Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog
"Can I slipstream Windows Vista SP1 into an existing install image?"
Nope. Well, not directly, anyway.
"Um.. but when I get SP1, I want to upgrade my deployable .WIM images with the new bits. I can't do that in an offline way like I can with other updates?"
"Are you going to tell me why?"
Absolutely! You don't think I would have opened up this nasty can of worms without giving you a good explanation, did you?
Okay. So here's the deal**. And those of you who have experienced the SP1 installation have experienced this as well. When you do the SP1 installation, even if it's from Windows Update (when available), you're going to see your machine shutdown and restart on it's own several times. That's to be expected.
See, there's this important part of the OS known as the "servicing layer" in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. This is the part of the OS that allows for easy update installation with minimal disruptions, allows for an update to be applied to an offline captured image that's within a .wim file, among other things.
Well.. let's say that that servicing layer ALSO needed to be updated? What then?
"Oh.. I get it. You can't update the thing that makes the updates happen smoothly, because the thing that makes updates go smoothly is itself being updated!"
Bingo. You got it. So hopefully the news that you can't just do an offline upgrade to an image .WIM file won't be too tragic.
"So.. what do I do instead?"
You are going to have to install your image to a machine. Install the Service Pack. Then re-capture the image.
Not so simple. There are additional steps that involve some cleanup once you've sysprepped your newly updated SP1 machine. Detailed steps are available in the new WAIK documentation.
"Won't I lose a valuable re-arm to my image when I apply the service pack this way?"
No. SP1 grants you an additional re-arm. We don't want you to be penalized for having to generalize a system that additional time.
"Wait.. there's a new WAIK?"
If you're using the WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit), you will definitely want to get the new version that has support for both the original Vista as well as the new servicing layer that's in both Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008.
Of course, the easiest way to do this all would be to get a copy pre-slipstreamed SP1 version of Windows Vista from Microsoft when it becomes available, and start with that as your new installation base. If you're not doing any other custom image management, that's definitely the easiest solution. Just add it to your own Microsoft Deployment workbench or use it to build your new images from there.
** I can never say "here's the deal" without thinking of former teammate-turned-security-guru, Kai "the Security Guy" Axford.
If you think this is no big deal, why don't you come over to my company and help me re-image the 20 desktop and laptops loads with SP1 for testing? I'm not trying to knock y'all, but having to update the core WIM via this re-imaging method should never have been let out the door. There should have been an alternate and easier method presented to us in the field even if it was a separate Resource Kit tool. I can't believe for one second that Microsoft internally has taken the route of re-imaging and re-deploying their desktops to upgrade to SP1 as you mention above.
My 2 cents.
This reminds me of the daylight savings patches we had last year for email. The toolset was terrible. There were like 40 updates to the Technet article within the first month. We helped support many companies who were confused and scared about the whole process. In the end we got them working, mostly, with a number of appointments still not working right. We squarely blame the tool. If you guys (microsoft) had spent just a little more time on the toolset you could have saved tens of thousands of hours for those of us in the field actually doing the work. It was a shoddy effort on microsofts part.
Likewise if you had spent just a little more time and asked us what we wanted instead of making internal decisions and telling us how you we aregoing to do it then we would have a great toolset to manage vista updates. As it is, we have a crappy toolset that barely accomplished the task. Its impossible to fathom how after all the bad press around vista that microsoft allows such a shoody service pack to be let loose into the wild. Sometimes I think you guys are completely nuts at times. Most of this could be avoided if you would get off your high horses and stop getting "harsh with some of you" and start listening to us for a change. Not releasing it to the development and consulting communities further emphasizes the divide and problem with microsoft today and the sorry state vista is currently in.
"Believe me - most of those people are not unhappy they moved to Vista."
I don't. The VAST majority of people I talk to on a daily basis can't stand Vista.
"we were transparent."
Absolutely not. You are kidding yourself.
"I also sincerly SINCERELY hope that the reactions this whole episode has created will not cause our product teams to hold back information in the future."
Um, what is THAT supposed to mean?
am i missing something here?
is ms' excuse that sp1 can't be slipstreamed because of how the 'updater layer' on a *running/live* system has to be updated? wtf does that have to do with updating a default static installation image (e.g. an original oem or retail dvd image)?
maybe i need to re-read the article yet again, but from what i'm gathering ms completely avoided answering why sp1 can't be slipstreamed.
my guess is that because they switched to a 'ghost' style installation image they either don't have a clue how to do it or couldn't be bothered to spend the time/money to include that capability in the sp1 package. to be fair, it's probably the latter...and likely that the sp would probably end up being nearly twice the size because (shakes magic eight ball) of sunspots.
