Windows XP SP3 Issues and Fixes Continued



By now everyone is aware of the problems associated with installing Windows XP SP3. The amount of time and money wasted with this demon is immeasurable. The public’s lack of acceptance of Windows Vista has only added to the feeling of being blindsided by an old friend.

For Free XP SP3 Help and Support, visit this link:
Help and Support or call: 866-234-6020.

I am outlining the problems and providing information to fix the issues found to date. Above all I’m telling you to avoid the problems. Don’t be one the unfortunates that is rear-ended while slowing to view the carnage. Stay far away from this Update. I am not telling you to take preventative measures and then install. I’m telling you to wait, “Do not install SP3.”


Only for testing, I installed this viper three times. I also removed it three times. A seemingly simple and straightforward installation with no obvious problems does not mean there are no problems. All of my experiences are anecdotal, like Microsoft Word not working after SP3 installation. The problem ceasing with SP3 removal proves nothing, but when it happens twice, I must attribute it to the service pack. Rather than continuing to coupe the fallen victim, lets get on with it.

1. Registry Corruption After Installing Windows XP SP3. Starting one day after the May 6th release, users were reporting problems with their network connections. Reports of vanishing connections and missing network cards were pouring in. Bewildered users on the Microsoft support site noted the link between Symantec Corps, Norton Internet Security, and the huge number of broken registry entries all beginning with “$%&”.

Users were quick to point fingers but Symantec responded that there was no cause and effect found between their software and this problem. Even so, Symantec’s Senior Director, David Cole was quoted by Gregg Keizer of ComputerWorld as saying “Once we’ve figured out how may customers this affects, [an automated tool] is absolutely possible. If there is something we can do to address the problem, we’ll do it.”

True to his word, on May 23rd David Cole identified the problem as a particular Microsoft file named “fixccs.exe. This .exe file is a part of both SP2 and SP3, which explains why similar problems were seen with the XP SP2 release. “We finally got to the bottom of this last night,” said Dave Cole, Symantec’s senior director of product management for consumer software. “All of these problems are related to the same thing, a Microsoft file that created all the garbage entries [in the registry].”

Check out our XP SP3 Survey

The long and short of it is that Symantec has done the work for Microsoft, who has still not responded. The smart user will refrain from installing Windows XP SP3.

1. FIX
If you are one of the “rear-ended”, there is now a fix. Our own Doug Bender spent many hours reproducing this problem and trying various fixes. There are some needed conditions but he did come up with an acceptable fix.

Reboot your computer and enter SafeMode. You can reach SafeMode by tapping the F8 or F5 key during the boot process. After entering SafeMode you will need to run as Administrator and restore your system to a time before SP3 was installed: Start/Help and Support/System Restore/Restore to an earlier time. Without entering SafeMode and running as Administrator you will not be able to restore or remove the offending service pack. Upon rebooting SP3 will no longer show up in the Add/Remove programs list and you will no longer find the multitude of $%& registry entries.

2. XP SP3 removes previous restore points from System Restore. One of the first things I noticed after installing SP 3 was that my one and only restore point was missing. I keep my allotted System Restore space to a minimum and make sure I have at least one up to date restore. Normally, when you install an update, Windows will create a new restore point for the update. Because this is such a large update, the 1035 MB of space I had set aside was not enough. Instead of just not installing the new update, SP3 decided to also delete my previous restore point. This left me with no ability to use system restore. Windows Help and Support said I had the option of restoring; there was a “bold” date showing, but no option to restore. To confirm, I repeated this several times and finally was able to prevent the problem by raising my restore space to a whopping 5035 MB. There is no excuse for Microsoft removing my restore point. I consider it a serious intrusion and feel rear-ended.

Microsoft should absolutely give a WARNING and advise how much space is needed before allowing the install of SP3. There is no fix for this, meaning that once the restore point is gone there is no getting it back. The only thing that can be done is to raise your allotted restore space before installing SP3. If you have already installed SP3 be sure to check your System Restore settings. Raise your allowed space to 5035 MB and create a restore point. Be sure to do this before being rear-ended by Auto Updates.

3. XP SP3 and Windows Home Server. It’s reported by users of Windows Home Server that SP3 disables terminal Services Active X control in Internet Explorer, by default. This prevents users from accessing their systems remotely.

3. FIX
There is a fix for this problem. You will need to enable Terminal Services ActiveX control in IE 7. To do this, open Internet Explorer and click on Tools/Manage Add-Ons/Enable Add-Ons in IE.

If you do not see “enable the terminal Service ActiveX control in IE7 on XPSP3”, the only work around is to delete the following registry keys:

HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExtSettings{7390f3d8-0439-4c05-91e3-cf5cb290c3d0} HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExtSettings{4eb89ff4-7f78-4a0f-8b8d-2bf02e94e4b2)

WARNING, PC Pitstop does not suggest making registry deletions. We are only reporting what is suggested on other forums for dealing with this problem. If you do this, it is at your own risk.

4. Branded versions of IE7 crash during installation. For those who have already updated and installed XP SP3, you may have problems installing IE7 offered by your ISP. These “Branded Copies” from Comcast, Qwest and others, tend to crash during the installation. This is because they are older versions of IE 7. Updated IE7 Administration Kits are available to the ISPs from Microsoft’s TechNet site. These are needed to make the necessary changes before offering the IE7 upgrade. Before installing IE7 from your Internet Service Provider at least call to be sure they have made the necessary changes.

4. FIX
My suggestion and Fix is, if you must have IE7, download and install it from the Windows Website.

5. HP/AMD desktop and SP3. Because HP added a command to load a particular driver on their install disks, some of their AMD based desktops are subject to endless reboots or blue screens after installing Windows XP SP3.

We first reported on this problem in our May 15th news letter. At that time we provided information from Jesper’s Blog on various preventative measures and fixes. Today I suggest the patch offered by HP to prevent the problem. This is not a fix and the patch must be applied before installing SP3.

5. FIX
If you’ve already been rear-ended and need a fix, the best I can offer is to remove the offending SP3 from your computer. Because “not booting” is the problem, you will need to use the Microsoft Recovery Console. The following Microsoft Help and Support article also outlines using the Add/Remove Programs options and System Restore Options. Steps for restoring your registry can be found on the Microsoft Help and Support site here.

6. SP3 and AMD motherboards (A8N 32SLI Deluxe). After installing SP 3, users receive an error code stating “Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. Your system BIOS is not ACPI compliant.” There just hasn’t been much reported on this issue but I can attest to past BIOS issues with the A8N board listed above. In fact I have three of these boards stacked in my closet. There is still no fix, that I found, other than to be sure you have a usb device plugged in so the board will boot. That can be in the form of a USB storage device or even a USB mouse. Checking the Asus site I see the latest bios for this board is dated March 20th 2007 so that tells me that ASUS has done nothing to prevent the problem.

6. FIX
This rather unprofessional fix reminds me of putting electric tape on a leaky radiator hose, but so far that’s all we have. If you have installed SP3 to your AMD/Asus based computer, cannot boot, and feel rear-ended, the fix is to stick a USB device in your machine. How pitiful is that?

7. AutoUpdate. Automatic Updating is a problem unto itself. As outlined earlier in this article you may loose your restore points because of a lack of restore spcae. You an also experience any of the problems outlined above because Automatic Updates installed this mess without your knowledge. The fixes or lack of fixes can vary with each individual situation. Rather than a fix, I suggest avoiding the problem completely.

There are a couple of ways to prevent this problem. The most obvious is to turn off Auto Updates. Start/Control Panel/Security/Turn Off Automatic Updates/. You can also turn it off in Services. Start/Run/type”services.msc” without the quotes/Automatic Updates/Stop/Disable/Apply/OK.

If you would like to continue with updates but avoid Service Pack 3, use this helpful link provided my Drew Mathers. The link and download are from Microsoft’s Website. It stops Automatic Updates from downloading service pack 3 for one year.
I’m including it here incase you want updates but not service packs. Thanks Drew.

New problems seem to be surfacing almost hourly. Many times in the last 72 hours I’ve stopped writing only to go back and add additional information as it surfaced. Articles and rewrites of articles abound on the Internet but mostly people are getting rear-ended after installing Windows XP SP3. Both the HP/AMD problem and the Norton/SP3 problem, have very similar reports dating back to the SP2 roll out years back. You gotta wonder why Microsoft doesn’t learn. Surely Microsoft has employees with more than 4 years tenure. Since it’s been almost four years since the first release of SP2, there has certainly been time to get it right.

Without getting back into to the “Whose To Blame” game, it appears that even in the case of the HP/AMD issue, there is more involved than HP’s added dll instructions. Clearly the responsibility for a clean and problem free Service Pack sits on Microsoft.

Oh, by the way, have you hard anything from Microsoft other than the sound of squeeeeeling tires as you get rear-ended?

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317 thoughts on “Windows XP SP3 Issues and Fixes Continued”

  1. MS is crappy sloppy and faulty non stop os ! You should expect that from beginning that for your money one get problem generator and nasty MS is not doing their job instead posting howto’s just like in Linux to fix and do their job ! People are buying licenses for working ones not for crappy faulty non stop administering and problem solving it ! When Linux would have unified installer for software with few mouse clicks regardless which distro is used then will MS packs his bags and go sell crappy win to aliens on Mars or even further !!! I doubt that aliens would buy such dinosaur prehistoric crappy and faulty OS !

  2. Someone used my computer and it’s had major issues every since. The media player has been lost for weeks till found, the volume control has disappeared, pathways, hot keys, icons, programs (or parts of), disappear. files end up in wrong folders, etc… The computer can’t find printer that’s hooked to it, spooler has been shut off & I cant find it. … I now have 2 optomizers, 3 cleaners, etc, and they lose their way on start up & I have to open it from program file, error reports that are sent don’t go anywhere. my router no longer works since it was unhooked to move computer. I don’t have a boot disk, didn’t come with. This has been going on for nearly a year, What can I do?

  3. Greetings,
    I have a problem with external usb hard drives not being recognized on WinXp with SP3. I have a dual operating system – Winxp with SP3, and Win7 with SP1. Up till a month ago, both systems recognized the external USB HDD’s, then, suddenly I could no longer use them on Win XP only. There are no issues installing any updates from Microsoft.Its okay on Win7. All the hardware checks out okay. I tried just about everything I could think of, I even attempted slipstreaming. This failed because of the dual operating system and boot loading issues. Todate, all is back to normal, and both operating systems function correctly, except I cannot use the USB functions at all on Winxp. Does anyone have any idea how I can proceed from here? Much appreciated.

    1. Hi, Just to follow up on my original gripe re WinXP with SP-3.
      Somebody might want to take not. I gor nowhere with my original attempt to repar my Operating System. I tried Slipstreaming, but as I said, due to a dual boot situation with Win-7, this does not work. Anyway, It would appear that a cirus had been introduced into my USB drives which tried to destroy my storage backups as well. Even my good system backup files had been corrupted, So, withou a good backup, there was only on solution possible. I bit the bullet and wiped my operating system from the Default HDD, partition #1.
      After acrubbing my Disk Partition clean, I reinstalled Wnidows XP Pofessional and Also installed SP-3. No problems ther. I reinstalled most of the Microsoft Updated from my backup, an away I went. The system has been very stable since, and there are no problems at all with SP-3, and USB. I think that it is the right thing to do when the OS crashes due to Malware or Viruses etc, reinstall your System and hope for the best.
      regards all.

      1. Hi, This Is my second comment in addition to my earlier posts, re Win XP Pro with SP-3. My System has been running smoothly for 3 month’s, since my last encounter with possible USB virus invasion.
        I conclude that most of the anti-virus software on the marked, which is offered as freeware, is not worth much since most of the virus and malware gets through regardless. This is a caviat relating to WiFi Add-On’s. I tried installing it prior to my system crash, and I suspect that, after my USB Bus went down, this was due to the WiFi Adapter on USB2. I hope that this was some help to someone out there. Happy surfing.

  4. Hi, I installed windows xp pro sp2 into my AMD Turion x2 64 Bit compaq presario cq40-115au laptop, its a dual core 2ghz processor, i tried installing the drivers of which i could not get them working, so i downloaded sp 3 and installed it without any issues, the problem is my processor keeps changing when i see the system…from 2 ghz to 1 ghz then to 500 mhz then back again…can someone let me know what is the problem, however i have managed to update all the drives successfully..thanks

  5. Well I finally got tired of constant Autoupdates so decided to installed WinXP sp3 on my main system Dual PIII CPU system. Install of sp3 went without errors and system restart, but within 1-2 hrs starting getting Event log’s of major system services not responding DCOM’s and spooling services requiring system restart. So uninstalled sp3, and attempted to do system Restore to previous date and all restore points were gone, and all attempts to get system to function normal have failed and nothing from Microsoft. So now looks like possible complete reinstallation and this will result in loss of over 6.5 years of data because many of applications cannot be reloaded or restored. Only good point is now I know what is problems with 3 more of my systems within the last week, as well as many of my associates systems, it’s just another Microsoft “Update”, I would like to send them a update myself. I am seriously thinking or going to Mac system just so I don’t have to deal with Microsoft. Thanks for Listening,

  6. Hi,

    Has anyone experienced problems with SP3 and ATI’s TV Wonder 650 PCI? Analogue TV reception works fine, but I have been unable to receive Over the Air HD TV since going with SP3.

    Thanks in advance,


  7. I have an Asus M2N-E SLI board with a AMD64 chip and it will not take SP3. Blue Screen and the Shut Down to Protect carp.

    Three other machine boards (2 Asus & 1 Gigabyte) with the same chip and no problems.

  8. Well, I’m one of those who has an Asus A8N SLI Premium and have issues with SP3 abound.

    I first downloaded it about 3weeks ago and have had issues since. The problems manifested themselves in different ways. Firstly, I was using Firefox as my browser and suddenly I could get onto any website, although I did have a connection as I could pick up my mail using my client (not Outlook!!). I installed IE7 and still couldn’t get onto the web. After looking around for potential fixes I gave up and reinstalled XP.

    That’s when the fun really started!!

