Earlier Windows operating system such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 are shipped with Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) or Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) by default. Microsoft has released a newer version of web browser in Internet Explorer series, namely Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). For users, administrators or IT professionals who wish to preinstall Internet Explorer 8 web browser on earlier version of Windows operating system, it’s possible to slipstream IE8 into the OS image.

Microsoft provides a guide to preinstall the Windows Internet Explorer 8 Internet browser, as well as any additional Internet components on earlier operating systems that are supported. Also, the document also provides a list of unattended settings that can be used to automate configuration and deployment of Internet Explorer 8.

How To Slipstream IE8 to Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003/2008

  1. Install the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) that matches your local computer configuration. The Windows AIK version should not match the image into which you will be slipstreaming Internet Explorer 8.

    Note: You cannot use a 64-bit version of the Windows AIK with a Windows Vista x86 image.

  2. Copy the Windows Vista installation directory from the DVD (download Windows Vista with SP2 ISO images) to your local computer.
  3. Create three temporary folders, using naming conventions that will help you to remember the purpose of each folder. For example:
    • C:\Slipstreaming\Mount
    • C:\Slipstreaming\Package
    • C:\Slipstreaming\Test
  4. Download Internet Explorer 8, to the C:\Slipstreaming directory. For example, C:\Slipstreaming\IE9x86en.
  5. Open a Command Prompt window, and extract the Microsoft Update Standalone Packages (.msu) file from the Internet Explorer directory, by typing:

    <Path_to_IE80_Setup> /x: <MSU_File_Location>


    C:\Slipstreaming\IE8x86en\IE8-WindowsVista-x86-enu.exe /x: C:\Slipstreaming\IE8x86en

    Where Path_to_IE80_Setup is the location of your Internet Explorer 8 files and the MSU_File_Location where to store the extracted .msu file.

  6. Expand the .msu file by typing:

    expand.exe <MSU_File_Location> -F:* <Package_Location>


    expand.exe C:\Slipstreaming\IE8x86en\IE8.MSU -F:* C:\Slipstreaming\Package

    Where MSU_File_Location is the location of your Internet Explorer 8 .msu files, extracted during step 5, and the Package_Location is where to store the expanded package.

  7. Mount your Windows Vista image, by using the following command-line text:

    imagex.exe /mountrw install.wim <Image_Number> <Mount_Location>


    “C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\imagex.exe” /mountrw C:\Slipstreaming\VistaSP1x86en\sources\install.wim 4 C:\Slipstreaming\Mount

    Where imagex.exe includes the location to the ImageX tool, install.wim includes the location to your installation image, Image_Number is a numerical value for the operating system image, and Mount_Location is the location where you want to store the mounted image.

    Important: If you are unsure of your operating system image number, you can type the following text into a Command Prompt window, using an arbitrary high-value number:

    imagex.exe /dir C:\VistaRTM\sources\install.wim 20

    From the returned information, select your operating system SKU, and then refer to the IMAGE INDEX value. This value is the <Image_Number>.

  8. At the command prompt, type the following text:

    pkgmgr.exe /n:<Package_Location>\WindowsVista-KB#-NEUTRAL.xml /o:”<Mount_Location>;<Mount_Location>\windows” /s:<Test_Location> /l:<Log_File_Location>


    “C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\Servicing\pkgmgr.exe” /n:”C:\Slipstreaming\Package\Windows6.0-KB944036-x86.xml” /o:””C:\Slipstreaming\Mount”;”C:\Slipstreaming\Mount\windows”” /s:”C:\Slipstreaming\Test” /l:”C:\Slipstreaming\slp.log”

    Where pkgmgr.exe includes the location to the Package Manager tool. Package_Location is the location to your Package folder, Mount_Location is the location to your Mount folder, and Test_Location is the location to your Test folder, all created in step 3. Finally, the Log_File_Location is the location where you want to store the generated log file.

  9. At the completion of the slipstreaming process, verify that the log file states, “exit code 0x00”
  10. At the command prompt, type the following text to save your changes:

    imagex /commit /unmount <Mount_Location>


    “C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\imagex.exe” /commit /unmount C:\Slipstreaming\Mount

    Where Mount_Location is the location of the Mount folder you created in step 3.

  11. Configure your Internet Explorer 8 installation as part of your installation image by creating and using an answer.xml file and performing an unattended installation.

After slipstreamed, the Windows operating system image can be re-compiled into ISO and burnt to DVD disc. Users who wish to study more about the unattended settings possible to deploy IE8 can download the file directly from Microsoft – SlipstreamUnattend_ITPro.pdf or SlipstreamUnattend_ITPro.xps.