back to article Windows XP SP3 leaps into the tubes

Microsoft is giving the automatic web release of Windows XP Service Pack 3 another go today, after an eleventh hour muck-up ruined its scheduled availability last week. The truant XP service pack is ready for download via Microsoft's Download Center or alternatively, Windows Update if using Internet Explorer. Here's the ISO CD …


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  1. Steven Raith


    An official release.

    I have about fifty PCs that require updating from SP2 [I didn't/wasn't allowed to make the image, unfornately or I woudn't have the problem...] and at least now it will only take an hour per PC to patch them up to a decent standard, not half a day with a dozen restarts.

    Given that five of the machines have the previous 'buggy' release on them and are fine, who wants to make a small wager that the 'fixed' release completely fucks the other machines?

    Steven "no faith" Raith

  2. Doug Glass

    The Fix

    So the fix is to declare victory, poison the well, and leave.

    I love Microsoft. They are the very picture of a really successful corporation. As long as they grow their business, increase the bottom line, and make money for their stockholders the rest of us are simply left sucking hind teat.

  3. whoami

    French ISO??

    Erm Why i there an 'FRE' in the file name or is this a french version??

    Oooh and why is there no verification needed?, I am downloading this from my OS X box!!!

  4. zonky

    Faq.htm references SP2 on the iso.

    Very well tested by those redmond jerks then. I just downloaded the iso and the faq.htm linked in by the installer says:

    More information about installing Service Pack 2

    How long will it take to install Service Pack 2?

    How will the security of my computer be enhanced?

    Where can I get more information about Service Pack 2?

    How long will it take to install Service Pack 2?

    Up to 2 hours, but it can be less, depending on your computer's configuration. When you see the progress indicator, no more input is required and you can leave the computer while installation is completed.

    Progress Indicator

    Progress Indicator

    ^ Back to Top

    How will the security of my computer be enhanced?

    Service Pack 2 includes the following new security enhancements for your computer:


  5. Daveski

    Doesn't work

    Service Pack 3 Setup cannot update a checked (debug) system with a free (retail) version of Service Pack 3, or vice versa.

    This is a Dell OEM, so what gives?

  6. mike
    Paris Hilton

    @ French ISO??

    i wonder if the 'fre' stands for Final RElease

    or Fixing Redmond's Errors?

    Paris, cause she is ready for her next fix.

  7. steelbytes

    re: French ISO

    Fre is short for Free, not French (which is typically abreviated to FRA anyway)

    So what is meant by 'Free'? Not zero dollars; instead it means 'release' build (vs 'debug' build, which is also known as 'checked').

    in short the difference between release(free) and debug(checked), is that in release the compiler has optimized the code (typically for speed), and in debug there is typically lot's of extra debugging info and code (making it big and slow)

  8. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Previous 'buggy' release?

    As far as I can tell, the original sniped from Windows Update is identical to the official release:

    MD5 (windowsxp-kb936929-sp3-x86-enu_c81472f7eeea2eca421e116cd4c03e2300ebfde4.exe) = bb25707c919dd835a9d9706b5725af58

    MD5 (WindowsXP-KB936929-SP3-x86-ENU.exe) = bb25707c919dd835a9d9706b5725af58

    Paris, because her previous release was buggy.

  9. Herby

    "What Gives"?

    Its Microsoft. That what gives. No other explanation is necessary (or will be given).

    Out the door. Over to the pub.

  10. ainsley


    Just downloaded the iso, installed onto a machine that has been working for a couple of years = lockup, blue screen of death, dead (completely).

    Probably just a horrible coincidence.

  11. Chris C

    re: French ISO

    I can't tell if you're serious or not, but if you are...

    No, it's not a French ISO. I don't know why, but "FRE" is just part of the filename. According to the Windows Server 2008 download page, "Files are also platform-specific, where 'x86FRE' is intended for 32-bit platforms and 'amd64FRE' is intended for 64-bit platforms." I do agree, though, that it's confusing, as I too thought FRE indicated a French version before I read that message.

    As for no verification, why would there be verification, especially for an ISO? The machine you're downloading it from has no bearing on where you need to install it.