    I reinstalled everything with no problem and also installed SP3 again – not really knowing that it had caused my initial problems. After my PC being on for a couple of hours I came back to the BSOD. No real explanation for it. This kept happening at random times, 99% of the time when the PC was unattended. After 2 weeks of enduring with random BSODs and looking around for fixes, I’ve reinstalled XP and I’m NOT going anywhere near SP3.

    I just wish I found this earlier, it would have saved me a lot of emotional stress :c)


  9. Well, I’m not telling you what to do, but as for me- I am not installing it yet.

    There were several issues during download and then IE 8 Beta would crash all the time (removed that one too).

    I’ll wait awhile.


  10. I installed SP3 a few hours ago on my MacBook Pro after installing bootcamp 2.1. I installed it with my ant-virus and antispyware on by accident. Before doing that I made sure I cleaned thev registry and defragged afterward. Everything appears to work fine with no problems. I purchased a MacBook Pro just after SP1 was released because Vista was giving me fits. The Mac was on sale because a new model had come in and I purchased it with 3 years warranty, technical support and accidental damage for 3 years for what would have been the same price of a laptop with the same hardware. I’m not advocating one over the other as boh companies have their strategies for getting users out of their computers as fast as possible and buying new ones and their products without complaining and returning back to them.

    Vista 32 bit is an example on the PC side.

    Apple’s effort to deliberately limit hard disk space ad dives as well as their accessibility is another. In m view,XP is the only OS that truly takes advantage of each hardware product on the market as direct 10 X (as opposed to runing direc 9X in the enhanced mode) has never panned out the way MS thought. Leopard still has problems taking advantage of graphics chips it shipped with its computers 3 years ago.

    The drive to build in obsolescence is very high. This is generally done deliberately at the customers expense regardless of either company. I don’t see XP falling into that category.

  11. I was asked if I wanted SP3 installed on my ASUS A8N and said yes. Wish I’d investigated 1st. It froze up on the final reboot and never reached desktop. I tried to use my acronis because I imaged before I started. I was successful but it still locked up. There must be something it writes to the hard drive initial start up folder. I finally was able to attempt an F8 boot to Safe, but no that froze too. I tried repair where you say its a new install and then change to repair when it asks you later. It removed a bunch of files and got going repairing. In the middle of that a “Fatal Exception”. I will now wipe the drive and start from scratch. Thanks MicroSoft. Some day I’ll have the money and upgrade to a MAC.

  12. I installed SP3 and it caused debugging in Visual Studio 2005 fail. I tried re-installing it and it hangs at 32 minutes loading the network. Now, I can’t get through the installation to even access the original OS. Anybody know how to abort the installation that hasn’t completed?

  13. Usual Microsoft Update stuff – everyone who doesn’t have a problem things everyone who does is an idiot – till something goes wrong with one of their own machines. I let automatic updates put it on an Acer laptop – no problem. I put it on a clean machine formerly hosting Vista 64 – it needed three restarts. I put it on the xp that runs in a parallels window in my mac. It killed the toolbar. If only my company could get rid of the MS-only software we use we could go all mac and be happy.

  14. i haven’t had the internet til we purchased a wireless g usb adapter the other day…so, naturally, i installed all my protections and then did windows updates, excited to download and install the new service pack i was hearing about. well, due to turning off system restore since i was never online before, i had to reformat my pc due to service pack 3…my pc wouldn’t reboot, only into safe mode…no system restore points, so…reformat i did.
    nice update, huh?


  15. I had my machine set up to auro download updates.
    My problem started with sending e-mail with a .pps extension. Some people received 50 copies or so, and it would open with alpha, numeric, and characters. No organization or pictures were included. (Not sure if all 50 copies were like this). Most people were afraid it was some kind of virus either with me, or sent by me. This happened with all other “attachments” either originated, or forwarded by me.
    When I got the opportunity, I went to “restore” the day or two before I sent the offending e-mail. It went thru the motions, and at the end, “could not restore”.
    Tried several more dates that were highlited, same message.
    Looked for “Service Pke” thru control/add-remove, could not locate it.
    Deleted several “fixes” around the suspect date and deleted them.
    Finally bit the bullet, saved all my working files to a separate hard drive, and did the “Recovery” routine.
    Had to reload various software, but the data had been saved.
    I ain’t takin nuttin from Microsoft.

  16. Hi Mike.

    As you noted the boot times are definitely increased with each service pack. I’ve noted it many times because of the testing and installs I do.

    I’m glad you were able to remove SP3 with no problems and thanks for the comments.

  17. Whew! I’m one of the lucky ones, because uninstalling service pack 3 through the control panel seems to have worked.

    My experience with service pack 3: I have auto update turned off, but fired up ie7 today to get windows security updates. I do this every month, but, since the updates recently have been nothing but Windows Genuine Advantage crap, I must have ignored updating longer than usual. Anyway, I restarted my system after the update, and could no longer connect to any website through Firefox or IE — got a timeout error each time. I swore “Update!” and checked my other computer; it was connecting fine. I looked at installed programs through the control panel and saw service pack 3 and swore again; I never get windows service packs until at least six months have passed. I selected uninstall and prayed, and, lucky me, it seems to be gone. I can connect to the Internet again. Hopefully I will not have lingering trouble with Adobe and other third party software.

    I have a Windows XP Professional system that is a year old. It’s the Shuttle G2: AMD Athlon 64 3800+, 1 gig ram, 160 gig hard drive. Until service pack 3, it ran like a dream, booting in less than a minute. I don’t run Symantec or Norton (have ZoneAlarm), so they can’t take the blame. 😉 This is the last time I click “get high priority updates” instead of “custom.”

  18. My experience with SP3 is that it continually gives me pop-ups that “No firewall is turned on”, yet the Famous Windows firewall is fully enabled and running. I do not quite understand why Win XP SP3 has that flaw.

  19. suspectly that we are going to have to watch our windows xp if they are going to produce shocky service packs. what else are they going to update. (a update that secretly forces windows to pack up and stop windows xp from working properly.) soo id keep my old updates sp2 for a while.
    This could happen?

  20. SP3 suxxorz….period.
    #1 Any update that requires any Antivirus to be disabled should be suspect.
    #2 Wisely, I DL’d but did NOT install SP3…then I went to MS updates and just the NON SP3 updates wiped out my internet.
    #3 My machine is clean as a whistle.
    #4 ASUS M2N32SLI Deluxe Motherboard, 2gb PC8500 Corsair RAM, AMD 5000+ Black Edition CPU OC’d to 3.2Ghz
    #5 Fortunately I run Norton Ghost, so I restored from Ghost Image….then figured maybe SP3 had to be installed 1st….which I did….same no internet problem.
    #6 Microsoft, in my opinion, has released SP3 for no other reason than to force people to buy VISTA.
    #7 Anyone who DOESN’T have problems with this update, doesn’t know their computer.
    #8 Doesn’t it seem strange that HP’s, Dells, etc have no problems with SP3 (the same computer companies that forced VISTA down peoples throats.
    #9 Since the release of Windows XP Pro I have NEVER had a problem with any updates or SP’s…..till now…..right after they stopped selling XP!!!!!!!!!

    When are you people going to wake up and smell the coffee?

  21. I just found out I was a victim of automated MS XP SP3 upgrade with Norton. I had to re-install the PC without knowing this. I was just suspecting virus when my PC died during end of May. I just have one more PC with no internet due to manual window upgrade and found this irresponsible story of MS. I need to waste my time again to re-install everything. MS is not responsible.
    I am not happy with new Vista Home due to lack of drivers for old parts including no fax.
    I wish better software such as Linux replace MS windows.

  22. Our upgrade to Service Pack 3 caused problems with single-sign-on (a/k/a external authentication or Active Directory). For example, FileMaker users and users of one other application (I forget the name) we’ve found so far were prompted to re-enter their user IDs and passwords. (This is their network user ID and network password which is already active and has logged them on for that session. They have to enter it again every single time they try to access a FileMaker server.) With FileMaker, this is for Server 8.5-hosted files with the option on the server checked that restricts users to only see files that they have been granted access to. If you instead check the box allowing users to see ALL of the files on the server, then the extra password logon goes away — but all users can then see (and try to access) ALL of the files on that server. So this is a security issue for some. Also with FileMaker, the extra sign-on box appears at the point where users attempt to click on the server name in the “Open Remote” box, before they can even see any files, but from that point forward they’re not prompted for each file’s password but instead their network information is apparently submitted for them.

  23. I completely agree with the below copy/pasted comment. XP is too good and Microsoft needs us to spend our money. I do believe, without a doubt, they will want to destroy XP – the near perfect os —

    badie salem Says:
    June 22nd, 2008 at 1:44 pm

  24. So what is the deal have they fix sp3 yet i have a duron 1.4mhz machine with win xp pro sp2. havnt got sp3 yet over the problems i`ve heard of. I heard that microsoft wants xp gone at the end of june 2008 but support until 2014 (maybe). thats right microsoft good job, release a service pack for XP thats got problems and p*** off. keep developing Vista. (clouds overhead) Nice Retirement Gates.

  25. I installed SP3 with disastrous results. Contacted Microsoft but no help. Luckily I noticed system crashing on attaching Microsoft USB mouse or any USB instrument. Removed mouse, PC started and uninstalled SP3 and never went back to MS upgrades. It may help some poor guy trying to fix untested s/w from MS. Can I charge them for the waster hours? Can any lawyer filing class-action against MS.

  26. HELLO TO ALL ;



  27. Downloaded and installed SP3 on a HP intel based machine running XP. All functions slowed to a crawl. Uninstalled SP3 via Add/Remove Programs. All appears to be fine. As a systems administrator I’ll be applying the utility available on Microsoft’s web site that prevents SP3 installing for 12 months.

  28. My installation went smoothly over a month ago, and I have had no problems to date. Everything I have tried works as it did prior to the update.

  29. I have norton ghost and keep several images and their dates. I can resore everything in 10 minutes. Has saved me a few times from windows crashing or just clogging up.


  30. I installed It on a gateway with a P3 and have had no problems, however I uninstalled one care and some antispyware programs turned off windows firewall, defragged before I installed it and again defragged it after install. I then installed NAV 2008 and it boots faster. I also figured out a long time ago not to use the OEM crapware that came with the computer and did a clean install when XP first came out and have had auto update turned on ever since. I’ve also built two computers, one using Vista Basic and one using Vista Ultimate and both are running great! I’m guessing that MS does have some issues but some of the aftermarket software is a problem also. It sucks when you’ve lost stuff important to you. For Me it was photos that I didn’t back up. I do back ups now!!!

  31. O_o; I wanted to install the MS utility that allows me to delay SP3 for 12 months, but the link has been moved or removed. I can’t search for it without the name of it. So now what? Do I have to turn off all Automatic Updates and just check using a shortcut on the desktop?

  32. Okay. I have no idea if my problem has anything to do with sp3 because I checked my computer and it is still sp2. But I’m confused about that because auto update was on and I’m possitive that there has been atleast one update recently.

    I’ve been fighting my computer for a little over a month now. Around the same time that sp3 came out? It suddenly drops my internet connection and is super super slow! I have tried EVERYTHING to speed it up and can’t figure out why it is so slow. Is it possible that it updated to sp3 and then somehow went back to sp2? I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t have gone to sp3 with auto update on. But then why does it show sp2?

    Long story short, does my supe slow computer have anything to do with sp3 update?


  33. mehboob sadicote

    I have an AMD M2N-MX SE asus motherboard and also have automatic updates turned on, why am i still on SP2?

  34. ~ Sony Vaio desktop/P4/XP Media Edition and also experiencing the same problems ~

    It took four days of unsuccessful attempts and hours upon hours of telephone conferencing/Microsoft ‘Easy Assist’ access take-overs amongst five different Microsoft Support Programmers and myself with regard to trying to ‘fix’ numerous SP3-related issues which immediately plagued my computer following the SP3 install. I too had to eventually do a complete system restore; thus, causing me to lose all of my previously installed programs and add-ons since ‘day one’. Also, after the SP3 ‘update’, my previous valid restore points mysteriously disappeared and then seemed to self-update on a daily basis. Since my OS is XP Media Edition, I was advised by Microsoft to also avoid installing IE7, because it is incompatible with my OS and it will dramatically slow down my system upon start-up. Initially they installed IE7 after they thought that it would work correctly, but after they experienced horrendous lag at start-up, they eventually removed it. After they ‘took-over’ the reigns of my computer and subsequently repaired numerous registry problems, they also deleted my McAfee virus scan because it was now also incompatible with SP3? Even upon doing so, no matter what the five different Microsoft technicians/programmers tried, they could not get my system to recognize my printer or related USB ports nor could they resolve various Windows Installer, PhotoGallery, Document Viewer, various .dll, CoreDLL.dll, etc. issues at start-up. One programmer even placed my system in start-up ‘safe mode’ and told me just to leave it that way, so that the various warning/error boxes would no longer display upon my screen? Needless to say, that idiotic suggestion was quickly quashed and I too have learned the ‘hard way’ by waiting to install any Windows updates until I have also ‘done my homework’!

  35. Well I was realy excited about trhe coming of xp-3.Thought it would have a lot of vista atributes in it which I believe I already had.Meaning Microsoft Office 2007,IE7,Media Player 11.So after installing I noticed nothing actually.But the good news is so far I have not had any issues at all that I have seen.Well I take that back ,it will not let me update my storage device.I heard sp3 is cause of that.But so far I can live w/ that I guess.I am running a pentium 4 (2x 2.80 gigs)4gigs of ram,and a Ati radeon x800 video card,250 gig H.D.D./& 300 gig H.D.D.Everything seems to run real smooth.I use my 300 ig H.D.D. for backing up my system only.But sionce sp3 I have made a couple of back-ups and have gotten rid of the one before xp3.Won’t ever happen again w/ big sp of some kind.

  36. So when you say that you raised your restore space “to a whopping 5035 MB”, you are still limited to 12% of the total partition space, right? You haven’t found a way, or the need (?), to go above 12%?

  37. I installed SP3 on XP the other day and have had no problems whatsoever!

    I have used my computer for 2 weeks or so and everything works fine.

  38. Hello dan,

    About 75% of the people installing the update have not had problems so the odds are with you. However thats a real poor success rate for a service pack update. Needs to be much improved. We’ll post more data soon.

