Slipstreaming IE8

As James and I mentioned in our blog post What’s coming in IE8 for IT Pros?, IE8 can now be slipstreamed into Vista and Window Server 2008 OS images. If you manage the desktop images for your organization, slipstream saves you time by simplifying the task of adding Internet Explorer 8 and any IE updates. If you’re adding Internet Explorer 7 to a Windows XP image you’ll typically install XP and then add IE7 before capturing the image -this can take 2 hours! With IE8 and Windows Vista, you are able to integrate IE8 into the image file of the original operating system in about 15 minutes. No more booting the OS image, manually installing IE and re-capturing the image. The slipstreaming support also extends to IE8 cumulative updates and language packages. Slipstreaming IE8 into an OS image will only be supported on Vista and Windows Server 2008 platforms. Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 do not currently offer a solution for slipstreaming Windows components, which are built using update.exe.

Here are the steps to create a Vista image with IE8 being the out of box browser by default. You can try this yourself with IE8 beta1.


1.  Install Windows Automated Install Kit

The Windows Automated Install Kit (WAIK) is a tool available for Vista and Windows Server 2008 to manage and customize OS images. This is the tool you’ll be using to slipstream IE8. Download a version of WAIK that matches your local machine configuration (not the image you’ll be slipstreaming IE8 into).

Note: Using a WAIK x64 bit version for a Vista x86 image will not work. For more information, please refer to the WAIK Readme.

2.  Create the Vista directory

Copy the Vista directory from the CD onto your local machine.  

3.  Create 3 temp folders: Mount, Pkg, Sandbox

You can name each folder whatever you want, however remember the purpose of each folder created.

For this example, I created:


Your final folder structure should look something like this:

Slipstream Temp Folders

4. Download IE8 Beta 1

Download IE8 Beta1 to your local machine from here. For this example, I saved the IE8 Beta1 exe in c:SlipstreamingIE8x86en

5. Extract and expand the MSU file

From the IE8 exe file:

  • To extract the MSU, in the command prompt run this <IE8.exe path> /x: <folder you want the MSU to be placed>. For example: c:SlipstreamingIE8x86enIE8-WindowsVista-x86-enu.exe /x: c:SlipstreamingIE8x86en

  • To expand the MSU, in the command prompt run this expand.exe <path to the IE8.MSU> -F:* <pkg folder>. For example: expand.exe c:SlipstreamingIE8x86enIE8.MSU -F:* c:Slipstreamingpkg


1. Mount the Vista install image to your temporary location.

In the command prompt, run this imagex.exe /mountrw install.wim <imagenumber> <mountfolder>

For this example: I am slipstreaming IE8 into Vista Ultimate which has the imagenumber = 4. The command I ran is as such "C:Program FilesWindows AIKToolsx86imagex.exe" /mountrw C:SlipstreamingVistaSP1x86ensourcesinstall.wim 4 C:Slipstreamingmount

If you don’t know the image number of the OS image you are using, you can use the arbitrary large number instead of 4 in the command above like this: imagex.exe /dir c:VistaRTMsourcesinstall.wim 20. This triggers help information to be displayed. From the output in your command prompt, choose the SKU that you are using and the IMAGE INDEX is the <imagenumber> that you need.

2. Slipstream IE8 into the Vista image.

If you are using Vista Gold image, you need to change a read only attribute flag prior to executing a slipstream command: attrib -R "<mountfolder>WindowsOffline Web Pages"

For example: attrib -R "C:SlipstreamingmountWindowsOffline Web Pages"

Now, you are ready to slipstream IE8. Run this in the command prompt: pkgmgr.exe /n:<package folder>WindowsVista-KB#-NEUTRAL.xml /o:”<mount folder>;<mount folder>windows” /s:<sandbox> /l:<where you want the log file to be stored>. Ensure the pkgmgr.exe you use is the one installed with the WAIK tools.

For example: "c:Program FilesWindows AIKToolsx86Servicingpkgmgr.exe" /n:"c:SlipstreamingpkgWindows6.0-KB944036-x86.xml" /o:""c:Slipstreamingmount";"c:Slipstreamingmountwindows"" /s:"c:Slipstreamingsandbox" /l:"c:Slipstreamingslp.log"

Once the slipstreaming command is finished successfully, the slp.log will say “exit code 0x00”.

