Creating a merged (slipstreamed) drop containing SQL Server 2008 RTM + Service Pack 1

[Updated on April 7th, along with the availability of SQL Server 2008 SP1]

Today, I am going to show you how to create new source media that will slipstream the original source media and SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1. Once you have created this drop, you can install SQL Server 2008 SP1 in a single step! These instructions are included with the Service Pack 1 release but there are some issues with the documentation that will be addressed in the next revision of the on-line documentation. There is not a lot of user interface that indicates you are slipstreaming, but there are a few clues, see at the bottom for screen shots.

These steps will take a little longer to perform than the steps for the basic slipstream describe here, but once completed you will be able to run a slipstream installation from the same location. It is recommended you verify you can complete a slipstream installation from the new drop on a test machine before deploying into production.

These instructions are for English SQL Server but will work with any language of SQL Server if you obtain the correct service package language.

1. Copy your original SQL Server 2008 source media to c:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1

2. Download Service Pack 1 from The three architectures of Service Pack 1 should be included, the package names are as follows:

    • SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-IA64-ENU.exe
    • SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-x64-ENU.exe
    • SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-x86-ENU.exe

3. Extract the packages as follows:

  • SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-IA64-ENU.exe /x:c:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\PCU
  • SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-x64-ENU.exe /x:c:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\PCU
  • SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-x86-ENU.exe /x:c:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\PCU

Ensure you complete this step for all architectures to ensure the original media is updated correctly.

4. Copy Setup.exe and Setup.rll from the PCU extracted location to original source media location

  • robocopy C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\PCU c:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1 Setup.exe
  • robocopy C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\PCU c:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1 Setup.rll

5. Copy all files not the folders, except the Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll, in c:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\PCU\<architecture> to C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1 \<architecture> to update the original files.

  • robocopy C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\pcu\x86 C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\x86 /XF Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll
  • robocopy C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\pcu\x64 C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\x64 /XF Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll
  • robocopy C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\pcu\ia64 C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\ia64 /XF Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll

NOTE: if you accidentally copy the Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll file, you may see this error when you launch Setup.exe. If this happens, restore  Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll back to the original version.


6. Determine if you have a defaultsetup.ini at the following locations:

  • C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\x86
  • C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\x64
  • C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\ia64

If you have a defaultsetup.ini, add PCUSOURCE="{Full path}\PCU".

NOTE: The {Full path} needs to be the absolute path to the PCU folder. If you will just be running from local folder it would be C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1. If you will eventually share this folder out, {Full path} would be \\MyServer\SQLServer2008_FullSP1.

See question #11 here if you would like to use a relative path.

     ;SQLSERVER2008 Configuration File



     PCUSOURCE="{Full path}\PCU"

If you do NOT have a defaultsetup.ini, create one with the following content:

    ;SQLSERVER2008 Configuration File


    PCUSOURCE="{full path}\PCU"

  and copy to the following locations

    • C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\x86
    • C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\x64
    • C:\SQLServer2008_FullSP1\ia64

      This file will tell the setup program where to locate the SP1 source media that you extracted in step 3.

7. Now run setup.exe as you normally would.


How can I tell I am slipstreaming?

1) You should see the "Update Setup Media Language Rule" on the Installation Rules dialog:


2) You should see the Action indicate it is being slipstreamed and the Slipstream node should be shown:


3) You should see the PCUSource being specified in the Summary log:



4) After installing, if you run the "SQL Server features discovery report" off of the Installation Center you will see the following versions:



Comments (54)
  1. The SQL Server 2008 Express Service Pack 1 – CTP has been released.&#160; The internal workings and layout

  2. Thanks for giving it a try. For the CTP release, it is important to extract in the correct order as you pointed out.  We’ll be make setup.exe x86 for the final release so the order won’t matter.  You should be able to run with /QS and the configuration file, so let me know if you have further questions.

  3. wesclark says:

    I got the unattended install working for capturing the configuration.ini file from the manual install.  The only difference is that

    ; The directory for the extracted service pack files used to update the setup media.




  4. The purpose of this blog is to help you determine how to update an existing installation of SQL Server

  5. Starting in SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1, you can update the product using our &quot;Slipstream&quot;

  6. Last year you might have read my post where I showed you how to patch setup for RTM for SQL Server 2008

  7. You can find SP1 here . This service pack makes available Slipstream and SP uninstall .&#160; &#160;

  8. rabbler says:


  9. Service Pack 1 for SQL Sevrer 2008 is now available (download link below). Two of the key features in

  10. jl999 says:

    I just followed the steps outlined in this article, plus the "Slipstream a SQL Server Update" in the SP1 setup helpfile, and successfully installed SQL 2008 + SP1. Thanks!

