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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Creating a new hybrid installation CD -WinXP Bootable CD

Produce a prepatched ("slipstreamed") setup CD
Create your own totally legitimate prepatched copy of XP on CD today.
This method of pre-patching an installation CD is basically the same process software vendors use to produce an updated version of their installation software.

Before you begin, you'll need the following:

1) A legitimate XP setup CD (almost any variation will work: Pro or Home; retail or OEM; full install CD or upgrade CD; etc.)

2) A CD burner, blank CD, and software capable of creating a bootable CD (eg. Nero, Roxio, etc.)

3) About a gigabyte of free space on your hard drive for temporary file storage. (This space can be recovered after you've made your new CD.)

Step One: Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the top level of your hard drive, or to some other suitable location that's easy to get back to.

Step Two: Create a new folder. We'll use this new folder to hold the components of your CD project. You can give it any name, but for clarity, let's call it XPSP3 in this working example.

Step Three: Open the newly created XPSP2 folder. Inside, create three new (empty) folders; name them Root, Boot, and SP3. These folders will house various components that later will be combined into a new, pre-patched setup CD.

Step Four: Put your original, unpatched XP installation CD in the CD drive; copy all of its files and folders to the new "Root" folder you just created in Step Three. (i.e. C:\XPSP3\ROOT )

Step Five: Open the Root folder; you'll see the files that have just been copied from the installation CD. Click to open the Support folder; then click to open the Tools folder inside that. Delete the file named "" inside the Tools folder. (In other words, delete: C:\XPSP3\ROOT\SUPPORT\TOOLS\DEPLOY.CAB )

Step Six: Download the (free) Windows XP Service Pack 3 Deployment Tools

Step Seven: The file you download In Step Six will be Rename this to "" if not, and copy it into the C:\XPSP3\ROOT\SUPPORT\TOOLS\ folder, replacing the "" you previously deleted there.

Step Eight: Download the (free) "Windows XP Service Pack 3 Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers" from Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). Download the file to the C:\XPSP3 folder; or if you downloaded it elsewhere, copy it into the C:\XPSP3 folder. Once it's there, rename the downloaded file (which is named WindowsXP-KB936929-SP3-x86-ENU.exe) to "SP3.EXE"

Step Nine: Extract the Service pack files to the SP3 folder: Click Start/Run, and then type this command in the Run box: C:\XPSP3\SP3.EXE /U /X:C:\XPSP3\SP3

Click OK, and the self-extracting SP3.exe file will unpack its contents into the SP3 folder.

Step Ten: Use XP's built-in "Update" tool to apply the SP3 patches to the original XP setup files. Click Start/Run and type the following command in the Run box:


Windows will open an "Updating Your Windows Share" dialog, and will show you the progress of the patching. When it's done, the SP3 patches will be seamlessly integrated with the original XP setup files.

Making your new patched setup files a bootable CD.
Step 11: In addition to the content files, which you created in steps 1-10 above, you also need the actual boot code. The good folks at TackTech, in addition to offering a wealth of information, also make available, free, CD boot code files. Download a copy at ( ~1.34KB) It's a standard ZIP file; open the file and copy the compressed file inside, called "boot.ima" to the folder C:\XPSP3\BOOT you previously created.

Step 12: Start your CD burner utility---

Create a Windows XP CD with slipstreamed SP3 using CDBurnerXP.
For the CD image creation, you have to get nLite, at least version 1.4.5 beta2.[Deployment Tool for the Bootable Unattended Windows ISO(Remove components, integrate hotfixes, drivers and themes. Tweaks, patches...)] It does not only allow you to integrate Service Packs into CDs, but also offer the possibility to apply various modifications, like an integrated CD key. After you downloaded and installed nLite, start the application.

Installed nLite:
*Choose your language, click next.
*Insert your Windows CD. Click “Browse…”.
*Select the drive that contains the Windows XP disc. It should be displayed as typical setup icon.
*Ignore the warning, and in the next dialog select C:\ and create a new folder called “WinXPSP3”. You should have at least 1GB free space left. You may also choose a different location to store the temporary data of course.
*Now nLite will copy all files from the CD to your hard drive. After the process has finished, click “Next”, as well as in the following screen.
*You should now see a page with a lot of buttons on it. Decide for the first one (Service Pack) and last one (Bootable ISO).
*After you pushed them, there should be a green “light” on the left side. Click “Next” again.
If you feel confident enough, you can also explore the other options. For example, if you want to integrate a CD key, choose “Unattended” additonally to “Service Pack”.

