 4 weeks ago my PC died. The MOBO and the power supply died. I RMA'd them both but had a spare POwersupply, I needed to get the my gaming rig up and running again. I purchased a new MOBO.

    I was running Raid on my old ASUS P5N32-sli. The new board I purchased, (could not wait for RMA). The new one was a P5Q Turbo, I received it started the installation and wanted to load the Raid drivers. Guess what no Floppy drive connector. I called ASUS their response was try slipstreaming since XP will only accept drivers from floppys. I did some researchand downloaded nLite and make a disk, it got me further, them I had a "jraid.sys is corrupt" and installation would quit. I thought maybe I messed up the slipstream disk, so I made another, no joy. I was chocked, I phoned ASUS again, they said an external Floppy should do the trick, so I bought one. Got it home and make the RAID disk, was pumped, only to find it would not work either. I Then phoned Windows a few time spoke to a person that spent lots of time listining to the problems. But after about 1 hour on the phone, was informed only way I could get it working was but the full version of Windows 7. That made me mad enough I googled some more and got a hit on this web site. I followed your instructions made a slipstream disk, and XP installed first try. I am sorry for the long response, I was at my wits end and your forum helped me. I will be on here a lot more looking for info.

    Thanks Again
  58. Thrax
    Thrax I'm so glad that Icrontic could help you. :) Thank you for taking the time to let us know!
  59. Ryan Frisinger Thrax,

    This link is dead: http://icrontic.com/downloads/slipstream_windows_xp_drivers

    What is the new link for your driver repository
  60. jared
  61. Ryan Frisinger I need SATA drivers for my laptop, but cannot find them in the inf format.

    IBM Thinkpad X61
    Intel’s GM965 Express chipset

    Does anyone know where to find these?
  62. Ryan Frisinger Thanks for the link, Jared!
  63. Mike Lovingier Am I safe in assuming (I know what that usually means) that the SP3 download is the same for XP Home as well as XP Pro? From everything I've researched it appears to be the case but would like to be sure. Thanks in advance!
  64. Thrax
    Thrax That is a safe assumption. :)
  65. $coped This guide is great! I've been looking into slipstreaming for awhile and have found mixed reviews on the process and difficulty...most complaining about many "coasters" as a result...burning my first compilation -- will report back!
  66. Arthur Hi -
    First of all, thanks for this site. I'm hoping it will help me when I replace my faulty IDE hdd with a SATA hdd. My mobo is a Gigabyte (GA-7DX rev4.1) and I'd be surprised if it supports SATA, so I plan to use an IDE-SATA adapter. If the mobo is also faulty, then I have the hdd to use in a new build. So my first question to you is this: will I still need the SATA drivers for Win XP to recognise my hdd?
    My second question: If I have .NET Framework 1.2, .NET Framework 2.0 SP2, and also .NET Framework 3.0 SP2 already installed, do I still need to install .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 (as advised on page 1 of your instructions)?
    Thank you for considering these questions.
  67. Art Huge i didnt know my southbridge but i did find a great free program that told me everything i needed to know, i want to share it if thats ok,, havent tried to do the slipstream yet, got stumped on which amd southbridge i had,, i have ati sb600,, so now i know which to choose.

  68. Juan I thank you first off for the great info advised. My question is in regards to the SATA drivers. I have a biostar MB and the Southbridge is Via. I cant seem to find the drivers. I found the hyperion pro 4 n 1 but, which is the correct .inf file and do I need more than one file? TIA
  69. ed mansfield I was fine until you mentioned 1C: Lastly, prepare a directory structure as seen in figure 1-1:

    Fig. 1-1: Choose an empty folder and create these directories inside of it.

    then i was lost
  70. Tushon
    Tushon 1) create a new folder (call it "WinSlip" for kicks)
    2) create new folders according to figure 1-1 inside the new folder you created in step 1
  71. Jeff Invaluable info. Thanks for being here. My question is: will this all work on WN XP 64 bit?
  72. Tushon
    jeff wrote:
    Invaluable info. Thanks for being here. My question is: will this all work on WN XP 64 bit?

    I'm not authoritative as I moved on past XP a long time ago, but I think so.
  73. Roger Merliss Thankks for this great step by step guide! I want to try it but I cannot get the SATA drivers from your link. Please recommend another link.
    Many thanks!
  74. Roger Merliss. Hi!
    I finally got the drivers and followed your guide. Before installing Windows I changed BIOS settings to AHCI. The installation was good and Windows is operating in AHCI mode.
    What puzzles me is that in Device Manager under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, there is no mention of Serial ATA - only primary and secondary IDE and standard dual channel PCI IDE controllers.
    I have located the slipstreamed drivers in Windows/NLDRV/001. Am I getting the most out of my SATA drive? Is the controller installed?
    Thank you.

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