Microsoft

I updated Windows XP with SP3 and nothing bad happened

All of the angst over whether to install SP3 buzzing around the blogosphere may be more hyperbole than actual experience. Mark Kaelin installed it on his test machine and nothing bad happened.

You read the title correctly -- nothing bad happened. The installation of SP3 took about a half an hour and involved two restarts, but, as far as I can tell, my test XP box is running just fine.

Of course, as a test machine there is much less opportunity for software to break, especially if the the software is custom or proprietary to your particular enterprise. So your mileage may vary as they say.

But all of the angst over whether to install SP3 buzzing around the blogosphere may be more hyperbole than actual experience. At the very least, you should be testing whether an SP3 deploy breaks anything.

By the way, while installing SP3 on my Windows XP box I noticed that AVG from Grisoft has an update to version 8.0 ready. In fact, 7.5 will cease to work after May 31, 2008. If you have installed AVG for clients or family, it might be a good time to check up on them to see that they keep their virus/malware software working properly.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

52 comments
wetaski22
wetaski22

Have internet explorer 7 in comp. what will sp3 do to it, if anything. j.b

mikemc3
mikemc3

I installed SP3 this weekend. The install didn't have any glitch (although it took forever - seemingly). After the initial reboot following this my system was immediately sluggish. It took 2x as long to launch anything & to even start. Being someone who prides himself in being an expert at tweaking Windows, this was completely unacceptable. it didn't take me long to decide to remove SP3 (I chose to back up the SP2 files prior to updating). Luckily for me the uninstall process from Add/Remove programs was painless and now my system is happily REMAINING with SP2. I do realize thru reading the Microsoft specs for SP3 that it was never meant to speed up the system (just update it's security profile). Which is why I laugh myself to tears when I read article after article slamming SP3 for not improve system performance via benchmarking (like wondering why a coffee pot won't wash your dishes) ... no-one SAID IT WOULD, DUHH!! But too hammer system performance like it did ... It is not worth installing, just install the updates as they become available (deciding for yourself if you need them AND NOT letting Microsoft shove them down your throat!!)

Pravat
Pravat

even i had no issues with SP3 at all... all is fine on my AMD X2 4400+ :)

OnTheRopes
OnTheRopes

I went to the Windows Update site and there's a link that will supposedly take you to a place where you can order SP3 on CD. The link leads practically nowhere. It takes you to two different download sites. I was a bit disappointed as I obtained SP2 on CD. Although I don't really feel that I need it I tried downloading my SP3, about 66MB, but the download never started. I'll wait until later and try again or how about never. How does never sound?

pbendavid
pbendavid

I faithfully downloaded SP3 for microsoft windows update that was sent to me for an update of my system. but the update killed my system and I could not re-boot the system. It gave me an error message: Stop: c0000139 {entry point GdiGetBitmapBitsSize could not be located in the dynamic link library GDI32.dll. I called microsoft tech support and told them I tried F8 to boot from the system: SAFE BOOT, to get back the original configuration, all of the options. None allowed my system to re-initiate. The only assistance microsoft offered was to find a friend who had another XP boot disk to reload it. My computer came with microsoft. I have no bootable disk. Call a friend? What kind of help is that? If I had a friend who had XP, (all who only use Vista now) I would never have called Microsoft. I would have fixed the problem from that. The only option seemed to wipe my hard drive of all my saved information and reinstall XP. It ended up costing me $32.78 to a tech support guy at staples. He downloaded the missing .dll so sp3 would work, but I don't really trust it. The tech support guy thinks I should leave it alone till it stops working.

