|The long awaited
release of Windows XP Service Pack 3 has finally arrived. Its been
almost 4 years since SP2 was released. With close to a hundred updates
since SP2, Service Pack 3 has been needed. It appears this will be the
last service pack for Windows XP. Microsoft plans to stop selling
retail versions of Windows XP on June 30, 2008. So anyone who has not
upgraded to Windows XP should think seriously about upgrading before
Is there anything special in the Windows XP SP3 release?
Although Windows XP SP3 will not include any major changes, it will
include all the patches and updates since SP2 was released along with 4
minor new features dealing with reliability and security.
new features in Windows XP SP3 are:
Access Protection compatibility. This feature allows
machines to interact with the NAP feature in Windows Server 2008. This
functionality is built into Windows Vista as well. NAP
provides "computer health" policies that must be met before a
particular computer is allowed to access the network. If a client
cannot prove it is compliant with system health requirements (for
example, that it has the latest operating system and antivirus updates
installed), its access to the network or communication on the network
can be limited to a restricted network containing server resources so
that health compliance issues can be remedied.
install option. As with Windows Vista, new Windows XP
w/ SP3 installs can proceed without entering a product key during Setup.
Cryptographics Module. A new kernel module that
"encapsulates several different cryptographic algorithms," according to
Microsoft. Kinda technical, but it deals with security.
"Black hole" router
detection algorithm. XP gains the ability to ignore
network routers that incorrectly drop certain kinds of network packets.
This, too, is a feature of Windows Vista. I just hope this doesn't
cause more "limited or no connectivity" issues like I saw in SP2.
There are some minor changes to
the security settings and the removal of a few things including the
"Address Bar" from Taskbar. It appears from the latest whitepaper that
IE7 is NOT included in SP3 but available for download separately.
What Versions of Windows XP will work with
Service Pack 3?
You can apply Service Pack 3 to
Windows XP Home Edition, Professional Edition, Tablet PC Edition (any
version), or Media Center Edition (any version). Although it appears
you must have at least SP1 installed to install the new service pack.
SP3 does not apply to the x64 version of Windows XP. Instead, that
operating system is updated via service packs aimed at Windows Server
What Version of Internet Explorer ships with Service Pack 3?
XP Service Pack 3 ships with Internet Explorer 6 and contains a roll-up
of various security updates. If you have IE6 on your computer, you can
safely install Service Pack 3 and then end up with an updated version
of IE6 and all your preferences intact.
you have Internet Explorer 7 currently installed, all your preferences
and settings will be retained. However the ability to uninstall IE7
will be taken away. Since an uninstall requires a rollback to a
previous version that has since been updated with SP3, this option will
no longer be available. If you must uninstall IE7 at this point, you
would have to first uninstall service pack 3, then proceed to uninstall
IE7. To get around this issue, uninstall IE7 first, then install
Service Pack 3, and finally reinstall Internet Explorer 7.
you are running IE 8 Beta, you should UNINSTALL IT FIRST, then install
Service Pack 3. After the service pack is successfully install, you can
upgrade to the latest beta version of IE8.
Why Should I Upgrade to XP SP3?
appears this will be the last major development of Windows XP and the
date is approaching when Microsoft will no longer be selling retail
versions of XP, its a good idea to download this update and install it.
If you haven't bothered to download updates since the last Service
Pack, then I would highly recommend that you download and install this
update. It wont dramatically change the way you work like Windows Vista
did, but it will make your computer as secure as it possibly can be at
the moment.Problems Rebooting Computer After Service Pack 3 is installed
on the type of processor installed in your computer, you may experience
problems rebooting your computer after SP3 is installed. The computer
will reboot continuously with a Stop error. Read this article to learn how to fix this issue.
Where can I
download Windows XP Service Pack 3?
a delay because of a compatibility issue between Microsoft Dynamics
Retail Management System (RMS) and XP Service Pack 3 as well
as Vista SP1, Microsoft has finally released SP3 to the web for
download. You may download it via Windows Updates
or from the link below for the standalone full download distributed for
anyone needing to update multiple computers. From previous statements
by Microsoft, it wont be pushed to customers automatically
until June 10, 2008 according to Microsoft's schedule.
Download Windows XP Service Pack
information regarding Windows XP Service Pack 3, you can visit the Microsoft
Support Article regarding
My Experience Installing Windows XP Service Pack 3
downloaded the standalone installer for SP3 from the link above and
installed it on one of my laptops running Windows XP Home Edition. I
thought it might be good to show some screenshots of the installation
screen so you know what to expect. After saving the service pack to my
desktop and double-clicking on it, I was greeted by the following setup
screen recommending that I backup my system first (this is the same
sort of screen that greeted users when installing SP2).
After clicking Next, I was greeted with license agreement
Next, the installation prompted me for the location to save backup files to (accept the default location)
Written by Mark Hasting
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