    As for Steven Raith's comment, you (and others who are in a rush to install SP3) are either brave, foolish, or stupid (I'll leave that selection to you). I wouldn't touch SP3. Not yet, not for a long while.

  12. FrankR

    why install?

    Cannot understand why anyone with any experience of microshaft is installing this. The rule is always wait at least 9 months.

    If you didn't realise this, you do now. Remember.

  13. Humph


    I installed SP3 on my laptop.

    Windows starts as normal, and allows me to open various programs.

    In fact my computer works just as it did before I installed SP3.

    Obviously this Service Pack is bugged.

  14. Steven Raith

    @Chris C

    I've had SP3 RCs and 'buggy' versions one the machines I need to put on for a while now as I have been testing them and it's caused no problems thus far.

    Although I'm still 'testing' as far as I'm concerned, I don't expect to find anything scary in there; it's effectivly just an accumulation of patches, and these are clean install machines, so it's about the safest environment for an SP3 install - AFAIK problems that have been found have been related to strange, rare tools and dodgy third party components. Not virgin installations on widespread, mass manufactured [Dell] hardware. I'm not so niave as to just blindly accept that all will be bliss however, of course - but then my machines are not 'production' yet so I'm prepared to take a step into the dark on this.

    In any case Automagic Updates have caused me *far* more problems than redistributable service packs over the years - and I'd rather have machines that are secure than machines that are only patched up to a level from three years ago.

    Simple as. Contrary to popular belief, I *do* have a vague, wishy washy, rough idea what I am doing ;-)

    Steven "fucked if he is spending 200 hours updating 50PCs over a 2meg DSL lin" Raith

    NB: I'm not running a domain, I don't have WSUS and I don't have the option of slipstreaming the current 'up to SP3 level' patches into an image [neither of which I am happy about but my hands are tied], so I hope you can see why SP3 is of use to me!

  15. Jason Togneri


    Well, I installed the beta SP3 on several machines, and they're all doing fine. I'm not convinced about this 'release' version though, I think I'll wait for more public feedback. If it ain't broke, it ain't Microsoft. Er, I mean, don't fix it.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Alan W. Rateliff

    I've just started downloading it. There was a little paragraph on the download page about a hotfix for RMS which needs to be installed before SP3, so it will make sense it's the same SP3

  17. Michael Abbott
    Thumb Up

    Noticably faster than sp2

    I've installed it on an old dell laptop and it worked straight away (yes i was surprised). If it works for you i can say it is noticably faster, especially on a laptop with 256mb ram (wooop). I'm going to try it on my other computers and i'll let you know how it goes.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. wobbly1
    Paris Hilton

    Thank Paris I didn't have autoupdate turned on...

    current sp3 gets picked up by my XP MCE machine (both versions knacker the programme guide in the tv app.) Currently the yellow shield of uninstalled updates sits reproaching me in the sys tray.

    Oh how glad Iv'e paid good money over the years for software that can't reach the standard of function of my "beardie wierdie free like beer, less routine maintenance than my toenails, more secure than a nun's chuff, threat to lazy self-serving capitalism like Microsoft" Ubuntu box.

    I am down to 2 critical applications left in Microshafts's camp that whine under Wine or have no OS equivalents...

  20. F Seiler

    size ...

    545MB...IIRC the original XP CD was 592MB

    (any chance this is actually a full install? ;)

  21. Andy Tyzack
    Thumb Up

    why install

    microsoft have already stated that the end user will see no real benefit from installing this update, and I dont care much for the blue screen of death.

    come back in 12 months as there is nothing to see here

  22. Dana
    Thumb Down

    Endless reboot

    Appeared to install normally followed by an endless reboot cycle. Went into safe mode to uninstall.

    Yay, Microsoft.

  23. Sam Penny

    "Buggy" and "non-Buggy" the same?

    I think the only thing that's changed is the "helper" that stops people affected by the bug installing SP3. The bug hasn't been fixed, only bypassed for those affected, allowing everyone else to beta-test SP3...

    I expect there'll be a hot-fix or something to allow those using RMS to install SP3 without being hit by the bug in question, but as it's only one application, it seems sensible to allow others to go ahead as normal...

    Not that it affects me, I only use a windows machine because my employers want to keep it around for dreamweaver and I got the short straw in having to have that machine as my workstation and I won't be installing any SP until it's been out and tested by cynics for a month or two!

    Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

    (penguin because some operating systems don't suck)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spanish ISO?

    Erm Why is there an 'SPCD' in the file name or is this a Spanish cross dresser version??

  25. Dick Pountain

    > Not yet, not for a long while.

    About a week after Microsoft declares Chapter 11 would be a good time...

  26. Righteously Indignant
    Thumb Down


    I installed this on a freshly built SP2 machine (mainly to save having to wait for all the usual updates and reboots etc.) and found once it was installed I couldn't install IE7. Admittedly I've only tried it on one computer so far but I'm wondering if anyone else has had the same experience?

  27. Ian Critchley

    Where am I going wrong?

    Installed SP3 on my laptop last night without a hitch. Only 66mb through windows update and a single reboot. The whole process took about 30 minutes. Still working today as is my desktop which I updated last week. The one downside was the unwelcome reappearance of Messenger which I thought I had eradicated years ago.

    As the title where am I going wrong????

  28. Steven Raith

    Just a note...

    Anyone who downloaded this last night, like me, the link on the page originally pointed to the Debug/checked package which I'm told isn't the best one to install on a real machine outwith development/debug environments - but the network install [IE the public redistributable that you can slipstream into an XP CD/install on an offline machine etc] is linked there now :-)

    As for all those people going "Dur, why would you bother, SP2 ain't broke" ; format your hard drive, install XP SP2, and don't update it - until XP SP3 install discs are available, any clean install machine is two years out of date patchwise. SP3 redistributable lets you patch those up to April 08 levels in the space of an hour or so [excluding download, obviously].

    Useful for those of us who work in IT for imaging, and to guarentee that a machine is patched to a certain level without worrying about Windows Update

    A: taking hours and hours to download and install

    B: Breaking halfway through and missing patches inbetween.

    HTH :-)

    Steven R

  29. Chris


    :-) Well, I mean, someone's got a 'French' version - then there's the 'Spanish cross dresser' and mine's plain old 'usa' (and no, the system on the download PC is UK English).

    'usa'? Does this mean it's run by a mouthbreather and will attempt to take over other PCs to gain control of their resources on a weak pretext?

    Funny you should ask that.

  30. Jan Hargreaves
    Gates Halo

    much to my surprise...

    installed sp3 using windows update. it hung first time during install. cancelled it. ran windows update again. went straight to install as i guess the file had already been downloaded and seemed to patch everything properly. i have noticed a slight speed increase and everything feels a bit cleaner.

    im not a fan of windows at all, but this seems to work well.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    RE: why install?

    Usually I'll wait a while before installing SPs but I'm reinstalling a mate's pc later so I'm sure he won't mind doing a little beta testing for redmond eh >:D

    I'll pass on it myself for the moment.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Service Pack 3 seems to remove the Address Toolbar (one of the more useful features)

    Microsoft seem to say that it was because of Legal problems (!?)

    Seems the only way to get anything near the functionality is to install Windows Live Desktop Search

    Go figure

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Swedish ISO?

    Why is there a 'USA' in the file name is this the Union of Swedish Acrobats version?


  34. James Dunne


    And i'm guessing those of us that were cool enough to choose x64 will do without sp3 until Server 2003 is updated?

    Yay. You'd think that Microsoft would be more concerned about releasing service packs for their Server os, given that its probably valued far higher by its more lucrative customers.

  35. Chris Hamilton
    Paris Hilton

    French ISO??

    Why would a French ISO be marked "FRE", especially given that the French for French is "FRAncais" and that the three letter ISO 3166 code is FRA.

    Avant de taper, engager cerveau!

    Paris.... because I have been inside (the) Paris Hilton. Thats Paris, France for you Texans.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    I've been using Ubuntu since version 1 and there's no need for service packs on this excellent system - why bother on XP?

  37. Ash

    86 installations?!

    Do I have to install it 86 times? Or is it limited to 86 uses?

    Bugger that, i'll get a Mac.


  38. Ash

    Terminal Service Client in SP3

    The new TS client in SP3 doesn't support the /console switch. If you're going to use this function, don't upgrade. Just a heads-up...

