Windows

Windows XP SP3 released for testing

Microsoft has released service pack 3 for Windows XP to selected beta testers, according to multiple sources around the Net.

Microsoft has released Service Pack 3 for Windows XP to selected beta testers, according to multiple sources around the Web. Windows XP SP3, build 3205 contains 1,073 patches and hot fixes including security updates, according to bloggers at NeoSmart Technologies.

Enhancements include a simplified activation system, a network access protection module backported from Windows Vista, as well as improved support for cryptography.

Excerpt from The Inquirer:

There is also the new Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module so that the kernel now includes an entire module has access to multiple cryptographic algorithms and is available for use in kernel-mode drivers and services. It also has the "Black Hole Router" detection so that Windows XP SP3 can detect and protect against rogue routers that are discarding data.

The finalized version of SP3 is expected to be released sometime in the first half of 2008.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

38 comments
medicman615
medicman615

I think Microsoft has consistently provided the best software available in spite of the fact that they, and they alone, are far and away the most overwhelmingly gigantic target for hackers worldwide. No other manufacturer or service provider around the globe, regardless of sector or industry, is more maliciously attacked. The instant Microsoft releases a new product, thousands of criminal software "experts" representing all levels of proficiency seek to destroy, dismantle, or disrupt as many features of the new program as possible. That Microsoft has not only endured such treachery, but has flourished in the face of it, is testament to their numerous valuable contributions. If Microsoft releases another service pack for Windows XP I will welcome it as their effort to keep my system running as safely and efficiently as is humanly possible. There are FAR TOO MANY people in the world who seem to enjoy deriding Microsoft. I prefer to complement them on their many, MANY accomplishments in the fields of information technology and communications that have had a tremendously positive effect on individuals, societies, cultures, countries, and economies far too numerous to list. Thank you, Microsoft, for your continued efforts to make my life easier, more pleasant, and to help me become more efficient, effective, and productive.

bobsoffice
bobsoffice

Just some food for thought. IF everything that Microsoft has told us about NOT supporting ???XP??? and that ???Vista??? is going to take its place.(LOL) Not to mention the fact that it???s almost impossible to buy a new machine with ???XP??? loaded from the factory. Why are they (Microsoft) even bothering to work on service packs for ???XP????

mliang83
mliang83

It does not make any sense at all. The reason why is that any company's product goes out to all their customers isn't supposed to be tested before it release? Instead of it goes out to their customers to test it for the company. On the other hand, saying that "Hay, all your guinea pig out there are going to pay me for you to test my product which I am going to release". Hmmm..........??????????????

torstenwedel
torstenwedel

I thought Microsoft was stopping to support XP in 2008? Now why would they launch a SP3 then ? Or is it really true that Vista is not kicking of like Microsfot wanted? I could see that this new SP3 is really something worth waiting for.

sonu_ncc2003
sonu_ncc2003

dear sir/madam what's futher in win xp sp3 plz replay to my mail ID

tomc69
tomc69

I fix windows machines and run linux on my laptop and desktop at home and work, just me but microsoft is a laugh and is a good test product to play with in my spare time. :)

integrity1
integrity1

As with anything from Microsoft the best procedure is wait at least two years before deciding to put it anywhere near your system. By then, hopefully, either it will be unavailable or most of the bugs will be known or out of it.

janardhan_dandu
janardhan_dandu

1073 ptches and hotfixes is just too hot, hope MS is providing some patches to tweak the system appearance too.

divineprime
divineprime

I second the question: "What will break after installation?" My main problem that I forsee is this quote: "Contrary to popular belief, Windows XP SP3 does ship with all-new features - not just patches and hotfixes, most of them backported from Windows Vista" Oh no, that's not a good thing to admit, since Vista has to be the slowest, most clumsy, inconsistent, yet secure system yet. If the same software team is working on newer service packs, then we're all in trouble.

rmahr_523
rmahr_523

I haven't accquired the service pact yet, but I have asked MS on many occassions when the real SP3 will arrive.

techienate
techienate

I can't wait till I can get my hands on this. Slipstreaming it will really reduce the amount of time required to do a windows re-install if you install all the updates with a reinstall.

wildbillkelso
wildbillkelso

Ok after its release what will it mess up?? drivers?, hardware?, software?,ETC. ??? and just like SP2 will it correctly install on my computer????