pbendavid
pbendavid

I faithfully downloaded SP3 for microsoft windows update that was sent to me for an update of my system. but the update killed my system and I could not re-boot the system. It gave me an error message: Stop: c0000139 {entry point GdiGetBitmapBitsSize could not be located in the dynamic link library GDI32.dll. I called microsoft tech support and told them I tried F8 to boot from the system: SAFE BOOT, to get back the original configuration, all of the options. None allowed my system to re-initiate. The only assistance microsoft offered was to find a friend who had another XP boot disk to reload it. My computer came with microsoft. I have no bootable disk. Call a friend? What kind of help is that? If I had a friend who had XP, (all who only use Vista now) I would never have called Microsoft. I would have fixed the problem from that. The only option seemed to wipe my hard drive of all my saved information and reinstall XP. It ended up costing me $32.78 to a tech support guy at staples. He downloaded the missing .dll so sp3 would work, but I don't really trust it. The tech support guy thinks I should leave it alone till it stops working.

thart
thart

8 of 9 worked fine for me. Number 9 was the first in its particular HW group (Gateway E-6300 SB). When it restarted, it failed to load Windows properly and rebooted. Safe mode did not work either, same error. The machine has now been rendered useless and must be re-imaged. Oh well, I guess an 88.8% success rate for a Windows Service Pack ain't too bad.

dborjal007
dborjal007

What main concern is the Remote Desktop Protocol not working correctly. I have done some probing and found some forums post (not here) that state the RDC (remoted desktop connection) doesn't work properly after SP3 is installed. Can some verify this or point men in the direction in which I can found out more.

jimdrvr99
jimdrvr99

I have updated to sp3 on my xp machine and as far as I can tell my machine is running smoother and with less hang-ups, Of course I am running XP home version on my person machine, and I like it more over vista which I have on my laptop, XP sp3 also runs faster than my vista machine.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Well, no problems with 2 PCs. No loss of Wordpad, Calculator or whatever. Don't use the Address bar. That said, here are known issues: 1) Using an ATI card, get the latest Catalyst drivers first. 2) Wireless card? Have the latest drivers handy. Some card are cranky. 3) Have a ASUS A8N32-SLI motherboard? Issues. Don't install. 4) Have an AMD system made by HP [primarily them], verify that the IntelPPM is disabled or not installed. This causes the constant reboots. It is not Microsoft's fault but HP because they dumped an Intel image on an AMD system.

jjlipka
jjlipka

I downloaded SP3 and applied it to 3 machines. One bluescreened due to video, the second was in a reboot loop, the third would not handle my pcmcia Netgear wireless card. I tried SP3 again (via Ghosting the three machines) via Windows Update and all three worked fine after the update. I applied it against four other machines without any problems.It appears the way to go is Windows Update. I was suprised that there was a difference between the download and Windows Update.

douglasalt1
douglasalt1

Well, nothing bad happened AFTER the update, getting there became a trial of patience. Automatic update suggested a download of 66Mb, this failed. Checked on Knowledge Base which suggested disabling the firewall, anti-virus and renaming the downloads folder. Tried this, it still failed and the error messages became less than helpful. After a fourth reboot and failure, I had a good look in knowledge base and found that there was a full version of the SP so saved this to the hard drive. even with an 8Mbs ADSL connection it still took 45 mins to download. This did work, after again disabling the A/V software. Can only give Micros**t 3 out of 10.

naveenparasher
naveenparasher

Last week I downloaded the Win XP Service Pack 3 .When I am upgradieng my WIN XP SP2 to SP3 my system has been restarting again and again,What is the problem.After that I repaired my WIN XP now it is working properly but it is not upgraded to WIN XP SP3 Can u help me that Why the problem is occuring ????

WNelWeb
WNelWeb

SO far so good. I've updated two out of three machines and no problems I can see. I had a bit of trouble with one of them (my main PC), but I am fairly certain it was due to intermittent internet service interruptions from my provider. 5/27 FOLLOW-UP: Updated my third machine also with no problems whatsoever. N.

wesley.chin
wesley.chin

I have heard that SP3 will make XP like Vista in that changes to the hardware will affect use of XP. Is that the case?

