Issues with XP SP3 plague many

By Justin Mann on May 9, 2008, 2:00 PM
With more and more users having access to Windows XP SP3, what is the story of their experience? A horror story, it seems, with many users complaining of numerous issues post-install. The problems range from random blue-screens and reboots to crashes to issues with external storage and outright failed installs. This story isn't unique, with just about every service pack release causing havoc in some fashion or another. If you recall the releases of Vista SP1, XP SP2, XP SP1 and even further back, every service pack release has had some serious growing pains. There are no specific figures as to how widespread the issues are, but as they are discovered there will be more information on how to avoid having problems when upgrading.

The issues usually stem from trying to upgrade machines already in service, rather than installing it on new machines. Of course, the majority of people out there are not going to wipe their machines just to use SP3. One interesting note is SP3's refusal to install if you have any beta of IE8 installed. As these issues are tracked down, hopefully Microsoft will work to resolve them.




User Comments: 24

Got something to say? Post a comment
tedster said:
Vista transformation pack also is removed when SP3 is installed. I guess M$ wants you to buy vista.
hughjass said:
screw vista, im upgrading to XP
trinitibt said:
Everybody should know to NEVER install any MS upgrade on top of an existing MS OS. That has been the law since Win98. I have SP3 installed on a new drive and it is rock solid.
denkile said:
XP SP3 "Clean Install" Improved Performance'Installed XP SP3 (RC2 v3311 from hotfix.com) after a "clean Install" and it seemed to improveperformance (memory/pagefile mgt and filekeeping/defragment).Only problem found: SP3 would not allow install of myprevious hotfixes for DVD-RW opening in XP-Explorer.It was great to have no Windows Updates (1/10/08).SOOOO...why install SP3 if the updates are up-to-date ?
skitzo_zac said:
I installed SP3 on an already in use install of SP2 and had no problems with it, I have been using it since April 30. Although I installed a RC of SP3 onto an old crappy computer at my education facility and was having problems with the USB, nothing would work in USB ports. The computers only had USB 1.1. Just rolled the computer back to SP2.
spydercanopus said:
[b]Originally posted by trinitibt:[/b][quote]Everybody should know to NEVER install any MS upgrade on top of an existing MS OS. That has been the law since Win98. I have SP3 installed on a new drive and it is rock solid.[/quote]You're an i.d.i.o.t.
bushwhacker said:
No Spydercanopus, you are.Trinitibt is right.Never, ever, ever upgrades the OS. That's will be your worst nightmare in few months.
jbs1951 said:
My computer asked me if I wanted to do the latest patch, SP3 and when I clicked OK, it went away, never to be seen again. Guess I never got the chance to experience the latest "upgrade". Also, nothing beats a 'clean XP install', except you use up an activation. And I am fresh out of activations! If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
jbs1951 said:
If you want XP you better hurry. I hear it's going to hard to find soon.
luvhuffer said:
I was about due for a spring clean reinstall, so I burned a slipstreamed XP SP3 CD and reinstalled the OS. So far no issues whatsoever. My rig might be a tad quicker, but if it is it's negligable. I still had to reboot and install updates 3 or 4 times though. Hanging in there for Windows7 LOL
compugor said:
XP SP3 is just a consolidation of all the updates we have been installing from Windows Update all along. A clean install of XP SP2 has over 100 Windows Critical Updates available, OR install SP3 and then there are only a few remaining.I'm just as ready as the next geek to crack on the Borg, but in this case there is hardly any real evidence of negative issues. Vista has turned out to be such a big blunder (shades of "ME") that they released a final rollup of all the patches for XP, which no matter how you slice it is still way better than Vista.The only issue I have had is that SP3 automatically installs the sucky "new" RDP client which was previously an optional update. Fortunately I saved the $uninstall directory for that particular update which when you run (A COPY OF IT) rolls back to the original RDP client no problem.I sure hope anyone experiencing blue screening is for some other reason(s) than just installing XP SP3. I've seen no problems in dozens of instances but it hasn't been that long.So stop scaring people or come up with some solid cause & effect (running a beta of IE8 sounds like an ill-advised logical reason to have an issue). [Edited by compugor on 2008-05-10 06:38:44]
windmill007 said:
I've upgraded several computers and only 1 that had a problem installing. But some googling and I fixed the problem and it installed fine. I like that you can apply SP3 without having Sp1 or Sp2 installed. It seems like a basic upgrade to me..Systems do seema bit zipper to me..No noticed slowdowns.
