Slipstreaming SQL Server

As promised here is my take on Slipstreaming SQL Server. I will touch on a WHY and HOW. If you have been following my previous blogs, my intention is to get work done by spending fewer cycles (automate if possible)… in short save TIME. I will walk-through the process for SQL 2008 & SQL 2102. If you would like to know how to deploy these editions on Win 2012 you can read here.

Slipstreaming SQL Server – WHY?

If you are one of those who likes to save time and automate monotonous task (yes… installation takes ~45 minutes & applying SPs takes another ~ 30 minutes) the slipstream is the way to go. If you are deploying new SQL servers regularly on VMs or NonVMs you will spend cycles starting with RTM and then patch it with the latest SP. From personal experience as you move to Win OS 2012 RTMs will fail as described here. Slipstream installations also come handy when updating the “Black Box” for DR purpose / exercise. In short you will have a ready to install SQL Server with the latest patches.

Slipstreaming SQL Server – HOW?

Slipstreaming was introduced in SQL 2008 SP1. If you would like to stay abreast of the latest SPs, CU or Hotfixes I would highly recommend adding this to your favourite website.



  1. Copy the original setup directory to local drive
  2. Download the latest / intended SP from MSFT website and it is recommended to download all architectures (IA64, x86, x64)
  3. Open command prompt as administrator and execute the following. Here you extract 08R2 SP3 to RTM folder.
S:\>SQLServer2008R2SP3-KB2979597-x64-ENU.exe /x:S:\SQL2008r2\Enterprise\SP3
S:\>SQLServer2008R2SP3-KB2979597-x86-ENU.exe /x:S:\SQL2008r2\Enterprise\SP3
  1. Copy Setup.exe from the SP extracted location to the original source media location.
S:\>robocopy S:\SQL2008r2\Enterprise\SP3 S:\SQL2008r2\Enterprise Setup.ex
  1. Copy all files not the folders, except the Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll, in S:\SQL2008r2\Enterprise\SP3\<architecture> to S:\SQL2008r2\Enterprise\<architecture> to update the original files.
S:\>robocopy S:\SQL2008r2\Enterprise\SP3\x64 S:\SQL2008r2\Enterprise\x64 /XF Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll
S:\>robocopy S:\SQL2008r2\Enterprise\SP3\x86 S:\SQL2008r2\Enterprise\x86 /XF Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll
  1. Determine if you have a DefaultSetup.INI at the following locations:



  1. If you have a DefaultSetup.INI at the above locations, add the following lines to each DefaultSetup.INI (you can open the file in notepad):


  1. This is very rare BUT
    1. If you do NOT have a DefaultSetup.INI, create one with the following content:

;SQLSERVER2008 R2 Configuration File



  1. copy to the following locations



Now, run the installation.

To ensure that you actually did execute it as a slipstream:

  • 08R2 – On the Ready to Install dialog, the Action will indicated Slipstream
  • 2012 – On the Ready to Install dialog, Under Product Update — Update Source Slipstream
  • In the summary log – PCUSource parameter

If you are interested in performing SlipStream installations for SQL 2014 you can read an excellent article by Boris Hristov

~ Adios


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About Arsalan Khan

People know me as 'Khan' ... nope not Shah Rukh's movie but Star Trek II - Wrath of Khan and since than 'Khan' it has been. Born and raised in Dubai before moving to US for my masters. Been blessed with solid 8+ yrs with SQL (and counting) and currently working for the biggest publishing house as Sr. Database Administrator. I have had an opportunity to speak about tips & tricks to write efficient tsql for Quest International Users Group (PeopleSoft). Love playing TT, badminton and thoroughly enjoy watching cricket when not occupied with my loving daughter. Expertise in DR, Performance Tuning, Troubleshooting and Problem Solving. With that being said I have finally decided to roll my sleeves up and give back to the community bit by bit. Finally.. as my wonderful wife puts it ... "if you don't have a smile, I will give you one of mine ~ Rabia Khan" ~Cheers

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