  39. Steven Fluharty

    I installed SP3 [edited by admin], and now my flash player will not work. My son would go to an area and play games that used flash player and now it wont load. I’ve unistalled and tried to reinstall the Adobe, and it wont show up in my installed programs area. Other then that, I haven’t had many other issues.

  40. Upgraded my HP Windows XP-home a week ago and having no problems at all (touch wood!!!) Was shocked when I got into this site and started reading problems some are having w/SP3. Even after having to turn off our computer b/c of a storm in our area, it did an auto windows update w/no problem. Guess I’m lucky???

  41. John Bacheller

    In my case, Windows Live One Care refused to recognize my network after installing the update. I ultimately had to uninstall One Care and install Norton Internet Security to remedy the problem.

    In this case, I blame Microsoft for not ensuring that its products work together. I had no other problems with the SP3 install.

  42. I have over 70 SP3 installs for friends, relatives, and old customers and HAVE NOT HAD ONE faulty install!!….not even a slow down. All PC’s as fast or faster.

    I think the guy that wrote this article had other issues, and, either didn’t know that, or won’t admit it, or had a bad copy that caused some registry problems.This is the best service pack I’ve seen in 27 years of support and business.

  43. Duane Lauridsen

    I have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 and tried 3 times to install the beta SP3 last January (it was the Dec. release). Each time it hung up and I had to uninstall it. I installed the same SP3 beta on a Dell laptop (Intel) chip and it worked great. When the SP3 was released for automatic updates it did install on the AMD machine and has no problems.

  44. While the % is limited to 12% the total MB will be determined by the size of the drive. If you have a 300Gig drive or partition the 12% would be 36 Gigs. and a lot larger than the 29.8 GB drive or partition.

  45. How does one increase System Restore space to 5035 MB? My system (Win XP Pro SP2 only lets me go up to 12% (3668 MB)for a 29.8 GB system partition.

  46. I installed SP3 on my Dell Dimension 8100 and lost any S3 standby ability. It would sleep when I hit “SLEEP” button, but when I hit the “WAKE” button, it would (after a 20 second black screen during which god knows what was happening!) reboot the computer! So much for “green is good”. I restored to a point before I added SP3, and I can know standby and wake normally!

  47. Ok this may sound strange but i have the Asus motherboard problem and my “fix” or workaround (watever you wanna call it) is to go into the BIOS and go into an option that you can change then exit out without saving changes and then windows will start with no problems. the usb device “fix” did not work for me and i have 3 plugged into the board itself and 1 plugged into a front port

  48. Being the synical type it occured to me that Microsoft did this on purpose to push people into Vista and quit supporting an OS that Microsoft clearly wants to move away from.

  49. I’m still waiting for Microsoft to produce a OS that can’t be broken so that we can get on with our lives. Call me when Bill gets it done for us..(872)WIN-SUXX

  50. Ok.. say you loaded XP with only software that had been tested with MS and you load SP3. I am not saying software the vendor tested with XP but Microsoft themselves certified that it would work with thier OS. Thrid party software and spyware play big parts in the update process. SP3 does seem to cause alot of issues unless users turn off computer during the update, have a poorly running computer (spyware and virus infected), or have third party software running that conflicts with the SP3.I have personally loaded quiete a few pc’s with sp3 but have not had any issues.

    Just a thought to think about… whose problem is it really???

  51. I don’t have any problems with SP3. Dell latitude D810. my restore points are all there even after sp3 install, no corruption so far, i have had sp3 beta installed for a few months and still no problems.

  52. I have successfully installed SP3 on my laptop and PC and there were no problems.
    Having read your tips, I increased the allowed space for restore points to >5035 & my restore points were not deleted. I do not use Symantec Norton, AMD motherboards or a HP/AMD desktop and I use Firefox instead of IE. Microsoft Word is working OK. So far, everything is running smoothly.

  53. installed sp3 on my highly modded xp on an AMD 4200+ Asus A8N sli motherboard. Only problem is it put my boot and login screen back to the ugly M$ ones.
    I also run Vista home premuim SP1 on a laptop and Ulitmate on a desktop. The more i use Vista the more i like it. In my opinion its is every bit as stable or better than XP was when it was released.(remember all the xp hate sites back then?)

  54. SP3 is a NIGHTMARE!!! – Have a Compaq Presario SR 1710 nx – Tried suggestions and an HP Patch and it still didn’t work right ending with me having to totally reformat and install my pc from scratch with recover discs. Doubt I will even install it. You would think Microsoft could come out with a version for HP and Compaq owners that would work wouldn’t you?

  55. I have had no problems with sp3 on xp pro. It has not crashed or had any conflicts with word or any other program. But since reading all the problems, I have knocked on wood and crossed my fingers. Now where is my rabbit’s foot.

  56. Marsden Champaign

    I installed SP3 on May 21 with no apparent problems except that the install removed my restore points (I have that space limited to 2800 MB). I’m running XP media center ed. on a Dell Inspiron E1705 laptop with 2GB of memory

  57. I decided to play it safe and installed the SP3 Blocker Tool from MS.

    My HP/Compaq with AMD CPU is working too great to possibly be mucked up by a possible bug ridden update.

    Sorry MS, maybe next year.

  58. I can’t prove it but since it coincided with the SP3 update that’s what I’ll blame for my device manager (WIN eXasPerate, Pro) being completely empty. It remains empty even after the SP3 uninstall.

  59. First of all… Just upgrade to windows vista. i have been using it for over a year now and have not had a single problem. Second, any experienced user should ABSOLUTELY not have auto update activated!! This is the train wreck you described waiting to happen. Click “notify me when updates are available” and then YOU decide which updates to install. Having microsoft decide ANYTHING to do with updating your computer is not smart. It is kinda like getting Col. Sanders to guard your chickens.

    You reap what you sow…

  60. I downloaded and and installed SP 3 last night and apart from it taking over an hour to install I have encountered no problems whatsoever. Though I haven’t noticed any change in performance either.
    I just made sure the system was clean and defragged before downloading. There has been no change to my system restore points set prior to the install and no conflict with my antivirus (AVG) so all in all a success I would say.

  61. I have already installed sp3 for about 2 weeks I have so far seen no problem. Yeah, I have been trying download updates from MS, specially Ms Explorer 7, but it always gives somekind of problem.

  62. I made the mistake of trusting MS (again) and got the blue screen of death, moviemaker no longer captures from my camera, restore points are all gone, etc. I have uninstalled sp3 but the weirdness persists. I’m getting close to jumping ship and going to Linux!

  63. I had a terrible experience with XP Service Pack 3. The first issue was it is incompatible with my Netgear WNDA3100 Dual Band Wireless N USB Adapter. Second my HP Officejet 6210 All-in-One would not print or work properly after installing this package. At first, I dealed with this and was forced to go back to the internal Wireless G on the notebook which is really slow if you’re used to Wireless N. I took the bite and reformated my system to XP Service Pack 2, this fixed all my problems. I have blocked all updates from Microsoft since, and it took me four days to recoup the 14 GB’s of music lost due to the necessary reformat. Since this I purchased a portable hardrive to back up my music. One fair warning to streaming video users is XP Service Pack 3 doesn’t support the drivers on most the Wireless N Adapters!


  65. I have to say I have been lucky too, I installed SP3 on 2 of my XP machines which are running Athlon dual cores and touch wood no problems thus far, but could not install SP3 on my newest XP machine which is running a dual core Intel processor. This machine I just did the restore and left it at SP2! Seems like MS did this to blindside XP users and try to get them to upgrade to Vista! heh, heh

    I did a search in my registry and did however find a shi_ load of these $%& registry entries guess best to leave them alone or can they be removed? would appreciate an answer to this if someone would like to comment!!!!!

  66. I just recently completed an Unattended Install with SP-3 slipstreamed on XP Pro and after many hours of beta testing got it to work. Seems that SP-3 when it installs it turns off the Security Center,Network and Firewall ICS from the Administrative Tools Services.I received the following error messages after Installing on several different computers and chipsets .
    >”Generic Host Process for Win32 Services has encountered a problem and needs to close.” as well as a sporatic error of “Microsoft C++ Runtime error R6025 Pure Virtual Function Call Svchost.exe” My fix was the following:
    1.Open up services in Administrative Tools in control panel and start Security Center and Wireless Zero Configuration.
    2.Set Auto updates to Automatic
    3.Install Microsoft C++ 2005
    4.Do a search of Netapi.dll in System32 and change to Netapi.Old
    5.Reinstalled SharedAccess.reg per Microsoft site
    6.Shut down and reboot and life is good again.

    So far this fix has worked 100% with no problems,I hope this helps anyone with similar problems. 🙂
    Bill @Geeks Computer Services

  67. It is funny how many of the people who haven’t had problems think their lack of problems can be attributed to their superior knowledge and intelligence – AND the people having problems are to blame for the problems due to their stupidity.

    As was noted in the article, the observed problems are due to a limited number of hardware/software combinations. I think these would mostly be found in home installations, so all you IT geniuses don’t really have much to crow about.

    My HP Media Center PC happened to be one of those affected and was on automatic update (since I seldom use Windoze, I just let it update while I sleep). Fortunately, since my system is on dual boot, I was able to go to the HP web site from UBUNTU LINUX (which everyone should have) and find their solution. It was a simple matter of renaming one dll file which had been added by SP3. Since then I have had no problems caused by SP3.

  68. Srinivasan S.R.

    I have installed Windows XP SP3 from Microsoft Update somewhere in mid May on my HP Pavilion Home PC and haven’t experienced problems so far. The only thing happened to me is that after installing SP3 and creating a data CD on this machine, I am unable to use it on a machine running SP2. I don’t know whether it’s the problem of the CD or SP3.
    I have automatic updates and all that turned on. My system runs pretty smooth without problems.
    I hope Microsoft does fix all the problems that people are encountering with SP3.

  69. gates is at again!! The world’s richest man just wants MORE AND more Money! For what?? Where,o where is the genius that can bury microsoft. My sister has had diabetes since she was 8, my mother shingles, wife and me cancer but gates gives his money, which is his and his right to do, to the hellholes of the rest of the world including africur!!!
    Screw microsot and their TRASH!!! I repeat, Where, o where is the genuis that can bury this co??????
    Apple is n ot the answer!!!! jobs was allegedly on lsd and his call centers are playgrounds!!!!

  70. I guess I’m one of the few lucky ones here. I have not yet experienced any problems as of yet with SP3. Every thing is still working ok that I use on my pc. Good Luck every one a pray.


  71. And they pick on Linux!
    I’m Laughing right now.
    You just don’t know how stupid you really are.
    Windows = past Linux = future.

    I know my system in and out, no sudden surprises for me.

  72. I don’t know if it is a SP3 problem but I have Auto update turned on and several weeks I lost access to my XP computer.

    I went to bed (computer on)and in the morning I could not log into the computer.

    XP starts but I cannot log in even as administrator. It just logs in and straight out again back to the log in screen.

    Safe mode is no better and if I boot from disk it still finds the log in screen.

    I don’t know how I can get into the damn thing to fix the problem. Any ideas.

  73. Could this be microsots way of forcing more people over to there latest piece of rubbish (Vista), I did not upgrade myself after reading all the reports of how bad it was, an compared to WinME, now that was a big problem for microsfoft, but nothing would surprise me in the least with such a huge company as microsoft, I still wont be upgrading to vista for a long time and have removed SP3, like they say why fix something that aint broke.

  74. Wolf Kirchmeir

    We have no problems with SP3 on either a self-built machine (XP Pro) or on an Acer laptop (XP Home). We do not use MS software (I’ve uninstalled as much as possible), and have disabled automatic update. We do not use Norton AV.

    It seems to me the SP3 problems are associated mainly with three main factors:
    a) OEM versions of XP designed for specific manufacturers;
    b) MS “integrated” software, especially older versions;
    c) Norton anti-virus.

    These factors have caused problems in the past, so I’m not surprised. IMO, anyone who accepts a machine as built is asking for trouble. It takes a bit of effort to change it to a safer configuration, and to perform regular maintenance, but both are essential.

  75. After installing SP3 my computer hangs on boot up at the Windows is starting screen and just sits there like it cant find itself,no HDD activity nothing.I have to do a hard shutdown and unplug the power cord plug it back in and try again.Sometimes this takes 2 or three tries.It doesn’t happen every boot but it does quite often.Also it seems to be a lot slower too.I have a home built computer,Biostar MB,AMD 2300 CPU,768mb ram,Nvidia GT5400 256 graphics card.I also have an Alienware with the A8N sli MB which I’m not installing it on.I wish Bill was back because it seems like since he left as CEO Microsoft has went downhill fast.I’m getting closer to buying a Mac.

  76. i tried to get to the download tool to block sp3 updates. after clicking run i need to put it in a folder. Which folder do i use?

  77. Sp3 blew up my motherboard!!! Yes that’s right after having my Windows Update set on automatic Sp3 was downloaded and when the download was complete the restart was required, guess what? Sp3 kept on restarting my computer over and over arrrghhhhhhhh!- of course I switched off at the mains in a panic!!! When the I attempted to reboot the same thing occurred along with the lovely odour of frying electrics!I was running a Celeron and have since replaced the motherboard. Do not download this corrupting piece of junk stay away!!!

  78. Tried SP3 a while ago on a small network which used Windows Home Server. Client machines had Norton 360 installed. After SP3 absolutely no connection with server. Removal of Norton 360 – problem resolved. Thank goodness for AVG!! Symantec seems to give me more problems than Microsoft.

  79. Well I too fell for the XP3 update..big mistake! When I started seeing crap associated with Vista, I got rid of it. Well, I thought I had. I have been having nothing but problems since. Slow boot, freezing, IE crashes and high speed being “no speed”
    I updated sp2 and there has been no difference.
    I will be formatting to rid my machine of the BEAST before it rears its ugly head further.

    As for those thinking this is a sales ploy or problems only associated with people who tweak…PLEASE! Believe what you want, your turn will come and hopefully not by way of the blue screen of death.

    Microsoft sucks with everything they do. They don’t care if anything works, the almighty buck speaks louder than the glitches.

    Next computer will be a MAC!