Remember to add the read only attribute flag back after slipstreaming is complete if using a Vista Gold image: attrib +R "<mountfolder>WindowsOffline Web Pages"

For example: attrib +R "C:SlipstreamingmountWindowsOffline Web Pages"

3. Save the changes.

Use imagex.exe to save the changes: imagex /commit /unmount <mountfolder>

For this example: "c:Program FilesWindows AIKToolsx86imagex.exe" /commit /unmount c:Slipstreamingmount

You are all done!!! The Vista install image on your local machine is the new Vista build with IE8 slipstreamed.

Since IE8 is part of the Vista image, you can customize it by creating an answer.xml file and running Vista setup with unattend option as such: <VistaPath>setup.exe /unattend:<answer.xml path>

The Unattended Windows install option enables customization of the OS install, and the answer.xml file provides the “answers” for customizations and drives the unattended install.

You can find more about unattend installs and answer files here:

After you install the final image, IE8 beta1 will appear under installed updates as such and can be uninstalled in the same way as when installing IE8 standalone.You will be reverted to IE7 if you choose to uninstall IE8. Note that when slipstreaming IE8 Beta2 or later builds, IE8 will not appear under Installed Updates. This change was made based on the feedback we received from the IT Professionals. Users will not be able to uninstall IE8 once the administrator has slipstreamed IE8 into Windows Vista images.


Jane Maliouta
IE Deployment Program Manager

Update 1/19 - Updated information in final paragraph to indicate that uninstall is not available when slipstreaming IE8 Beta 2 or later. 

Comments (20)
  1. FarStrider says:

    to bad its only for retail copies of vista/windows server 08

  2. Mitch 74 says:

    You can’t slipstream IE7 into a Windows XP CD? *looks through his install CDs…*

    Strange that, how did I accomplish this on my Windows XP Pro SP3 slipstreamed CD? *starts virtual machine, installs using CD’s ISO image* Nope, no problem – and it’s IE7 (with april’08 cumulative patch), slipstreamed and all.


  3. Dan says:

    Is it possible to slipstream the final version of IE8 in a manner that blocks a Vista end user (with admin rights) from uninstalling it from the final image?

    I’m looking for a process that provides a result similar to installing IE7 on Win XP SP2 prior to the SP3 update.

  4. Tester says:

    Hope MS slipstreams/integrates IE8 Final to Vista SP2 and Server 2008 SP2. This method is stupidly ridiculous complex for no reason.

  5. Tim says:

    I just love when un-technical people try to take screenshots.

    For the millionth time JPEG is not for screenshots. That includes taking a screenshot in Windows, saving as a JPEG, then converting to a PNG.

    If you wanted the screenshots to look horrible, you succeeded!

    Also, thanks for not turning off BlurryType before taking the screenshots.  Glad that they are extra blurry, that really helps. Not.

    Then again, most of us are stuck with WinXP slipstream issues anyway, Vista was a bust, hopefully Windows 7 fixes all that.

  6. Rohan says:

    I am using IE8 Beta 1, and I see a bug. I typed my search string in the IE search box (CTRL + E). Then I hit Alt + Enter to open the search results in a new tab – but that does not work. The search results are opened in the same tab.

  7. Como a cada ITPros procuram minimizar cada vez mais o trabalho quando realizam um deployment em sua organizações,

  8. Rahim says:

    Ok, so we can’t slipstream SP1 into Vista but we can slipstream IE8? Lemme think which one is more critical……..

  9. anony.muos says:

    1. If it can be uninstalled, it isn’t a true slipstream, you are simply chaining IE8 setup after Vista setup. Right?

    2. Please don’t include IE8 in Vista SP2 whenever you release it and keep the choice to the users.

  10. anonymous says:

    Come on allow IE8 slipstreaming on XP and 2003.

  11. David says:

    You habit of converting every screen shot to jpeg and back to png doesn’t instill me with a lot of confidence in your technical abilities.

  12. gabe says:

    looks like your trying to bribe the firefox team with cake

  13. Ask the Directory Services Team : Custom Certificate Request in Windows Vista Microsoft Security Development

  14. autoverzekering says:

    Gabe, that’s a nice gesture from the IE team.

  15. says:

    Schon seit l�ngerem ist die neueste Version des Internet Explorer 8 als Beta erh�ltlich. Trotz des fr�hen Status der Software ist bei einigen Nutzern vielleicht schon der Wunsch wach geworden, den Browser in die Installations-DVD von Windows Vista zu

  16. says:

    Internet Explorer 8 in Windows Vista integrieren

  17. IE8 can now be slipstreamed into Vista and Window Server 2008 OS images. If you manage the desktop images

  18. says:

    Internet Explorer 8 in Windows Vista integrieren

  19. Cuando lea estas l&iacute;neas es probable que ya pueda descargar la versi&oacute;n final de Internet

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content