  39. James Pickett
    Gates Horns


    "installed onto a machine that has been working for a couple of years"


    (We need a lemming icon)

  40. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    @Terminal Service Client in SP3

    The "/console" switch has been changed to "/admin". This was noted in a KBA several months ago. None-the-less, I think it's a silly change.

    Paris, because she appreciates the heads-up.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear... DEFINITELY buggy...

    NOT. My laptop (my workhorse) has been running SP3 in most of its incarnations and while the first release sometimes caused hibernation problems, that went away with the release candidate before publication.

    I'll be downloading the new one tonight and spend two hours un- and re-installing SP3 to see what happens.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Ubuntu

    Would that be the "horny gibbon" version, eh?

  43. Mike Mike

    It is the Same as the Vista Activation


    First I am a Micro Fan Boy but I am not installing this service pack.

    Microsoft has changed the activation scheme on this version to the same as Vista. It will phone home and if it decides that you are NOT Authenic, it will then go into a Dysfunctional mode just like Vista.

    Even a simple thing like flashing your BIOS will throw it for a loop.

    Buyers Beware ...

  44. Test Man
    Thumb Down

    Re: It is the Same as the Vista Activation

    Funny that... cos Vista SP1 changed it so that it doesn't actually go into reduced-functionality mode (just nags).

    So in other words, you're wrong.

  45. Kev K
    Gates Halo

    Seems fine to me

    I just whacked it on a clean install (inc sp2) on a old semparon 2200+ with 256mb ram (too lazy to dig out any more) and AVG for a machine for a mate of a mate who wants to do some *web* browsing and it runs fine (MUCH to my supprise) - it does seem to run noticbly faster than a machine with sp2 on it.

    Not sure if I want to put it on any production machines just yet though

  46. George Johnson
    Thumb Up

    What I want to know is....

    ...are the ISP's geared up for all this downloading? The vast majority of home PCs are M$ based so are the ISP's going to be throttling the connections earlier than normal this afternoon? That is usually how they cope with large demand, simply "close the valves" to slow the flow!

  47. Andus McCoatover

    Why bother??

    From the Update site:

    "This update also includes a small number of new functionalities, which do not significantly change customers’ experience with the operating system."

    So more bloat, same shit, different day. Yawn.

  48. Simon

    Installing now

    Yup, nearly two hours in and its still updating.

    If I never add on comment on El Reg again you will know the update BSODed my machine.

    Its like a ticking time bomb with a keyboard attached....

  49. M


    ....feck me it works on both the testing HP PC and a recent fresh reinstalled of Windows XP on Dell D520 laptop!

    It sure a faster way to update the Windows XP SP2 than the dooooooowwwwwwwnnnnnllllllooooooooaaaaaaddddd larks over the much loathe Windows Update over the net.

  50. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    What I want to know is...

    Hopefully Microsoft is still using content distribution services like Akamai. My local ISP has three Akamai servers on-site, and I know several other national ISPs have them installed as well. For the most part, bandwidth should be limited to internal usage, and hammer the hell out of the distro servers.

    Paris, for getting hammered to hell.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Coincidence, here too. Funny heh. Not.

  52. Anonymous Coward

    Is this the first MS service pack to be distributed as an ISO image?

    No mention of the MD5SUM on Microsoft's download page, would a couple of people calculate theirs and post please?

    Also, no mention of how to burn an .iso image, below are the instructions they do give:


    1. Click the Download button on this page to start the download, or choose a different language from the drop-down list and click Go.

    2. Do one of the following:

    * To copy the download to your computer for installation at a later time, click Save or Save this program to disk.

    * To start the installation immediately, click Open or Run this program from its current location.

    Guess what happens when you Open or Run an .iso file in Windows?

    Pengiun, FTW!

  53. Martin
    Gates Horns


    Installed it on the laptop I use for work stuff to try it out, after a reboot it blackscreened and sat doing nothing. It now does this every boot. When attempting to go into safe mode it bluescreens with a GDI32.dll error.

  54. Steve

    Seems to work

    Installed on two laptops and three pcs - no issues during the installation and apps all appear to be working.

    Scary stuff.

    What information it sent back to Redmond during the process is anybody's guess.

