Like many of you, I'm always wiping out my PCs and reinstalling from scratch. So anything that can save a bit of time is greatly appreciated. And slipstreaming falls neatly into this category: It's a way by which you can combine a software product like Windows or Office with the contents of a service pack, so that you only need to install it once, and not install each component separately. Slipstreaming can be a great time saver overall: Even though it requires you to waste a bit of time up front, it then saves time repeatedly going forward.

Looking back over the 13-year history of this site, few articles were as popular and long-lived as my series on slipstreaming Windows XP with each of its service packs. And with the releases of Windows Vista and then Windows 7, I was asked hundreds of times when or if I'd be making similar guides for those OSes. Unfortunately, Microsoft promised and then reneged on a simpler and faster scheme for slipstreaming Windows in recent years, and now it's basically no longer feasible.

But Office, fortunately, still retains this capability. In fact, it works exactly like the promised new slipstreaming capability that never happened with Windows Vista. And with the release of Office 2010 SP1 this past week, it's time to take a look at slipstreaming that update package right into the base Office 2010 install files. That way, all future installs of Office 2010 will include the SP1 updates too.

What you need

To perform this feat, you will of course need the Office 2010 installation media, which I personally copy the contents of to a network location. You will also need two Service Pack 1 "packages", since there are separate 32-bit and 64-bit versions of SP1. These packages can be downloaded from the Microsoft web site using the following links:

Office 2010 Service Pack 1 32-Bit
Office 2010 Service Pack 1 64-Bit

(Why do you need both? The Office 2010 Setup media includes both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the suite, and while most people--even those using 64-bit versions of Windows--will want to install the 32-bit version, it's a good idea to update everything just in case.)

How to do it

If your Office 2010 install media is still, well, media-based--that is, it's on a disc--you'll want to copy its contents to your PC. So create a folder in the root of C: called DVD (C:\DVD) and copy the contents of the DVD to that folder.

Next, you need to extract the contents of the Office 2010 SP1 file packages. We'll start with the 32-bit version.

Create a folder in the root of C: called SP1 (C:\SP1), and then copy or move the SP1 file package to the root of C:\. Then, open a command line window (Start Menu Search, cmd) and enter the following command:

c:\officesuite2010sp1-kb2460049-x86-fullfile-en-us.exe /extract:c:\sp1

A User Account Control (UAC) dialog will appear (click Yes) and then the Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) window.

office2010_sp1_01_1

Accept the license terms and then click Continue. The files will extract and then you'll be told that the extraction is complete. It happens pretty quickly.

office2010_sp1_02_1

office2010_sp1_03_1

Next, move the contents of the SP1 folder (not the SP1 folder itself; everything inside) to C:\DVD\x86\Updates.

Now, repeat the above steps for the 64-bit file package, using a slightly different command line:

c:\officesuite2010sp1-kb2460049-x64-fullfile-en-us.exe /extract:c:\sp1

As before, you'll have to deal with the UAC prompt, accept the license, and click Continue. Once the files are extracted, move the contents of the SP1 folder (not the SP1 folder itself; everything inside) to C:\DVD\x64\Updates.

Now, close the command line window. (You can type exit in the window to do this.) Delete C:\SP1, which should be empty, and the two Office 2010 SP1 file packages. Then, move the C:\DVD folder somewhere on your home network (and rename it to something like "Office 2010 with SP1") if that's how you intend to install it later. Or, you can copy the contents of the C:\DVD folder (and not the DVD folder itself) to a DVD and use the built-in Windows 7 disc burning functionality to burn it to a new Setup disc.

Enjoy!