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Todd Klindt's home page > Todd Klindt's Office 365 Admin Blog > Posts > Slipstreaming Patches in SharePoint 2010
November 05
Slipstreaming Patches in SharePoint 2010

SharePoint 2010, like any complicated product this day and age, needs to be patched from time to time. Not only is it tough keep an existing farm up to the current patches, it can be tough to get them installed on a new farm. Fortunately, even though it’s not Christmas, Microsoft has given us a great gift, the gift of slipstreaming. Slipstreaming itself is nothing new, we could do it to Windows NT back when we had to walk uphill both ways to the server room. It hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in SharePoint though. I’m going to fix that in this blog post. Front and center Slipstreaming, today is your day to shine!

Tell Me More

There’s not much to Slipstreaming patches and I’ll cover that process at the end of this blog post. Before I do though, I want to cover a few questions that should come up as you start playing with it.

Q: What’s the big deal, what does slipstreaming get me?

A: Mainly it just saves you time and trouble. When you slipstream the patches you just install SharePoint and it is magically patched, say to the August 2011 CU level (14.0.6109). If you didn’t slipstream you’d have to run the install, then install SP1, then install the August CU. You don’t have that kind of time.


Q: Can I slipstream both Service Packs and CUs?

A: Absolutely! Just make sure you do them in the order they were released. I’ll show how to do this below.


Q: No I need to slipstream both the Foundation and Server patches into the install?

A: No. The SharePoint Server (or Project Server for that matter) patch includes all the binaries that exist in the Foundation patch.

Q: Can I slipstream a language pack into the install?

A: No. You must install them separately. However, you can slipstream a language pack’s patches into its install.


Q: That’s bad news, what about the Office Web Apps?

A: Same story. You can’t slipstream the OWA install into SharePoint, but you can slipstream the OWA patches into the OWA install.


That should be it. If I get more questions in the comments part of this post, I may add them above. I never read the comments in other people’s blog posts, so I assume none of you do either. Smile Now on to actually slipstreaming.

Slipstream For the Masses

Here are the steps to slipstreaming a patch into a new SharePoint install. I’ll be slipstreaming both Service Pack 1 and the August 2011 CU. You can find all the patches and their download links here. Here’s what my install directory looked like:



Normally when we install SharePoint we double-click OfficeServer.exe and go to town. If we want to slipstream some patches into the install, we need to extract it out. To do that I created a directory in D:\Install called SP2010. Then I extracted OfficeServer.exe to that directory with this command:

OfficeServer.exe /extract:.\SP2010

When it was extracted, it looked like this:


We’re most interested in the Updates directory. Its contents give us some idea how to use it:


Place patches here? Don’t mind if I do. First, we’ll put the SP1 patch in there with this command:

officeserver2010sp1-kb2460045-x64-fullfile-en-us.exe /extract:.\SP2010\Updates


We’ll get a friendly message telling us the SP1 wants, need, our approval:


Once it is completely extracted we’ll get this happy news:


If we look in the Updates folder it should look a bit busier:


For each patch there’s an XML file and an MSP, which is the actual patch. If you have an Update folder full of files you can determine which patch it is by looking at the properties of any of the MSP files in the directory.


This also exposes that you can patch individual pieces of SharePoint. For instance, if you double-click that particular MSP on an existing SharePoint installation, you’ll update the Access Services piece, but nothing else. Don’t do that. Smile

Some blogs would stop there. Not me. I’m going to take it one step further and show you how to slipstream your slipstream. At this point SP1 is nearly five months old and there have been three CUs released since then. Let’s put one on, shall we?

The technique is exactly the same for the CU. Run it with the /extract parameter and dump it in the same Updates directory:

office2010-kb2596505-fulfile-x64-glb.exe /extract:.\SP2010\Updates


Notice that the SP1 executable ends with “en-us” and the CU ends with “glb.” The former means SP1 is only US English and the latter means the CU is Global, containing US English and everything else. Service Packs only contain one language, CUs contain them all. That’s why SP1 is 396 MB and the CU is 1,103 MB. It contains more files. This is also evident if we look at the Updates directory. It now shows files that are not us-en or x-none.


At this point our slipstreaming adventure has come to an end. All the commands we typed look like this:



Go ahead and run the Prerequisites and then install SharePoint by running setup.exe from the SP2010 directory.


The install will continue as normal. It will spend a lot more time on the “Applying Updates…” part:


Once it’s finished continue as normal. Either create a new farm (with PowerShell, of course) or join your existing farm.

If you do need a language pack, follow the same steps. Extract the language pack install, extract its service pack and then extract the CU into the same Updates folder. If you’re installing the Office Web Apps, again, the same process. Extract the OWA install, extract its service pack then its CU.

That’s all there is to it. Hope that helps some folks out.



Nice explaination

Hi Todd,

Thanks for this article I was thinking of how slip streaming works and your article is so much easy to understand. Thanks for the Post.
 on 11/6/2011 4:59 PM

Thank you.

Hello Todd,

Excellent post! Thank you for your time and effort. I sure will use it as a guidance.

-Hien Nguyen
 on 11/7/2011 11:16 AM

useful post

Thanks for the informative post about the slipstream. It nicely explained each step.
 on 11/8/2011 4:33 AM

Slipstream just SP1 and CU?

I have an existing farm and would like to install SP1 and the latest CU in one step - can I slipstream just those two together?

 on 11/8/2011 11:19 AM

Good stuff

Thanks Todd, very useful information.

Jason Powell
 on 11/12/2011 10:34 AM

SharePoint Saturday UK

Hi Todd,

I wrote about SharePoint Saturday UK - great keynote and PowerShell session.

 on 11/13/2011 4:21 AM

What Do You Do With The Foundation File(s)?

Hey Todd,
Thanks for the post...very useful information.  When I install CU's and Service Packs I normally double click the CU Foundation file and once it is complete I double click the CU office file then run config wizard.  When slipstreaming, do not need the foundation file?
 on 11/16/2011 12:13 PM

Foundation Patch

Hello Todd, There is conflicting information regarding the patching of foundation as well. So If I do the slipstream of SP1 for Server, I don't need to run SP1 for foundation. Many people are saying you must always do foundation as well.

Your help and guidance is alway appreciated.

Gus from UMD
 on 11/17/2011 4:03 PM

Re: Foundation Patch

Hey Gus,
There's a lot of confusion around this, and for good reason. The guidance on it has changed over the last few months. Here's how I understand the official stance from Microsoft.

1) With the June 2011 CU and before it is _recommended_ that you install the Foundation patch before the Server patch.
2) With the August 2011 CU and after it is okay if you just install the Server patch.

From the beginning, the intention has always been that the Foundation patch would not be necessary on Server, but I guess some installation bugs popped up, which lead to the "recommending" you install it. Note it's not "required." In SharePoint 2007 it is "required" to install the WSS patch before the MOSS patch. If you don't, it destroys SharePoint. In SharePoint 2010 if you don't install the Foundation it usually works. It's worked 100% of the time for me, and everyone I've talked to. I guess though, in some cases before June 2011 if you didn't install the Foundation patch first, something could break. I've never heard what, but I guess something could.

In the scope of slipstreaming it's not necessary. From what I understand, the issue before June 2011 was an installer issue. Since we're slipstreaming it's not using the same installer. Slipstreaming only the Server patch will get you 100% of the updates.

Hope that helps,
Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 11/18/2011 11:12 AM

Re: What Do You Do With The Foundation File(s)?

You don't need to slipstream in the Foundation files. They are all included with the Server patch.

Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 11/18/2011 11:13 AM
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