Slip-stream into the fast lane

How many times have you reloaded Windows XP on a PC or laptop only to spend half a day applying updates, security updates, hot fixes and patches?

Actually, updating and patching takes more time that installing the operating system itself. It’s an unavoidable fact, so live with it.

Still, you can save tons of time. How?

Windows XP commonly comes with Service Pack 2 nowadays, so really, the updates you need will not be as large as SP2.

Updates all depend on what is installed in the system, as well. If you have Windows XP installed with every accessory and option, each of those will have their own updates, too. Outlook Express and MSN Messenger are typical examples. They will require at least a half dozen updates alone.

The good news is you can update and patch your Windows XP installation files to include these updates, and you can be re-burn them to a CD-RW. This is a process called slip-streaming.

There are several programs on the market to assist with this process.

One such program is called nLite. This program allows you to take the Original Windows XP installation CD, integrate it with Service Pack 2, and all the updates you can stomach, into one handy current Windows XP installation CD. You can also customize the Windows XP installation further, to include updated drivers for your special hardware, upgrade Media Player to Version 10 and more.

A number of web sites offer pretty thorough explanations. Still, using Google to search the term – slip-streaming Windows XP with updates – should be your first option. One site that does an excellent job of explaining slip-streaming with images is from PCSTATS: Beginners Guide: Slipstreaming a WindowsXP Install CD with Service Pack 2.

The process is a little involved. It’s not for everyone. But if you ever need to reinstall Windows XP, this will easily save you a couple of hours.