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Sunday, February 22, 2009

How to Slipstream Windows XP Service Pack 3 to Create an Integrated XP Setup Disk with SP 3

This tutorial takes you through the steps of integrating the Windows XP Service Pack 3 into the files from an existing Windows XP setup CD. A new setup disk will be created. This disk will have the full XP installation with SP3 already merged into it. Such a slipstreamed CD has a few advantages over installing your current version of XP and then running SP 3 afterwards:


  1. Windows XP Professional or Home Setup CD

    You will need your existing Windows XP Professional or Home setup CD. This CD can either be the original Windows XP release CD, or one with either SP 1 or Service Pack 2 integrated.
    If your computer did not come with such a CD, but you created your own Setup CD by following the instructions given in's How to Create a Bootable Windows XP Setup CD/DVD on a Preinstalled Windows System, you might want to try using that CD instead.
    WARNING: do not attempt to use this guide to slipstream your Windows XP Media Center 2005 disk. Slipstreaming of this version of XP is not supported by Microsoft.
  2. A CD/DVD Burning Software, a blank writeable CD and a CD/DVD Writer

    After creating a new XP Setup CD that has Service Pack 3 integrated, you will need to write it onto a new, blank CD (such as a CD-R or CD-RW). You can also use a DVD+/-R(W) if you want. As such you will need a CD/DVD writer and a program to burn the new CD.
    For the purpose of this tutorial, I will describe the procedure for using the ImgBurn, a free utility listed on the Free CD and DVD Burners and Copying Software page on
  3. XP Service Pack 3

    Windows XP service pack 3 can be downloaded directly from Microsoft.

The Basic Steps to Merging SP3 into the XP Setup CD

  1. Download and Save XP Service Pack 3

    If you have not already downloaded XP service pack 3, get it now, and save it with the filename of "XPSP3.EXE" at the top level of drive C:. Actually, you can save it anywhere you want, and leave it at its default name if you wish. However, for the purpose of this tutorial, I will assume that you saved it so that it can be accessed as C:\XPSP3.EXE. If you save it as some other name, you will have to change the command lines I supply below yourself to the appropriate one.
    Note: if you did not configure Windows to show you the full filename you should probably do so before changing the name of the file. Otherwise, you may be inadvertently saving the file as "XPSP3.EXE.EXE" without your knowing. (That is, you see the filename as "XPSP3.EXE" in Windows Explorer but it's actually "XPSP3.EXE.EXE".)
  2. Extract or Download the Boot Sector of the XP Setup Disk

    You will also need the boot sector of an existing bootable Windows 2000, XP or 2003 setup CDROM. You can either extract it from your CD yourself, or just download a boot sector already extracted by others. To save myself some time describing the procedure for extracting the boot sector, this tutorial will just use the same method mentioned in my guide to create your own XP setup disk. That is, download the file from one of the links on and save it somewhere on your computer.
    When you've got the file, open it by doubleclicking it in Windows explorer. Go into the "cds" folder and into "wxphome" (or "wxppro"; it doesn't matter which) folder, followed finally by the "files" directory. Drag the "w2ksect.bin" file into C:\ (the root directory/folder of drive C:). Don't get creative and place it in some other directory. If you do that, ImgBurn will not be able to find "c:\w2ksect.bin" later.
  3. Create a Working Folder

    Create a temporary folder for the integration to take place. For the purpose of this tutorial, I will assume that you have created a folder called "XPSETUP" at the top level of drive C:.
    To create a folder, open "My Computer", go to drive C:, right click somewhere in the window and select "New" followed by "Folder" in the menu that appears. Then change the default name from "New Folder" to "XPSETUP". If you did this correctly, you will have a new folder, C:\XPSETUP.
  4. Copy the XP Setup Disk intto C:\XPSETUP

    Put your existing XP setup CD into your drive. If the setup wizard appears, dismiss it. Drag all the files and folders on the CD into C:\XPSETUP.
  5. Open a Command Prompt

    Open a command prompt window. You can do this by running the program "Command Prompt", found in the Accessories folder of your Start menu.
  6. Slipstream the Service Pack

    From the command prompt window, which will be a black window with a blinking cursor, type the following, followed by the ENTER key.
    C:\XPSP3.EXE /integrate:C:\XPSETUP
    Note that there is only one space character -- between the "C:\XPSP3" and the rest of the line. If you did not name the service pack "XPSP3.exe" and place it at the top level of C: as I described earlier, you'll have to modify the command line accordingly.
    The process will take some time to complete, so take a coffee break if you wish.
This completes the slipstreaming part of the tutorial. You will now need to burn it to make a bootable CD or DVD.

