Do I Need XP SP3?

February 13, 2010 at 01:44:36
Specs: Windows XP, 512
I got service pack 2 installed. no problems whatsoever. should I upgrade to service pack 3. I just haven't done it yet coz I read on the net that it can stuff up your computer?

See More: Do I Need XP SP3?

February 13, 2010 at 02:28:24
Do you have an Intel or AMD processor?
There has been lots written since SP3 was released.

Is your system from an OEM builder or was it a custombuilt job?

OEM builders will advise if there are any issues you need to look out for. In addition you must have a virus & spyware-free system before applying SP3. Any kind of nasty infection can cause SP3 to crash

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

Report •

February 13, 2010 at 04:17:23
I read on the net that it can stuff up your computer?

Don't believe anything you read on the Internet without collaboration.

As Richard says, SP3 can cause problems if you have any mall-ware installed. The reason for this is that SP3 closes a lot of loopholes that mall-ware exploits. With the loopholes closed they have no where to go and cause all kinds of problem.

This is not a good reason not to install SP3. Ensure you have a clean system free of any mall-ware and you will have no problems.


Report •

February 13, 2010 at 06:25:57
There are "many" out there with a system that was essentially sp- with a few updates, and a clean system at that too... who have rued the day they went to sp-3 full...

Sadly a little after sp-3 aasrrived and more than a few had reported problems (and not related to amd processors etc...) M$ apparently issued a "what to do before installing sp-3" - which it said (by more than a few) is well worth to read...

Suggest you consider either of two paths...

a) leave as is and just selctively install updates as you feel; or b) read the M$ "advisory" first and then if you must... install sp-3 - having followed M$'s advisory carefully...

I haven't installed sp-3; instead selectively update and system is (still) OK... Having recently "played" with an XP Home installation with sp-3 auto-updated/installed... I can only say that system is painfully slow as a result!. (Previous to full upgrade to sp-3 it "was" OK.)

Suggested "essential" reading...?

The last one is mostly related to AMD issues; but perhaps worth to read nonetheless?

I know many are happy (ecstatic...?) about sp-3 and report no apparent probles; but as the above reference will indicate there are many who are anything but... I guess you duz your research and makes your own decision..?

Might be useful to know what you decide and how you get on anon?

Report •

Related Solutions

February 13, 2010 at 07:10:00
Installing any service pack installs some risk. If your machine is running fine as is, then why risk it?

Report •

February 13, 2010 at 07:18:07
Testing has shown that SP3 actually improves performance. The early problems were caused by people jumping on the SP3 update but not actually downloading it from Microsoft...they were getting it from 3rd party sources or getting leaked copies before the official release. And there was a major problem with the OEMs when they began using the WinXP/SP3 image that was created for Intel systems on their AMD systems.

Just download SP3 directly from M$ & you should have no problems. And make sure your system of clear of viruses, spyware/malware, etc before you install it.

I suggest you download it & burn a copy to CD for future use.

Report •

February 13, 2010 at 08:36:09
"...Testing has shown that SP3 actually improves performance..."

That is not borne out by the experience of more than a few... - who did download and install it from M$-land; and not a beta version; and had "clean systems"...

As I sugggest above - first do a little reading. Then "backup" (copy to optical-media) all data etc...; maybe even create an image too - so you can always revert to the pre sp-3 state... Otherwise (after data safeguards) if you really must... download and install it...

Incidentally I seem to recall that it also erases "all" previous restore points too...; cannot easily (if at all) be removed so as to get back to initial sp-2, after-which one might again install updates to your preference? Not my idea of a friendly and secure upgrade...

And echoing T-R-A : if it's all working OK - presuming you have been doing standard updates... - why bother installing the whole thing? If ain't broke... don't phyxe it?

