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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    California, USA
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    Service Pack 3 - Why?

    I have Windows XP on a lap top and a PC. Now Windows Update is telling me to install Service Pack 3. I'm wondering if I really need it. What's the scoop on SP3? Wants it all about? In a word - why?

    And if I do get it, would it be best to order the cd rather than download via the internet? That's what I did when SP 2 was offered since I thought there would be less chance of glitches during the download process..

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Re: Service Pack 3 - Why?

    You'll find some useful links in the thread starting at <post:=710,065>post 710,065</post:>.

    Windows XP SP3 is mostly a rollup of the many updates and patches that have been released since SP2 (from 2004). There's a small number of new features, but they're not spectacular and most users won't notice them. So in itself, there is no urgent reason for installing SP3, in particular if you have kept your PC updated. But it's a way of ensuring that you have all relevant updates, and future updates and patches may require SP3, so you should install it eventually.

    I had no problems downloading and installing SP3 although the download was slow (it had just been released to automatic updates, so the servers must have been very busy), If your internet connection is slow or not dependable, you may prefer ordering the CD. (Also see the replies by Joe Perez in the thread I mentioned).

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Renton, Washington, USA
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Re: Service Pack 3 - Why?

    Service Pack 3
    Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) build 5512 was released to manufacturing on April 21, 2008 and to the public via both the Microsoft Download Center and Windows Update on May 6, 2008.[29][30][31] It will be automatically pushed out to users in the early summer.[29] However, due to a compatibility issue with Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System, Microsoft recommends that SP3 not be applied to systems using Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System until a hotfix is available.[29][30][32] A feature set overview which details new features available separately as standalone updates to Windows XP, as well as features backported from Windows Vista, such as black hole router detection, Network Access Protection, and Windows Imaging Component has been posted by Microsoft.[33] Microsoft is reporting that 1,174 fixes have been packed into SP3.[34] Internet Explorer 7 is not included as part of SP3.[35]

    New features
    Black hole router detection
    Network Access Protection
    Credentials security service provider
    Descriptive security options control panel Enhanced security for Administrator and Service policy entries Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module Installing without needing a Product Key during Setup

    Features removed by SP3
    Taskbar Address Bar is no longer included. A note on TechNet says 'We had to remove the address bar functionality due to legal restrictions'. This probably refers to the US lawsuit regarding bundling Windows and Internet Explorer and possibly the EU lawsuit regarding competition. The feature can be restored using an older version of browseui.dll, or using free alternatives including the MuvEnum Address Bar and Windows Desktop Search Deskbar.[36][37][38][39] Slipstreamed retail and OEM versions of Windows XP with SP3 can be installed and run with full functionality for 30 days without a product key, after which time the user will be prompted to enter a valid key and activate the installation. Volume license (VLK) versions still require entering a product key before beginning installation.[40]

    Service Pack 3 can be installed on systems with Internet Explorer versions 6 or 7, and Windows Media Player versions 9 and above.[41] Although service packs have, until now, been cumulative, installing SP3 on an existing installation of Windows XP requires that the computer must at least be running with Service Pack 1 installed.[42] However, it is possible to slipstream SP3 into the Windows XP setup files at any service pack level—including the original RTM version—without any errors or issues.[43] Slipstreaming SP3 into Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is not supported.[44]

    Service Pack 3 does contain updates to the operating system components of Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, and security updates for .NET Framework versions 1.0 and 1.1, which are included in these Windows XP SKUs. However, it does not include update rollups for the Windows Media Center application in Windows XP MCE 2005.[45] SP3 also omits security updates for Windows Media Player 10, although the player is included in Windows XP MCE 2005.[45]

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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