  80. I own a Dell XPS M1710 running a 2.33Ghz C2D proc (OC’d to almost 3 Ghz), 4 GB of HyperX Ram Cas 4,4,4,12, a nVidia 7900GTX OC’d to 588/701, on a intel 945pm chipset running a highly tweaked version of XP Media Center Edition. I installed SP3 the day it came out and can honestly say that I have experienced no problems that are attributable to SP3. I use Office 2007 extensively, Firefox instead of IE7(except when I have to for updates, etc.), McAfee Security Center, and Network Magic to manage my home network. When reading through the above comments and having talked to everyone I know who has installed SP3, I don’t really see a majority of users having problems. Of course that is just anecdotal, so take it with a shaker of salt. If I was one of those having problems, no doubt I would be singing a different tune. My feeling on Microsoft is that they dropped the ball in a big way with Vista (I installed it on my system about 6 months ago, but went back to XP when I saw frame rates on many of my favorite games drop nearly in half), but I don’t believe that XP has been sabotaged by Microsoft. It still performs admirably for me, and with a lot of 3rd party hacks, my desktop is indistinguishable from a Vista Aero desktop, without sacrificing compatibility and speed.

  81. I have an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU @ 2.40GHz with 3.50 GB of ram. I’ve installed the SP3 and haven’t had a lick of problems what so ever. Don’t know whats the big hype is about with SP3 anyway. I guess no computer runs the same or acts the same. Mine acts the same as if it didn’t needed the upgrade. Go figure.

  82. since I installed sp3, if i have a usb memory stick still in port, when booting I get no boot device found, i un plug the usb memory sticks, reboot and it boots right up.
    I think microsoft has woken the sleeping bear this time, everyone I talk to says they took vista off there machine and reinstalled xp, so if microsoft is no longer going to support xp, I think a lot omore people will be trying linyx.
    But-buy MS, your balls finally got to big and you’ve been fuc*ing people around too long, you forgot that what goes up, eventually comes down.

  83. I have installed sp3 on 3 of 4 machines and have had zero problems. Now these machines are in tip top condition and this one recently formatted. The machines are as follows:
    1. P4 2ghz 32bit socket 478 XP Home
    2. P4 3ghz 32bit socket 478 AGP XP Pro
    3. P4 3ghz 32bit socket 478 PCIE XP Pro SP3 not installed
    4. P3 800mhz 32bit socket 370 XP Pro

    I have had sp3 installed since it came out on the 3 of 4 machines and haven’t noticed anything at all. I manually installed them before the first warning email. A psu blew up on the pcie machine and I just fixed it today, this is why sp3 is not on that machine. Wish me luck! 😛

  84. “Uninstall information for the Windows XP SP3 Release Candidate – to uninstall Windows XP SP3, follow these steps: click Start, click Run, type appwiz.cpl, and then click OK; click Change or Remove Programs; click Windows XP Service Pack 3 (936929), and then click Remove and restart the computer”, Microsoft revealed. It will uninstall SP3 and you will return to SP2 this is a easy fix to alot of peoples problems if they want to return to Windows SP2! After uninstalling SP3 you can turn off automatic updates and do not use express install if you do a manual windows update. You can chose which update to install and block out SP3 from installing. change setting so it will not ask to install SP3 again.

    Myself I have installed SP3 on several machines with no problems to mention. I am running XP Home SP3 with a AMD Duron 1.6Ghz processor overclocked to 2.087 Ghz with 1536Mb of ram 1 gig of pc3200 and two 256Mb of pc2100.

  85. I had significant problems with SP3. I didn’t even know that it was installing it until I booted up my computer, and when it was supposed to reach the deck top, it would shut down. Safe mode or starting from last point when it worked did not work at all. It took a total whip out down to the hard drive and a change of windows with cost me 120.00 Dollars on the 30th of May to straighten it out. Now I won’t install none of it. I called Microsoft on the issue, and they were not taking responsibility at all. Big money Big business. When they lead they make us follow and don’t care. I’m not surprised.

  86. Running a HP with Intel 920 Chip, Media Center 5.
    Hardware consists of 2- 250 sata drives along with Nvidia TV card. Usb ports packed, along with other items.
    There is 5 users using this system every day and is switched on and off throughout the day.
    Note: When installing service pack 3 I had turned off all virus scanners and also Norton 360…so it was down to the bare bones on the task bar. Installed service pack and have had no problems with the system at all. Checked the restore points and found that they are all there as expected with about 15 restore points.
    The virus scanners ect..installed are Norton 360, Cyberhawk, Spyware terminator.

    I do alot of testing of beta programs which puts me into a category of somewhat a risk taker.

    All I can say is that follow what Microsoft states and even PC Pitstop has said before. Don’t install anything like a service pack with all the virus scanners running and or other crap running on the task bar. Makes sense to me and should make sense to you.

    What Microsoft should do is when a update is to be installed onto a system it should follow this process and it would be clean.
    1. Download the update a store in a directory on the system.
    2. Microsoft Windows should have a shell program that is
    then initiated to reboot windows in a as I would say bare
    bones running processes.
    3. Microsoft would then install update without all the backround crap people put on their systems.
    4. Microsoft would then reboot the system to restart all the applications that a user has installed and go through each process to apply the functions through the registry.
    5. Problems eliminated to very few if any with this route.

    I feel that this should be done with any Microsoft update as the potential of any file that should not be running in the backround will not corrupt their hard work at trying to build workarounds for peoples own mistakes.

    Bill needs to make sure that the system is where the update clean install without interference.

  87. Timothy M Alberts

    I’m running xp w/sp3 for the last 3 to 4 weeks w/no blue screens or other problems yet most of the reg. errors were fix by registry first aid I have upgraded 5 of them to xpsp3 2 of them are p3 800mhz machines one is a p3 600mhz & one is a p4 3.0HT & one is a amd Turion64 the brands are 1 compaq & 4 Gateways

  88. George Stockwell

    I run three computers – 2 x desktops and 1 x laptops – all on a wireless network and all at XP SP2. Each has a D-Link wireless card. Stable as a rock until I accepted XP SP3 update. Systems would no longer recognise the wireless connection. Similar complaints from many users of D-Link wireless cards. Initially D-Link were taking the heat for the problem but I guess we all now know where the poor quality control really comes from. In the end I guess D-Link will have to do Microsoft’s fixing for them

  89. Great! Thanks so much Sho for yor reasearch and information. This is great info that everyone should know and be aware of! Thanks

  90. Service Pack 3 froze on installation. It totally trashed my system and zapped my restore. I had to slick the drive and re-install from recovery disks I had to order from Sony. While I was waiting I tried Ubuntu Linux and I am hooked. Thanks, and Bye Bye Microsoft. PS: I also lost my Hard Drive on XP Svc Pack 1.

  91. I consider myself lucky…I had serious connection problems with my old Windows 2000 workstation not being able to access my XP SP2 machine. Once I installed SP3 the problem was gone.

    However, the problem with IE6 crashing and freezing returned. I experience that right after installing SP2 and it took about 3 months before Microsoft released an update fixing it. Each time the error report comes up I make sure I send it to Microsoft. They probably have 100’s of them from me by now.

    I’ve had no other problems with Office or any other application for that matter…Guess I should zip it before I speak too loudly. My question is why is it that everytime Microsoft fixes something, they break it again with a new update. That’s what users should be screaming about!

  92. I have installed SP3 on 4 computers and I haven’t had any issues, I think you are just trying to sell your product!!!

  93. Glad to see that there ARE folks out there aren’t having any probs at all with sp3… the more and more I read here I can see that it has a lot to do with all the strange setups/tweaks that folk have all over the place…

    My machine (a duocore HP laptop 2Gigs Ram, 1 Tb Storage, an ATI mobile Radeon 1600,)is used for audio recording and is more or less stripped of “SicroMoft’s” crappy programs (i.e. mediaplayer)… Keep all of HP’s Monopol in the background too… Use the machine as barebones as possible… only “tweaks” are cosmetic and of course a little net speed… Again… Had/have exactly ZERO Probs with sp3, so ppl before ranting & raving about just how bad SicroMoft’s Crap IS… try getting ur setup’s “homginized”… or just rollback, OR… just for the hell of it… find ur own “work around”… Has the whole world turned into “Whiners”???

  94. Makes me wonder if this is MS way to sabatoge faithful XP and force the masses to make the move to Vista, it’s tempting to go to a Mac from here and let the microminds sit on thier os.

  95. I had automatic updates set on my computer but when I read about SP3 I reset that to download but don’t install.

    Are there other updates I need to look out for?

  96. I installed SP3 about a month ago on a Thinkpad T60 with no glitches, no issues, no problems. Can’t say the system runs better or worse since then. Issues with huge amount of excess overhead inherent with the Thinkpad Thinkvantage software didn’t change. Boot time is VERY slow, but unrelated to SP3, which I had hoped would speed things up. But so far, so good.

  97. I installed SP3 on May 14. No problems so far on my HP laptop running XP media edition(so far). Keeping my fingers crossed.

  98. With all of the wonderful problems that Windows has been lately I can say with out a doubt that my next computer will be an IMAC!!

  99. roger williams

    can’t be assed.. back tracked to get it working again
    including firefox but saying that back to where we started
    things still runing fine
    when thay sort it out ( this and firefox)
    be glad to use it (caused havoc for me for a little while )

  100. I installed SP3 once it was released for download, but not yet available on Windows Update. I downloaded the version for IT admins to install on multiple pcs and burned it to a disk…I did the complete version, not the one that requires you to log on to finish. I installed on a Compaq P4 2.5 with 1 Gig of RAM and I when I installed XP Pro from the Restore Disk on a brand new, clean drive that I installed when I got the machine, I installed SP2 from the CD Microsoft mailed out several years agao, immediately after the Windows Install…before I cluttered the machine up with a lot of stuff. To my recollection, I had installed all of the available updates from Windows update prior to installing SP3. As of this point, knock on wood, I have had no issues. I stopped using Norton about 2 or 3 years ago, as it got to the point it was doing more harm than good, the firewall was blocking ALL my e-mail both incoming and outgoing…even after I told it not to. It caused all kinds of system instabilities, not to mention slowing it down to a crawl. Yahoo Messenger and Norton AV/Internet Security have caused me more crashes than anything else out there…consistantly and for many years. Don’t be so quick to blame Microsoft for everything. It appears to me that the common thread here is that people installed from auto updates. I got tired of autoupdate forcing a reboot without my permission in the middle of the night while I was sleeping, so I have it set to download but not install auto updates.

    To anyone upgrading the Service Pack…Run Windows update, go to Trend Micro and run Housecall, then defrag before installing. Close all running programs, especially your “Internet Security” suites and go for it, after backing everything up and setting your restore point.

    It has been my experience that the cleaner your system is when you install a Service Pack, the better off you will be…even better if you can do it after a clean install before you even install ANY other software on your system. ESPECIALLY before installing Antivirus software.

  101. Hey Mike, it’s easy for you to sit back and criticize both PCPitstop and us poor computer dummies since you are so PC savvy and have had no problems with SP3. Congratulations to you. I am a HOME user, get it? I have no problem admitting I’m not all that PC savvy. I also happen to be extremely lucky because I turned off automatic updates 2 years ago and now only do custom installs. And I read MS’s knowledge based bulletins on ALL updates, and SP3 sounded very, very bad to me, so I did not install it. But what do I know? I’m just a HOME user in her 60’s who is even slightly paranoid and believes MS is trying to kill XP and blame it on us dummies. That way they don’t have to answer the outrage of thousands of XP users who are demanding continued support for it. I’m sure they at least appreciate your helpful remarks.

  102. I’ve installed SP3 on quite a few OEM computers without a problem. I always set automatic updates on clients and friends computers, otherwise it’s unlikely to get updated until I’m on site again.

    It would be great if somebody created a database of as many computer specifications as possible whether they have problems or not, to try and identify if it’s any of the hardware or driver versions that are causing the problems.

    Don’t look this way, I’m hoping to move house a few thousand miles soon.

  103. So far i have not seen issues with Windows XP SP3. I am now on a fresh drive reformat, having just installed SP3, and everything went flawless.

    I’m running an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor (1.86ghz)
    2gigs of ram
    and an Nvidea Geforce 7600GT Graphics card.

    I guess im one of the lucky ones…

  104. Hello to all those folks having upgrade blues. with the exception of 3 or 4 issues, SP3 works great. So don’t dump on Microsoft if you have failed to realize that:

    1.) Your O.S. (XP Pro in my case) software should be the newest files on your computer because Microsoft needs time to analyze various issues regarding software interactions.

    2.)With each piece of non-Microsft software, procede VERY Carefully when installing. Check the net for any problems. If the ad-ons are a few years old, chances are, they’ll install just fine. Forget about “THE LATEST” goodies — you’re are just asking for trouble!!!

    3.) When upgrading service packs, first back up everything. Then, either reformat your drive or use a new drive and re-install the O.S. up to and including the most recent service pack.

    I wonder if many are forgetting the incredible complexity of the innumerable lines of code in their computers. There are always bound to be problems with a new service pack. All the more reason to follow the above caveats.

    My system has been running with SP3 and IE7 for 3 weeks now with no sign of trouble. But then again, this was a new system, so I went right for the service packs and IE updates first.

    Happy Computing…

  105. Installed SP3 on our 8 home built systems now without a problem. All have IE7 and Office ’03. We don’t use Symantec software.

    I did have a problem with the reboot loop when installing the SP3 beta on my test machine. Funny though that I built it myself with an genuine Microsoft OEM XP SP2 disc (which we use for all our systems) and all of our systems are Intel CPUs, no AMD’s in this house. So the reboot loop wasn’t just an AMD thing with slipstreamed OEM AMD discs. At any rate, the problem seems to have been fixed on the final SP3 release.

    I recommended to all our customers last week (5-30-08) that SP3 is now safe to install. So far no problems reported by anyone. 🙂

  106. Duane Hurlbert

    XP SP3 caused my Trend Micro 2008 to stop functioning. It had an error that said it needed my help with, when you try to open the control panel it gives me the error message that two memory positions cannot be read. When trying to fix the problem, Trend Micro gives the error that Trend Micro 2000 is not compatible with my new operating system….