Report •

February 13, 2010 at 13:17:49
I've installed SP3 on dozens of systems & have never experienced any problems. And I have noticed performance improvements, at least on my own systems. The others weren't around long enough for me to know one way or another, but I've never gotten any callbacks because of it. I've seen IE8 mess up a LOT of systems though & advise people to stick to IE7.

As for system restore, I don't use it. Never have & never will. It's disabled on all my systems. And I usually disable it on all the systems I repair. Once I'm finished, I re-enable it again but I set the percent way down. It usually defaults to 12%. On a 500GB HDD, that amounts to over 55GB of "wasted" space. On a drive that size I would probably set it to 2 or 3%, then I would manually create a restore point which I always name "back to square one".

"why bother installing the whole thing? If ain't broke... don't phyxe it?"

Have you installed any SP's on your own system or are you still running the original XP with no SP's? If you did install SP's, why? And did you stop at SP1 or move on to SP2? But all of a sudden SP2 is enough & SP3 is the evil beast?

Report •

February 13, 2010 at 13:42:34
I would suggest that you install all updates. Just look at the virus forums. Most are security patches. You do want your system to be secure don't you?

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)

Report •

February 13, 2010 at 16:14:47
My two systems (home and pro) started at sp-1; upgraded to sp-2; selective updates thereafter - not full sp-3 download...; and for the reasons I stated earlier..

Because one group have had no problems... doesn't necessarily mean others haven't; or that the problem was "theirs" in the making... There have been enuff posts here in the past re' the lack lustre performance following a full sp-3 injection; and many here (not me on those occasions) strongly discouraged a full sp-3 injection.

Regardless of one's particular experiences... and they can and do differ widely..., one has to accept that there are others with equally valid points of view, based on their (and often others too) experience... Just because they don't tag with yours... doesn't mean they aren't valid.. Nor does it (conversely) imply that yours are also invalid. Both are valid and just happen to be different... Useful for those inquiring to be aware of both; do their reading/research and decide accordingly...?

It is useful (dare I suggest "wise" ) to be able to accept that others may have different experience to oneself in any area of life...; that those experiences are equally valid.. - even if they differ markedly from one's own? And there is much "out there" to indicate that there are two sides to the sp-3 debate; both equally valid - and based and dependent on their own particular circumstances etc...?

Equally I have come across references on assorted sites "out" there" that report that when the individual did a clean install - with slip-streamed sp-3 included.. it did appear to be much better. Likewise if an sp-2 (re-install) was upgraded to sp-3 - following some (if not all) of the guidelines re' pre sp-3 injection there "seemed" to be "less of an issue... "

The initial launch of sp-3 (full M$-blessed edition) did produce problems; hence M$ and others caveats and advice etc...

Incidentally at work where assorted PCs were injected sp-3 (and we have "a lot..." of kit - in excess of 500 units in one building alone...)... some were really slowed down; others less noticeably so. When they were re-imaged with a slip-streamed version... They were "usually" fine... All of the kit in my areas of interest are same specs; and apart from a few individual programmes required for certain positions... they all run the same apps/utils... (and sadly they do use Mcafee...). Thus my own experience is noticeably different from yours - and I'm not in the company's IT dept.; but I do work closely with them... as much of the kit I use and am responsible for is often linked to their kit.. Television broadcast kit is increasingly IT compounded...; and for us is either W2K or XP-Pro - often both in the same areas.

So hopefully our poster will do his/her research - carefully, and then decide for him/herself? Perhaps even take the time/trouble to report back - for all to discover? Regardless of his/her experience it will neither validate or invalidate either side of the discussion... merely add more fuel to to overall debate....?

Report •

February 13, 2010 at 16:46:39
Remember that bad news always travels fastest. If you google almost anything you will find folk who have had trouble with it.

There are many folk who have installed SP3 just fine but very few of them (including me) would have bothered to produced a post to that effect which would be picked up in Google. It's now a year old and most bugs have been found and fixed.

In the end you throw up your decision coin and take your chance. I'm very happy I installed it.

some other bloke...

Report •

Ask Question