To create complete Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) images, you can use either a slipstream or a combination installation. Like Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) and Windows Installer packages, slipstream and combination installations are meant to run in unattended mode.

A slipstream installation, which combines the original version of Win2K with SP3, is easy to create. Simply use the Xcopy command to copy the full contents of the Win2K CD-ROM to a local directory, then run either

w2ksp3 /s:<directory>

or

update /s:<directory>

Either of these commands adds SP3’s 1670 files to the corresponding folder in or below the directory you enter on the command line (i.e., the directory into which you copied the original version of Win2K.) Note that the SP3 documentation incorrectly states that you can't build a slipstream directory with the first command, when in fact SP3 Setup does support this option.

To create a combination build, start with a slipstream installation, create an \i386\svcpack directory that will contain all the hotfixes you need to install, then manually copy each hotfix (i.e., hotfixes you need that aren't included in SP3) to a hotfix-specific subdirectory below the slipstream directory’s \i386\svcpack folder. You must edit two .inf files, \i386\dosnet.inf and \i386\svcpack.inf, to point the installer to the additional \i386\svcpack folder and to identify each hotfix you copied to the \i386\svcpack folder. In exchange for this time-consuming procedure, you produce a complete Win2K SP3 system with embedded bug fixes and security hotfixes. The Microsoft Windows 2000 Hotfix Installation and Deployment Guide contains excellent instructions about how to apply one hotfix or a group of hotfixes, plus detailed instructions for creating a combination installation point.