Kengrush
Kengrush

The "Address" option formerly present under the "Toolbars" entry of the Taskbar right-click menu is no longer present after a completely uneventful installation of XP, SP3. In addition, the configuration of same on all user accounts on the machine was removed with the restart required after installation! Go to the Microsoft TechNet SP3 forums and search for "Address Bar" or "Address" and you will find EXTENSIVE DISCUSSIONS AND COMPLAINTS about this from many IT pros who use that nifty tweak to do all sorts of shortcuts besides surfing the web. Some comments indicated that this was in the "Release Notes", but my careful re-reading of those did not find mention of this. Apparently it has something to do with antitrust litigation, BUT MS WAS ABLE TO KEEP IT IN VISTA SP1??! THEREFORE, MANY BLOGGERS CONCLUDED THAT THIS MIGHT BE A NONE TOO SUBTLE ENCOURAGEMENT FROM MS TO UPGRADE TO VISTA! One commenter has actually released code to add it back, but as a non MS sanctioned addition, many are wary, although several posters found it OK. The truly only secure way to get it back is to UNINSTALL SP3. Voila! Everything returned to normal. I have alerted MS Support about the issue and my displeasure, but in light of the wealth of other complainers dating back to RC1 & 2, I am not holding my breath for any useful response or a fix.

alancmaskell
alancmaskell

I downloaded/installed SP3 first day it was available. NOTHING BAD HAPPENED HERE EITHER. I do a lot of Audio/Video work. I also do a lot of Open Office work too. So far I'm still happy camper here. BTW, Open Office by SunMicro now has Beta 3.0 ready for install. Using it now for 2 days Vista SP3 loves it too.

sheepchild
sheepchild

I spent half a day *trying* to update one machine. Without success. I kept getting this error: Service Pack 3 Setup Error. A device attached to the system is not working. This is not helpful since it didn't give any clues as to what was actually happening. I turned on every device attached to the system and tried again. And again. Still the same message. I've disabled the update notification for now. I'd dearly love to know what it's "seeing". Bleah.

dl
dl

Well, you were lucky. I installed SP3 on three desktop computers I had built without any difficulty. But installation on our Gateway notebook resulted in a Blue Screen of Death and memory dump. Fortunately, upon restart Windows returned itself to its pre-SP3 setup all by itself. I have no idea what went wrong, but since notebook is otherwise fully updated, I think it prudent not to try to install SP3 again.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

My experience with SP3 for Windows XP was uneventful, but yours may be completely different. If your experience with SP3 installation was disastrous or merely annoying, tell us about it.

Kengrush
Kengrush

Sorry, I forgot to include "expand" at the beginning of the command. Also, if you actually can open a command prompt window, use the "cd" (change directory) command to go to the root of the installation drive: cd Y:\ (where Y is the installation directory, usually "C" in most cases). Once there, type expand X:\I386\GDI32.DL_ Y:\Windows\system32\gdi32.dll

Kengrush
Kengrush

You never said whether you could boot to Safe mode at all or just that, after pressing F8, nothing would function. If you can get to safe mode, try safe mode with command prompt, and you'll need the installation CD. Once there use the "Expand" command: X:\I386\GDI32.DL_ Y:\Windows\system32\gdi32.dll (NOTE THE DIFFERENT SPELLING OF THE FILE IN EACH LOCATION!) X and Y are respectively the drive containing the XP installation CD and the drive where windows XP is installed. That should place a new copy of the gdi32.dll file into the system32 folder and allow normal booting. If that is not possible, if you have the media to reinstall XP, you sould be able to "boot" with it, as with a brand new, blank PC and hard drive. Leave the CD in the top optical drive and restart. Try using the "Repair" option after choosing the "Install" option on the welcome screen. Hope this helps.

