Network administrators often need to reinstall operating systems to the computers they supervise, and this action is typically followed by downloading and installing additional Service Packs, OS updates or drivers, which translates in spending a lot of time. The duration of this task can be greatly reduced when using slipstreamed installation CDs, created, for example, with Autostreamer.
This application allows users to create customized discs that contain both the OS, in its original state, and the additional files one might consider necessary. For instance, users can download a service pack separately, then need to add it to the initial OS CD, so that when a new installation is required, admins no longer need to waste time manually deploying the SP.
Users simply need to browse to the location of the original Windows CD (or to the folder that stores these files), and the application automatically detects its correct settings, provided they are Windows 2000, XP or 2003 discs. Then the location of the Service Pack needs to be specified, as well as the temporary folder to be used for the slipstreaming.
Once these files have been selected and detected as being valid by Autostreamer, users can start burning the newly-compiled image to a blank CD.
The downside of Autostreamer is that it only supports integrating service packs, so updates, drivers or specific apps cannot be added to the slipstreamed disc. Nonetheless, the application still comes in handy to all those who manage a network of PCs that need to be kept up-to-date, without needing to customize them to a great degree.