*Now you have to specify the location of the Service Pack by clicking on “Browse”. If you didn't download SP3 yet, do it now. Alternatively follow the abovementioned Step 8 -10 for an updated servicepack 3.
*After finding your file, nLite will unpack the Service Pack and apply it to the files temporarily stored on your hard drive. This may take a while. It will not update your operating system. When done, click “Next”.

*Now enter a label for your disc, and select “Make ISO”. nLite will then ask you for a location to store the file. The advantage of making an ISO is that you can burn it as often as you want, or also mount it as virtual drive with applications like Daemon Tools.
*Once it has finished, select “Next”, “Cancel” or whatever you like, we are done with nLite for now.
Next steps

You might want to delete the temporary files, but not the created ISO image of course. Now you can burn the ISO image with CDBurnerXP or test it using a virtual machine.

in this example, Nero Burning ROM:
Download Nero 9 Ultra
Nero 9-System Requirements

Launch Nero Burning ROM and create a new bootable CD compilation. When the compilation properties window comes up, select the Boot tab.

Click the “Image file” radio button and Browse for the image1.bin file which BBIE extracted. Then under Advanced, tick “Enable expert settings”. Change “Kind of emulation” to “No emulation. Make sure that “Load segment of sectors” is set to “07C0” and change “Number of loaded sectors” to 4.
Hit OK, You're almost ready to burn. You already added the boot image files to the project in Step thirteen; now select and add all the files and folders in the C:\XPSP3\ROOT folder to the burn project, and click "Burn to disc."

in this example, Roxio's CD Creator:
Download Roxio.Creator.Ultimate.2009 - How?

Roxio Ultimate System Requirements
Step 13: Select File/New Project/Bootable Disc. When the dialog opens, set Bootable Disc Type: to No Emulation. Click the ">>Advanced" button, and set the Load Segment: to 0x000 and the Sector Count: to 4. Now click "Browse" where the dialog asks you to "locate the image file that contains the bootable image." Browse/navigate to C:\XPSP3\BOOT. Click on the "boot.ima" file you placed there in Step Eleven, and then click "Open" and "OK."

Step 14: Click to File/Project Properties. This opens one dialog with several tabs, and many choices and sub choices. Basically, you use this dialog to set up the new CD to match the characteristics of your original XP setup CD. For example, if your original XP setup CD is an unpatched, retail, full-install version, its volume label is probably "WXPFPP_EN," so that's what you'd enter in the "Volume Label" portion of the dialog box. You can simply check your original CD with Windows Explorer to see the volume label, or you can figure it out from the comprehensive list at

Likewise, set the other features in this dialog to match that of the original setup CD:

File System = Joliet
Physical format of CD = Mode 1: CDROM

Click Advanced, and enter the following:


The remaining default settings are probably OK, but to be sure:

Select "Use original file date."
Select "All Files" under the "File Filter" tab.
Uncheck "Do not add Hidden files" and "Do not add System files."

When you're done, click OK.

Step 15: You're almost ready to burn. You already added the boot image files to the project in Step thirteen; now select and add all the files and folders in the C:\XPSP3\ROOT folder to the burn project, and click "Burn to disc."

Step 16: The final dialog then opens, and offers a few last choices. If they're not already selected, select "Record CD" under "Record Options," and "Disc-at-Once" under "Record Methods." Click OK, and you're done!

Note that the burning software may complain about the "folder depth" being too many levels deep--ignore this warning, as it has no effect on the usability of this CD.

Using a rewritable CD will avoid wasting media, or it works just as well when updating a network install location.

Related Articles: AutoPatcher Comeback

Google: Create a Bootable CD xp

Related Topic: Cutting the fat - XP installs under 700mb

Reducing XP - Laymans guide to "cutting the fat" from Windows XP

Disclaimer - This was all done on my own time, from my own experimentation and a little web searching. I will not be held responsible for any damage done to your machine by this. I will only tell you it has worked for me, but by altering the registry and removing files from your system you can cripple and even destroy your system accidently. If you do this it is entirely at your own risk. This was done mostly for educational and entertainment purposes - If you do not know what you are doing or are afraid of a possible system restore DO NOT FOLLOW THIS GUIDE.

Second note: I'm writing up a simple batch file that will trash all this stuff for you, and a few registry samples, to make this easier. I'll have that done in a few days.


Basically, what we're doing here is removing as much as we can from XP while still maintaining (near)full functionality - Unlike programs such as 98lite we are not removing integrated features such as Internet Explorer. This is mostly a way to trim down on your XP install size. If you, like me, use multiple partitions and perhaps one seperate partition for OS alone, having the physical size of the OS to as small as possible can give you a nice performance boost, and of course make defragging a sub 20 minute process.

First Step: Moving Pagefile and disabling Hiberfile.