Mike
Mike

Hello Medicman615, With all due respects I would say that you probably don't really push your system very much. Also I doubt if you have hadmuch experience of other operating systems outside of MS. We "deride" it, as you put it, BECAUSE we have been let down SO MANY times. Our work has been interupted because of shoddy workmanship. It is just a case of looking at things with out filters and bias. I hope this helps you to have a more balanced view of those of us who "deride" MS.

JCitizen
JCitizen

mean while XP Pro 64 bit will save their bottom line. At least I like the evaluation version; no telling if the retail box version is any good.

Aaron A Baker
Aaron A Baker

Probably nothing for you or the actual XP. It's probably an Update giving Microsoft the ability to check-up,verify you and shut you down. As it is I'm using my SP2 and it working very with no problems at all. Whereas when I had the XPPro 2003 which included the SP2 embedded, I had nothing but problems. So what is the need for an SP3. Microsoft "As Usual" will tell you it's good for and that you need it. Just as much as we need Patch Tuesdays and all the garbage downloaded into our CPs. I for one will continue to use my system exactly as I have been doing since dumping my 2003 version of XPPro. At least this way, I don't have to continuously live under MS scrutiny and have to prove myself every time I want to re-install. Not taking a chances with SP3 "NO Thank you Microsoft". Regards Aaron

dsimp
dsimp

I'm still on SP1 but My PC is secure because I've applied the necessary individual updates that are important ONLY. (and I run non micro$oft firewalls & security apps) It should be obvious to many by now that you cant trust micro$oft. Does anyone remember the secret & unauthorised XP/Vista update debacle recently?

Amnezia
Amnezia

No such word can be found in the dictionaries I looked at. However there's an archaic definition of "ported" from Bartleby that has the meaning of "hole". "Back" is self explanatory. Therefore it seems that whatever in SP3 that's coming from Vista might be a load of #$%@. Perhaps the "quickest" way might still be through individual updates?

john3347
john3347

"Backported from Windows Vista" can't be a good thing. I just upgraded to XP from Vista because, as divineprime stated, Vista was JUNK!!! We need to move away from the freeze-ups, and constant pop-up windows, and general trash of Vista, not "backport" from it. Where did such a word come from anyway? Backport!!!! What does that mean???

m0m07
m0m07

Did u tray it ? What are the new fetuers in it ..

AnOldItGuy
AnOldItGuy

If this Sp follows Tradition , it will mess up my IPSEC based vpn client. We are looking towards a client less ssl solution , but who knows it that wont be on the block as well

JCitizen
JCitizen

I wonder if something worse than WGA or sneaky updates that rip your applications to shreads are included in SP3? Maybe nightmare DRM time bombs? I suppose I will just have to grin and bare it; because I will be ordering the CD soon!

Mike
Mike

Yes XP Pro 64...

Aaron A Baker
Aaron A Baker

Yes, I agree that "Some" Updates might be required, however I have come to deplore Patch Tuesday and the new Microsoft way of doing things. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a client's computer so full of Updates, Patches, and Hotfixes that it was actually chocking on all this garbage. I have set my Updates to work ONLY when I allow it and if I so desire. I have even gotten rid of my new XPPro 2003 version and returned to my 2001 because of the continuous validation, and above all Microsoft's way of issuing new numbers every time you crashed and have to re-install. I crashed twice, thanks to 2003 and then was informed by a little blue sign that I had to call Microsoft to get a new number. When I asked the "Representative" if this was my new number? He answered that No, I would have to do this each and every time I crashed, for good. I then decided to Dump the 2003 and return to my 2001. I have no problems with it and it does exactly what I need to do. What more could a person want, all this "Without" Microsoft manipulation or interference. I have already beta tested the Disaster called Vista and I'll stick to my 2001. At least until Microbucks, grows up enough to stop needing to run the world. Which bring's up another pint, WHY do we need SP3?. Is this yet another Microsoft secret method of manipulating or perhaps eavesdropping without our knowledge?? I think I'll pass. Regards Aaron A Baker

divineprime
divineprime

I am curious about this debacle, please explain more, or provide a link. I've been aware for some time, that the windows End User License Agreements, do basically mention that backdoor updates can be added at any time, to provide support, supposedly for your benifit. I think that I've actually noticed these kind of unexpected changes on a few occasions, during service pack releases, and more recently Vista's release.