  55. Tim


    >> the compiler has optimized the code (typically for speed), and in debug there is typically lot's of extra debugging info and code (making it big and slow) <<

    Damn it!! You mean i have been running debug code all these years?

  56. Rodrigo Valenzuela

    size matters?

    The USA version is something above 500 mb.

    The spanish version is about 300 mb.

    What are we missing?

  57. Ash

    @Rodrigo Valenzuela

    The MAFIAA.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ FrankR

    "Cannot understand why anyone with any experience of microshaft is installing this. The rule is always wait at least 9 months.

    If you didn't realise this, you do now. Remember."

    Heh, can I have the IPs to all your internet facing machines? Windows machines that are 9 months behind on patches? Sounds like a black hats wet dream lol.

  59. Alan Esworthy
    Paris Hilton

    Unconventional naming convention confusion

    Free the Spanish cross-dressers! Or is that French the Spanish cross-dressers?

    Paris, 'cause she's confused, too.

  60. Anonymous Coward


    For the file xpsp3_5512.080413-2113_usa_x86fre_spcd.iso,

    I get: 308245853e5b231343ee17b36ffda1e6, any higher bids?

    Pengiun, cos Lunix I like.

  61. Steve Fisher

    Problems? Yes and No.

    Installed SP3 as part of the updates on a customers' machine this afternoon. Went perfectly - sweet at a nut. Got home and installed it on XP Home on my Mac (through Bootcamp) and it didn't want to know.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    laff - all six of my nipples are tingling

    Like Little Red Riding Hood tripping through the woods on the way to grannies house I visit~:

    on IE 8 beta (8.0.6001.17184 tbe)

    to be presented with this:

    Thank you for your interest in obtaining updates from our site.

    To use this site, you must be running Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later.

    To upgrade to the latest version of the browser, go to the Internet Explorer Downloads website.

    If you prefer to use a different web browser, you can obtain updates from the Microsoft Download Center or you can stay up to date with the latest critical and security updates by using Automatic Updates. To turn on Automatic Updates:

    Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

    Depending on which Control Panel view you use, Classic or Category, do one of the following:

    Click System, and then click the Automatic Updates tab.

    Click Performance and Maintenance, click System, and then click the Automatic Updates tab.

    Click the option that you want. Make sure Automatic Updates is not turned off. can kiss my a$$ you monkeys

  63. Barry Rueger

    Second verse, same as the first

    DAMN YOU EL REG! Make it stop! Make the music in my head stop!!!!

    .... I got married to the widow next door .....

  64. Anonymous Coward

    i dont see the problem

    installed SP3 on 2 machines today.... works perfectly fine....

    there again,,, i have a few simple rules.... drivers must have passed the MS lab testing... software must be on the Software compatability list, i dont screw around tweaking things here and there for no reason than some bloke on a blog says it will make me pc go quicker......(with the exception of the IP stack)....testing of new software gets done on a VM....oh and NO BETA SOFTWARE !!!!

    and the result is a sweet as a nut PC, it gives me no shit,,, it works.... it does not crash..... last time i seen a BSOD was on a windows ME install...

    it really pisses me off when people bash microsoft.... i find the OS to be robust and stable, and i wont be going near a linux distro for a long time yet.... well not for a desktop workstation anyway....

    stop the nonsense,,,, stop it now !!!!


  65. b166er


    Why is the iso larger that the network re-distributable?

  66. Robert Hill


    It worked, it actually worked just fine.

    If only Vista could be so trouble free and friendly....

  67. Anonymous Coward

    My report to base

    Thanks to The Register (El Reg) I pulled a sicky today to stay at home to patch all my XP PC's. Being a married sysadmin with kids it's no surprise that I now somehow have 14 PCs, 6 laptops, 2 servers and a storage array to patch all in use (not to mention dozens of half built and scrap PCs all over the house) (most of them dual boot to Ubuntu which I upgraded to 8.04 LTS last weekend (around the amateur radio contest I was working on too!!)). Anyway I'm reporting in that the last PC has just been patched (yes I've been up non stop for probably well over 24 hours) and there isn't a single problem to report yet. My Dual P3 beast does take an extra 600ms/700ms to boot up though since SP3 - and this is after 5 reboots with exactly two hours between them so is a neutral test. Overall well done Microsoft and long live XP.

