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should i install XP's SP3?


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#1
biren

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i had heard/read about problems faced on installing windowXp's SP3 update... so i had desisted from installing it...

is it now ok to install SP3?

my system info is:

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation

System Manufacturer INTELR
System Model AWRDACPI
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 15 Model 4 Stepping 1 GenuineIntel ~2660 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG, 18-Feb-05
SMBIOS Version 2.2

Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)"

Total Physical Memory 512.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 134.92 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 844.62 MB
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#2
jt1990

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I'm running SP3 on all my XP machines and haven't had any problems with it except that it messes up the XP Preinstall on new computers that I build. It's not at all the major update that SP2 was.
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#3
The Skeptic

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I wouldn't install it on a loaded, long running computer. There were, and are, many problems with it (have a look at this post). I only install it on freshly formatted computers, before I install other programs. Whenever you do it (if at all), after download, before installation, close all open programs including antivirus.

Edited by The Skeptic, 25 July 2008 - 12:55 PM.

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#4
Neil Jones

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I wouldn't install it on a loaded, long running computer. There were, and are, many problems with it (have a look at this post). I only install it on freshly formatted computers, before I install other programs. Whenever you do it (if at all), after download, before installation, close all open programs including antivirus.


The age of an installation is pretty much irrelevant, its more to do with what state its in at the time. You can easily have an 18 month old installation that's as stable as if it were new, for example.
If the system is, for want of a better description, already screwed up then a service pack will usually (though not always) push it over the edge. A Windows Repair would then be needed if it does fall over altogether.
Clean systems are your best bet however you may find the odd machine/hardware combination that doesn't like SP3 in any way, shape or form.
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#5
The Skeptic

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Hi Neil,

I partly agree with you; the system's condition, freshly installed or long-running is very important. However, as I see it, every computer system is going through a process of degradation during it's lifetime due to install/uninstall of programs, writing/deletion of files, system errors that could not be fixed optimally by windows etc.etc.etc. I paid quite dearly to learn this lesson. Installation of SP-2 ,for example, is almost guaranteed to fail on a loaded, long running computers. At the same time, It never failed to install on freshly formatted computers. The same with SP-3.

The chances for failure far out-weight, in my opinion, the potential benefit.
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#6
Neil Jones

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Hi Neil,

I partly agree with you; the system's condition, freshly installed or long-running is very important. However, as I see it, every computer system is going through a process of degradation during it's lifetime due to install/uninstall of programs, writing/deletion of files, system errors that could not be fixed optimally by windows etc.etc.etc. I paid quite dearly to learn this lesson. Installation of SP-2 ,for example, is almost guaranteed to fail on a loaded, long running computers. At the same time, It never failed to install on freshly formatted computers. The same with SP-3.


People's experiences will be different from system to system.
If the system's relatively stable, it should be fine. If its infected to high heaven and back, then doing anything on it will probably kill it.
New installations putting Sp3 on the top are rarely an issue, save for the odd laptop I've seen that (after a fresh install) didn't get as far as installing any files from the service pack, but was happy to back them up.

A far better solution is a CD that has SP3 slipstreamed into it, these are now available in the current XP OEM licences or you can make your own. Any machine that falls over with a slipstreamed SP3 probably has more serious issues.
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#7
The Skeptic

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A case that happened to me yesterday. Normally I install SP-3 or SP-2 first thing after format before any program or driver is loaded. This time I forgot to do so, installed programs and drivers, replaced backed up files, the lot. During the time that I did this Windows Updates downloaded SP-3. Without thinking much I ran the installation, probably neglecting to disable the installed antivirus, AVG.

When I rebooted I was informed that check-disk needs to run on my drive. I allowed it and couldn't believe my eyes. For about 10 minutes hundreds, if not thousands, data and system files ran in front of my eyes being corrected by check disk. It was so fast that I couldn't see what files exactly, but there were a million pictures (.jpeg) and other data and system files. I was lucky, all were fixed.

I tell this story to demonstrate the caution at which I look at SP-3 installation. With all modesty, if it happened to me there is much better chance that it will happen to the average user and he may not be as lucky as I was.
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