mikeholli
mikeholli

[quote] by john3347:I just upgraded to XP from Vista because, as divineprime stated, Vista was JUNK!!![/quote] First off, you didn't upgrade, you down-graded. You upgrade from an older version, not from a newer version. Secondly, let me remind you nice people when WindowsXP was first released it would crash like clock-work every 30 days. Altho Microsoft released a Service Pack and tried to explain away the problem as the registration servers weren't working propertly, and your WindowsXP didn't get registered. Anyways how many here remember when Windows95 came out? I have as yet set Vista up on any of my systems, but if it works out of the box better then Windows95 had, I'll be one happy camper.

JCitizen
JCitizen

minus the "new number" fiasco. I have never turned Update on auto every since. I always review every release page on each update from now on. I am unaware of any silent updates foisted upon me but since it crashed I will never know as I had to do a clean reinstall. Another unit that had a newer upgrade version didn't crash but Microsoft technicians spent over two hours remotely repairing the broken update process. As I have a small network at my main office I had all machines set to update simultaneously and these events happened that way. I am also almost positive it was not a virus, driver, or application issue. Forensic recovery of critical files and logs indicated a WGA or immediate subsequent update event was the culprit.

mikeholli
mikeholli

I'm gonna make the (taboo word) - assumption that you are talking about the Compaq Presario 9510. I also had this machine, and WE were the lucky bunch (I know we had to wait like 2 - 2.5 months to get the Windows 3.1 upgrade CD to Windows 95A. But come on think it... THOSE machines (Compaq's) took us to our limits and beyond getting them to work properly. I remember long weekends of no sleep adjusting, and re-adjusting them to our WAN's network. And I had no choice, our IT director's brother worked out of Compaq's Texas's home base. I also LOVE to write new scripts when they released a softpaq for that dynamo of a PC. BUT back then I was happy we were dumping those dx/sx486 turtles. Now if you think back, those good times can happen again with Vista.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

That was a well written explanation and good links as well. I was unaware of the breakage the silent updates caused....guess I got lucky.

divineprime
divineprime

Wow thanks for taking the time, to explain. That's very important knowledge.

divineprime
divineprime

I'd say that perhaps: A. You've been quite lucky, and stumbled upon a stable configuration. Or demanded one, by requesting support. Or B. You're use of windows may be limited, and you just haven't noticed underlying issues. I can be pretty sure that there are major problems, because I've worked with so many PC's. I'd say somewhere around 10-20% don't manifest any problems most of the time, which is lucky.

