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Microsoft Service Pack 3


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#1
Canary

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Hi - I hope this is the right forum for this post.

My Windows XP laptop keeps trying to automatically download Service Pack 3, but at the end of the process it says it could not install it.

I have Googled the problem and tried a few possible DIY solutions, but all to no avail. Whether I try to install it manually or just let it try to do it automatically, it doesn't work. And I can't shut down the computer without it going through the laborious process of trying to install the update.

Is there anything I can do to sort this out?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Edited by Canary, 28 December 2010 - 06:15 AM.

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#2
rshaffer61

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These methods are how Microsft suggests to uninstall SP3

Method 1: Use the "Add or Remove Programs" item in Control Panel

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. Copy and then paste the following command in the Open box, and then press ENTER:
appwiz.cpl
3. Click to select the Show Updates check box.
4. Click Windows XP Service Pack 3, and then click Remove.
5. Click Finish to restart the computer after the removal process is complete.



Method 2: Use the hidden $NtServicePackUninstall$ folder

1. Click Start, click Run, type c:\windows\$NtServicePackUninstall$\spuninst\spuninst.exe in the Open box, and then click OK.
2. When the Windows XP Service Pack 3 Removal Wizard starts, click Next.
3. Follow the instructions on the screen to remove Windows XP SP3.


Method 3: Use the System Restore process
Note Before you use System Restore, make sure that you have restarted the computer at least one time after you installed Windows XP SP3. By restarting the computer, you allow for any remaining servicing processes to finish.

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. Copy and then paste the following command in the Open box, and then press ENTER:
%systemroot%\System32\restore\rstrui.exe
3. Click Restore my computer to an earlier time, and then click Next.
4. Click the date on which you installed Windows XP SP3, and then click Installed Window XP Service Pack 3 in the Restore Point box.
5. Click Next, and then follow the instructions on the screen to remove Windows XP SP3




If after uninstalling SP3 and everything works fine for a day then you can reinstall SP3
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#3
Canary

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Hi. Thanks for your reply.

I followed those instructions, but I got an error message saying "The system cannot find the file specified".

Despite that message, SP3 remains in the Add/Remove Programs list.
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#4
rshaffer61

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Which set of instructions did you follow?
There are two different methods and the most logical is the second one as this completely removes the installation.
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#5
Canary

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Hi, and thanks once again.

I have now followed the second method, too, and I got the same message: "The system cannot find the file specified".

I also got a second message saying that SP3 could not be uninstalled.

(Meanwhile, the automatic updates icon has reappeared in the system tray - this issue seems to be going round and round.)
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#6
rshaffer61

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OK then try the System Restore method :D
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#7
Canary

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Hi again.

I'm a bit confused about the System Restore method. It says I need to click on the date when I installed SP3. But I have never knowingly installed it - and that's the root of my problem.

The only entry I can find on System Retore is something called "Software Distribution Service 3.0", which appears 21 times since December 19. Is that related to SP3?

Thanks!
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#8
rshaffer61

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The only entry I can find on System Retore is something called "Software Distribution Service 3.0", which appears 21 times since December 19. Is that related to SP3?

That would be the culprit.
Take the oldest date which would be the 19th and restore back before that.
In theory what that should do then is delete all the failed attempts and bring you back to SP2.
Then try the SP3 update and see if it will install completely then.
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#9
Canary

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Thanks, as ever.

The oldest update available is December 19 - in other words, I can't go back to before the first "Software Distribution Service 3.0" entry.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I went back to that date anyway but to no avail. I still can't seem to uninstall the wretched SP3.
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#10
rshaffer61

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That restore point should have been the original one before SP3 was installed.



How To Restore back to a earlier date.


To do a System Restore follow these steps:

 Click Start and then to All Programs
 Scroll to Accessories and then System Tools
 Click on System Restore
 A Welcome screen will come up and you need to click on Restore My Computer To A Earlier Date
 Then click on Next
 Now you will see in the window Select A Restore Point. From here select a date a couple of days before the problem started.
 Then click Next
 On the Confirm Restore Point Selection window verify the Restore Point you chose is correct.
 Close all open programs and click Next
 The computer will now automatically shut down and reboot. When it restarts you will see ”Restoration Complete” page and then click OK
 Once you have made sure that everything is now running correctly then please reply back with the results.
If this does not work then follow the next steps to do a Repair Installation
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#11
Canary

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Sorry if I'm being a bit thick here, but I can't click on any date pre-December 19.

That's the earliest point I could select - there's nothing before the first Software Distribution Service entry.
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#12
rshaffer61

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So using post 10 instructions you are saying there is no restore points before Dec 19th?
I'm not looking at the point of the Service Pack issue but if there is any restore points available at all?
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#13
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Nope - nothing before December 19 at all.

Thanks.
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#14
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BTW, I now can't open Word documents, either. I'm guessing (hoping!) that this is part of the same problem?

Thanks.
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#15
rshaffer61

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Possible but not really sure yet.
Go to

Start and then to Run
Type in Chkdsk /r Note the space between k and /
Click Enter ...It will probably ask if you want to do this on the next reboot...click Y
If the window doesn't shutdown on its own then reboot the system manually. On reboot the system will start the chkdsk operation
This one will take longer then chkdsk /f

Note... there are 5 stages...
It may appear to hang at a certain percent for a hour or more or even back up and go over the same area...this is normal...
DO NOT SHUT YOUR COMPUTER DOWN WHILE CHKDSK IS RUNNING OR YOU CAN HAVE SEVERE PROBLEMS
This can take several hours to complete.
When completed it will boot the system back into windows.

Let me know if this fixes the problem
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