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How do I reinstall my XP OS without needing to download all the updates again? Answered

I want to reinstall my Windows XP Pro SP3 operating system without the hassle of downloading all o the updates and patches that have been published in the last number of years. Can I create a new bootable disc that already contains the updates? Does this require making an .iso image of my current C:\ drive? If so, how do I collect/save only the required files without keeping many gigabytes of unnecessary data?


In the past I have used a utility which would allow you to download patches since a certain date and run these from the local machine instead of the MS site and there is a manual way of doing this, but you still have to download the patches in the first place and the additional faff won't be worth the effort unless you're imaging several machines.
Far better just to go away and let the Windows Automatic Updater get on with it's business, keeping an eye on the PC to reboot it when it requests it.

Depending on your XP Pro disk, you may have a the ability to slipstream SP3 into your OS install. In order to do this, you'll need a disc burner, a blank disc, your copy of Windows XP Pro, a copy of the redistributable version of SP3, and a program like nLite.

nLite allows you to integrate SP3 into your installation of XP and gives you control over which options are installed with your particular setup. This however will only integrate the updates that are provided in the OS disc and the service pack you've slipstreamed.

Bevery careful. The changes you make to your install of Windows can severely affect your computer's functionality so take caution in what you select to remove or install.

Happy computing!

A copy of your existing OS would just copy any and all problems you are having right now. You'll just have to reinstall and then download the updates.