  68. Andy Bright
    Thumb Down

    SP3.. err ok

    I've downloaded and installed it, and I've noticed.... nothing. Could someone tell me what it does besides use up another couple hundred megabytes of HD space?

    If all it contains is the patches issues since SP2, why would some with all the patches issued since SP2 need it? Unless there was some pressing need to store another copy of them in 3 places on your hard disks, I can't really fathom the point.

  69. Dave Daurelle

    @Anonymous Coward - MD5

    I've got the same MD5 sum.

  70. Pierre
    Paris Hilton

    How long again?

    As previously stated, though surprisingly only once (SammyTheSnake), it take them HOW long to just block the update for RMS users???? Hardly a fix, is it? How come they needed more than 12 minutes?

    Anyway, I doubt SP3 will do any good to my penguins (btw, none of them are african words meaning "lazy butt"), and tmy WinXp machines aren't broken anyway (crippled, right, but that's part of MS EULA. Or it should be), so I'm not wasting time and bandwith for that.

    And I wouldn't download HER, either.

  71. Scott

    Okay with reservations

    Tried it on one PC. Bit me on the first attempt with a "Failed to install catalog files" warning during "Creating restore point", followed by a "Windows XP partially updated and may not work properly" error which terminated the installation. Worked on the second attempt, after lengthy disk-light flashing during "Creating restore point" (for various reasons, this computer has a long history of upgrading rather than clean-installing the OS, dating back to Win95 and beyond).

    As others have said, the end result seems more responsive. Hats off to MS if the installation issues are sorted.

  72. Michael

    New computer required?

    At home I have two PCs for playing games, One with XP SP2 on and one with XP SP1 on to play the games that didn't work after installing SP2. Will I need another computer to run games that won't work after installing SP3?

    No - I'm not going to risk installing it.

  73. BlueR@nger

    Such a shame :(

    For the past couple of days I've been having a fiddle with SP3 with the following results.

    On an old P4 Vaio laptop, with SP2 usual running memory was at 350MB after bootup. With SP3 this has gone down to 210. Definately sped up the OS loading and general applications (office, dreamweaver, IE, firefox) are also noticeably faster. Non of the usual post SP instability (but this is still on day 3)

    Main computer is AMD XP3200 barton. Before SP memory usage on bootup was at 410 MB, gone down to 290 MB and boots up a heck of a lot faster than before. Applications also run faster, especially when swapping between apps.

    Dell Latitude D630 - SP2 memory on bootup was 310 MB, gone down to 210, Again faster on the reboot and applications once loaded work as the other 2.

    one thing to note, if you have Spybot seek and destroy installed, disable it before SP update or you'll be sitting for 10 minutes clicking on the allow registry key update before boot then another 10 minutes while it deletes said keys.

    Concensus - SP3 definatley speeds things up and reduces memory usage. Still early days so can't comment on stability, but haven't had a crash, bluescreen or slowdown as of yet (that's after 2 days of intensive flash, dreamweaver and photoshop usage). Firefox memory gobbling also seems to have slowed down. After a day of usage, I've seen FF snaffle up to 600 megs of system RAM and more depending on the sites I'm working on. Yesterday it went from usual 40 meg to just over 100 on intensive usage.

    IMHO they've got it spot on this time round. And I don't say that lightly. Drives me mad that they wait until after they withdraw a product to get it almost perfected. M$ if you're listening, withdraw Vimto and reinstate XP. There's no competition. The Wow was already there.

  74. Matt


    It's nice that this has worked for some people but could these people stop trying to blame the others for whom it didn't work?

    If you've got proof or suspicion that "dodgy" software is to blame it might be more helpful to say exactly which software.

    So far it looks as if XP SP3 has a bout a 33% chance of failing.

    Could those who are reporting failures let us know if going back to the save point worked?

  75. Greg

    Ah, the wonders of...

    ...No, not Linux. XP x64! Now without even firing up my Debian box I get to sit back and engage smug mode. ;-)

  76. Matt


    Thanks, helpful comment!

  77. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down

    Yep. trashed.

    Installed. Endless reboot cycle. Same in Safe Mode. oh well.

  78. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Running well here, noticably more responsive.