Kengrush
Kengrush

You never said whether you could boot to Safe mode at all or just that, after pressing F8, nothing would function. If you can get to safe mode, try safe mode with command prompt, and you'll need the installation CD. Once there use the "Expand" command: X:\I386\GDI32.DL_ Y:\Windows\system32\gdi32.dll (NOTE THE DIFFERENT SPELLING OF THE FILE IN EACH LOCATION!) X and Y are respectively the drive containing the XP installation CD and the drive where windows XP is installed. That should place a new copy of the gdi32.dll file into the system32 folder and allow normal booting. If that is not possible, if you have the media to reinstall XP, you sould be able to "boot" with it, as with a brand new, blank PC and hard drive. Leave the CD in the top optical drive and restart. Try using the "Repair" option after choosing the "Install" option on the welcome screen. Hope this helps.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Unfortunately, when making such a large update to an operating system, there is always the possibility for something to go wrong. And you also fell victim to one of my pet peeves -- EVERY PC should come with a CD-ROM with the complete operating system on it.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Did you get any error messages or other indicators as to what went wrong with the 9th system?

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

Used it on several machines I've upgraded with no problems. It hasn't had a bad effect on virtual pc either...I also tried rdp through VPN and rdp through VPN on the virtual pc just to satisfy my own curiosity for you. No issues for me. Like I said...for me. If you have issues don't blame me later. :)

s31064
s31064

I have installed SP3 on over a dozen machines so far, desktops and laptops, and have not had any problem with Remote Desktop, which is used constantly here. I used Windows Update for two upgrades, an onsite WSUS server for six upgrades, and the complete SP download for the rest. I found no difference in installation or results. It just works.

fraustrew
fraustrew

i updated SP2 to Sp3 but it seems nothing has change the window interface just like sp2.

TroyW
TroyW

Umm, just checked, and none of the machines I have installed XP SP3 on have lost this option, I can take a screen capture if you like showing that they do have SP3 and the address toolbar working if you like... I have had no trouble at all after installing SP3 on any of the machines I have installed it on...

thx-1138_
thx-1138_

...you've just made a *typo*. "...THEREFORE, MANY BLOGGERS CONCLUDED THAT THIS MIGHT BE A NONE TOO SUBTLE ENCOURAGEMENT FROM MS TO UPGRADE TO VISTA!" This should read: "...THEREFORE, MANY BLOGGERS CONCLUDED THAT THIS MIGHT BE A NONE TOO SUBTLE ENCOURAGEMENT FROM MS TO STAY WITH XP SP2!" Btw, do you always gotta shout when you're making a post? Lastly, to avoid the DRM and hotbot spyware that is included in SP3, just stick with XP SP2. You have been warned! Sincerely.

ajaxnii
ajaxnii

I updated 4 out of 150 systems and the test bed hasnt tanked yet.....knock on wood! All is well. Notepad, Wordpad, and Calc all present and working!

erikpena
erikpena

In addition to the oft lamented missing Address Bar, I also found another Taskbar problem. I use the Quick Launch bar much more than the Start Menu. The installation of SP3 ordered my Quick Launch alphabetically rather than logically as I had it prior to install (e.g., communications, office, utilities, media, etc...) In general, this annoys me and is a turn-off for SP3.

slatimer76
slatimer76

I have done several updates now. I have experienced SP3 install on computers that were already fully up to date, IE7... .net 3.0, all the good stuff, and have had no problems on my desktop or laptop with SP3. At work on the other hand....I installed several computers with a clean version of XP SP2 with IE6, .net 1.0 and lacking some critical updates. Windows update/auto updates find SP3 as the first update. Once this is installed, all other updates fail. Including IE7, Office 2007 SP1, and other critical updates. The .msi files downloaded from Microsoft still install correctly, but it would be much easier to install from Microsoft update website. This is common from other threads in TechRepublic I have read. Hmmmm, are the "critical updates" included in SP3? If this is the case, why wont SP1 for office install?? Hmmmmm...

