FAQ: What you should know before installing XP SP3

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FAQ: What you should know before installing XP SP3

Post by Doctor Inferno on 9th May 2008, 7:44 am

Microsoft finally gives everyone a shot at XP's final service pack


SP3, undoubtedly the aged operating system's last service pack, was released Tuesday to Windows Update as an optional upgrade, and stand-alone executables were added to Microsoft's download servers.

To paraphrase -- and, at the same time, contradict -- Winston Churchill, although this isn't the end of Windows XP, it's certainly the beginning of the end. But we come not to bury XP, but to praise it -- and to answer a few last-minute questions now that it's really, truly, yes-indeed available to anyone who wants it.

Can I really get Windows XP SP3 now? Yes. You can grab it from Windows Update (WU) or download a stand-alone installer from Microsoft's Web site.

Will Windows Update automatically download and install XP SP3? Not yet. Instead, you must choose "Windows Update" from the Start menu, then click on either "Express" or "Custom." In both cases, WU will offer XP SP3. In fact, it will offer SP3 before any other update or patch.

To start the 30-minute process, click the "Install Updates" button.

Microsoft has said it will flip the switch for automatic download and install -- the setting that most users have selected in WU -- sometime this summer. Others have speculated that the push date has already been slated for June 10.

Where's the stand-alone installer? As is its policy, Microsoft has also posted a much larger installation file that doesn't require WU. The XP SP3 stand-alone installer, which weighs in a 316MB, can be found here.

Anything I should know before starting the update? You could just jump into the fray, but Microsoft has a whole list of steps it recommends prior to installing XP SP3. The list talks about prerequisites and hard disk requirements, mentions (but doesn't recommend) disabling antivirus protection, and suggests several other moves, including making a full backup before you begin.

That document is also a good resource, or at least a good starting point, for troubleshooting a balky XP SP3 update; it includes information on a host of potential error messages.........


source: www.computerworld.com


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