Itâ€™s been a full 6 months since the release of Windows XP SP3. The unsuspecting public downloaded it faster than Tom Cruise jumps on Oprah’s couch. It wasnâ€™t long before 25% of us found we had grabbed a ticking time bomb. Endless reboots, blue screens, data loss and reinstalls were the wails coming from every help forum on the World Wide Web. In some cases Joe The Plumber didnâ€™t even know the grenade was coming. It was tossed in the middle of the night by Microsoftâ€™s Automatic Update service. You donâ€™t need to imagine the problems this created because you lived it.
Fast forward to today and a rational person would assume the problems are fixed by now. Surely Microsoft has defused this mess without requiring users to search the web for system specific patches and home grown remedies, but such is NOT the case. While Microsoft may prevent your AMD system from downloading the update, the service pack will still cause the same problems if installed manually.
Not much has changed!
If you download and install SP 3 on your HP AMD machine without visiting HP for the patch, you will experience all the problems that existed in May of 2008.
Another problem specific to AMD boards plagued the Asus A8N 32 SLI motherboard. If you download and install SP3 on your Asus A8N 32 SLI motherboard you will experience the same problems that existed in May of 2008. Absolutely nothing has taken place to address this problem. Asus has ignored the situation completely. You can try manipulating some sort of USB device but the results are varied and not really a fix. Thanks for nothing Asus.
If you have both of the above, you will have both problems as they are separate problems.
If you download and install SP3 and have one of the many wireless cards that were experiencing problems in May, you will have the same problems now. You must visit the appropriate site and check for updates to the drivers or a patch specific to the problem. Itâ€™s a good idea to check with your hardware site and ask if the drivers address the SP3 problems. I wouldnâ€™t just assume that new drivers address the SP3 problem.
Many people have asked recently if we recommend the installation of SP3. I’m sad to say we cannot give a blanket recommendation to install Windows XP SP3. What we can do is offer the following to everyone who has not installed this update. Following the steps below should help prevent any explosions. Keep in mind that people are still having problems with this service pack.
Before Installing SP3
1. Identify your system: create an account and run PC Pitstop OverDrive to identify your motherboard and processor. If you have an HP AMD machine or you are using an Asus motherboard, you will then be aware of the situation and be able to apply available patches.
2. Ready your system: correct any problems found by OverDrive before installing SP3. Itâ€™s best to apply to a clean and properly configured machine.
3. Identify any antimalware programs: turn off, or better yet, remove any and all antimalware software that is on your system. This includes but is not limited to Norton, McAfee, TrendMicro, or any other preventative or detection packages. You should see these listed in the OverDrive Results /Software/Installed Software
4. Apply the correct patches: if you have an AMD HP machine be sure to apply the patch before going to the Microsoft download site. Be aware that your antivirus or antimalware program may also require a patch.
5. Update your drivers: to avoid problems from your wireless card or any other hardware. I suggest using our DriverAlert Scan. Once identified you can either use the program to download the driver or find and install the latest driver manually. Even our free scan identifies hardware with updated drivers available.
After following the instructions above you can use the links below for further reference.
SP3 LINKS AND INFORMATION
|1||SP3 Download||Microsoft SP3 Update|
………Microsoft Help Line 1-866 234 6020
|3||HP/AMD Based|| You must own an HP Pavilion, Presario or Media Center with Windows XP and an AMD processor.
You must install this update prior to applying Windows XP SP3 update.
HP Help and Support
|4||A8N32-SLI Motherboard||If your system has this Asus motherboard, insert a USB flash drive|
|5||Wireless card causes blue screen||Check your hardware with PC Pitstop DriverAlert|
|6||System Uses antivirus or antimalware||Turn off or better yet uninstall your protection software. Microsoft and most software programs have issued patches correcting previous problems.|
|7||No boot after installing SP3||Even if your system won’t boot you can use Recovery Console. You will need your XP cd. Scroll to Method 4. This is not the F2 command.|
|8||Microsoft. How to Remove SP3||Microsoft Help and Support ID 950249 rev. 4.0 dated 5/24, 2008|
This Microsoft Help Thread is mostly abandoned leaving you to fend for yourself. There are 536 replies stretching over 36 pages. The Thread started in April and is still receiving reports of endless reboots as well as other problems all the way through Sept. There is no reason to assume you will have a problem free installation.
We know that many have installed this update to many systems without problems. Infact, 75% of you experienced no problems at all. We also know that a big minority had some big probelms.
Be careful and look before you leap!