How to slipstream IE9 and hotfixes into Windows 7, step by step

Normally, after you install any version of Windows, you have a ton of patching to do. And that patching takes as long, or longer, than the installation takes, while leaving the system vulnerable to exploits in the meantime. Slipstreaming your hotfixes into your installation media sidesteps those issues, and reduces fragmentation. You get a faster performing system, you get the system up and running a lot sooner, and you save a lot of unnecessary writes to your SSD.

So I wholeheartedly recommend slipstreaming.

Slipstreaming SP1 into Windows 7 media isn’t officially supported, so I suggest you start by downloading a Windows 7 SP1 ISO image.

Then, go grab the MSU for Internet Explorer 9. After all, if you’re going to have IE installed, it might as well be IE9, since IE8 isn’t going to be supported forever. Download the appropriate version from one of the links below.

You can download all the post-SP1 hotfixes in MSU format using Windows Updates Downloader and an update list at this forum: http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/139877-post-sp1-updates-for-windows-7-updated-27042011/. Or, if you’re a glutton for punishment or incredibly bored, go to Microsoft’s catalog (using Internet Explorer of course–it’s Microsoft) and grab every update newer than May 2011 for the appropriate version of Windows you want to slipstream (32-bit x86 or 64-bit x64). You can skip updates for embedded Windows, of course, and updates for IE8. As of September, it’s around 160 MB of updates.

Save (or move or copy) the IE9 MSU and all the downloaded updates into a directory named patches. Be sure to copy the IE9 file into the directory first, so that it will get processed before the IE9 updates do.

Hopefully you have one Windows 7 system already running to do the rest of the work with. If you want to slipstream 64-bit Windows, you’ll need a 64-bit system. If you don’t have one, do a crash build using the installation media you have. Don’t bother updating it, installing any more drivers than you absolutely need, or activating it. Install to an old hard drive if you’re trying to save SSD writes.

Now extract the file sources\install.win out of the Windows 7 SP1 ISO you downloaded using your favorite extraction tool (I like 7-Zip because it’s free; if you prefer WinRAR, that works too).

Copy your patches directory and install.wim into a directory on an NTFS volume. Open an administrative command prompt, change to that directory, and run the following command:

dism.exe /get-wiminfo /wimfile:install.wim

Note the index number of the version of Windows you’re going to be installing.

Copy and paste the following six lines into a file named update.bat. Change the number in line 2 in boldface to match the index number you got from running dism.

MD %~dp0WIN7
Dism.exe /Mount-Wim /WimFile:%~dp0install.wim /Index:2 /MountDir:%~dp0WIN7
Dism.exe /image:%~dp0WIN7 /Add-Package /PackagePath:"%~dp0patches"
Dism.exe /image:%~dp0WIN7  /Get-Packages | more
pause
Dism.exe /Unmount-Wim /MountDir:%~dp0WIN7 /commit

Now run update.bat and sit back and wait. How long it takes will depend on the speed of your CPU and your disk and how many updates there are.

Finally, format a USB thumb drive and copy all the Windows 7 files over from your ISO image except for install.wim. Then copy over your patched install.wim. Now you can use that USB drive to make pristine, pre-patched Windows 7 builds.

And the good news is, any time you need to update, all you have to do is copy the additional patches into the patches directory and run update.bat again. Update.bat will skip any previously installed or superseded updates. Then you can just copy the re-patched install.wim into place.

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2 Comments

  1. nathan

     /  September 14, 2011

    You can download all msu files (post SP1) using Windows Updates Downloader (http://www.windowsupdatesdownloader.com/) and an update list linked to at this forum: (http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/139877-post-sp1-updates-for-windows-7-updated-27042011/). Unless you meant there’s no MS provided way to easily download msu files.

    • Dave Farquhar

       /  September 14, 2011

      Thanks for that tip. I updated the post accordingly.