    Even less reason to move to Vista,.

  79. Ed

    SP3 screwed my Billion 5200G Router

    I dutifully installed SP3 and XP was no longer able to recognise my router; worse still, it stopped the wireless router broadcasting to my internet radio.

    After some initial surprise, Billion accept there is a problem and are looking into it.

    I have un-installed SP3.

  80. Geoffrey Summerhayes

    1 pass, 1 fail

    4 yr. old work machine, XP Pro, out of the box, full HD.

    No problems.

    2 yr. old home system, XP Media, lots of space, dx9 capable video, 3d sound.

    Reboot cycle, dammit.

    Safe mode, hold breath.

    System restore, hold breath

    Phew, cancel update notice.

  81. Jolyon Ralph

    Er... why is there PSP in the URL?

    The URL clearly contains PSP, I wonder if this is an official Sony update?

  82. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up


    If you like fast bootups, get a hold of MS Bootvis.

    It's no longer supported by MS, but I've been using it on machines I have been building to near as dammit half the bootup time [from 30-ish secs to more like 16-18 in most cases].

    Interesting to note the massive memory use dropoff on boot - will have to check that on the SP2 machines I have that still need updating.

    Steven R

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personally ...

    I've just applied it to over 40 PCs without a glitch. Took about half an hour.

    Can't see any overall improvements yet but everything that's meant to work, is.

  84. Neil

    no more updates...

    Yay. Installed this on a new PC which came with SP2 XP and Office 2007 "trial" on it. After SP3 it immediately found 4 Windows udpates, not so bad, and 850mb of Office updates!!!!

  85. David Cowans

    Whats all the fuss for??

    Installed on to 2 systems already and not a glitch in sight!!

    Also slipstreamed onto a SP2 disc and installed also fine.

    All it is, is a collection of security updates and XP still runs like XP.


    Still leaps and bounds better than V***a.

  86. Adrian Parker

    problems, problems, problems

    Too many errors to mention trying to install this garbage.. have had to reinstall machine to get back to sp2.. I won't be installing sp3 again anytime soon.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Oh dear...

    Installed SP3 via Windows Update.... BSOD.....

    Tried again downloading the ISO.... BSOD...

    Had a quick gander over at mcsoft forums and find microtechies telling people to go feck up their PCs with registry changes and stuff....

    Back to SP2 it is... at least without any mcsoft advice I still have system restore.

  88. Alex
    Gates Halo

    Works for me...

    System more responsive. No issues

    Looking at the comments I am guessing a lot of people are stopping their installs thinking their machine is frozen or doing nothing, rather than be patient until the process is complete.

    MS should have put a few more progress bars in for good measure, esp after the reboot.

  89. MrHappiness
    Thumb Up

    No problems here

    I have started putting it on the computers in the small office at my job (8 out of 31 computers) and I had no problems at all.

    I also installed it at home and no problems.

    I also made my own "slipstreamed" windows cd and reformatted and installed that on my home computer and still no problems. It actually seems to be running just a tad faster.

  90. Slaine
    Gates Horns

    no surprises

    Mate of mine tried it last night, after the usual "unable to download" due to excess demand, he instructed the update to leave all his settings alone - hahahahahahahaha... BSoD followed by wave bye bye to half the desktop icons, shortcuts and integrated software that used to work. Nice one M$, glad I chose to ignore the autoupdate offer.

    "Microsoft had pulled the mass download last week when it uncovered an incompatibility issue between SP3 and its point-of-sale application"... roughly translated as, "An incompatibililty issue between SP3 and Windows XP" - not a surprise really and probably explains why they have the same problem with SP1 for Vista.

  91. Delboy
    Thumb Up


    Downloaded the iso image, burnt to CD and installed with no problems. Things definitely work a bit faster.

  92. Not That Andrew
    Black Helicopters

    Illegal to install IE7 on XP SP3?

    I just set up my new machine today, installed XP then SP3. After installing all the usual software I thought "What the hell!" and installed IE7. Imagine my surprise when I read in the IE7 EULA that I am breaking its terms by installing it on SP3.

    I quote:

    You may use a copy of this supplement with each validly licensed copy of Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1 (the "software").

    If only I had installed IE7 before SP3!

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