Create and Burn Your New XP with Service Pack 3 CD

  1. Download ImgBurn

    If you have not downloaded ImgBurn, get it now and install it. You will find it listed on's Free CD and DVD Burners and Copying Software page.
    The version of ImgBurn I used to create this guide was
  2. Create the ImgBurn Project Configuration File

    Open up Notepad, and copy the text from the box below (make sure you select everything - click in the box and type Ctrl+A to select all) and paste it into a blank Notepad window. Save the file as "" (including the quotes, which you need to prevent Notepad from adding a ".txt" extension to your filename) somewhere on your desktop (or anywhere you like). Do not add or delete anything from the file.
  3. Burn the CD

    Put a blank CD or DVD into your drive.
    Start ImgBurn. Select "Mode | Build" from the menu. That is, click the "Mode" menu, and select the "Build" item on the menu that appears.
    Then, select "File | Load Project". Look for the xpsp3.ibb file you saved in the previous step, select it and click the "Open" button.
    Finally, click the "Build" icon at the bottom of the window. To find out which picture the "Build" button is (there are no visual cues, even as to which picture actually represents a button), hover your mouse over the pictures near the bottom of the window and wait for the tooltip to appear. When you hover your mouse over the correct picture, a tooltip will appear with the text "Build".
    If ImgBurn presents you with a dialog box giving you the statistics of your new CD, such as the number of files it will contain and so forth, just click OK to accept it.
Congratulations. You have successfully created a new XP setup CD. This setup disk will allow you to install Windows XP with Service Pack 3 already integrated in it.
Copyright © 2008 by Christopher Heng. All rights reserved. Get more "How To" guides and tutorials from

Sound Juicer and Lame

I found this text here.

As I understand it, Sound-juicer uses gstreamer to invoke LAME for mp3s. Unfortunately, it invokes LAME with some pretty low-quality settings by default as has been beaten about on many posts. I finally began to get true VBR mp3 files with fairly high bit rates by changing the mp3 profile:

click "Edit Profiles" at the bottom
highlight "CD Quality, MP3"
click edit
Replace the default Gstreamer pipeline with
audio/x-raw-int,rate=44100,channels=2 ! lame name=enc mode=0 vbr=4 vbr-quality=0 quality=0 vbr-min-bitrate=32 vbr-max-bitrate=320 lowpass-freq=20500 ! id3v2mux

close the edit
close soundjuicer and restart
edit/preferences and select "CD Quality, MP3"
close preferences and (hopefully) get halfway-decent mp3s.

Here's a guide to the pipeline command and its LAME equivalent
mode=0 -m stereo (change to mode=1 for joint stereo)
vbr=4 --vbr-new (use new vbr algorithm)
vbr-quality=0 -V 0 (use highest vbr quality , 9 is lowest)
quality=0 -q 0 (use highest quality encoding algorithm)

hopefully the rest are self-explanatory. I hope this helps someone.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cover art album downloader

I found a nice windows, Linux Debian, Linux Red Hat program to download the covers that fit with your Tagged MP3 files:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How to create a .deb file for stellarium

I would like to install stellarium 0.10.0 in Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex. The repos only offer 0.9.1.
I found a tutorial to compile stellarium and install it on any linux machine on the stellarium website itself. And I found a tutorial on how to create a .deb installation file.
The official way of creating a debian installationfile is found here. Withhout dpkg is found here.
I've tried to combine these tutorials. This is what it takes to do the job:

Tutorial 1

Tutorial 2

This is what I did:

First I installed the programm 'Checkinstall' from the repos. In a terminal type:

apt-get install checkinstall

Then I installed the build dependencies: Its explaned here

Ubuntu Intrepid and Linux Mint users can install all these dependencies in one go by running this command in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libfreetype6-dev cmake libpng12-dev zlib1g-dev \
libglu1-mesa-dev libgl1-mesa-dev gcc g++ gettext libboost-dev libboost-thread-dev \
libjpeg-dev libboost-filesystem-dev subversion libqt4-dev graphviz doxygen qt4-designer

Extract the tarball containing the source code. Open a terminal and cd to the directory where you wish to build Stellarium. Save the tarball to that directory and do this command in a terminal (if you prefer, you might use arK or some other graphical archive tool):

tar zxf stellarium-0.10.0.tgz

You should now have a directory stellarium-0.10.0 with the source code in it.

In a terminal and change into the source directory:

cd stellarium-0.10.0
Make the build directory and change into it

mkdir -p builds/unix
cd builds/unix

Configure the build using CMake:

cmake ../..

By default this will configure Stellarium to be installed in the /usr/local area. If you want the standard Ubuntu location, use this option to cmake:

cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/share/stellarium ../..

Run make

Make the .deb with this command:

sudo checkinstall -D make install

This will create the .deb file and install the stellarium programm.The .deb file is placed in One thing isn't done properly. I still have to find out how that's taken care off. Stellarium isn't added to the menu. So add a shortcut in your menu to this file:


This tutorial explains how to fine-tune the .deb file with extra installation scripts.

You can download my .deb file here: stellarium0.10.2.deb
The file is 43 megabytes and for i386 32bit ubuntu systems.

Please let me know if it works on your machine. I'm particularly interested if it works on other debian based distros. I only tested this file on Linux Mint 6. As that distro is based on Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex, I expect it to work on that distro as well. If it works on other ubuntus, I'm not sure. Other Debian's I'm curious.