Make an Office XP CD with Integrated Service Pack 1, aka Slipstreaming

Written By:
Date Posted:
February 11, 2002

If you're like me; i.e., you're not the brightest bulb in the room, you're likely the type who is constantly reinstalling your OS and applications on your PC. The obvious solution is to not install flakey software, or to create disk images. I actually do the latter, but sometimes I like to reinstall from scratch. Other than the hassle of reinstalling applications and stuff, the number two hassle is patches, be it driver or application updates.

For those of you running Office XP, you're probably aware, or at least you should be, that . For me, this patch solved more problems than it created, so in my opinion, this is a must have patch. It's available for download, and you can choose to download the , or simply use the the . For those of you on dial-up, you can order the for free in the US and Canada. Finally, there is another downloadable, which is the . It's a big one, 39.1MB, but it will update any version of Office XP you may have.

Depending on how you aquire the update, it's still a bother to some people to install the patch, after installing Office XP. Your CD is typically required (more annoying if you keep your CDs locked away from your desk), and if you're running Windows 2000, you may need to reboot (unless you update to ). To avoid all this, the easiest thing to do is to create an integrated Office XP CD with Service Pack 1. For the purposes of this guide, we'll be using the Administrative Update. I tried using the 17MB update, but it doesn't seem to acheive our intended goal. :\

Before I begin, at the time of this writing, Service Pack 1 includes all the previous patches and updates from the Office Update site, except for one, so you'll still need to apply the patches released after Service Pack 1. You can choose to install them the old fashion way; i.e., download them, but I'll demonstrate how to integrate it into this CD, otherwise know as "slipstreaming".


Before we begin anything, you'll need to have a few things...

1) Office XP CD (duh!) - We're going to be using Microsoft Office XP Professional w/Frontpage

2) The

3) CDR/CDRW drive, CD burning software and at least 525MB of free space on your hard drives

Really, the CDR/CDRW and software are optional. You can simply leave the installation files on your disks fi you have the room to spare.

Step 1

You need to insert the Office XP CD into your drive, navigate to your "Start" button, select "Run" and type "x:\setup /a", where x is the physical drive your CD drive is assigned. My drive happens to be "h", so your drive assignment may differ.

This is going to start the install process of Office XP. You'll be presented with the option of where you want the files to go (I chose "d:\office"), and you'll be asked to enter your CD key.

After entering the CD key, you'll be presented with the End User License Agreement that we all love to read. Uh..., you'll have to accept the terms before continuing. It's going to appear to be installing, but in fact, your files are being copied over to your hard drive...

Assuming you didn't run out of disk space, or cancel the install process, a few more Windows Installer messages will appear, then the completion window will pop up. This will take a while, depending on the speed of your system, as the entire Office XP CD is copied to your hard drive.

Step 2

The next step is to decompress the Administrative Update into a folder on your hard drive. I suggest doing this to a folder different from where you extracted the Office XP files. Either make the directory now, or after you begin the Administrator Update (named "oxpsp1a.exe").

You can run the command "x:\oxpsp1a.exe" from the "Run" menu, where "x" is equal to the drive letter where you downloaded the admin install, or just double click on the install file. This will pop up the EULA for the update. Click "Yes" and continue...

You'll be asked where to extract the update. Enter it here or use the browse button if you've made the folder already. Don't worry if you specify a directory that doesn't exist, as it'll be made automatically.

Once you click "OK", the file extraction begins...

You should have two files located in the directory you extracted to. A large file that is named MAINSP1_Admin.msp, which updates core components for Office XP, and a smaller one called OWC10SP1_Admin.msp, which updates Office Web Components.

Step 3

Start the "Run" command from your "Start" menu again. You'll have to enter the following:

msiexec /p x:\admin\mainsp1_admin.msp /a x:\office\proplus.msi shortfilenames=true /qb

Where "x" is the drive letter where the files are located. This will update the core components.

Note for "Standard" users: The proper syntax is:

msiexec /p x:\admin\mainsp1_admin.msp /a x:\office\std.msi shortfilenames=true /qb

Thanks to our reader Pete for that one.

