Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I would like to integrate SP1 and SP2 in one single Windows Vista DVD setup disc. There is one popular article on TechRepublic on how to "reverse integrate" SP1 and SP2 for Vista. But the article is linking to a Microsoft download page for "Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008".

But there is also another download for "Automated Installation Kit" on the Microsoft download website.

Which one should I get? Do I need AIK for SP1 to reverse integrate SP1 and SP2 for Vista? Or do I get the regular one (one that's not for SP1)?

My Vista media came with no Service Pack whatsoever. So I'm thinking maybe the first one is for Vista with integrated SP1?

Also, does it matter which language version I get? I know that I need "all language" standalone SP1 and SP2 for Vista, because my Vista version is in Swedish. But is it the same with the AIK, do I need AIK for Swedish version of Windows? Or is this just the language of the AIK interface?

Is there any other way to do this? Is there perhaps a legal way of obtaining a DVD image of Vista with SP1 and SP2 already integrated? Except for becoming a MSDN or TechNet Plus member?

I just need a way of re-installing Windows Vista with as many updates pre-installed as possible, so I would prefer to have the SP1 and SP2 installed at the same time. Is that too much to ask? Why won't Microsoft make it simple and make the Windows Vista ISO files with integrated SP2 available for all?

Why is that not a legitimate way of obtaining it? You know, having in mind that to download pretty much anything from Microsoft Download Center they are now enforcing Windows validation process, and as it is a licensed and genuine version of Windows Vista that I have I see no reason why I would not be allowed to download it... why I would need to get myself a MSDN or Technet Plus membership just for this sake.

Update: I followed the TechRepublic guide and everything went fine until I came to the step where I'm supposed to make a bootable ISO using OSCDIMG.

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>oscdimg /b "c:\program files\windows
aik\tools\petools\x86\boot\" /n /o /m /l "FRTMCxFRE_SV_DVD_WAIK" "L:
\slipstream3\Temp VIC\Vista x64 SP2" "L:\slipstream3\Temp VIC\ISO\Vista Home Pre
mium x64 SP2.iso"

OSCDIMG 2.45 CD-ROM and DVD-ROM Premastering Utility
Copyright (C) Microsoft, 1993-2000.  All rights reserved.
For Microsoft internal use only.

ERROR: Could not open boot sector file ""
Error 3

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>

What the hell is error 3? And why is it trying to open "" (double quote marks) and not the actual file, \boot\ What am I doing wrong here? I went over this and repeated the command several times. There appears to be no problem with the syntax, and the file paths are correct.

I have booted into the working OS (Vista Home Premium 64-bit). System disk drive letter is C. According to diskmgmt.msc it is located on disk 1, partition 1. I have reinstalled Vista on disk 2, partition 5. This is the only primary partition (not active) on that disk. While in the working OS this partition is given the drive letter Z.

Drive letter L is located on disk 2, partition 4. I use this disk for storage. This is where I copied the DVD disc to and also the location of the modified install.wim file (using imagex).


  • disk 1, part 1: Vista 64-bit (working OS)
  • disk 2, part 5: Vista 64-bit (reinstall location)
  • disk 2, part 4: Vista RTM DVD mod (imagex)

Location of oscdimg.exe:

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>dir oscdimg.exe /b

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>

As you can see, the path to OSCDIMG is correct.

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK>dir imagex.exe /s
 Volymen i enhet C har etiketten Vista (ST1PT1)
 Volymens serienummer är AAAA-AAAA

 Innehåll i katalogen C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\amd64

2006-11-02  01:08           466 944 imagex.exe
               1 fil(er)             466 944 byte

 Innehåll i katalogen C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\ia64

2006-11-02  00:57           968 704 imagex.exe
               1 fil(er)             968 704 byte

 Innehåll i katalogen C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86

2006-11-02  00:34           381 440 imagex.exe
               1 fil(er)             381 440 byte

     Totalt antal filer:
               3 fil(er)           1 817 088 byte
               0 katalog(er)   9 287 438 336 byte ledigt

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK>

Here, we see that the file (external command) imagex.exe is located in 3 different folders, and they have different sizes. I didn't notice this before. Is it in fact necessary to use the EXE file from the x64 folder if you are capturing an image of a 64-bit Vista? I ran it from C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>.

So I didn't change directory to C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\amd64 or \ia64 (this one is for Itanium processors if I'm not mistaken). But at the start of PE Tools Command Prompt it does a path update as you can see below.