Re-image computers? Has MS gone mad? I thought this was THE critical service pack that we've all been waiting for that was supposed to speed adoption of Vista to the masses. Oh, wait. It is.
How am I supposed to do this? I can't duplicate ALL the hardware we have in the field in our labs! Was ANYONE outside of MS asked about this issue? We have real problems to solve out here not play spin the bottle games on how to deploy a bloody service pack! We can't keep playing the "oh no-what the hell has ms changed yet again in the way we do things as a business" model.
I hear the torrents already have it slipstreamed. Might take a look mateys.
Hmmmm. This isn't exactly the method I was hoping for. Isn't there just a way to return our current RTM disks for new slipstreamed ones from Microsoft? Loading, patching, creating ISOs, VMs, ugh. This was all supposed to be easier than it was with XP, which it is according to Keith above for most patches (and you people are being too hard on him for this IMO. He didn't write the code), but service packs shoudl be the same and I don't care if it is replacing whatever component that updates some other component or what ever else the problem is. Service pack 1 for Vista should have been much easier than this and I suspect this will be another (hopefully minor, but still existing nonetheless) roadblock to Vista adoption. Comeon guys, Vista isn't THAT bad. It's not the seventh wonder of the world we were all sold, but it's not like a steaming pile of dog doo doo I've been hearing.
hmm...wouldn't it be cool and elegant if finally Microsoft simply gave the opportunity for users to provide their license number - could be done on a secure channel, https, whatever - and download a pre-slipstreamed SP1 DVD iso in return ? just give me a good reason why this couldn't be done ??? piracy paranoia ??? license numbers are trusted at installation time with a physical Vista DVD, why wouldn't they be trusted in a secure online transaction ??? Online activation + WGA would still be required after the new installation so what's the problem ??? the idea of a DVD exchange sounds good as well.
and don't tell me that there would be a risk that product keys could be stolen during an online transaction of that sort; I never heard anything happened during an activation process in the past. It could be just as secure as that - for the end user as well as for Microsoft.
Love the passion! But perhaps a few of you have missed some key improvements in Vista...
To the person(s) concerned about having to re-image all their machines: Huh? Who has to do that? If you're taking advantage of Vista's ability to have a single image that installs on any hardware that supports it, you've only got that one image to update.
To the person(s) wondering about when a full, SP1-included slipstreamed version of Vista will be available - the answer is "soon".
To the person(s) hoping to get a copy of that download as a benefit of having the license - that's absolutely what Volume Licensing will let you do. You will (or you may already have by the time you see this) the ability to download the full Vista-with-SP1 DVD image.
And specifically to "ScottBarnett, MCSE, CCIE" - It wasn't a threat at all, Scott. And yes, I sincerely try to be your advocate. Do I think SP1 should have RTM'd when it did? Absolutely. But should we have announced it? My opinion - I'm not so sure. Remember - I'm not on the product team, so I don't have all the answers one way or another - but again, it goes back to this question: Do you want Microsoft to be honest with you, or do you want to remain blissfully ignorant of Microsoft is doing? Communication screw-ups aside, I think most people prefer working with an an honest company.
I agree. Can't we just upload our exisiting code and download the new slipstreamed version. I'm not going to image a desktop, apply the SP, etc. That's just too much work. If Microsoft won't provide it, then I'll just find it on one of the thousands (literally) of torrent seeds out there. Again, MS is dropping the ball.
Did I hear something about Microsoft being an honest company? HIL-AR-I-OUS! Which issue are you referring to? The Vista-capable debacle going on right now where even Mike Nash couldn't get his $2100 laptop working right for anything other than e-mail and felt duped himself? How about the Ultimate extras we all paid $100 extra for that have been forgotten and frankly should be another major lawsuit IMO? What about all the EU lawsuits that MS has LOST? How about the search engine that MS has continually tried to make proprietary? How about MS's being honest with us and telling us what happened with the whole SP release debacle. They won't tell us you say? Gee, what a surprise. The honesty is simply staggering. I could go on and on. Seriously, Kevin, you stretch your credibility to the breaking point.
In any case, I don't remember anyone questioning the honesty of Microsoft in this blog. All I notice is a bunch of MCSE's, MSDN Users, and other technical folk who think this non-slipstreaming idea sucks big time. They don't feel anyone outside of Microsoft was queried on this issue before we were all presented with the already determined outcome. Are we a wee bit paranoid Kevin? Regardless of whether your customers are right, their perception of the problem still exists. You can continue to hide in your hole and claim ms is being mistreated, but we feel ms has mistreated us.
