HFSLIP > Basic How-To

Here you find information about HFSLIP from www.hfslip.org which is offline now. If you don't find your answer here, please visit to the MSFN-forum.
Please consider that I didn't fixed all download-links in the following pages. Some of these files are downloadable via my update-list.

Step 1: Preparing the HFSLIP folder structure

After you have downloaded the HFSLIP.zip package, extract its content into a folder of your choice. This web site will generally refer to that folder as "HFSLIP" or "your HFSLIP folder". It is advised, for best results, that your HFSLIP folder path does not contain spaces or any exotic characters; for example: D:\HFSLIP.

Run the HFSLIP CMD file in the HFSLIP folder once by double-clicking it. This action will prepare a bunch of folders in which you need to put specific files. The exact purpose of the folders which don't require "advanced knowledge" are discussed below.

Step 2: Copy the Windows source

Copy the content of your Windows installation CD into the SOURCE folder. You do not necessarily have to copy everything. At a miminum, the i386 folder and the identification files residing in the root of the CD are required. But do copy the entire CD if you want to make sure you have everything.

Step 3: Adding a Service Pack

If you want HFSLIP to slipstream a Service Pack, put the relevant installer in the HF folder. Refer to the SP slipstreaming page for more information on which Service Packs are accepted and where you can download them from.

Step 4: Adding hotfix installers and program updates

To know which hotfixes and updates are supported and in which folders they should be placed, consult a hotfix list linked from the Hotfix update lists page that relates to the operating system in your SOURCE folder. There are several lists per operating system; choose the one that you find easiest to work with.

Most updates need to be placed in the HF folder. CAB files (eg, Internet Explorer 6 for Windows 2000) go in HFCABS and MSI files are to be placed in HFSVCPACK_SW1 (exception: supported MSI installers for MSXML need to be in HF). You are not required to include version updates for programs. Also optionally, you can have HFSLIP slipstream Adobe/Macromedia Flash Player by including SWFLASH.CAB in the HFCABS folder.

Special note: if you include a Service Pack in the HF folder, you need the hotfixes for that Service Pack level, not for the Service Pack level of the OS in your SOURCE. For example, if you include Windows XP SP1 in the SOURCE folder and the Service Pack 2 installer in the HF folder, you need the hotfixes intended for Service Pack 2. The same applies to other types of upgrades; if you include the necessary CAB files for Internet Explorer 6 for Windows 2000, you need the hotfixes for Internet Explorer 6 and not those for Internet Explorer 5.

Step 5: Adding silent, switchless installers (optional)

Silent, switchless installers are programs reworked into a single executable file that can be installed without user interaction. You may find some interesting packages as well as information on how to create these yourself when searching the Internet. Here's a recommendable resource: http://www.ryanvm.net/msfn/. Silent, switchless installers go in the HFSVCPACK folder.

Step 6: Preparing files to create a CD image (optional)

HFSLIP can automatically create an ISO image near the end of the HFSLIP run which any decent CD-burning program is capable of handling without modifications (click on "Image" or whatever it may be called in the burning program of your choice). If you are unfamiliar with how to burn the updated content to a CD by hand and making it bootable, this step is recommended.

Required files (to be placed in the HFTOOLS folder):

BBIE.EXE is used to grab the boot image from the Windows installation CD-ROM; the boot image is automatically saved inside the HFTOOLS folder as a small file called BOOT.BIN, containing the necessary information to make a Windows installation CD bootable. Don't forget to insert the installation CD into your CD-ROM drive the first time you're doing this, else the boot image will not be created and consequentially HFSLIP won't be able to create the final ISO image. MKISOFS or CDIMAGE (your pick) are the two programs that HFSLIP supports making the ISO with. These programs use BOOT.BIN to make the ISO bootable.

Note that some packages of MKISOFS you find on the Internet contain cygwin1.dll while some don't. Basic rule: if the package contains cygwin1.dll, include it in the HFTOOLS folder alongside mkisofs.exe; if it isn't part of the package, it isn't needed so don't go look for it. Very simple.

Step 7: Remove HFSLIP DOS box during Windows setup (optional)

At about 13 minutes before Windows setup finishes, a DOS box titled HFSLIP will appear executing a few important commands. If you want, you can make that box invisible immediately after it's opened. For this, grab cmdow.zip and extract the file CMDOW.EXE from that package into HFTOOLS.

Note: it is advised you disable your anti-virus program if you're going to use CMDOW.EXE. Some of those may erroneously tag it as a trojan and delete it without asking for your confirmation. You can test if your AV has good detection heuristics by having it check CMDOW.EXE first. If there's no problem, you can safely keep your anti-virus application running.

Note for advanced HFSLIP users: you can still put CMDOW.EXE in the HFEXPERT folder if you prefer, but do NOT include it in HFTOOLS simultaneously.

Step 8: Running HFSLIP

Make sure you are now logged on to an account with administrative privileges. Some aspects, such as extraction of MSI files, may fail if you are not.

Recheck every folder you've populated, and when you're sure everything is alright, start the HFSLIP program by double-clicking the HFSLIP CMD file. Read the few introduction pages in the beginning; you can click through them by pressing Enter on your keyboard.

Special note about one of the introduction pages...
Windows stores its driver files in a file called DRIVER.CAB. When a service pack is slipstreamed, an additional CAB file is created containing updated versions of the driver files that already exist inside DRIVER.CAB. If you want, you can let HFSLIP merge these two CAB files in order to save space, but be advised that this process may take a few minutes to complete and may impose a heavy load on your computer's processor. The alternative HFSLIP offers is the creation of a third CAB file that would contain the driver files that are included in the hotfix executables you added in the HF folder. If no new driver files exist, HFSLIP will obviously not create this third CAB file. In addition to this, HFSLIP allows you to choose between three different compression ratios for each scenario.
One of the introduction pages inside the HFSLIP program prompts you for your choice from these six options; the differences are explained on that page and your answer should be either A, B, C, D, E or F. Press the Enter key to confirm your selection. In case you press Enter without providing your choice, HFSLIP will default to "A" which merges the CABS into one and uses the highest compression ratio (to obtain the smallest file).

At the last introduction page, type the words "I have read the instructions" and press Enter. Sit back and relax.

When finished, HFSLIP will display a message indicating that everything's done. You can close the HFSLIP window from there. Your updated source will be located in the new SOURCESS folder, and the ISO image (if you followed step 6) can be found in the root HFSLIP folder.

When running HFSLIP once more, be advised that your SOURCESS folder will be deleted immediately in order to create a new one.