ladera95 said:
The post by compugor on May 10, 2008 at 6:35 AM "XP SP3 is just a consolidation of all the updates we have been installing from Windows Update all along. A clean install of XP SP2 has over 100 Windows Critical Updates available, OR install SP3 and then there are only a few remaining. "This leads me to ask a question about the 100 or so updates and Hotfixes I find listed in the Settings/Programs list. Can all those be removed? Does XP SP3 include and replace all those entries?
bushwhacker said:
[b]Originally posted by luvhuffer:[/b][quote]I was about due for a spring clean reinstall, so I burned a slipstreamed XP SP3 CD and reinstalled the OS. So far no issues whatsoever. My rig might be a tad quicker, but if it is it's negligable. I still had to reboot and install updates 3 or 4 times though. Hanging in there for Windows7 LOL[/quote]How about using linux instead? I heard it was free forever.
shrimpwagon said:
Figures... Maybe with all the money they withdrew for Yahoo, they can use it for something useful like ... oh ... I don't know ... maybe make a operating system that actually WORKS!
Quaoar said:
Well, on my two XP notebooks and one XP desktop, all attempts to install XP3 have failed. The common reason is that ntloader.exe is running. I've tried Safe Mode, but no joy. I'll just wait until Microsoft gets its act together in six months and issues an update that works. XP on all of my computers works well now, and I'm not in the mood to help Microsoft with their user-based quality control and quality assurance programs.Microsoft is old, stale news. I suspect in five years, the world's computer users will install any OS to prevent Microsoft from poisoning their computing experiences with a current edition of the Windows abortion.Q
rcballa12 said:
xp sp3 installed flawlessly in under 10 mins. works like a charm. i even installed it while remotely connected via LogMeIn.what specific issues, other than flaming Microsoft, are people having?
rcballa12 said:
[b]Originally posted by bushwhacker:[/b][quote]No Spydercanopus, you are.Trinitibt is right.Never, ever, ever upgrades the OS. That's will be your worst nightmare in few months.[/quote]honestly, i've never had issues installing service packs on a well maintained pc. if you've tweaked core components of xp and failed during an upgrade, what did you expect? y scare ppl into thinking it's impossible to upgrade?
rcballa12 said:
[b]Originally posted by ladera95:[/b][quote] The post by compugor on May 10, 2008 at 6:35 AM "XP SP3 is just a consolidation of all the updates we have been installing from Windows Update all along. A clean install of XP SP2 has over 100 Windows Critical Updates available, OR install SP3 and then there are only a few remaining. "This leads me to ask a question about the 100 or so updates and Hotfixes I find listed in the Settings/Programs list. Can all those be removed? Does XP SP3 include and replace all those entries?[/quote]i only see the one entry for Windows xp sp3 in add/remove programs. it seems to have done what you thought it would. other than the .net frameworks and a couple other miscellaneous entries for microsoft, i think the sp3 entry is the cumulative fix that encompasses them all. (the only option is Remove)
davidm71 said:
SP3 took out or small office network. Something about remote client access now requires admin rights or users added to remote group...What a pain!
austincpdist said:
arghhhhhh! sp3 sure does screw it up.takes a little while to find the problem and fix it, oh well tho...