  107. I have put SP3 on all four of my machines.
    P3, AMD Athlon64, AMD Athlon63 X2, Intel C2D.
    All running XP Pro
    I have had ZERO problems !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  108. I installed SP3 via updater on a new Dell system and have not had a single problem. Maybe because it was new and clean??

  109. It would be nice of Apple to start offering its OS to computer companies, maybe MS will feel the competition and start offering a OS that is not turning out to be a lemon. XP was a decent OS and has been, but now that Vista doesn’t work and I’m sure Windows 7 will be anything but lucky it is time to start putting aside money for a couple of Mac’s, and I’m not talking “big mac’s”. I’m talking goodbye Microslugs. If you can’t make a decent product why should I invest in a Yugo. I’m just curious how many really, after all the problems with XP Sp 1 and Sp 2, went ahead and downloaded Sp 3. If it ain’t broke why fix it.
    Just run 3 anti-virus and two firewalls. And choose wisely which updates you download.

  110. Gee, I must have been lucky. I had a problem with the initial installation on my AMD motherboard (Compaq Presario), remover dyhe service pack then went to the microsoft downloads site and rdownloaded the service pack as a standalone. Then I went to the microsoft communities area and checked for posts in the windows xp area ( found several fixes used the first fix and reloaded the service pack successfully from my flash chip.

    So far none of the other problems have surfaced.

  111. I have windows XP home edition 2002 and had problems before installing it. Sometimes I would have to shut down and restart the hard way because it would get hung up on the start up. After installing SP-3 I have been trouble free. I went to their site and read what you needed to know before installing and it was very smooth. I love sp-3.

  112. Hey , I have an 8800 series Dell and I have not had any problems. Matter of fact I think it even performs better……

  113. I have installed XP SP3 on five computers, three work fine so far. One wouldn’t shut down (unless I unplugged it), and would continuely restart. The other wouldn’t install anything from Windows update. Searching Google we found fixes for both, in a few hours.

  114. I installed SP3 Beta on my modest Dell laptop.

    I’ve experienced only 1 problem, to wit, the address bar has been excluded from the taskbar (a condition of the anti-trust decision against MS). I’m currently using a 3rd party address bar. The system does hesitate, esp. when I open IE7, or even Firefox. Don’t know if it’s related. Relevent or not, I use a USB wireless mouse and have Norton Internet Security 2008 installed. I have searched the registry for “$%&” and found no such entries. Windows reports SP3, v3311. Windows Update is on but it has not offered to install the current version on either of my Dell/Intel machines. System Restore is turned off on both units and I’m nearly sure it was off when I installed the SP3 Beta. Haven’t noticed degraded or improved system performance as a result of installing the Beta.

    Anyone who’s familiar w/ MS knows to steer clear of new software for a minimum time (some say a year depending on who you ask).

  115. Loaded SP3 on a HP Pavillion with MS Media center. Duel core 2.4 gig system with 2 gig of ram. The update seemed to go well until I was to restart. Then the system wouldn’t boot up. It was DOA. Tried all my tricks and nothing worked. Had to re-load XP and loat tons of files, pictures, Word docs, XL files etc. I am in recovery mode now and am reloading my favorite programs. Don’t download SP?!$%*#.

  116. Martin D. (June 6th) says he has a problem with loss of DVD/CD drivers. Do you have Norton 360 v.1, Martin? I did and they were lost always after a 360 scan. Following a reboot, Vista reported that a major problem had occurred and would attempt to repair itself, which after 15 minutes, it did. After some email exchanges with Norton Support were unproductive, I found the problem myself. After the scans, I checked to see if the drivers were missing. They were! After Vista repaired itself, they were installed. I reported this to Norton Support who then then provided a download to 360 v.2. This did the trick. Vista has been brilliant on my now 11 month old machine. It repairs itself, also, friends corrupted hard drives and corrupted flash memory.

    Mt old machine with a Pentium 4, 2.4gb processor, has been passed to my daughter. I stripped lots of rubbish from it and left WinXP Pro, MS Office 2003 and othe basic software requirements. I did change Windows to auto update as I guessed it would otherwise get no updates. SP 3 was downloaded and works with no problems. It is noticeably faster than before.

  117. Ive installed sp3 on more that 30 computers of different brands,, and no problem,,,yes, IE7 works perfect,,
    Re format your computer yearly,,,I feel like they are putting sp3 on a computer that needs reformatting,,, you cant add good files on junk,,,it wont work.

  118. 6 comps installed on here and not a problem with SP3…I still have the “IE error and needs to close” problem that was there with SP2 though, that I was hoping would clear up with installing SP3.That one p’s me off from losing all pages working with when it happens…and too damn often too

  119. 6 comps here and not a problem...still have the IE error need to close problem that was there with SP2 too

    6 comps installed on here and not a problem with SP3…I still have the “IE error and needs to close” problem that was there with SP2 though, that I was hoping would clear up with installing SP3.That one p’s me off from losing all pages working with when it happens…and too damn often too

  120. I managed to successfully instal SP3 over three weeks ao on one of my base units, but was unsuccessful on the other.

    I haven’t noticed any problems so far that I could definitely attribute to SP3. Any problems like the odd IE7 freeze-up that tends to occur now and again, was already happening prior to the SP3 installation.

  121. I have a HP with an AMD processor, received an update on the HP popup on the taskbar and installed the update which was supposed to eliminate any problems associated with SP3. After the update my cpu went into continuous reboot. Could not boot in safe mode and ended up spending $105 at a computer service center whenre they ran my restore disk (which in retrospect I sould have done myself) and I am now in the process of reinstalling all my programs! Customer support at both HP and MS was palms up and worthless. I think a class action suit is warranted. I should have bought an Apple!

  122. I installed XP SP3 the first day MicroSoft offered it through automatic updates. I went to the download catalog and saved it to file, then installed it. It installed ok. I then did the same with my laptop with the same results. They are both running just fine (thank the Lord)as of today. Best of luck to all! If You have not installed it yet, I advise not to. I got lucky so far.

    In Christ,

  123. I loaded SP3 6 days ago. The decline was slow and had me checking several different things over the last few days. My notebook then started having problems finding it’s devices. I have adaquate Anitvirus and Spy and well as a registry checker. I ran 3 deep scans and then the registry check without updates. It found 2087 entries in error. I run it weekly and was one day short of it’s typical run. Something happened… So, the only thing I could see that installed was SP3. I restored to a day prior to the SP3 unpate. Everything is back to normal and I have all my devices. I run a HP NC2510, 2GB 1.83 Core 2 with 120 GB HD.. Coincidential?

  124. I built a new machine in Jan, 2008….it has an XFX XFX Nforce 680i LT1 mobo @266 mhz… Phoenix BIOS LTD 6.00 PG dated 09/27/2007. I also have an Intel 2.40 ghz Core2 Quad Q6600, with 2 gb Ram. with 320 gb HD. I also use an 80 gb HD for all my backup stuff,and any internet downloads….
    I installed SP3 through Microsoft’s advance feature that “reserved” my copy of SP3 when it was ready for download….SP3 ran great but I got skittish when I read of all the multitude of problems the “masses” were having…….. and I uninstalled it. I’m now back to SP2 again and things are running fine… with one exception and perhaps someone could help me out……….. I am unable to do a “System Defragment”… from the “All Programs Menu”. Acessories, System Tools, Defragment….. I am, on the other hand, able to go to my Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management Shortcut, then select the Disk Defragmenter from the Storage List” and do the normal disk defrag. Is there a possibility the install and un-install of SP 3 has messed up the Defrag? When I try and do the defrag from the Accesories menu I get the error message:
    “MMC cannot open file: c:WINDOWSsystem32dfrg.msc.” ” This may be because the fikle doesn’t exist, is not a MMC Console or was created by a later version of MMC” “This may also be because you do not have sufficient access rights to the file”…….As I say, I have had no problems with Defrag in the past and don’t know if it was working or not after I installed SP3……..Any ideas????

  125. I have installed SP3 on many PCs. No problems.
    1. We stopped using Symantec products years ago since they were not uninstallable and simply did not find the bad stuff out there.
    2. We ONLY use IE 7.0 and remove anything else.
    3. We keep all the obscure software off the systems.
    4. The only issue I had was with Dell “support”. They had a user go back to a previous date which unfixed what was fixed. Dell has no idea how to do DSL with a router, along with almost anything else.

  126. I have installed it on my HP laptop and home PC, Word and Office 2003 and 2007 both work, all network connections appear, i do not have symantec, and have all restore points.
    Sorry about your luck.

  127. Have installed SP3 on 3 machines with no problem at work. At home it flatly refuses to install. Work machines are running a bunch of different programs. Maybe Im just lucky so far. Can believe Microsoft cannot do a better job. If I could go MAC I would.

  128. I have sp3 have had it since the 2nd release date around may 10th. NEVER once had any probs with anything loading up or running. Its in your personal settings for most people who are having problems. Ive been using pc’s now for 11 years . I NEVER DO AUTO UPDATE as most of the crap they send you to update is usless anyway.i have a pent 4 3.4 ghz 4 gig 667 mhz memory standard pc for most. Does everythign i need it to do . NEVER a problem with word , money works office nothing. Check your settings before saying its someone elses fault

  129. After SP3 blindsided my system, i could not get on to any internet site using IE7, opera, or firefox. did a system restore, and all went well…the next night SP3 came back to haunt me, did another system restore and disabled all microsoft updates and life is great

  130. I haven’t had any problems with the SP3-I still use the Internet Explorer 6 which originally came with XP.
    As for recovery points, I’ve deactivated the Windows System Recovery and use Acronis True Image 11.0 Home (this program is a piece of genius-takes about 10 minutes to take your PC back to where you liked it). Of course I have the recovery point on an external DVD disc. If Windows’ Autoupdate and Security reminders keep pestering you, unclick them at MSConfig-u’ll find them under services at Config

  131. I have installed it on two HP Laptops and a computer running a amd bassed motherboard… and to date there has been no problems !!!

  132. I installed SP3 on 4 PCs (Sony Vaio laptop, HP a720n, eMachines T2862, my own e8400-based custom build) without a problem. All machines are operating properly (buggy PCs are no buggier, slow machines are no slower). The only noticeable side-effect is the slow response of the printer driver on my custom built PC but this has always been finicky. I have Vista Ultimate SP1 installed on my HTPC and it works well for the most part.

    Having said all this, I am migrating as many of my machines as feasible to Linux (Ubuntu distro). Performance of the PCs is much better and cost doesn’t even compare. I’d go to Mac but there are feature-competitive Linux distros that don’t have the costly entry-point.

    While the SP3 upgrade hasn’t caused me problems, I’m just tired of the Microsoft tax and the OS bloat.

  133. Appsolutely no errors of any kind here… Intell due processor 4 gig ram 3 hard drives windows xp media center edition…

  134. All of this is pure BS. There’s nothing wrong with SP3, i myself and A LOT of colleagues have installed this important update and we haven’t seen any issues with it.
    I’d dare to say these kind of articles just direct users to change their OS and move to the crappy Vista.
    Pure marketing strategies from MS & friends.

  135. Ladies and Gentlemen:

    I downloaded SP3 and have had no problems. Mine was an upgrade since I had been running Windows XP, SP2. I am also running Trend Micro security, and if there was a problem they will catch it or will not let me download.

  136. So far so good for me, haven’t experienced a single problem, i have a gateway with intel celeron D processor

  137. It is very scary reading through everyone’s woe’s. I put together my own PC, all intel from the board to chipsets and sound. It was actually designed to run fast with Vista but since I have 30 programs that will not work with vista I decided to go back to XP. I do have SP3 on my system and have already recieved many updates since the install. Not a glitch so far. Now I dont know if this has anything to do with it but I have had Reg Cure installed since before the update and it runs countless times per day. Maybe it caught any idiocies before it could damage the system but I dont know for sure as my system runs great…

  138. Same here I am running a AMD64 on a epox motherboard and no issues with sp3. Since I installed Winxp SP3 havent seen any issue with my nic card. Or the issues other people are having.

  139. just a follow-up, installed xp3, on sony laptop
    vgnfj150,hp DV1000 (added 2GB memory, bought both sticks at frys electronics 4 $54.35)and dell desktop. have had no issues since installs. i ran sppware/virus,(pitstop program) first,ran norton 360 v2full scan, dumped temp files,registry clean-up etc, then defraged. then installed XP SP3. all three computers to date are having no issues. i am a happy camper thanks to pitstop, i recommend to others all the time, and tell them to run always first, the full tests, and buy the programs as needed to keep their computer running at top performance.

  140. Lol. Using Windows XP Professional SP2, and I’m taking NO Chances to upgrade to SP3. Stay away, UNLESS, you want to format your harddrive and lose all of your valuble data!

  141. I installed XP SP3 and have had no problems at all I have it on both my laptop and my desktop both which are Vista ready. Maybe it is a problem with older slower computers that just can not handle the speed necessary to run the program correctly. My registry is not full of those problem entries. I keep my systems updated and as clean as possible. I am also a computer programmer by education but work in a totally different field.. With both computers running with dual proccessors and 2gb of ram All my programs, games and interent run great with no glitches or slow downs..

  142. I have installed SP3 on over 80 machines since it was released. On four computers the install failed. That’s it, it failed four times. On those four computers there were no negative results resulting from the failed installs. Two of those were Mac Powerbooks. I know that sounds weird, but they came as part of two ultrasound units in a doctors office. The manufacturer blew away the Mac OS and installed XP Pro. When I called him to ask why they pulled such a stunt, he said the marketing department liked the brushed stainless case as it went with the rest of the equipment. Also, they wanted Macs. They got them, just without the Mac OS. I didn’t think SP3 would install with that equipment and I was right.


  143. I installed SP3 right after it came out, and I ended up having to completely wipe my computer, and 2 hard drives. This little bugger took out 300 gigs of photos, and work I had poured my soul into. I lost my job because I couldn’t recover the data I’d lost. I had the endless reboot, and the BSOD.

  144. Runs fine for me did a fresh install sp1 sp2 sp3 in that order my windows has never been better. If you have a junk registry to start with this is a monster but for best results i suggest keeping windows on a seperate drive and doing a fresh install!!

  145. im glad ive been running good. may 20th i did a reformat, installed sp2 from disc and installed sp3 from windows update. no problems.

