Slipstream Windows XP SP3 CD

So you have a Windows XP installation disc. Why not make a new one with Windows XP Service Pack 3 included on it? This way you won’t have the extra step of installing SP3 when you install Windows XP. Here’s how to combine Service Pack 3 with your current version of Windows to create a new bootable installation CD.

1. Download Windows XP SP3 Network Installation to your Desktop.

2. Download nLite.

3. Run the nLite installer. Follow the menus by clicking Next and eventually you will be asked where your Windows XP installation information is. In this example, I have selected the CD-ROM drive that has my Windows XP installation CD in it.

Select Windows XP Installation Location

4. After choosing a location for where the install files are coming from, you will be prompted to select a location to save the files. In this example, I created and selected a C:\XPSP3 directory.

Choose Installation Copy Location

5. nLite then copies the files from the CD to the XPSP3 folder.


6. Select the location that you wish to customize. This will be the C:\XPSP3 directory. Click Next.

Select customization directory

7. The wizard will prompt for preset information. You can just click Next.


8. Select Service Pack. You can also play with the other options if you wish. We just want to merge the service pack in this tutorial, so we just click Next.

Select task

9. Click Select to choose the service pack.


10. Select the service pack installation file we downloaded to your Desktop. Click Open.

Select service pack file

11. The service pack files get extracted.

Service pack extracting.

12. nLite will then merge the file in with the files in the C:\XPSP3 directory.

Files integrating

13. The integration finishes. Click OK.

Integration completed

14. The slipstream creation is complete. Click Finish. Now you can burn the files in the C:\XPSP3 directory and you have a Windows XP installation with Service Pack 3 included.

To take it one step further, you may want to make the CD Bootable. Here is an example of how to do this using Nero 8. It’s available for a 15 day free trial.

1. Download the Microsoft Corporation.img file to the Desktop.

2. Start Nero Burning ROM and select CD-ROM (Boot). Set the following settings:

  • Image name, Browse to the Microsoft Corporation.img file on the Desktop.
  • Kind of emulation, select No Emulation.
  • Load Segment of sectors, select 0×7c0.
  • Numbers of loaded sectors, select 4.

Click New when you are done.

Make CD bootable

2. In Nero, select all of the files in the C:\XPSP3 directory and drag them over to the left side to burn. Click the Burn button on the top toolbar when you are ready.

Select SP3 files to burn

3. Insert a recordable CD into the drive and click Burn on the next screen.


4. The burn process should finish successfully leaving you with a bootable, slipstreamed Windows SP3 installation CD.

Burn process finished.


  1. Jerry says

    when i try to put in 0x7c0 i get an error that it must be 4 so i let it stay 07C0 do you know what the problem is?

  2. HeadScratcher7 says

    @ new guy
    I have both a retail copy of WinXP and an OEM copy. Back when I made a slipstreamed SP2 disk I got half way thru the install and found my product key didn’t work. I’d goofed and used the retail copy to build the slip disk and then tried to reinstall on my machine which had the OEM version. I believe these versions have different code for validating product id’s so be sure to start with the correct disk. For me, I’ll be making two slip disks -one retail and one with an OEM base.

    @ Jose
    When the SP3 is installed over the original disk it’s basically copying updated files over the old ones for the most part so it will still fit on a CD when burned.

  3. Jose says

    My Windows XP Pro SP2 is almost 600 MB and the SP3 that I have downloaded is 316 MB so if I slipstream and try to burn how will it fit on a regular 700MB cd?
    I would appriciate if you would kindly let me know if it is possible to burn it on DVD-R

  4. Marko says

    Hello! I made instalation CD for Win XP with SP3 involved. I alredy installed it.It works fine. Thanks for nice instuctions on this site.


  5. Curt says

    OK, I followed the instructions for making a slipstreamed disk and all seemed to go well. If I take the newly created disk and insert it into the CD drive with an operating system installed I can now install WinXP SP3. Now, when I format the drive and then boot with the new CD I get to the DOS setup like installing Win98 with the A/: prompt. Is there a command to get the installation started? I’ve tried using “setup.exe” using my CD drive letter but it doesn’t work. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  6. Mauritz says

    I have a minilaptop thats running vista I ehat to downgrade to XP how can I wrigth the image to usb drive and boot of it (no cdrom in laptop)

  7. new guy says

    I created this cd, followed your instructions to the letter, it made the cdrom just fine… and it works fine until you get to the product key part… when I enter my key, it says “invalid key”, i tried it about a dozen times… and no go, so i went back to sp2 install, and the key works just fine….
    my sp2 is XP Pro full install.. whats woth the key not working when you make sp3?

  8. admin says

    In response to Douglas:

    Yes, you could choose that option, but I prefer to not have to create an ISO first and then burn it. Personally I like to burn the files directly from an installation folder. For others though, it is true to ISO method might be easier.

  9. Douglas A. Brace says

    Your step of downloading the Microsoft Corporation.img file is redundant. nLite comes with the ability to make a bootable ISO. You can even see the “feature” in the fifth (5th) screenshot that you posted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>