dsimp
dsimp

The Windows Genuine Advantage Disadvantage http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,137717/article.html?tk=nl_coxcol and Microsoft Confirms Stealth Updating Mucks Up XP Restore http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,137846/article.html?tk=nl_coxnws and: Microsoft scrambles to respond to negative press Associate editor Scott Dunn's lead story last week broke the news that executable files recently installed silently by Windows Update actually prevent further updates from working in some cases. Windows XP users who run the "repair" option from a CD-ROM of the operating system find that all security patches subsequently fail to install. Many blogs and computer industry publications picked up on the trail. Several sources conducted their own tests and verified Scott's findings. ZDNet confirmed that Windows Update does not repair itself in this problematic scenario, apparently no matter how long it's left alone. Computerworld also released an article confirming the story. In response to the flurry of comments, complaints, and criticisms, Microsoft jumped into action. Windows Update program manager Nate Clinton assembled a blog post, which went live at 2:11 a.m. Pacific Time the day after our newsletter went out. His report confirmed the problem, outlined a solution, and promised that a Knowledge Base (KB) article would be posted soon. That article, KB 943144, appeared later that day. In addition to repeating the repair steps from Clinton's blog, the piece discusses the source of the problem, indirectly admitting that the stealth update was at fault: "The latest version of Windows Update includes a file that was not available in the release version of Windows XP. This file is named Wups2.dll. ... Because the registry files that correspond to the Wups2.dll file are missing, update installations are unsuccessful." Redmond identifies one DLL as the source of the problem Last week, Scott listed seven separate DLLs that needed to be manually registered to enable a "repair" install of XP to receive patches. Microsoft researched the code and found that only one of these files is the hang-up: wups2.dll. Microsoft's official fix for the problem requires that you enter only three commands in a command window to register that one DLL. The other six DLLs don't require this. For 32-bit Windows, open a command prompt and enter the following lines: net stop wuauserv regsvr32 %windir%\system32\wups2.dll net start wuauserv For 64-bit Windows, the second line differs due to the location of the DLL file: net stop wuauserv regsvr32 %windir%\syswow64\wups2.dll net start wuauserv In each case, the first and last commands stop and then restart the Windows Update service. This is a precaution to keep the service from becoming unstable. In our tests on a 32-bit system, however, a single short command ? regsvr32 wups2.dll ? solved the problem without confusing the WU/AU service. Side-stepping the primary issue Although the KB article alludes to the stealth updates, Microsoft did not address the core issue or take responsibility for causing the problem in the first place. Basic pieces of the puzzle are still missing. Users should be able to read a KB article discussing the executables that Windows Update silently installed and manually download the .381 version of the installed files (a procedure that's typically available for other patches). It would also be nice for Microsoft to stop writing files silently to disk when users configure Windows not to install downloads without warning. Until Microsoft steps up and addresses these issues, many customers will remain suspicious of Microsoft in general and Windows Update in particular. DAve

puppadave
puppadave

yes but first let me say that I am one of the guys that call COMPAC and threatened to throw out the window all of the workstation and my personal PC if they didn't work with MS to straighten out Win95...Really... Have had not problems with replacing hard drives and replacing XP with SP2 edition... and before I get shot at...Have had Zero (0) problems with IE7.. so what is the big fuss??? sleep well... Puppa

JCitizen
JCitizen

I see a lot of people saying that they are "upgrading" to XP; it's the new talking point on forums alluding to their disapointment at having bought a new OEM machine made for VISTA that won't even run with it factory installed!

torstenwedel
torstenwedel

Yes I agree with your point of view towards new techology and that Vista might be better then Win95; however, nowadays we use computers to perform in a real stressy business world which means (not like back in the days) that only a few big cooporations use computers, but that if we have a downtime it means you loose your job pretty fast. I am aware of the fact that Vista is new, but still is junk right now. I would not consider upgrading one of our cooporate system with it, since we need no downtime or lockups. I might install it when its like 2 years old and/or I run it on my beta system at work (which runs on the side) to see how it works out. Right now I have this beta system and it crashes or freezes all the time doing simple things like other Win XP system do without a problem. until then XP for the win so I guess. About what you said "upgrading vs Downgrading" you were right; however, let me point out that the poster ment as an example like this one: Lets say you have a Dodge Neo (which is a newer model of Dodge) and you buy a Corvette (which is a much older model) you would upgrade since the Corvette is faster and flashier, right? well as you pointed out that is not true since he would downgrade. in my Point of view when you talk about Upgrading vs downgrading, its when you have something bad and you UPGRADE to something better AKA He upgraded his junky Vista system to something flashy and fast which was Win XP. If you consider this way of thinking about the post you might consider the fact that he was somehow right saying HE UPGRADED. However, in the IT field we say that something old gets upgraded to something new, which is ment from XP to Vista that would be an Upgrade and back from Vista to XP woudl be a downgrade... in my personal view you would downgrade to Vista and upgrade to XP since Vista as it is right now is Junk

Rhinofart
Rhinofart

I think he was refering to "Upgrading" to an OS that actually works properly. In my opinion, and in the opinions of every other Net Admin I know XP IS an upgrade from any version of Vista. Sure Vista is a newer OS, but Vista is for the lack of a better term.... a P.O.S. Vista is absolutely the WORST OS I have ever had to provide support for. And yes I have deployed it. Mostly because the laptops my Road Warriors use come with it pre-installed. They all want to try it out. Why? Because it's a conversation piece. Nothing more. What I do know is Vista is a nightmare from an IT perspective, and unless they do some major rework to it, you can be damned sure it will not make it's way on to ANY of my networks.

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