    In the help file, it has a step to copy sqlsupport.msi file from each architecture. But this blog post doesn’t have it. Do we still need it? I followed help file and copied the msi files.

  11. You don’t need to copy the sqlsupport.MSI over.

  12. Carpe Datum says:

    Yesterday, along with several hundred other folks, I told you that SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 was

  13. One of our readers sent me the following questions I think you will find valuable when understanding

  14. I saw some confusion around the availability of SP1 and CU4 on the web, therefore decided to put on a

  15. Esoteric says:

    Now that SQL Server 2008 SP1 is released (download link here ), it is time to test a very interesting

  16. Das 1. Service Pack für den Microsoft SQL Server 2008 ist erschienen und kann heruntergeladen werden. Mit diesem SP1 kann man sich auch eine neue Installations-CD/DVD bauen, die es einem ermöglicht, bei einer Neuinstallation alles in einem Rutsch zu inst

  17. wleong says:

    It seems with steps 3, 4 and 5 that you practically end up with a duplicate set of SP1 files at the end of slipstream preparation — one in SQLServer2008_FullSP1 and one in PCU.  Did I read that correctly?

  18. Today, I am going to show you how to create new source media that will slipstream the original source

  19. Fraggel says:

    The "SQL Server features discovery report" says verion 10.1.2531.0, but the serverproperty(‘ProductVersion’) returns 10.0.2531.0! The ‘ProductLevel’ server property returns SP1

  20. SQL Server says:

    El primer service pack para SQL 2008 ya está disponible, puedes bajarlo desde la siguiente dirección

  21. Noticias says:

    El primer service pack para SQL 2008 ya está disponible, puedes bajarlo desde la siguiente dirección

  22. General slipstreaming questions: Question #1: What is Slipstreaming? Answer: It is a term used to describe

  23. says:

    After following these instructions, the installation will no longer work if the current working folder is not the folder that contains setup.exe as the relative path ".PCU" is invalid.

    You may need to adjust scripted installs to cater for this.

  24. Yes you are correct regarding the relative path. I actually noticed this the other day myself. Anyways I have clarified the instructions that the full patch is needed as the relative path may not always work.

  25. danjamSQL says:

    I wish I could create a slipstreamed DVD to install from.  However, unless the DVD is in drive D: on every computer, then the

    PCUSOURCE="{Full path}PCU"

    requirement is troublesome.

  26. danjamSQL says:

    For this step:

    5. Copy all files not the folders, except the Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll, in c:SQLServer2008_FullSP1PCU<architecture> to C:SQLServer2008_FullSP1 <architecture> to update the original files.

    is it possible to move the files instead so that they are not taking up double space on our file server?

  27. Regarding the last 2 comments:

    1) PCUSource comment: initially I documented PCUSource=.PCU but if you current folder is not the same as the location to setup.exe, the PCUSource folder could not be located since the command parameter does not support a relative path.  However, if you plan to burn a DVD, .PCU might just work for you but I have not tried it.  We need to fix the PCUSource, so it can support a relative path but the timeline is unknown.

    2)"Moves the files" instead: No you can move all of the files in PCUSource location.

  28. Number2 says:

    So, just for clarification…

    Step 7 says to run setup as you normally would…now, are you saying that no matter what I chose for my setup options, once it starts the setup, it will actually slipstream the bytes from those PCU folders into the rest of the media?  Do the choices of installation options determine how much of the media gets slipstreamed?

    Or does all of this really only amount to the setup routine running the RTM setup and then running of SP1 right after?  

  29. Slipstream merges the original files with the update to perform a "single" install. Only the files that need to be merged will be merged.

  30. Number2 says:

    Is it possible to slipstream CU1 into this as well?

  31. trer says:


    This slipstream functionality is very nice – but – isn’t there any way to avoid using an absolute path to the PCU folder?

    When you have several distinct networks & DMZ/FMIs with different installmedia-servers, we will need to create distinct defaultsetup.ini’s for each location if the PCUSOURCE must be an absolute path. If a releative path was used, we could just create one and automatically push it to each install-media server.