checkchange said:
It is important to make sure that all of your pending updates are installed before installing XP SP3. ..If one fails to install pending updates, there will be many failed attempts to install anything pending -...bottom line if this happens - just uninstall XP3 from add/remove programs and download all hot fixes again from the beginning (ignoring XP3) - then when all hot fixes including IE7 are installed to complete restart satisfaction, - install XP3 for a clean experience. checkchange@aol.com
InfotechCapital said:
Interesting exchange, below...let's see if I can clear this up (all paraphrased):"never install an upgrade on existing OS" (Trinitibt)"you're an i.d.i.o.t." (spydercanopus)"trinitibt is right, never upgrade the OS" (bushwacker)"never had problems, if you do, it's your fault / why worry people unnecessarily" (rcballa12)My experience:20 years in professional IT, all OS's (including Netware, Mac, Windows, Unix and Linux, incl. embedded OS's), including thousands of upgrades and installs.Comments: Trinitibt is right, if s/he means upgrading in the sense the word is typically used, i.e., Win98 --> WinXP. Contrarily, some credit is due for knowing that patches (which aren't "upgrades" in the OS sense) are best applied to a clean install. Spydercanopus probably didn't read the post. I have to disagree. One should never expect an in-place OS upgrade to function. That's like swapping your motherboard out and not reinstalling--it might work for a while--you might even get away with deleting your motherboard resources and letting them be re-detected--but it's nowhere as stable as taking a few hours to start over. Bushwacker is correct. rcballa12 (said carefully), is also correct, in the sense that a patch might work out just fine--and frequently, it does--but I disagree with the assumption that a failed patch summarily means people have done something abnormal with their OS. It's possible to simply do your day-to-day business and still have updates fail.Experience: Upgrading the OS is a bad idea. Don't do it unless you have no other choice, and even then, it's a temporary solution. This includes going from, e.g., Home --> Pro, or Basic --> Ultimate. If you seek help from a tech and s/he learns that you have upgraded, you will almost assuredly be asked to reinstall before help is provided. It is a nightmare to support "upgraded" systems. Patching the OS is almost always *required* to receive effective support. The very best thing you can do is reinstall your OS and apply the latest service pack and patches, before installing your applications, but this is not always practical. Patching in place is a normal and effective process, but it is considered a "major" change. This is why you are told to back up your files before applying service packs--major updates can destroy your system outright, make it inaccessible except to experts, or lead to bizarre problems that don't surface until months later. To mitigate, Microsoft in NT4 days started providing the ability to back out service packs--a crucial feature--and in recent operating systems (with oodles of space) service pack-affected files (not your personal files) are backed up for you. So it is possible to go back...but you have to have a working OS to accomplish that.Conclusion:1) Don't do upgrades. Just don't. If you bought an upgrade, choose the option to do a fresh install--and you'd better back up your files first, as well as have the ability to reinstall the OLD OS if something goes horribly wrong (hardware is typically designed for the OS common at the time, not the one you are installing). Keep in mind...there may not be drivers for your hardware any more...or it may be built into the new OS. It's a crapshoot.2) The best way to apply service packs and patches is immediately after a clean install, but this is a lot of work and not everyone knows how to save + get back all their settings / license keys / history / favorites, etc. New OS features such as: "back up personal settings" is only marginally effective, and that only works if you've followed the rules (which you are expected to know already).3) If you can't start fresh--and OS's deteriorate over normal use, so think twice--back up your files before applying the service pack.4) If everything works out, great. If it doesn't, roll the service pack back and reconsider step 2. It's the best option of those available.5) Final comment? Though Microsoft needs people to do this...it is best to wait for problems with service packs to "work themselves out" on other people's computers before applying them to your own, unless your situation is critical / or you're not doing something mission-critical on your system--but if you are, you should already know not to patch indiscriminately.Good luck.[b]Originally posted by rcballa12:[/b][quote][b]Originally posted by bushwhacker:[/b][quote]No Spydercanopus, you are.Trinitibt is right.Never, ever, ever upgrades the OS. That's will be your worst nightmare in few months.[/quote]honestly, i've never had issues installing service packs on a well maintained pc. if you've tweaked core components of xp and failed during an upgrade, what did you expect? y scare ppl into thinking it's impossible to upgrade?[/quote]
Nirkon said:
[b]Originally posted by spydercanopus:[/b][quote][b]Originally posted by trinitibt:[/b][quote]Everybody should know to NEVER install any MS upgrade on top of an existing MS OS. That has been the law since Win98. I have SP3 installed on a new drive and it is rock solid.[/quote]You're an i.d.i.o.t.[/quote]No, he's right.I reformatted my computer and then installed sp3.I haven't had a single issue.. in comparison to thoseother people who obviously do.
Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.