Once that is done, you'll need to update the web components. The instructions are identical as before:

msiexec /p x:\admin\owc10sp1_admin.msp /a x:\office\owc10.msi shortfilenames=true /qb

You'll be presented with a series of progress windows for each installation as follows...

When it's done, there won't be any "Installation Complete" dialogue box, so make sure you wait until the last window simply disappears.

I'm guessing a few of you are wondering what all those commands are. Basically, "msiexec" is the executable name for Windows Installer.

"/p" enables Windows Installer to apply an update to an existing installation, which in this case is the copied files on your hard drive.

The "/a" is probably not necessary for the majority of you, as it's the switch that allows the Windows Installer to perform an administrative installation of a product on a network share. I included it because anyone who wants to update over the network will need to know this.

"shortfilenames=true" tells Windows Installer to make all the file names and folders with MS-DOS-compatible file names. I don't really know why this is necessary, but likely needed since it's a requirement for running files from a command line.

"/qb" limits the installation options to a very basic level. No need for a dozen pop ups and button presses when all you need to do is to click OK each time.

You can read a lot more about this on the .

Once this is complete, you can either burn the contents of the folder to CD or leave them on your hard drive. It's about 630MB in all.

Step 4

Since the release of Service Pack 1, there has been a new update called the "". I'm assuming you know that since this was released after SP1, the patch should be integrated after you integrate SP1 into the Office XP files. You'll have to the update and save it to your hard drive.

Extracting the MSP file differs from the administrator update of SP1. All subsequent patches released by Microsoft have to be done via command lines and switches. It really isn't hard, simply type the name of the patch, with the "/?" switch to see your options if you want to know what they are, but for this patch, the switches are as follows...

Therefore, the proper command in your "Run" menu should be:

x:\oxpauiu.exe /t:x:\offup2 /c

Wwhere "x:\oxpauiu.exe" represents the location and the name of the file you want to decompress. As usual, "x" is whatever drive letter you use is, and the .exe name will change depending on the patch. the "/t:x:\offup2" directs the files to go into a temporary folder, which is made before or during the execution of this command. The "/t:" is what actually says "go here" and "here" is the "x:\offup2". I used "offup2" as my working directory, but you can call it whatever you want. Finally, the "/c" tells the extracted files to only be copied to that particular folder.

For this patch to be integrated with your Office XP Service Pack 1 install, run the command as follows:

msiexec /p x:\offup2\MSCTF.msp /a x:\office\proplus.msi shortfilenames=true /qb

For some strange reason, this took a long time to do, but I checked the log files, and it worked...

=== Logging stopped: 2/1/2002 13:53:17 ===
MSI (s) (38:94): Product: Microsoft Office XP Professional with FrontPage -- Installation operation completed successfully.

It took a few tries for me to figure it out, but as far as I know, the one constant in the above command is the target location "x:\%name%\proplus.msi". I was looking everywhere for the MSCTF.MSI file, but it doesn't exist.

Final Words

The whole point of this exercise was to create a CD with Office XP with Service Pack 1. Should there be a Service Pack 2 (likely), this guide should apply to it as well, though I'll be sure to double check. I know some may be thinking that this is a lot of work, but think of it in the long run. You'll now have a backup of your original CD, since I hear a lot of dubious stories like "I lost my originals!!", as well as a backup of your CD key. No longer will you need to apply Service Pack 1 whenever you reinstall, and given the number of horror stories I hear about people not being able to apply SP1, this is a way to get around it.

I suppose it wouldn't be right to leave it at that, so I ran the installation and have a few things to point out...

1) You will no longer need to enter in the CD key if you ever need to reinstall, but...

2) You will still need to activate (or reactivate) the product.

I happened to be performing the steps outlined here as I wrote the article. Most of the above information is located on Microsoft's site, though applying post-SP1 patches took me a while to figure out. For those of you who may not know all the steps needed to do this combined service pack CD, I hope you'll find this guide useful. Perhaps when the Windows XP service pack is released, I'll post a companion guide to this one.

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