The need (and value) of updating to XP SP3 has come up in a couple different threads (vs. just keeping SP2 + and getting all updates). So, started this thread to offer some info as well as personal opinion and solicit same from others. Is SP3 equivalent to SP2 + current Windows updates? I’ve read several sites (not blogs) i find reputable and knowledgeable about XP which indicate there are differences. As i understand it, SP3 includes "updates and hotfixes" that were available in SP2 but aren't hotfixes those updates you only got from MS if you contacted them to say you really need it??? Finally, Overview of Windows XP Service Pack 3 from Microsoft summarizes some possible differences you may find as well as a few "new" features unique to SP3 Some updates/features available in SP2 were optional. In SP3 they're all installed by default A few features are new to SP3. Period. They don't change the user interface (i.e. the customer's experience as Microsoft calls it) but do affect XP's behavior. Is there other value to having users with problems update to SP3? I believe so. I’ve found it’s not rare to find newbies or those just less "computer savvy" who believe they're current with SP2 when, in fact, a look at their installation history shows that’s not true (update install failures that are ignored, sometimes ignored to the point of being turned off). As my own rule of thumb i feel much more confident that someone is running on a known and fixed software base when they say they’re running SP3 vs. simply saying "SP2 and all current updates since" Are there any problems with installing SP3? You might experience some. SP3 (like prior major service pack releases and even some updates) is known to have some bugs. But if someone is having crashes and/or other major problems with their computer they want to report and ask for help I still believe it best to see they’re updated to SP3 first.