Updating path to include peimg, oscdimg, imagex

   C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\
   C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\..\AMD64

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>

There is probably an environment variable added in Windows so that one could run imagex independent of where you're at in Command Prompt. So I wouldn't expect this to be the problem.

Now, the "boot sector" it's looking for should be located somewhere in the \Windows AIK folder. Is this in fact the file?

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK>dir /s
 Volymen i enhet C har etiketten Vista (ST1PT1)
 Volymens serienummer är AAAA-AAAA

 Innehåll i katalogen C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\amd64\boot

2006-09-18  13:27             2 048
               1 fil(er)               2 048 byte

 Innehåll i katalogen C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86\boot

2006-09-18  13:27             2 048
               1 fil(er)               2 048 byte

     Totalt antal filer:
               2 fil(er)               4 096 byte
               0 katalog(er)   9 274 441 728 byte ledigt

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK>

As you can see there is one in \PETools\amd64 and one in \PETools\x86. I used the one in x86 folder, but they both appear to be the same (according to file size).

So what did I miss? It's probably something obvious but I'm too blind to see it. I would prefer to use the built-in OSCDIMG command to make the bootable ISO file. I am not motivated to purchase a copy of UltraISO for this task as suggested by the VistaForums.

Update 2: Like I stated before I have reinstalled Vista Home Premium 64-bit to disk 2, partition 5 (drive Z). While using imagex to capture the Windows image, do I point it to the Z:\ or the folder Temp VIC\Vista x64 SP2folder where I copied the DVD disc?

I noticed a difference in the imagex command shown on TechRepublic and the VistaForums.


imagex /compress maximum /flags Ultimate /capture H:\ "N:\Temp VIC\Vista x64 SP2\sources\install.wim" "Ultimate x64 SP2"


imagex /compress maximum /flags "Ultimate" /capture d: c:\install.wim "Ultimate"

Update 3: It looks like they are doing a move and replace operation at at a later step, as opposed to overwriting the existing install.wim file as suggested by the TechRepublic guide. This is because they on VistaForums are not copying the files from the Vista DVD disc to HDD using Windows Explorer. Instead, they are loading the DVD disc in UltraISO, and then saving an image of it on the HDD.

Note that this way they are preserving not only the files you normally see in Explorer when you load the disc, but they are also able to keep the boot information from the disc. Perhaps, this is why the imagex command is complaining about not being able to open boot sector file? Could this be it? If so, then there is no other way but to make an image of the Vista DVD disc and in-place edit it with a modified install.wim file using software like UltraISO.

Hmmm... so complicated...

I will second my call for Microsoft to start making the Windows DVD images available online. It's useless without a valid product key anyway, so why resist? Is it better to download it from places like TPB and get a virus that then spreads to all Windows users (even those who pay their licenses)? These days Microsoft is offering digital delivery of Windows, and this is a good start, but it's just not enough.

Those who already have licensed copy of Windows should be allowed to download it from Microsoft whenever or how often they want. With no need to become a TechNet Plus or MSDN subscriber first! Hell, it's no more complicated than downloading the latest version of any software program, like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.

I for instance have a licensed copy of Lightroom 4. But I am currently using version 4.0. Now to get the latest updates, pre-packed in the installer, I would only need to download the 4.1 installer EXE file. So that next time I install it I would have the latest updates from the start.

This is what we are asking for with Windows - to be able to download a DVD image of Windows with more up-to-date features, service packs, windows updates, latest version of WMP and Internet Explorer, etc. So that when you install it you have all the latest stuff. Why is this not possible with Windows? Where is the difference? Yes, Windows is the operating system, but what is it really? It's a program! On which of course other programs are then running. It's sort of a "middleware" that has direct hardware access. But it's a program!

If you ask me, I think they are just being ignorant. They are like the music companies of the computer world. Slow, lazy and ignorant. It will probably take them another decade before they start making Windows images freely available. And less complicated!

Thanks guys for your help and support so far! I will let you know if or when I figure this out. I will try some of your other suggestions, but if everything else fails I will just have to accept that I must spend a day or two downloading and installing service packs and updates for Vista every time I reinstall it (and I do that at least 4 times times a year).

Update 5: Right! The good news is that I have now finally managed to make the OSCDIMG command work. So now I have an ISO image of Vista and I have burned it to a DVD for testing. I haven't installed it yet, but so far it seems to be OK, it boots and the setup also starts while in Windows.

