Windows Vista Hotfix & Ultimate Integration Guide

Winbeta —”A few days ago I started to look at the possibility of easily integrating Windows Vista hotfixes directly into Vista's install.wim. Like many users, I prefer to have an install image that's up to date with the latest Hotfixes without having to download them from Windows Update.”Fortunately Microsoft have made it extremely simple by […]

Winbeta —”A few days ago I started to look at the possibility of easily integrating Windows Vista hotfixes directly into Vista's install.wim. Like many users, I prefer to have an install image that's up to date with the latest Hotfixes without having to download them from Windows Update.”

Fortunately Microsoft have made it extremely simple by providing the tools necessary for free on their web site. Following is a short guide on the basics of Hotfix integration using the 32-Bit Ultimate Edition of Vista as an example and a download of a batch script skeleton that will help you get started.

System Requirements:

  • Windows AIK (specifically peimg, imagex)
  • OS: Windows Vista (Note: Server 2003 or Windows XP can be used as long as you use the Expand utility provided in the AIK)
  • Original Vista ISO/DVD

Difficulty: Medium - Thorough knowledge of working with the command prompt + understanding of imagex and peimg is highly recommended.

Read more to view the Step-by-Step process...

(Note: This guide assumes that WAIK is already installed and that you are using command prompt in the elevated mode if you are using Vista. The tools required can be found in \Program Files\Windows AIK\. Hotfix 928089 is the base example for the guide.)

1. Obtain all the hotfixes required via http://support.microsoft.com (they'll be provided by MS in the .msu file format). To obtain the Ultimate Extras updates, look in the \Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\ folder of a Vista Ultimate install and search for the following cab files:

Windows6.0-KB922812-x86.cab (Hold'em)
Windows6.0-KB929327-x86.cab (DreamScene Preview)
Windows6.0-KB929328-x86.cab (BitLocker)
Windows6.0-KB930063-x86.cab (BitLocker)

2. Expand/Extract the .msu files to obtain the .cab file required for integration (peimg requires the .cab file to integrate the hotfix). To do so, type:

expand -F:* c:\updates\Windows6.0-KB928089-x86.msu c:\updates

After extracting the .msu, you'll notice 4 new files in C:\updates : a txt file, an xml file and 2 cabs. The only file that's needed is the main .cab file or in this case Windows6.0-KB928089-x86.cab. The rest can be deleted including the .msu. This process should be repeated for all the .msu hotfixes.

3. Copy the Vista DVD's contents to a temp working folder, such as c:\vistadvd\.

4. After expanding all the .msu updates, they then need to be imported into the install.wim. Each version of Vista included in the Install.wim needs to be manually updated. So for example, if you wish to import the hotfixes into the Ultimate SKU in the 32-Bit Install DVD, use the following commands:

Before running the imagex command, make sure you have installed the wimfltr.inf driver that's in the imagex folder.

imagex /mountrw c:\vistadvd\sources\install.wim 4 c:\mount (where c:\mount is the folder to mount the install image to and 4 is the image index number for Ultimate)

peimg c:\mount\windows /import=c:\Updates\Windows6.0-KB928089-x86.cab

Import the rest of the updates by repeating the same peimg command and replacing the cab filename.

5. Now that all of the hotfixes have been imported, it’s time to actually install the hotfixes into the Windows image. If you were to not install the hotfixes, you would be left with Windows Update asking you to install the updates however you would not be required to download them since you already have a local copy. Installing the hotfixes bypasses that issue and actually injects the hotfix into the install. Use the following command to do so:

peimg /install=*Package* c:\mount\windows

This command will iterate through all the packages/hotfixes that have Package in their name so it’s not necessary to repeat the command for all the hotfixes. To view all the updates and to check whether they have been installed, type:

peimg /list /image=c:\mount\windows

will give the following:


Ultimate Extras are not listed because I had not integrated them in this run

6. At this point, steps 4 and 5 need to be repeated for all the Vista editions on the DVD if you wish to update every version. To do so, you must first unmount the Vista image you were working with and then mount another image:

imagex /commit /unmount c:\mount

imagex /mountrw c:\vistadvd\sources\install.wim x c:\mount (replace x with the Vista image index number of your choice from the install.wim)

7. You're nearly done. At this point, all that's left is to rebuild the ISO. To simplify things, use a tool such as vLite to rebuild the ISO so you won't be required to go through the process of extracting the boot sector and using cdimage or oscdimg to rebuild the ISO.

Download: Windows Vista Hotfix Integration Batch Script Skeleton (February)

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