  32. When installing SQL Server 2005 RTM/SP1/SP2 and SQL Server 2008 RTM on Windows 7 RC it presents you with

  33. Visual Studio 2010 英語版プレリリースの提供が今週から開始されました。 ( VS2010 プレリリース 英語版 ページ ) 我々開発チームも開発の最終段階に入った Visual Studio

  34. says:

    is it possible slipstream Sql 2005 SP3 ..?

  35. No, it is not possible to Slipstream SQL 2005 SP3

  36. LinoX says:

    Is there a way to reduce the size of the setup?

    With slipstreamed setup we have to include both the original files and the SP1 files.

    Distributing an old file (because during the setup gets replaced by the service pack) is a waste of resources.

    I need a setup that installs directly SP1 (as the result of the slipstreamed setup) but takes less space.

    I need something like

    "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services with Service Pack 1".

    Any hits on how to build it?

    (actually on microsoft site such download is not present)

  37. Selvakumar.r2 says:

    I tried this slipstream setup in Windows 7. It is successfully installed, but the problem is after installing the sql server, the msi installer is not closed it’s transaction. It is difficult to install other softwares,the msiexec is not terminated. I can’t uninstall or install any software due to this process. when i tried to install or uninstall any software, i am getting the error message that "another installation is in progress. complete that installation before proceeding with this install"

  38. Likely it is not the slipstream process causing this.  Possibly another installation was kicked off, maybe through Windows Update.  After waiting a long time (an hour or so) and the process is still running, you can just kill the MSIEXEC process.

  39. shelwig says:

    Yes, it’s over 6 months later, but, is there any answer out there to LinoX’s question, three comments  up – regarding how to build "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services with Service Pack 1" ??

    This process is great for achieving and install, or a media set that can be used to install over a network or even off a disk, but is it possible to deploy "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services with Service Pack 1" in a single download (or executable from command line, silently as part of a bigger installation process) as it is for SQL 2008 Express wtih Advanced Services (not SP1)

  40. erosen03 says:

    Thanks for a great post. The post I found on Microsoft’s main site was full of comamnd line errors.

  41. Mylene says:

    Thanks for this solution. It works for me. But I have to uninstall my initial installation since in it was completed, but with error. And the repair option didn't allow me to fix the problem. But after uninstalling and reinstalling using the slipstream, the installation completed successfully.

    Thanks again.

  42. AlanSQL says:

    Hello Peter,

    I got this message after trying to run the slipstream file.  Setup did not recognize the PCUSOURCE in the defaultsetup.ini file. Thanks, Alan

    TITLE: SQL Server Setup failure.


    SQL Server Setup has encountered the following error:

    The setting 'PCUSOURCE' specified is not recognized.

    Error code 0x84B40003.

  43. AlanSQL says:

    Never mind about my previous comment about the PCUSOURCE error.  It was not clear to me initially that I had to run all the robocopy commands in step 5.  Thanks.

  44. Randy in Marin says:

    Why not script the slipstream build process and provide an ISO of the slipstream with each SP and CU release?  Or at least provide a script to automate the process.  I have created a batch to build a slipstream from the RTM, SP, and CU files; however, it would be better if Microsoft provided the script and/or slipstream.  I suspect that somebody at Microsoft creates a slipstream at some point for each SP and CU.  It's not a productive use of our time to repeat the process.  

  45. KSK says:

    @Randy in Marin… Never mind the Microsoft guys not providing the slipstream script. Can you share your batch/script at any location and provide the link here?

  46. Mohamed says:


    Applied it to install SP2.

  47. Ika Daomara says:

    I have create slip streamed according to step by step u've explain and the sql server 2008 was sucessfully installed but  in management studio i still can't create database and login, i have no permittion to create any login and database.  Can somebody help me..

  48. vijay sirohi says:

    I just added a GUI tool to automate the Slipstreaming.

  49. KSK says:

    WOW Finally microsoft guys heard me. Thanks

  50. Zay says:

    Just so I am clear, when you say  PCUSOURCE="{full path}PCU" would this be accurate "\serveroriginal_media_filesPCU" Or I did not need to include the word PCU? Or is PCU implied, meaning that the installation will look for a folder called PCU when it looks in \serveroriginal_media_files"?  I ask because I followed the instructions, and the setup summary made no mention of the slipstream or the install type. I am trying to install SQL Server 2008 Developers edition, and slip stream with SP1 x86

  51. zay says:

    I got it figured out, now just need to know if or how to include the book online.

  52. zay says:

    Can someone explain how to add the latest version of BOL to the package? I know there is books online with the service pack, however, I have 2009 updated version I would like to add.

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