  146. I have an ASUS motherboard with dual Intel processors. I had several incidents with registry errors after installing SP3. However, I was able to clean them up with Registry Booster and Registry Mechanic. I did not see any additional problems after loading SP3. However, I have been getting random “vanishing connections (in this case computer lockups- no blue screen) and missing network cards” as mentioned above. I started getting this with SP2 after I loaded IE7. Frankly I think IE7 is the culprit for this problem. Cleaning IE7 cookies and cache manually seems to prevent the problem most of the time. The browser gets really sluggish just before it locks up the whole system (otherwise there is no other indication a catastrophic event ever occurred). However I am using PC-cillin (anti-virus only), Ad-Aware, Spybot and Registry Booster full time to keep things super clean. It has fixed my problems 99.5% of the time.

  147. I have one computer I built using OEM Vista Home Premium with SP1 and all other updates with no problems of any kind. The second computer made locally and about 5 years old has XP Home with SP3 and updates with no problems now. The one problem was messenger starting when Outlook Express was opened despite clearing all boxes to prevent it. I eventually uninstalled messenger through Add/Remove/Windows programs. That method never worked before but it does now. If that hadn’t worked I would have just renamed the messenger file so it could’nt be found. In regards to System restore, I turn it off and use Erunt. It is far superior and makes a restore point when the computer is turned on the first time each day. You can even make your own restore points when adding software or running a reg cleaner, etc. If Erunt was used you would’nt have MS deleting restore points. You can get Erunt at

  148. I have successfully upgraded some 12 XP Professional systems (all Intel except 1 AMD) with SP3 without any problems. In every case, I followed up with disk defrag, Registry cleaning and Virus/Spam Protection run. Just luck?

  149. Maybe my brain is waisting away, but I did install SP3 the first day available on my Emachine T2885 and have had absolutely no problems. Also have IE7pro on system before SP3. I also use Netscape 7.2 and no problems. What is your advice?

  150. I’ve had no problems since installing this update. I have a Dell Dimension C521 running XP Version 2002, SP3 v. 3311, on an AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3200+. I use Automatic Update all the time. I don’t use Norton at all, rather McAfee Security Suite. I don’t use MS Office, rather MS Works. I have several manual and automatic “cleaner” programs for each of the Registry, temporary files, junk files, cookies, adware, spyware, and malware, and run them weekly (at least). I’m wondering if dumping all the blame at the foot of Microsoft is being a bit simplistic.

  151. I’ve noticed on all my XP SP3 machines, even the default IE 7 struggling to open at times. Click the icon, and wait….and wait….and wait. Check task manager and the it sez IE7 is using a lil over 35,000, when it should be twice that much when running correctly. So, it’s not just the branded IE7’s that are getting screwed.

  152. Guess I’m one of the lucky ones. Got a Micro-Star KN8 AMD Athlon 64×2 3800 Socket 939 m.b with 2 gigs memory, Nvidia Network Controller, Nvidia Graphics Card.

    No problems so far. SP3 installed with no hicups and been running good ever since.

    But ya also gotta understand that I have minimal services running in the background (18 for what Bill Gates thinks I need and 5 user option).

    Use NOD32 for antivirus, ZoneAlarm for firewall, Linksys Wireless Router, DSL internet connection.

    Hopefully it will keep running as it has since 15 May when I updated.

    Hope everyone gets their problems fixed. It’s a damn shame that MS still puts out BS.

    Now go have a great day.


  153. Boy, I sure feel for you guys … I remember the days when I used Windows. Macs are so much better. And if you need to run Windows, they can do that to. Amazing machines! Solid Unix operating system.

  154. Patches on the patches. Sooner or later it gets ya! Saw this with software development in engineering. So, XP has a lot of miles on it and stuff is bound to get lost, corrupted, conflicted, et al. But, here’s something positive related to above. I installed SP3 on my ancient eMachine with MSI mutha-board, Intel powered. Didn’t crash but kinda clunky – especially during boot. Then I did something wonderful – installed Norton Antivirus 2008. The biggest improvement in speed and system smoothness I’ve seen in years. Then came the updates from Norton which I surmise were related to SP3. I’ve been golden since (knock on wood). Maybe we all need Norton Antivirus? These guys have always been on top of the game, we used it at EDS for years – not perfect but seem to do a first rate job. But remember this: There is not such thing as bug-free software. Gonna git cha sooner or later! Mike

  155. I installed Sp3 on first day available so far so good. I don’t see any difference in performance good or bad. If I have problems I am in trouble because I run restore at bare minimum. I also had no problems with Sp2

  156. I specialize in software installation and repair and from my own experience and contact with customers SP3 will foul up most newer AMD/HP machines and users of Symnatec products. Users who install and/or auto install SP3 without turning off or disabling their Antivirus software will also strike problems. If your machine is clean (ie registry, temp files, %temp% files etc) Sp3 will run well and marginally improve performance. If you 3rd party download Sp3 ie Cnet etc you had better turn off your Autoupdate.

  157. Something is wrong here. I have seen people who installed XP SP3, with absolutely no problems. As to those ‘garbage’ entries in the registry, I’ve seen a few of them in Vista and Vista SP1 in all honesty. In fact, about once a week I have to remove garbage entries from the ‘Local Machine’ registry hive because some application (it appears to be Microsoft Office on Vista) keeps on putting them into the registry and it slows down the computer MASSIVELY.

    Something tells me these problems are not totally a problem with SP3, but with SP3 AND some pieces of hardware and software out there, that Microsoft was too darn stupid to test on.

  158. Has everybody forgotten about THE FIX for all Windows problems? Guatanteed to work.

    1. Save all you data to whatever (another partitions, DVD, etc).

    2. Insert “Startup Diskette” or “Startup CD” (I made my own from the excellent one in Win 98 SE.)

    3. Shuit down and restart.

    4. When it’s up, enter “Format C:”

    5. Reinstall a Half-Decent version of Windows.

    6. When ready, use the dreadful IE ONCE to go to either or, and permanently fix that problem.

    7. Be Happy!

  159. Installed SP3 , no problems what so ever , no significant changes to pc were needed , however I imagine had I had some type of spyware,adware, virus etc etc etc … I would have had some problems. As some have said , it is best to keep your pc clean as possible and keep it maintained as you would anything else (house , car , etc etc ..)

  160. I installed SP3 with no problems what so ever! word works just fine every application works fine! I did the install manually but did all of the other install’s that came before it manually first. this includes all of the office updates. Like the one pesn said, I must be one of the lucky ones!

  161. Have Sp3 installed on both my Intel based desktop and AMD laptop with no problems. I guess it’s more of a “weirdly” configured system problem than an update one.

  162. It’s been a month now since I installed SP3 and no problems to-date. I have notice my web browser is working faster and boot time is quicker. But.. I have not notice anything else that SP3 has done. I have four computers in my network and all seem to be fine after updating to SP3.

  163. Sean-Ryan Sullivan

    Well, I think it’s a bit harsh saying that SP3 is a ‘viper’. Although M$ has not had the best track record, these issues are limited to a specific set of configurations. I don’t have an AMD processor nor an AMD mobo, I don’t have Home Server, haven’t had any issues with Word, have had no registry corruption, and If I ever found a ‘branded’ version of IE7 on my system it would have been immediately wiped off my drive as soon as I discovered it as I do for any Big Box Branded computers (Dell and HP to be more specific). All in all, SP3 has done nothing wrong nor has it made any improvements on my system.

  164. Concerning the hide&seek icons, I lost my volume icon permanant and my anti-virus is there on one boot-up and not there the next, so I’m thinking thats what was meant by hide & seek icons. I have an intel P4 3ghz with biostar MB

  165. I have installed xp sp3 and have no problems with anything at all. I have office 2007, norton and loads of main games and programs and have no glitches. When i went to vista then i get all the errors. I have A Intel core 2 quad and asus mobo.

  166. I dunno, I have no problems with SP3. NOne. NO registry issues, no programs stalling, no problems running it. I’ve had it for about, three four five weeks now and I haven’t had a single issue. 🙂 (Dell Dimension 9100, Pentium 4 with 1 gig ram)

  167. I have three machines here, 1 XP Pro, 2 XP Home .
    1 is a Pentium 4 Dell 8124 the others are AMD Socket 2 dual core on Abit boards.

    I installed SP3 on all 3 machines as soon as it came out and have as yet seen no issues of any kind at all.

  168. I am not quite sure whether it has given me problems or not. I did first a repair install using xp with slipstreamed sp2 on an older cranky machine which fixed a lot of problems I had been having. (I am still not sure of the origin of these, but I suspect some corrupt stuff in the registry). I then added sp3 which made no apparent difference to anything. The machine eventually was working better than it had done for years, so I decided to add a bit more ram, then an extra HD via an ide porton a pci card. Then stuff started going downhill, though I am not certain of the reason or reasons, and the machine eventually died. I have now built a new system (intel board, sata drive in ide mode, 1gb ram) and used the same slipstreamed disk followed (after a brief interval during which update had already downloaded and installed about 90 updates)by sp3. SO FAR everything has been absolutely fine. Make of this what you will, but at the very least, it seems to work OK on a clean system. I have also installed the Japanese beta version (downloaded before Christmas)on a second-hand laptop I bought for my wife, again with no apparent problems.

  169. I can say that I have no problems with SP3. It installed cleanly, I installed IE7 cleanly and have not had any network problems. I haven’t had any problems with Word or my motherboard or BIOS.

    It could be that the SP will only conflict with some makes of computer or certain series of Hardware from a brand.

    I use Pheonix Technologies BIOS, and my brother who has an AMD motherboard has no problems either.

  170. I have had nothing but issues w/ SP3, iAStor errors are slowing my pc to a halt,- my system have been running flawlessly for a year and the minute SP3 is installed, it goes to hell,- how can anyone ignore the countless complaints all over the net?- all one have to do is google it and read about this nightmare.- I have to agree :; – STAY AWAY FROM SP3.

  171. Wait just 1 second, Microsoft deserve an award for their release of XP3, and before you jump down my throat hear me out. OK we all hate VISTA, and MS know this, so just to be helpful, they want to release service pack 3 to mae our transition to VISTA that little easier, sweet you may say, but (dum dum dum Sinister Music Plays) MS play the oldest game in the book, they have intentionally created a pack that will corrupt every system that its installed on, we are then requested to mess about for so long until we give in and go to VISTA, nice try MS, These MS guys are paid 6 figure salaries to make mistakes, this was an intentional move by MS and I’d argue anyone who could prove me wrong, Now im going into hiding before MS send a hitman after me.

  172. SP3 left me unable to play video in Media Center- Code 13 error, similar to what SP1 did to people. I applied the fix from then and it worked. But I had to reinstall SP3 and the same video problem came back and this time no attempts by me could get video/tv working with MCE. So I went out and got Vista, which is maybe microsoft’s objective

  173. I had problems with IE 7 after installing XP SP3, but installed IE 8 Beta. This fixed the problem for me.
    Apart form that everything seems OK.

  174. Don’t get it!!! Installed sp3 with NO hitches… Everything works… Ran into some trouble with the beta release but haven’t had any probs at all with the final… So… whats up with your setups that cause all the problems??? and what is the percentage of ppl having hassles compared to ppl having no probs at all???

  175. Just thought I’d put a note in regarding my experience with installing SP3. I’ve installed it on 70+ machines that I manage and not one has shown any problems. All the machines have system restore turned off. We use daily Acronis Disk imaging on all systems. I tend to agree with Keith – 5th June – many systems are corrupt before the SP3 update – and then SP3 gets the blame.

  176. I run an AMD desktop. After reloading XP following a crash I accepted about 45 updates and then switched off auto updates to avoid MicroSoft’s nag icon in the bottom right hand corner.

    Having read all the problems with XP SP3 and AMD processors, for which many thanks to Pitstop PC, I shall not be switching them on again for some time.

    Keep up the good work, Pitstop!

  177. I had “download but don’t install” turned on when Microsoft dumped SP3 on us. SP3 is downloaded on two of my PCs and I get a prompt to install it every time that I turn on the PCs. Does anyone know how to delete the SP3 downloads totally? It is somewhat like knowing that I have cancer but not knowing how to remove it–albeit the analogy is imperfect. I am running XP Pro MCE 2005 on one PC and XP Pro on the other.

  178. i installed sp3 in may since then i cannot burn music to cd’s with windows media player and my dvd rewrite drive does not show up on my send to menu even when i try to put a shortcut in there my drive being a philips dvdr1628p1 even though i updated the drivers for this drive with phillips intelligent agent i even uninstalled sp3 and did a full reinstall of windows xp but the problem is still there so much for microspot or is it microcrackpots

  179. SP3 installed without my knowledge. Two blue screens then Windows advised it had encountered a serious system error. It re-booted itself, and since then it seems to be okay. However one thing does concern me – something is running on my machine and reporting to somebody via the internet. Until it has completed (takes 3-4 minutes), I cannot use my machine Does anybody know of a way of finding out what this job is and how to stop it.

  180. I was rear-ended by this install too. After installing SP3, one of my stripped drives wouldn’t initialise. Despite many attempts to re mount the drive, nothing. After losing over 500GB of data, I decided to reinstall and avoid SP3 like the plague. I have been told that SP3 contains no drivers, maybe so, but it does a damn fine job of b***ering up what’s there.

  181. I’m running an AMD AthlonXP 2200* and not only have had no problems, but Rome Total War no longer locks up after installing SP3. Other programs that used to be unstable seem to work better, too. I’ve also noticed that it seems that Windows Movie Maker has been fixed. I no longer have problems with it, either.

  182. installed it from the microsoft website, not noticed any problems one bit. ran smoother and happier since sp3

  183. I have an hp desk top that’s going on two years old with xp2 media software on it and amd panthien…….late March I did get the security technical screen and what happened next you wouldn’t want to know. I have a warrantee with Office depot extended warrantee company. My computer shut down completely. My Motherboard was burned out after loading xp3 software. As luck would have it, the replacement motherboard and a new converter were ordered. The first one that came was the wrong motherboard and was returned with a new one ordered. I finally got the new motherboard today. Now I’m waiting for the maintence tech. to come to do the install. Who knows if it will work? I have been without my operating system since March! I hate computers.