At this point, perhaps it IS better that we remain blissfully ignorant to MS's next moves. We can't understand them as it is. I would also really like to hear, as a number of posters asked, what information you are not willing to share next time if we don't do things the way King Kevin wants us to and be happy with the dorky method of imaging desktops versus a simple slipstream method.
Microsoft is like any other company. They exist to make money. Honesty be damned. If you want MS to be honest, why don't you first explain to us in understandable language why I pay $500 per year to get software 2+ weeks after it's RTM'd with a code freeze? That's not honest. That's manipulative. That's how I feel. MS manipulated us and is slinking in their hole to dodge the storm until this latest boneheaded decision blows over. You want us to be honest too? Well, there you go. Now it's your turn.
Honesty and Microsoft. I actually chuckled a bit when I read that.
An honest Microsoft? You can't be serious. Are you referring to Windows being stolen pretty much hands-down from Apple or are you referring to the snaeky handling of the Borland developers? Have you no clue as to all of the underhanded dishonest tactics Microsoft has used? The Vista marketing campaign ALONE shows a level of dishonesty that's undeniable. Microsoft has based their foundation on ripping off other ideas and monopolizing the markets. Please just admit you're another Microsoft stooge and be done with it. There is help out there for people like you. We'll still like you.
"You are going to have to install your image to a machine. Install the Service Pack. Then re-capture the image....Not so simple. There are additional steps that involve some cleanup once you've sysprepped your newly updated SP1 machine. Detailed steps are available in the new WAIK documentation."
Kevin, do you know of any additional toolsets coming out or is this really the only way to do this? I don't have MSDN and I'm with a smaller company, so I may just have to "borrow"' a slipstreamed version from elsewhere if you get my drift. I'm assuming this is only for new installations and won't be THAT big of a deal for most people, but for some with only the RTM version available it could be a deal breaker as the above suggested method is probably what most people will not do.
I see you are taking quite a bit of heat for non-related issues and I think everyone on this forum needs to understand this is a discussion about slipstreaming, not a forum to vent your frustrations with Microsoft or Vista in general. That said, your comment about Microsoft being an honest company and being transparent with us isn't sitting quite right with me either. Whatever. Let's get this back on track.
Kevin, we're just going to throw our original DVD's in the trash and just download the integrated version via pirate bay? No one with half a brain is going to do the method you described for something that can just be obtained otherwise in an hour of downloading for a tenth of the effort.
This is yet another lame method fix yet another lame symptom of the Vista disaster just like the kill switch was. I've been in the computer consulting business over 15 years now and this kind of continual poor thinking and continual self back-patting by MNicrosoft employees makes me want to just scream and run out and buy a Mac. You guys aren't solving real-world problems anymore, you are just throwing technology out and seeing what sticks. With Vista, you have an incredible talent for constantly hitting fan blades.
This is all a big joke right? So the brilliant minds at Microsoft designed a new patching method that breaks the previous patching method. To add insult to injury, they did this with the most important software relase of the century-namely Vista SP1 Release to Manufacturing. They thought the previous way of slipstreaming just wasn't complicated enough and change must happen for change sake.
Let me outline what Microsoft is suggesting here:
1. Take our original DVD's of Vista.
2. Find a comparable hardware laying around for all hardware types
3. Load Vista.
4. Wait for hours.
5. Load the Service pack
6. Wait for hours.
7. Load up all the other drivers and patches.
8. Fix all the new problems the new SP introduces
9. Download a 1.6 GB WAIK package.
10. Contemplate why you are continuing with this process.
11. Spend hours pouring over the documentation.
12. Spend hours getting WAIK installed with all the .NET references
13. Trial and erro until finally, voila! A shiney new ISO image.
14. Rinse, recycle, repeat for every computer type.
oh, I forgot step 15. Bag all this and download it from a pirate site.
This has to be the WORST method I've ever heard of for patching an operating system yet. Bravo Microsoft, you've completely outdone yourself with the most convoluted complicated method I think I've ever seen. Absolutely pitiful that this would even have made it out the door. An embarassment for Vista and the whole team who are appparently feeling pretty good about this slop they've served us.
This stinks! Bring us back the old slipstreaming method!
forgot step 16. Wonder why your newly patched computer is slower than it was before you patched it and no better (and most likely worse) than it was before you upgraded from XP.
Bad. Wayyyyyyyyyyy bad.