Perseus
Perseus

I first tried on my test machine which went without a hitch. As described in the article, I discovered the AVG upgrade Post SP3. Work Machine(s) were a different ball game. All of them were Dell D630. Of all the places, SP3 broke my Keyboard Driver!! Apparently same driver is somehow connected to my touchpad. So that broke too. Thankfully I had a external mouse that helped. Once Uninstalled both devices Reinstalled OEM Drivers (Not M$ Drivers) things went on fine. (4 Reboots 1 System Restore) I have so many of the known non working applications including Symantec products. They all worked fine. Its the lousy keyboard Driver. What can I say ?

mceitlin
mceitlin

My experience was excellent, I have a myriad of programs, including .NET Framework (1.1, 2.0, 3.5), Visual Studio (2003, 2005, 2008), Office 2007, SQL Server 2005,Firefox 2.0, IE 7, Safari 3.1, Prot?g? 3.2.1, Google Desktop 5.7, Silverlight, Flash, Sun Java, AVG 8.0. Everything works as usual.

agijoseph
agijoseph

I installed SP3 for Windows Xp successfully. I didn?t face any issues while installation also its working fine after installation.

Den2010
Den2010

As soon as SP3 became generally available, I downloaded the Administrative Installer--324 MB worth--put it on a thumbdrive, and installed it on my Toshiba notebook and a self-built desktop at home. The notebook has a Core Duo T2300 and 4 GB RAM, and was fully updated at that point--no issues at all. The desktop uses an Athlon64 X2 3800+ with 4 GB RAM, and has nVidia graphics--again, no issues at all. I did take the time to disable my antivirus and antispyware software on each before updating; that may be what some updaters are failing to do, and why there are some problems being reported. Finally, about a week ago, I used Microsoft Update to install the online update of SP3 on my work desktop PC (Pentium 4 2.4 GHz with 1 GB RAM and ATI graphics). Again, I disabled the antivirus and antispyware programs first. The only effect of the upgrade after the reboot was a return to the standard WinXP themes for my desktop; I've been using a tweaked uxtheme.dll to allow me to use non-Microsoft themes to customize my GUI. I had to search for an updated version of that on the internet. Once I found it, it was a simple matter to update it once again and I've got my old (new?) GUI back the way I want it. Whereas I know that installing packages like this can be trying sometimes, my own experience with SP3 has been trouble-free enough that I have no trouble planning to roll it out to everyone else in the office within the next few weeks. I haven't seen any breakage on systems or programs so far in my testing, so unless something crops up pretty quick, it's going to be in the pipeline.

rkaz
rkaz

Updated three XP SP2 systems and one XP SP2 Virtual PC from my internal WUS server. Have been running them for a few weeks with no issues so far.

ianbsnelling
ianbsnelling

Word pad is removed and so is the calculator

genokeno
genokeno

I installed XP SP3 from this site & my computer crashed. Unable to restore from "Restore point" created or "In Safe" mode. Took several calls to Microsoft & Dell to get my computer working & it's not 100% yet.

Kengrush
Kengrush

I am speaking of the "Address" bar shown at the bottome of the screen, just to the right of the "QuickLaunch" area. Of note, the author of the original piece also found that his test machines lacked the option to display this "TASKBAR" option. If you right-click the taskbar area and choose "Toolbars", is there an option for "Address" listed?

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

Therefore my investment has not been diluted. I feel much better now.

Kengrush
Kengrush

Point well taken and already understood. However, at some point, NO security updates will be available to non SP3 users, as is currently the case with SP2. I didn't mean to shout, but to emphasize areas that I thought were significant -- SUCH AS ECONOMIC RATHER THAN FUNCTIONAL MOTIVATION FOR THE CHANGE. My point is that they have removed an established feature of the platform that is useful for many users. Using "Run" or a third party "Address" add-on adds effort, potentially corrupts function, and dilutes the value of our investment. Also, they will sneak this and other invasive stuff in via future "security" updates. I think DRM will be handled by the marketplace, as is already in progress. All we have to do is not BUY restrictive products and insist on "copy" rights for our own use. It is up to them to demonstrate mass distribution rather than take the easy way out. This is very reminiscent of the panic when VCR and cassettes first came out. I really believe that the producers will settle on a mechanism that allows reasonable copying but not massive copying. Thanks for your response.