  184. I installed SP3 just after it was released. I was in the process of setting up a new PC on XP Pro. I hit a snafoo when trying to install Adobe Audition 2.0. During installation it looks for an OS namely WIN XP with SP2. When this is not found (because now you have WIN XP SP3) the installation fails with a message stating that you don’t appear to have the appropriate OS installed on your machine. I quickly uninstalled SP3 and haven’t been back since.

  185. forewheel Says:
    June 4th, 2008 at 6:55 pm
    Since downloading sp3 my only hitch has been that I have lost all Windows sounds and net audio. Anybody got any ideas?
    I had the same problem and was at my wits end until I updated my Realtek drivers (from Realtek) Microsoft wouldn’t update them. Now everything is fine

  186. I have 2 Vista Home Premium SP1 machines and 1 XP Pro SP3. All running well. I keep drivers updated as well as all applications – also I back up important files regularly. Ever since Windows 95, whenever MS does something, a great wailing goes out in blogs and forums. I’ve never quite understood the cry – never had much of a problem.

  187. thank God I turned off automatic updates, SP3 does not stand for service pack 3, it stands for Satan-Paimon 3 hahaha…stay away from the devil

  188. Michael Thompson

    I am one of the lucky ones – I allowed SP3 to install on three machines – I was blissfully unaware of any problems and still am, several weeks later.

  189. Well, I’ve installed it on 2,600 or so PCs with problems on about 22. Clean build of those PCs with SP2 then upgrade to SP3 sorted them all out. PCs range from P4 1.6 to Dual Core E8500s. All apps we use seem fine, mainly versions of MS Office from 97 to 2007.

  190. I thought I had no problems but my notebook (HP9000)cannot access the Home computer (Dell)using Network Magic. The home computer can see the shared files on the notebook OK but not the reverse. I’ve tried the suggestions for LiveOnecare firewall but it worked OK before. Has any one else had problems with their home network?

  191. I Totally agree in the whole news letter in this email that sp 2+3 have nothing but problems from the day it was introduced.
    And with the way Technology moves every minute of the day we will pay for more problems in the computer world.
    So it comes to this a never ending problem,as new technology has to be put on trial and sold, to try and correct problems.
    So we can’t win that easy.
    Yours,R De Raad.

  192. ive had minor problems, i installed sp3 2 weeks ago on my hp pavilion 532w with 1.7 celeron cpu and 1 gig pc2100 ram running xp home avg and spybot so far only had 1 freeze with a reboot that required registry fixes and no matter what i try the date and time is always wrong adjust doesnt keep right now it shows tuesday, june 3rd 12:46 am? annoying but not critical

  193. I too installed SP3 through and automatic update update IE7 became unsusable and so did Outlook uninstalled but still had problems. Did not have a restore point, but I did have a recovery points through Norton Ghost. Rcovered back to 4/24/08. thanks for the link to block SP3.

  194. I installed SP3 on 3 of my DELL laptops, and have had no problems with any of them! I read the first warning about a week after the installs, and had no clue what was being referred to. I have 2 more older DELLS that haven’t been updated as of yet, but as soon as I have time, I’ll update those to SP3 also! I guess the MOCROSOFT GODS are SMILING ON ME! 🙂

  195. I come from a PC user time when you had to know how to fix your own problems, write some of your own software, plus do daily system maintence just to keep the crashs at bay. I never run into problems, partly from my starting PC habbits and because I’m a performence junky…never overclocked a system enough to need extra cooling. Though I do run into Dell propritory hardware incompatibilty, Dell modified version of hardware will work in the system, all other hardware does not even get seen though RAM and Processors still work fine without a hitch.

    Simple retrival of data from an HD, plug it into another machince, copy said files…done. You can also defrag system files that way.

  196. of course many people (with only one computer0 who have had problems with the xp3 upload have NOT BEEN ABLE to comment or find fixes because they are left incommunicado

  197. kenneth stockton

    i installed sp3 and 2 days later my computer would not boot up not even in safe mode i called dell and they said sp3 wont work on mine ,2004 dell they tried to fix it and could noti lost everything on it,hundreds of pics had to reinstall windows ,stay away from sp3

  198. I installed SP3 in my Intel Core2 custom built computer (built this one after having nasty problems with my last 2 Dells). It ran very nicely before and has been running great guns ever since downloading. I might add, my Word Processor of preference is (and has been for years) Word Perfect (now Corel Word Perect) and I also keep regular checks on my system using both Registry Mechanic and PC Pitstop.

    I notice one comment mentioned losing Windows Update … I lost that well before SP3. Just one of “those things.” It, as he said, was not difficult to repair.

  199. Jesper Pedersen

    Installed SP3 on my laptop ~1 month ago, because I heard that it should increase the speed of winXP. I didn’t see any speed increase, but on the other hand I haven’t seen any of the problems described on this site either. Only problem I’ve experienced was that the incoming video in skype only showed the first image for some of the people i video-skype with.

    Fix for skype problem was to persuade the person I couldn’t see live pictures from to upgrade her skype software.

  200. I installed SP3 on my two home computers on May 11. After a week without problems, I installed it on my two office computers. I have not had any problems on any of the four computers since.

    I suspect many of the problems described above are occurring to “shade tree mechanics” who think they are smarter than the people who design these systems. I bought my first PC in 1986. I have never had to reformat my hard drive and start over. How many of the “mechanics” have done just that and blamed it on something or someone other than themselves.

  201. I installed SP3 on my XP media center PC and Media center no longer worked.I also have the pc networked to my xbox360 and when I tried to connect to pc after SP3 install it said no media center pc found.Uninstalled SP3 could not get MEdia center working again.I had to Format and reinstall Xp.I dont think I will install sp3 until there is a fix for Media center.

  202. Malinda Danner

    I have had no problems because I read your newsletter. Thank you so much for the heads up. I turned off my automatic updates before they had a chance to download SP3. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I check your website before I do anything.

  203. Wow! So much frustration from so many people. I have Vista on my desktop and XP – SP3 on my laptop. I have not had a single problem from either of the operating systems. I have had Vista over a year and love it. It runs smoothly, fast and efficiently. I have not had any problems with any additional software from other vendors.

  204. Commander Dave

    I have installed SP3 on four AMD ASUS motherboards with no problems at all. There was a recent survey by PC Pitstop, but I must have missed the results. What is the percentage of people having problems out of all those who responded?

  205. Installed SP3 @ month ago on my Dell and other than the download/verify/initialize/install stalling a couple times and taking forever (@ 3hrs total), it went smoothly enough and have experienced no ill effects. Explorer with Yahoo, MSN and Webroot toolbars is actually more stable now (only 1 crash since). I ran PC Pitstop Optimize2 immediately after the install and it did a big slew of reg fixes and that helped, I’m sure…

  206. I had the reboot problem twice now , and reinstalled windows 3 times now once to a virus , at this time everything is working well.i’m sure they will soon be patching the patch that patched the last patch.

  207. I have been running SP3 on one of my systems since it’s release and to date I have had not one of the problems on this machine. Still I really appreciate all of your articles.

  208. I have installed SP3 on my Compaq laptop (Turion 64) with no problems whatsover for nearly two months now.

    SP3 simply refuses to install on my Emachines (Athlon 64)desktop but goes into some sort of loop, which will run for hours if I let it. It also locks me out. I can’t even start Task Manager. However, if I interrupt the power, it will automatically uninstall and restore the computer to SP2, at which time everything seems to work OK like before. Strange or what?

  209. No problems here..
    Disabled anti-virus and installed on a healthy system i.e.,
    no viruses, malwares & spywares..I’m just sorry it does not
    work well with everybody…

  210. My stupid update to XP (SP3) has cost me many hours of repair time. My Dell XPS 410 still causes my cursor to freeze, and sometimes locks up the entire OS.

    The update removed most of my programs from the “ALL PROGRAMS” menu, caused my Band-In-A-Box software to stutter, forced me to re-install Office 2000(!), re-install one of my printers,made me spend hours looking for obscure drivers on the internet, and made me resolve to NEVER buy another Microsoft product.

  211. claude bergeron

    i have updated to sp3 about 2 months ago and i have had absolutely no problems..

    maybe the problems that some of you seem to have is because of all the other crap that can be downloaded via internet

  212. Thought that there might be conflict beteen the 60+ security updates and SP3, so decided to save my data to a secondary drive and completely wipe (KillDisk) primary and re-install everything anew. I have had no problems with my A8N-SLI motherboard, AMD 4600+ cpu

  213. Couldn’t be Microsoft purposely sabotaging their own XP, hmmm? Look at the Windows Feature Comparison they put out to character-assassinate their best OS.

  214. So far I have had no problems after installing SP3 seems like my Pc runs as good or better after the update.

  215. THis is awfully cynical, but is it a Microsoft attempt to push us all to Vista. I installed SP3 – everything seemed fine and then if I am running multiple programs – bang. Everything hangs. The three figured salute does not work and I have to reset the machine.

  216. I installed SP3 on 2 intel laptops with no problems. I also own PC Tools Registry repair and optimisation software which cleans up any dud entries, if any.

    The only issue I had with SP3 was on my AMD based PC. The windows live messenger installer repeatedly failed at startup and I couldn’t stop it fom running. Also slowed down computer a lot but I did find that web browsing was a lot faster with IE7 opening in record time.

    I would recommend this upgrade for Intel-based PCS but not AMD-based yet.

    Might also be a good idea to download a copy of CCleaner to tie up loose ends.

  217. After downloading and installing SP3, my tablet’s memory filled way up. Now I can’t load anything else. IE7 does freeze quite often now.

  218. After being rear ended with this bs “service” pack, i can’t help but wonder if ms created this to punish xp users on purpose because of all the problems with vista that keep us from switching or cause us to switch back – can’t reasonably call it an “upgrade” after seeing what it has done to everyone i know who migrated.

    Shoulda invested in more ky cause i sure need it now. Yes, Lynn, there is a MAC in your future. Real Soon.

    Note to Self: turn off that damned auto update bs NOW!!!

  219. I have installed the SP3 (virus) and subsequently lost all of my cherished family photo’s and cannot seem to find a way out of this mess. I may try to reformat my machine because all of the files that I really wanted are gone now anyhow. Thanx Microsoft…

  220. I, too, was dumb enough to install it on my laptop (an HP with AMD X2). Practically ruined my computer (I am a user of 25 years, and consider myself somewhat proficient using computers.) Doing research, it appears that for SP3 to work properly, you have to delete many previous updates, some programs, etc. In my opinion, whatever benefits come from SP3 are not worth it unless your computer has not been properly updated or too old to matter.

  221. My computer as A8N-SLI motherboard and AMD 4600+ CPU. My own view was that problems could arise if I installed over SP2 setup because of all of the 60+ security updates that had already been installed. This led me to back-up 23 GB of data to a secondary drive
    and then to wipe (KillDisk) primary drive completely and to re-install XPpro/SP2 and to install SP3 and 60 odd programs. No problems then ensued. Vista Ultimate – that’s another major headache!

  222. Fortunately no problems. Google desktop search (late version, 5.7) is affected by SP3- commonly users report it can’t be installed, doesn’t run. One user has found a way to make it search, admitting the normal controls don’t work. I run an older version (5.1) and that works with SP3.

    Not surprisingly, Vista Transformation Pack 8 is also now not usable as it uses SP2 components, and attempts to run it to transform system files crash.

  223. the only problem i’m having is random reboots usually when my pc is idle for long periods… that and if i lock it it doesnt like to give me my login prompt or show my taskbar when i can log back on….

  224. Richard L. Allen

    Guess I am also among the numerous lucky ones. I have all 4 of my computers running SP3 and have not had a single problem. The unit I’m writing this with ran the SP3 Beta also with no problems – actually I am running the SP3, IE8 and Silverlight2 Betas currently – if you can read thisit must be working.
    Gosh, how I wish I could blame all my problems on Microsoft.

  225. The first or second day or so when it was out, I immediately let auto-update install SP3.
    And I have found NO problems whatsoever.
    What’s wrong with you people, keep your computers clean.
    And don’t use Symantec or Norton, it sucks!
    As you can see once again…

    I also didn’t find that much new to SP3.
    Except the many fixes, which I hope are doing their jobs.
    And the 5% or so better performance, it does really start a bit quicker.

  226. I had a clean system because I bought a refurbished Dell Precision 370 running at 3.2 GH, with XP on it. I made sure it was clean and have had nothing but dependable, fast performance since installing SP3.

    Please report both sides of the story, I have yet to meet anyone who has had a problem with SP3 and I have been asking everyone I know and meet.

  227. Just to add to the list of problems. After installing SP3 & uninstalling SP3, I now have problems with Photoshop Elements 6.0. Now some of the editing tools will not work!

  228. Widow PC with an ASUS motherboard, no problems whatsoever with SP3. IE7 does act up but was with SP2 also. when I close a 2nd window first goes to a blank page, if I dont remember to open links in new tab. Good news is I use Mozzilla for the most part.

  229. I personally run Vista on 4 PC’s without a twitch, but that didn’t stop me from spending 3.5 hours in front of a friend’s XP box after he allowed SP3 to wreak havoc… It had become stuck on the splash screen following initial reboot. I uninstalled via safe mode and downloaded the exe completely first…disabled the firewall and antivirus (after unplugging the CAT cable) and attempted the installation again. Repeat of the exact same nightmare! I ripped it out, tossed the exe and turned off auto updates. Runs fine with SPXP2 and recent updates…Is this Bill’s way to drive the masses to Vista?

  230. I first installed SP3 on my XP Pro PC. (AMD 2800 xp CPU with 1G RAM) Anti-Virus software was turned off as well as all other background programs. Well, I ended up with MS Update not working, my Anti-Virus software was no longer recognized and some more of the above problems. A re-install of XP solved most of the issues. The second time was on XP Home (I didn’t learn). Same processor, 512 Mb of RAM different motherboard. No other programs including Anti-Virus were installed. I let Auto-Update install SP3… Needless to say, another fresh install of XP Home resolved the problems only this time I prevented SP3 from loading. Thanks Microsoft. How did you know I am retired with lots of free time?