The first problem with error 3 was that I had included a space after the /b switch and the path to the boot file.

So instead of:

oscdimg /b "c:\program files\windows aik\tools\petools\x86\boot\"

it should be:

oscdimg /b"c:\program files\windows aik\tools\petools\x86\boot\"

After getting rid of error 3 I then got error 5! I got rid of one of them and got another one!

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools>oscdimg /b"c:\program files\windows a
ik\tools\petools\x86\boot\" /n /o /m /l "FRTMCxFRE_SV_DVD_WAIK" "L:\
slipstream3\temp vic\vista x64 sp2" "L:\slipstream3\temp vic\iso\Vista Home Prem
ium x64 SP2 (3).iso"

OSCDIMG 2.45 CD-ROM and DVD-ROM Premastering Utility
Copyright (C) Microsoft, 1993-2000.  All rights reserved.
For Microsoft internal use only.

ERROR: Could not delete existing file "L:\slipstream3\temp vic\vista x64 sp2"
Error 5

For some strange reason... the OSCDIMG command only accepts the command if you paste it in! It doesn't like it when you type in the command. So you have to copy and paste it into the command prompt. So if you first type it in notepad and then copy and paste it to the command prompt it should work.

Update 6: I hope this will be the last update. Now, the second error I got appears to be caused by yet another space in the wrong place. I had a space between the /l switch and the label text string. You have to remove it.

Compare this:

oscdimg /b" C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86\boot\" /n /o /m /l "FRTMCxFRE_SV_DVD_WAIK" "L:\slipstream3\Temp VIC\Vista x64 SP2" "L:\slipstream3\Temp VIC\ISO\Vista Home Premium x64 SP2 (3).iso"

to this:

oscdimg /b"C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86\boot\" /n /o /m /l"FRTMCxFRE_SV_DVD_WAIK" "L:\slipstream3\Temp VIC\Vista x64 SP2" "L:\slipstream3\Temp VIC\ISO\Vista Home Premium x64 SP2 (3).iso"

You just have to watch out for these... I would like to call it traps actually! If you make sure you type (or copy and paste) the command in right it should work. I think they did this on purpose! Because... what other CMD or DOS command will not allow you to add a space before typing in the attribute after the switch?... Right! So I feel like they did this on purpose just to screw with us, sort of to make sure that you were actually using the original Microsoft guidelines from MSDN or TechNet that describes Windows Vista deployment and imaging in detail.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not really against Microsoft, I just think that they sometimes... well most of the time, they make things... well, let's just say that they could have done it better. These are trivial things, but they are important. I mean why would you want to type the path to the El Torito boot file as "/bc:\program files with no space in-between? Come on! Could it be that "space" was not invented at the time?

I will try to sum up the whole process and post it as an answer to this question.

share|improve this question
Instinct tells me to download the no service pack AIK and then add the service packs to that, but I can't speak from experience. This seems to coincide with Microsoft's rigidity when it comes to installations though... It's amazing how ubiquitous this data is, yet how hard it is to manipulate or even obtain. You can 'find' an iso out there and download it in minutes, but obtaining it from a legitimate source is frustrating and almost impossible, even with a legitimate product key. Why? – Tanner Faulkner Aug 13 '12 at 17:20
I just can't believe that for Vista, Microsoft decided that two separate files was a good idea. If you're interested in slipstreaming both SPs into the Vista installer, you can use vLite. – user3463 Aug 13 '12 at 19:28
SP1 is possible using Vlite or Vista Update Integrator, SP2 has to be done on a live system then captured using imagex – Moab Aug 15 '12 at 3:12
Make your own official Vista SP1 OEM install… – Moab Aug 15 '12 at 3:14
@Moab Who is the author behind Vista Update Integrator? Is that an official Microsoft tool? I can only find it on various forums. I haven't tried integrating SP1 with vLite. I might try it sometime but I see it as pointless as it can't integrate SP2. – sammyg Aug 15 '12 at 20:30

What you're looking for is called slipstreaming

This guide should get you started.

Note that while the tutorial recommends using UltraISO, it isn't free. ImgBurn is free and serves the same purpose.

Requirements: A Windows Vista installation DVD A copy of SP1 standalone installer from Microsoft (If you have an SP1 disc Sp1 stand alone is not required!) A copy of SP2 standalone installer from Microsoft A Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) installer from Microsoft A registered copy of UltraISO

Here's How:

Warning:~ Do not install Product key!

