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Installing XP SP3

Windows XP SP3 Upgrade

I have been Beta Testing this service pack since it came out. I have not had any problems with it at all. As long as you follow the instructions I gave you should not have any problems with it.

This Service Pack is much easier to install then SP2 was.

I would like to thank, Cherokee Chief and Pete Covell For whom this information would not be possible.

 It is best for the Home User to wait until they see it available at windows update to get it. This way you will get a significantly smaller download and installer based on what patches you already have and which ones you still need.
 I suggest that if you choose to enable automatic updates, you set them to prompt only, not to install automatically.

Cherokee Chief provided this advice when SP1 came out and I am including it here since it is still valid for installing SP3


1. Clean out your temp files in the temp folder.
2. Clean out your temporary Internet files and cookies.
3. Defrag the hard drive.
4. Turn off your anti virus and firewall before downloading the service pack and installing it.
5. During the install you will be asked if you want to archive the files, do so. The archived file scan be deleted later if the service pack works. Having the archived files, will allow you to uninstall the service pack if you have any problems.
6. After the pc reboots, reboot a couple more times. This insures that when you start up every thing will start up with in a good time period.
7. After rebooting the extra times, turn your anti virus and firewall back on.
These steps will help insure that your download and install do not get corrupted. That is what causes allot of the bad installs of the service pack.


Here is what I have gathered so far as the best advice for a safe install. (Thanks to Pete_C)

  1. Back up your data to be safe. You should have been doing this all along, but this gives a good excuse to catch up on it.
  2. Do a disk cleanup, clean temp Internet files, empty recycle bin and defrag. Good standard maintenance and definitely worth doing now so that things are clean when you do your Service Pack 3 install.
  3. If you have an XP CD, do a system file check. This way you have all damaged or missing dlls and system files replaced before you do the Service Pack 3 install so that it is working with a solid install. Put your XP install cd in your cdrom drive and go to start/ run and type
    sfc /scannow
    hit enter. It will start windows file protection and compare all files to the original install or update patches (The $NTuninstall files in windows). If it says failed, hit retry, it just means something is using it and you have to hit retry to pause the process. May take two or three clicks of retry.
  4. Restart computer
  5. Turn off your antivirus; make sure script blocking is disabled. Enable the windows firewall (right click on your connection in network places and choose protect with ICF) and disable your current firewall. If you have spybot run and choose advanced interface (under mode) and under tools go to resident and disable resident shield and tea timer.
  6. Run the install if you downloaded it or windows update if you are doing it that way. It will take some time so be patient. Do not panic if things seem to stop. Get a sandwich or something. Just check back to see if you have to click something else.
  7. When it finishes and asks to restart, choose no: I will restart later and then finish. Re enable your antivirus (but leave off script blocking) and firewall.
  8. Restart PC. It will take a bit longer than normal on reboot, but not extremely long. It should finish with a prompt to enable automatic updates and verify your firewall and antivirus. If Norton antivirus, it may not properly interface so you may have to choose the do not monitor my antivirus it checks for updates itself.
  9. Re enable spybot resident shield. It will warn of a new IE toolbar (which warns of sites trying to run active x or install things behind your back) and a lock of the blank.htm web page file to prevent its being replaced by coolwebsearch. Re enable script blocking in your antivirus.

Now you have the latest Service Pack installed, and should be good to go.







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