If you use hibernation, for the sake of this walkthrough please disable it. If you are not sure if you have it enabled, make sure the ability to see hidden files is enabled (From a folder: Tools --> Folder Options --> View --> Show hidden files and folders), then after it is, check the root of C (or wherever XP is installed) for the file hiberfil.sys. If it is there, hibernation is enabled. To disable it, open the "Power Options" control panel, select the "Hibernate" tab, and un-tick "Enable Hibernation"

Now, to move the pagefile, if it exists on C. You can either do this manually from within the registry, or you can do this from the System control panel, under "Advanced", in the "Performance" section - click the "Settings" button, under that open the "Advanced" Tab, then select "Change" down towards the bottom. Note that after making a change here you will *have* to click "set" before selecting another drive or leaving, or it will not save the change.If you have a seperate partition, move it to that partition (at least for now).If you do not have a seperate partition, make the pagefile as small as possible. On systems with a lot of RAM (512mb+) you can safely disable it for this walkthrough, then reenable it later. If you have less then 512mb, occasionally you can get away with disabling it, but likely you will just need to set it to something small. A system with 384mb RAM can easily get away with setting it to 16mb. Just get it as small as you can.

Restart after this.

Second Step: Removing DLL cache

This involves causing the SFC to stop scanning the dllcache directory, located in \%systemroot%\system32 (typically \Windows\system32), and allowing its contents to be deleted.

This is of course optional. The DLL cache can approach upwards of 200mb compressed data. This directory is where the system file checker stores backups of many "critical" programs and libraries, and constantly compares them to the current existing ones to ensure they are the same. A file-integrity service essentially, that although is not a bad idea in the slightest, especially for shared machines or for people who are known for damaging system files, but one that is quite annoying for tweakers and for those who want to cut the fat. Although maybe it is critical to protect such programs as Notepad and the Media "Tour", it really does go overboard in many cases.

XP Service Pack 1: You can do this without restarting and without patching your SFC library. All you need to do (in order to disable SFC from scanning the dllcache directory) is alter a single registry key. Open up REGEDIT by going to START, then RUN, then typing "regedit".

You'll have to navigate through here to get to where this key is. This one, "SFCDisable", is located here:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

By default it is set to 0. What you need to do is edit this and change it to "ffffff9d". Change that, click ok, then close regedit.

Now, for all intents and purposes, you should now be able to open the dllcache folder in \%systemroot%\system32 and delete anything you wish at will. I have received a few reports that if you had hotfixes prior to installing sp1 that this may not work! In that case see the next step.

XP Patched or non SP1 - The above may not always work. If "ffffff9d" is changing itself back to 0, you will have to do some hex-editing in order to disable it entirely. You'll have to be a bit more cautious in this one, however other users may want to do this as well as it disables SFC entirely, including all directories in \%systemroot%

1) Make a copy of the SFC_OS.DLL located in \system32

2) Open the copy in a hex editor. I still use an ancient one called PCTOOLS. The WinNT resource kit has one that functions, but of course use whatever you prefer. In this file, you'll need to find two offsets and alter their values.

3) At offset 0xE3B8 and 0xE2B9, change "8BD6" to "9090", save and quit.

4) Make another copy of your original SFC_OS.dll and put it somewhere safe.

5) Now, copy your modified SFC_OS.DLL to \system32 and \system32\dllcache, overwriting the existing ones.

6) You should get a warning about critical files being modified. Click CANCEL at the first prompt, then YES at the next prompt. (Or OK, can't recall)

7) Restart XP

8) Once logged in again, open the above registry entry, and change SFCDisable to 0xffffff9d (you can just type ffffff9d in the dialog) and exit regedit. Now restart XP again and you should be able to trash dllcache to your hearts desire.

Note: Thanks JSIFaq ( ) for information on modifying SFC_OS.DLL

Third STep: Unhiding and uninstalling unneeded applications.

By default, XP hides the ability to uninstall certain programs such as Messanger, Netmeeting, Autoupdate, et cetera, and it hides them well.

Although yes it is true you can often simply delete the directory or executables for these programs, that can lead to problems in the future as XP still believes they are installed.

The better, cleaner method - Is to unhide them. Locate the file \%systemroom%\inf\sysoc.inf and you will see a section called [Components]. This is for the most part all the hidden programs we can easily remove.

At the end of each hidden appline, you will see this: inf,hide,7

To unhide these apps all you have to do is remove the word hide. That's it! An edit / replace all will take care of these with great speed.Now, in your add/remove programs menu (in control panel), under the "Add/Remove Windows Components" you will have a nice lovely assortment of new apps that you will never use in your entire life that you may remove at will. VIA

Related Topics:
Daemon Tools
DVD / CD format: ISO or UDF

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