Kengrush
Kengrush

The point of my post was to alert users that a distinctive feature of the XP platform had been removed without any notice. The "browseui.dll" file is replaced in the process of installing SP3. Any previously present and configured Address Toolbar is deleted, and there is no way within the OS that we purchased to restore it. That should not be done without considering that the function is used to save time by many power users to avoid always opening a full browser (IE 7 does not load especially quickly) and then having to move from the Home page to where one wants to be. Also, the taskbar area "Address" toolbar can be used to run commands and to navigate to any Windows Explorer directory without using the Internet as a platform. This user feature should never have been removed without a prominent notice in the release notes and those simpler instructions to prepare one's PC. In fact, the author of this blogg was surprosed to verify this detail and finds it very strange MS behavior indeed. He says he will write an entry about it soon. All that aside, my machine works just fine without SP3, so I'll see if a fix develops. In fact, I noticed no increased performance after the install. I tested it for 1 day, and that's when I noticed the missing menu option for adding and address bar to the taskbar area. If your PC actually needed this service pack to improve performance, go for it, but there may be other factors, which addressed (no pun intended) would yield as good a result. A WORD OF CAUTION: THE "ADD-ON" TO WHICH YOU REFER ON TECHNET, AND WHICH I SURVEYED BEFORE ENTERING MY COMMENT HERE, IS NOT MS CERTIFIED OR EVALUATED AND HAS GONE THROUGH MANY UPDATES, AS THERE HAVE BEEN SOME ISSUES WITH THE ADD-ON. It has also not been tested for security vulnerabilities. IF YOU WANT TO USE IT (and a number of posters gave favorable comments), SEARCH FOR THE LATEST VERSION NEAR THE END OF THE COMMENTS IN MAY, 2008. THE CREATOR ALSO GIVES THE ADDRESS OF THE DEVELOPMENT WEB SITE TO FACILITATE CHECKING ON WHICH IS THE LATEST VERSION. That is not to say I am not grateful that an engineer has been considerate enought to develop this workaround, and to continue to improve the initially raw product. But the fact that he went to such trouble and that a great many angry commentors repudiated SP3 and resorted to uninstalling it shows how serious the issue is for many of us. NONE OF THIS HASSLE should have been necessary!

slatimer76
slatimer76

Yesterday, I decided to uninstall SP3 and see if I could pull down some of the other updates. Alas, the first update found after the uninstall was SP3. I reinstalled, restarted, and lo and behold, automatic updates started to work correctly. I have replicated this on another computer, and am now testing on a third. It seems to be a good fix for this issue, and possibly an others with SP3. Hope this all helps ya out.

cbader
cbader

Both Wordpad and Calculator are still on my machine. So far SP3 has worked awesome for me.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Must be something on your PC. Still on two SP3 ststems of mine. I don't think Calculator has a vulnerability. :)

thefox220
thefox220

Mine are still there and they both work. I have not found anything broken yet. (knock on wood!).

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

What a lengthy, COMPLETE WITH YELLING post that was. I think Robin was merely offering a polite suggestion. I think someone could have responded a little more POLITELY. :) On a side not...the (evil)desktop search bar (MS approved) will handle the same role. Type in the same thing as you would on the address bar and you get the same result. I've always just hit Windows+r to pull up the run command so i don't have to remove my hands from the keyboard.

s31064
s31064

The Windows Search Deskbar also allows you the same funtionality as the Address toolbar.

s31064
s31064

'Run' from the Start Menu makes this a complete non-issue to most.

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