  231. Iafter a total reinstall of WinXP followed by SP3 (and upgrade from Internet Explorer 6 to 7) I am no longer able to start an event, or open an existing event, in Google Calendar.

    has anyone an idea whether this is related to SP3 (or Explorer 7?)

  232. B L Jackson (Les)

    Have installed SP3 two weeks ago. Having read a lot of the comments I was giving birth to kittens, but so far I have had no problems whatsoever. In fact MS word(2003) works faster than before, even with a document over 70Mb. Adobe (8) which I use a extensively transmitting documents from home to work and back again works without problem.

  233. I installed SP3 and when I rebooted, I got the Blue Screen of Death. I could not even boot in SAFE mode. Thank goodness I had a backup with Norton Save & Restore and I was able to boot up my system with the Norton disk. After I restored my system my PC is running fine with SP3. What a hassell! I have a Dell XPS 400 with Windows XP Media Edition, Intell VIIV processeor and 3 gigs of RAM.

  234. after installing sp3 when i start my pc it comes up with windows installer telling me an msi file for window messenger isnt on my system for windows live,but messenger is installed and working,anyway too get rid of this please thanks

  235. Is it possible just to uninstall it from Add/Remove, or will it mess upevery thing else? The only thing I have noticed is that my computer is running slower. Not sure if SP3 is the culprit or not’

  236. Hi all!

    I downloaded the update from microsoft 2 days ago. I think the update for sp3 was 69 megs in size. I have had no problems at all. The only difference I noticed was that when I use Belarc Advisor, it no longer shows most of my past updates. IT does show sp3.
    I ran my registry program & it only found 2 registry enteries that were not valid & I simply deleted them. Before I updated, I turned off Norton and I turned off system restore. I have a dell (Notice dell without the capital) 8250 Pent4 3206 cpu 1500 megs ram.

    I hope no surprises come my way later with the update.

  237. Installed SP3 and have had absolutely no problems what so ever, even with auto updates.

    Evesham PC with Athlon 64.

  238. It’s not what a person runs on their styem as much as it is the person running the system. I know just as many Linux users as Windows users who are always having to fix or tweak something and none of them ever seem to actually be producing anything with their machines, but spend all of their time tweakling and fixing them.

    Most of the problems seem to be the result of already corrupt systems and lots of folks have a hard time admitting that they are not as computer savy as they think they are and prefer to blame anything or anyone else but the source of their problems.


  239. I installed SP3 and so far so good except for one thing. My Windows Messenger 5.1.0706 won’t allow me to sign in any more. I get the error: “Signing in to Microsoft Exchange Instant Messaging failed because the service is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.”

    I can’t find a fix for it and uninstall SP3 didn’t help either. Any suggestions? I need this for my job!!!


  240. I installed SP3 on my Dell desktop and my
    Toshiba laptop with no problems. I don’t notice any difference or improvements.

  241. Lol, i I downgraded this comp from the preinstalled vista (came on the hard drive i bought) to a minimal installation of Xp SP2, that i made (doesnt install all the microsoft stuff that isnt needed, as it no longer exists) SP3 installed with no problems, slight change to my FSB ratio on my ram, sorted a little lag problem i found in games after installing it, but apart from that it runs smoother than SP2, so i fail to see what the problem is, anyway if it did cause a problem id just dual boot to mac using para, and change the setting using mac terminal, or run my linux boot disc and/or spare hard drive and fix the problems, sorted really 😉

  242. I’m like Keith. I’ve installed XP sp3 on 2 home machines with no adverse incidents. One of the machines is a Toshiba Sattelite laptop, the other is a Dell desktop. Both machines run office 2003 pro – again no problems. Frankly, performance on both machines seems slightly better under sp3 than sp2.

  243. HP Compaq Presario V2000 series, SP, AMD Turion and difficulty acquiring IP addresses on startup and wake.

    Laptop would take forever to acquire an IP address from a wireless or a tethered cell phone connection.

    I found instances of the problem, but no solutions on the net.

    The solution I finally came up with was very simple. I upgraded the Realtek driver for the WIRED ethernet connection.

    Simple and effective.

  244. I have installed SP3 on four PC’s (1 HP laptop, 3 of my own build’s with AMD processors) with only a minor problem on 1 desktop. However, it makes sense to follow the advice to increase the size of your system restore space prior to the upgrade; this way you’ll be able to restore to an earlier point if the upgrade fails or is corrupted.

    Have five more PC’s to go; I’m taking my time with it, of course…

  245. I had mine running with sp3 and it went to crap 3 days later and i repaired with xp disk then couldnt update and fix nothing so i turned auto up-date off and downloaded sp3 from and autoinstalled it, it works great now but update is turned off cause it tries to update and cant over and over again, cnet’s the way to go to get sp3 🙂

  246. I downloaded the SP3 and I could not update Windows. Fortunately, I found a “solution” to let me back in the Windows Updates. Found a “fix” on one of the Windows Forums. I downloaded a program called DialaFix and ran it. Down near the bottom there are a couple of checkboxes regarding updates. I checked them and ran the program….then I was able to get updates.

  247. The upgrade from SP2 to SP3 installed perfectly with no problems.
    Wonder how many machines out there currently have symptoms of untidy and cluttered registry and bad (.dll) files prior to the SP3 upgrade?
    If you plan on installing SP3 (which I can recommend) then please insure your computer has a clean bill of health.

  248. I installed sp3 on may 6th and had a VERY BAD experince with this my computer crashed i was on the phone with Microsoft tech f0r 6 to 7 hrs and never got my computer going until i did a complete format. My advice is take your computer OFF of auto update and leave sp3 alone

  249. I have had no problems with this update. I installed it on multiple systems (at least 4) and none have had problems with the update. 1 was my laptop, and the other 3 were desktops either my Dad or I built. They all use AMD processors.

  250. This kind of melodramatic reporting tends to cause more problems then what really exist. I’m beginning to think that PC Pitstop is losing it or someone there is feeling neglected in their own life and is just dying to get attention from another source. Either way; the credibility of this site is beginning to fade. I know many people who installed the SP3, including myself and not one of us has had any of the problems described here, nor were any problems we did encounter anything to shout about.

    All of this melodrama is a disservice to anyone who comes here for help.

  251. I suggest I am also one of the lucky guys to install SP3 without problem on 2 computers
    1st is a HP pavilion with XP Media center and 2nd one is a white label P4 station
    The only thing I noticed was the activiation of the XP Firewall, which was disabled.

  252. I agree with Larry. I’ve installed SP3 on 3 machines, one of which only has 1G of memory and is slow. Took all the precautions, backup, disc cleanup, defragment, no anti-virus during Windows Update. The only thing I will warn is that the process takes an hour, much time spent in black screen. Do NOT assume something is frozen and reboot or you WILL have problems! I’ve been running for 3 weeks without issue. In fact, the weak machine seems more stable now, perhaps that was from the defrag!

  253. Installed on 3 PCs running XP Professional and no problems. Hardware varies from Intel to AMD; none of my PCs are “branded.” I would certainly rather have this update than move to Vista at this point.

  254. I’ve upgraded 12 XP Pro and 4 XP Home workstations in the last month and have not seen a single problem. Mostly Dell machines of various vintages.

  255. I ran Jesper’s little program before attempting to install XP3 on my AMD-based HP Pavilion desktop. Installation went smoothly, and I haven’t experienced any of the problems I’ve read about in posts above. System performance seems slightly improved and my restore points remain intact. Knock wood.

  256. No issues with XP SP3 after 107 PC upgrades, on both AMD and Intel based systems.
    Instead I notice a bit of performance increase, shorter boot time and faster download.
    I was waiting for a PC to crash, freeze, etc so I could rant a little bit. 🙂

  257. I think you’re being a too hard on SP3, I’ve installed it on about 15 computers so far including my 2 computers, my wife’s, and numerous customer’s computers (including an HP recovery) with not so much as a hiccup. If people are having problems, I suspect a large part of it is because they haven’t taken the necessary precautions beforehand to ensure a trouble-free installation (just like with SP2).

    Scan for viruses, spyware, clean up junk files, defragment, temporarily disable antivirus. People are allowing Automatic Updates to install SP3 on an already corrupted computer, then blaming SP3 for their shortcomings.

    I have no doubt there are snafus with SP3 and I’m not trying to say there aren’t, I’m just saying it’s not right to tell people to stay away from it. I would think educating people to take necessary precautions would be a better message to convey.

    I have Office 2003 Professional, Word works fine post SP3.

  258. i want to thank every one with all the feed back to this problem…all this time i thought my hard drive was crashing…ISP said it was DSL modem..then started loosing every thing from device manager….living a hell..well now i will start checking all the things that was submitted on this site

  259. Gregory Matthews

    I installed XP SP-3 and I have not experienced the probalmse that others seem to have.

    Howeer, I seem to have a problem with Adobe Reader. I get error messages that tell me that Adobe Add Ons have not been enabaled.

    Yet in checking I find that my Adobe Add On has been enable.

    In any case, regardless of the error message I click it off and Adobe Reader then works. So, I do not have a problem of any kind of major sort.

  260. I too installed SP3 and am having absolutely no problems. Considering the time that MS had SP3 in beta testing I am surprised that so-called reliable vendors (Symantec, AMD and others)have not fixed their drivers and software. Blaming MS is nonsense. My PC is HP, WinXP Home, Pentium 4, 3.2 GHZ, 3 GB Ram, 420 GB Hard Drive.

  261. I installed WinXP SP3 to two HP desktops in mid-May with no problems then or now. Both are Intel machines and neither is state of the art. In fact, they both came with Win98. I upgraded them to XP and then to SP2. MS Auto-update is turned on for both machines and works as it should.

  262. Since downloading sp3 my only hitch has been that I have lost all Windows sounds and net audio. Anybody got any ideas?

  263. I am running xp and installed sp3. The only problem I experienced was the format function in ms works did not work. There is a fix for that. I downloaded and it now works o.k.

  264. How fortunate am I. I have a laptop and a desk top running VISTA ULT SP1 absolutely no hitches on orproblems.

    I have an additional desk top and a laptop, both 5 years old running XP Pro SP3 with no problems as well.

    Why am I missing all the fun with all the apparent problems??

  265. Well, I guess Im lucky as of now, my XP will not allow my computer to install sp3 no matter what I do. I have spent 7 hrs with MS on this matter and they cant get it install. Maybe I have a guardian angel trying to not allow this? The MS higher level guys are supposed to contact me tonight to see whats wrong. Im now just interested to see why it wont install but contemplating the install with all I have read here. I dont have an AMD so that should help.

  266. Am I the only person who installed SP3 and had no problem at all? I run XP Home on an Alienware Area-51 that’s four years old (a long time for me!), and all is well. I turned off System Restore from the very beginning, using GoBack when I need to “go back.” This PC has a 120-gig HD, 3-gig Pentium 4 processor, 1024 megs of installed memory — and running all the time.

  267. I made the mistake of installing Service Pack 3 on 5/6/2008! I’ve since removed it. Now, I can no longer update my XP Pro with any updates from MS, they refuse to inatall. I am now in the process of rebuilding on a new HD! I had a rocket PC prior to this Service Pack. Intel MB DG33FB, CPU Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHZ, 4GB DDR2 800MHZ Ram, & Maxtor SATA/150 200GB, & ATI Radeon 1650 w/512MB. This is another of MS saying lets let the Public test this for us and we’ll fix it later. I am a systems developer and have a lot of software to reload. It will probably take me at least a month of installs (on weekends only)! I’m NOT a happy camper!!! Tkx. for listening.

  268. Wow. My sympathies to all Windows users. Between Vista and Service Pack 3, not to mention all the securtiy issues with viruses, etc., no wonder so many are switching to the Mac OS. To all all those I can only say: Welcome to paradise!

  269. I installed SP3 one to two weeks ago. At first, it didn’t seem problematic. However, over the past three days my system performance degraded seriously. The degradation may be connected to installing BitDefender (previously used Panda) or X1 Pro desktop search, but I’ve uninstalled both, cleaned the registry, defragged both the registry and the hard drive, emptied the prefetch folder, deleted all temporary files, etc., etc. If anything, performance worse. Looks like a total reinstall. God I love the Microminds at Microsoft.

  270. Hello Cheryl.

    Have you installed Service pack 1, Servie pack 2 and Service Pack 3, all seperately from the original operating system?

  271. I want to know if you can delete the old service pack’s now that you have installed sp3
    they take up so much MB’S! Doe’s any one know the answer? Thanks!

  272. Cyrus Khambatta

    Thank God, I’m one of the lucky ones then. I downloaded & installed SP3 on May6-7, when it was offered on Microsoft Update, & have been running it since.
    I own an IBM Thinkcentre with CPU an Intel Pentium 4 531, 3000 MHz.

  273. Have sony vgnfj150 standard laptop 1.7 cpu.
    defraged, full scanned with symantec 360 v2, then automatically downloaded sp3.
    results; computer runs faster no problems, although, msba security 2.1 was not compatable,. (showed updates were not completed,microsoft noted that msba 2.0 was recommended) I downloaded msba 2.0 have had no other issues.

  274. Dennis W Herrick

    Alas … after SP3, my system went downhill fast. I tried to fix via MS support – after an hour, I gave up. Time to format and start over (this is the mantra of Microsoft). Re-load a piece at a time, first Windows XP and then upgrade a file at a time. After this (only after I was sure nothing else would sneak in), did I add my personal software. After a week – no problems (some icons play hide and seek). Don’t know if this is an option for all, but so far, so good. God, how I hate to sit at my computer and wait for the next slide into oblivion!

  275. I have an AMD64 chip on an ASUS board and have no problems with the SP3 update so far. I didn’t know that it was being loaded until it was on the machine. Thanks for the email warning and suggested fixes.

  276. Terrance Hudson

    I installed sp3 bata (with all backup and care taken) NO PROBLEMS!!! 🙂 I turned auto update on and forgot about it. Rebooted last night BANG Now I am dead in the water. It appears to be a regestry problem. It also appears to have killed my sys restore point because I also had my restore size small. Never again will I use auto update. Thank goodness for backups!!!!

  277. I guess that I’m one of the lucky ones who hasn’t had any problems with the SP3 update. My computer is an AMD64 chip. Or is it because I may not have some of the applications that would encourage a crash, installed in this machine?

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