  1. Install WAIK on OS
  2. Install Vista RTM to a secondary partition. (Namely D: with nothing on that drive as all will be deleted)
  3. During the installation, once in the Out of Box Experience (OOBE) after set-up starts, press Ctrl+Shift+F3. (The computer will restart and enter Audit mode!)
  4. A Sysprep window will pop up. Do not close this Sysprep window.
  5. Then find the Vista SP1 installer and then ‘Run’ installer. (The standalone service pack 1 installer from Microsoft which you will have previously downloaded)
  6. Run the Vista SP1 Cleanup Tool.
  7. Run the SP2 installer.
  8. Run the Vista SP2 Cleanup Tool.
  9. Once installation has completed Sysprep window will open. Now select OOBE, Generalize, and to Shut Down the system.
  10. ‘Boot’ the system into your main OS installed. DO NOT boot back into the Vista RTM you just set-up.
  11. Now in the ‘start-up’ box look for the WAIK start-up file, open this up and then select WAIK 'command prompt’ and right click on Run as Administrator.
  12. Type in the following imagex command below and press enter.

imagex /compress maximum /flags "Ultimate" /capture d: c:\install.wim "Ultimate"

Note You may need to replace "HomePremium" after the /flags switch with whatever edition of Vista you need installed!

Where d: is the drive that you have installed Vista SP2 on, and c:\install.wim is the location to store the new version of install.wim follow the steps below:~


  1. Start UltraISO, and select your DVD drive with your Vista DVD loaded under UltraISO's local header. Next select Tools > Make CD/DVD Image

  2. UltraISO will capture & save your DVD image under \Users{user ID}\Documents\My ISO Files\LRMCxFRE_EN_DVD.iso (LRMCxFRE_EN_DVD is the volume label of my Vista DVD, your label may be different). Don't change any of the default settings. When UltraISO has saved the image, it will ask you if you want to open it, select yes.

  3. From the opened image, select the /sources folder and browse for the install.wim file. Right-click this file and select delete.

  4. Next copy the new install.wim you created in step 11 (should be on d: or whatever drive you have put it on) above into the /sources folder. then select and drag & drop install.wim to the /sources folder.

  5. From UltraISO's menu select File >: Save

  6. Once the ISO has been saved, make sure that the install.wim file from the /sources folder is the updated install.wim (look at the date).

  7. Now select Tools > Burn CD/DVD Image

  8. When ready, you'll have your Vista install DVD with SP2 included.

It takes about 180 mins.

share|improve this answer
Yes, I have heard of slipstreaming. But the TechRepublic guide insists that in order to "slipstream" SP2 for Vista it requires "reverse integration". Whatever that means... As far as I know the popular vLite slipstreaming tool cannot be used for integrating SP2 for Vista. Which is why this workaround was developed in the community. Is there any difference in the approach between this guide (VistaForums) and the one on TechRepublic? The first step says I should install WAIK on the OS. But it's an IMG (ISO) file? Aren't I supposed to burn it? – sammyg Aug 14 '12 at 9:26
Also, is it necessary to install Vista on the secondary partition of the same disk? In other words, if Vista is currently installed on disk 1, partition 1, do I have to install a second copy on disk 1, partition 2? Namely, this partition is already occupied. But I could install it on a storage disk ("disk 2" in diskmgmt.msc) as the last partition (part 4). I have over 300 GB unallocated there. Does it have to be a primary partition? Or is OK with logical? Will I need to boot into it? This is just a temporary thing, right? So it's fine having the primary partition as last? So many questions... – sammyg Aug 14 '12 at 9:46
I understand now that "reverse engineering" is the process of capturing an offline image of a Windows installation. The major difference between the VistaForums guide and the TechRepublic guide on SP2 integration is that the former relies on UltraISO for creating an ISO file of the Windows DVD, replacing the original install.wim with the newly created one, and for burning the edited ISO image to blank DVD. The TechRepublic guide relies on the OSCDIMG command to build the ISO file. Then you use any DVD authoring software of your choice that's capable of burning the ISO to DVD. I used ImgBurn. – sammyg Aug 16 '12 at 19:26
I would like to point out that at after 6, you should really reboot the computer in order to finalize the SP1 installation before cleaning up, and before installing SP2. The same goes for SP2 installation. – sammyg Aug 16 '12 at 19:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .