A "slipstreamed" Windows 2000 installation has been pre-patched with Service Pack 3, the latest Service Pack for Windows 2000. By pre-patching the installation files, one can install Windows 2000 with the latest and greatest versions of all system files without having to install first and then patch later. You'll need at least a gigabyte of free space on a Windows PC to do this.
- Download a complete copy of the latest Service Pack for Windows 2000. You cannot use the network-installer version of the Service Pack to do this; you must get the complete Service Pack archive, which can be 100+ megabytes.
- Copy out the entire contents of the Windows 2000 CD-ROM into a folder. One quick way to do this is to use the XCOPY command with the /E switch, which preserves directories and subdirectories. Using Explorer to copy the folders may not copy over hidden files.
- The Service Pack usually consists of an executable, UPDATE.EXE. Run the executable from the command line with the switch /S:<pathtofiles>, where <pathtofiles> is the full drive and path to the copy you made of the Windows 2000 CD-ROM. If you copied the CD-ROM to C:CDROMCOPY, use C:CDROMCOPY.
- The patching process may take several minutes. Once it is finished, you can install Windows 2000 from that folder.
- If you want to burn the contents of the folder to a CD and generate boot floppies for it, replace the TXTSETUP.SIF file on the first boot floppy disk with a fresh copy from the patched /I386 folder after you create it or you'll get an error.
Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.
This was first published in October 2002