Since years I use slipstreamed Windows installations. This works very well, but preparing them is tedious :
1 - install a Windows with the last slipstreamed version we have (automated install)
2 - check Windowsupdate to see what's new, and take note
3 - download each new update available
4 - go to step 2 until no new update is available 5 - slipstream them into the last version we have (I already automated this step)

I'd like a way to automate parts or all of this.

Maybe a program able to know which updates are installed (already saw one, I don't remember which, and I know PowerShell can do this)... and able to download them ? Or to get them from local disk ? So the steps become :
1 - install a Windows with the last slipstreamed version we have (automated install)
2 - use Windowsupdate until no new update is available (any way to automate ?)
3 - use the magic program
4 - slipstream

edit : my need is for Windows 7 and 2008, but the goal is to be general because other people may have other needs.


For Windows 7, I've broken this down into smaller chunks so that I have more control. This assumes that you have a directory structure like this and that you download the .msu updates from Microsoft to the updates folder:

 - Win7
 --- mount
 --- updates
 --- stagedupdates

You can obviously modify this to your liking. I also manually download the hotfixes that I'm slipstreaming so that I know exactly what's in my image.


expand -F:* c:\win7\updates\* c:\win7\updates
copy updates\*.cab stagedUpdates
del stagedUpdates\WSUSSCAN.cab /s


cd \win7
dism /mount-wim /wimfile:c:\win7\install.wim /index:1 /mountdir:c:\win7\mount


cd \win7
dism /image:c:\win7\mount /add-package /packagepath:C:\WIN7\stagedUpdates 


dism /unmount-Wim  /MountDir:c:\win7\mount /commit


dism /unmount-Wim  /MountDir:c:\win7\mount /discard

You can obviously just cobble these together and script the deletion of the leftover updates after. I prefer to do that myself. This should give you a good framework to use, though.


For Windows XP

1 word nLite ... http://www.nliteos.com

  • +1, because OP doesn't specify which version Windows, but nLite only supports Windows XP.
    – jscott
    Sep 27 '12 at 23:36
  • 1
    @John. Read the question before hastily down voting. 1. He didn't specify an OS when I answered, he only put that in in an edit. 2. He then went on to say, although he is using Win7 that it would be worthwhile to post solutions for other OS's. Sep 28 '12 at 8:13
  • Am I missing something? Did John delete his comment?
    – jscott
    Sep 28 '12 at 9:50
  • Yes (and removed the downvote!) Sep 28 '12 at 10:05
  • Note that vLite supports Windows Vista and 7 to some degree.
    – gparent
    Nov 30 '12 at 19:11

Well, you don't, actually, not since XP. (For XP, you'd still use nLite.)

To achieve a similar effect on a newer OS, you'd have a number of options:

  1. Editing the install image(s) with WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit).
  2. Scripting up your own solution, which MDMarra covered nicely.
  3. Third party tools, like nLite was for XP.
    • One I think is pretty decent for Windows 7 would be RTSe7enLite, but keep in mind that it's not a supported/official option, so you may encounter some oddness and/or issues.
  4. MSDN license or Technet subscription to get downloadable, more up-to-date builds of the OS in question.
  5. Virtualization
    • Most enterprise-grade virtualization suites these days allow you to clone or create a template from a VM, which is a quick way to create standardized, up-to-date VMs for deployment
      • Obviously, most useful with server OSes, rather than desktop ones, but since you weren't specific, I'm sneaking that option in.

Well, I haven't slipstreamed or built a new system lately, but the workflow I've used in the past is to slipstream the latest service pack for my 'base' install media and then run WSUS Offline Update to get it up to date. WSUS Offline Update is a little script that downloads the latest patches, keeps them in a repository, and applies them to a running system.

The nice thing is, of course, you can set things up to run the updates unattendedly as part of an unattended install script - perhaps using a 'baseline' install and just keeping the updates in a single location to have a system that's patched up to the latest patches.

You can also have Windows 7, XP, 2k8 and office updates handled off of the same location. For small scale systems deployment it works great.

I prefer not to slipstream with each install. Quite simply, after a while it becomes a pain in the rear to constantly keep a disk slipstreamed and tested. It would probably take a little longer, but I consider my semi automated installs something I'd run during lunch and finish up later.


As others mentioned before, there are tools like nLite and vLite (for XP/2003 and 7/2008 respectively), but just recently the author of these tools created another tool, called NTLite (http://ntlite.com), which also supports Windows 8, Server 2012 and 10. It's not free, though. Free edition only allows to reduce the size of the image by removing components.

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