Windows XP SP3 is set to release today!

For those of you who are still using Windows XP (if you haven’t already made the switch to Windows Vista or Ubuntu Linux :D), Service Pack 3 is set to release today. However, contrary to what you may have seen other blogs post about it, it is not set to include Internet Explorer 7. This seems to be floating around the Internet like crazy. I just wanted to get the facts straight on this one.

After digging through Google for a while I came across an official Microsoft document that blatantly states that Internet Explorer 7 will not be included in this update. If you scroll through the document and fine the section labeled “What Is In Service Pack 3“, you’ll see the new changes.

Further, Windows XP SP3 does not include
Windows Internet Explorer 7. For more information about Internet Explorer 7, visit

The source that I retrieved this information from can be found here (pdf).

I’ll just go a head and sum up the changes that you will see in Service Pack 3.

Basically, Service Pack 3 will contain all of the updates that have already been made available to you since the release of Service Pack 2 via Microsoft Update. According to the overview, the updates will include the following:

  • Service Pack 3 will not be adding many brand new feature that were released with the coming of Vista.
  • SP3 will include Network Access Protection (NAP) to help organizations that use Windows XP to take advantage of some of the new features in the Windows Server® 2008 operating system.
  • Windows XP SP3 does not include Windows Internet Explorer 7.
  • Microsoft® Management Console (MMC) 3.0
  • Microsoft Core XML Services 6.0 (MSXML6)
  • Windows XP SP3 also includes a small list of previously unavailable functionality, including NAP and an update of Windows Product Activation. With this update, users will be able to enter their product key after installing Windows XP SP3 instead of during installation.
  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) 2.5
  • IPsec Simple Policy Update for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP
  • Digital Identity Management Service (DIMS)
  • Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRP) 2.1
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)
  • “Black Hole” Router Detection
  • Descriptive Security Options User Interface
  • Enhanced security for Administrator and Service policy entries
  • Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module

Their Summary on the overview is as follows:

Windows XP SP3 combines all previously released performance, security, and stability updates. It also
provides a limited number of new and enhanced functionalities, although it does not significantly change the
Windows XP experience or bring most Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP.

If you don’t see the option to upgrade your system to Service Pack 3 yet, they you can grab the package yourself! If your interested in the links then you can find them all at! The package itself is ~316mb, but if you don’t want to download all of that then you can just wait until it is made live. Chances are, you won’t have to download that much from Windows Update since you probably have most of the older updates installed already.

If you just want to go a head and get it then I say do it! I’m currently installing it myself on my laptop. Enjoy the early links while their early!

Also worth looking at is the article Loopholes keep Windows XP alive.

Just after releasing the service pack this morning, Microsoft removed it from Windows Update temporarily to fix a flaw with the package. Microsoft says it has since uncovered a compatibility issue between Dymanics Retail Management System (RMS) and Windows XP SP3. There was no time estimate on the delay, however, the direct download links are available if you can’t wait! Look above for more information on that.

If you get an error message that says “Access Denied”, then you can get around this using one of a couple different methods. I’ll list them below, but the information that I found came from:

  • Solution 1:

    1. Make a backup of your registry.

    2. Download and install subinacl.exe.

    3. Create a file called reset.cmd with Notepad. Copy the text below into the file reset.cmd and run reset.cmd with administrative rights (it may take a LONG time):

      cd /d “%ProgramFiles%\Windows Resource Kits\Tools”
      subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
      subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
      subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
      subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
      subinacl /subdirectories %windir%*.* /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
      secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose

    4. Reboot at SAFE MODE and try install SP3 again.

  • Solution 2:

    By installing Sp3 under a a user account you cannot acccess the registery properly. Please use the Adminstrator account instead of a user adminstrator account. Subinacl.exe was created to act as a way to access the registery properly. And the Reset. com to grant FULL adminstrator account.Also the other tips apply here, Turning of and diabling Antivirus, anti-spyware protection programs. Backing up information.What isn’t clear as when we used w2k was the panel showing full adminstrator vs. adminstrator and power user. Then press F8 during boot-up to log-in as Adminstrator is able to install sp3 with out running the subinacl program.

    See here for an clarifacation see here.

    The things that applied to installing sp also apply when attempting to install Sp3

  • Solution 3:

    1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER.

    2. For Windows XP, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

      secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose

      You receive a “Task is completed” message, and a warning message that something could not be done. You can safely ignore this message.;EN-US;313222

If these solutions are confusing then I apologise. I simply got them from a forum discussion and didn’t feel like rewriting them. If you’re confused about any of these steps then just ask about them in the comments and I’ll explain them the best I can.


Windows XP Service Pack 3 is available once again via Windows Updates! Go get it!


Endless Reboot after installing SP3
You may already be aware of the problem Service Pack 3 has caused to AMD PCs. If your, not familiar with the problem then it can be summed up by this: Some of the users who installed Service Pack 3 on their AMD Processor based computers reported that their PCs rebooted endlessly and would not allow them to use their computers.

If this sounds like something that has happened to you while installing Service Pack 3 then you will need to complete the following instructions to repair your version of Windows XP SP3.

The fix for the problem…

Jesper Johansson, who was once a program manager for security policy at Microsoft and currently an MVP who works at, has come up with a fix for the problem.

He has created a small 16K VBScript file which checks whether the PC is running an AMD processor, if yes; it examines the Windows registry to find out if a device driver (IntelPPM driver) meant for Intel-based machines is set to load. If it is set to load, it will offer an option in order to disable it.

You will need to download the file from here and run it. To run it just double click on it.

If you need to check many computers on a network you can do it by running the following script from the command line:
removeIntelPPMonAMD.vbs <computer 1> <computer 2>…

For more information have a look at the blog post on Jesper’s blog.