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XP SP3

maranello
Pro
Posts: 1,079
Thanks: 112
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎11-01-2008

XP SP3

As I've had a slow and intermittent connection over the past few days (weeks, months), automatic updates have only been happening in very small chunks. But yesterday evening it appears that the updates took advantage of recent improvements to my connection and added the final pieces needed for the SP3 installation.
But I was ready for it, and shut down the PC without installing the update.
Can anyone tell me what SP3 will give me in terms of improvements, and if there are any pitfalls I should look out for. Since the release was some while ago, does this mean that any known bugs have been corrected?
I wasn't prompted to install this morning, can I do this manually?
My other car isn't a Ferrari
14 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: XP SP3

SP3 is really just a consolidation/roll-up of stuff already released.
Nick_Russell
Grafter
Posts: 553
Registered: ‎10-05-2007

Re: XP SP3

I ordered a free XP SP3 CD from  Microsoft and updated two machines a few months ago. Last week I updated another laptop.  All went OK with no problems.  With the laptop, when I did a manual Windows update there were about 20 items to add but I guess this was owing to the fact that my CD was a bit old now.  I assume an update download from MS would be complete.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,031
Fixes: 62
Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: XP SP3

It's a bit more than that as shown by the fact that a full repair install of a SP3 machine won't work with a SP2 install disk so you need to slipstream SP3 onto the install disk.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: ‎02-10-2008

Re: XP SP3


A fairly good guide is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP#Service_Pack_3
I  not had problems installing it - but not noticed much difference to be honest.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 3,501
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: XP SP3

The only problems I've had with SP3 are with networked PC updated via the server using WSUS.  Some of the older patches do not seem to recognise that they are included in SP3 and do not need to be applied.  Only relevant if updating older non-networked machines without bringing the patch status up to date first.  A pain, but it solves the problem!  I guess that the same will happen in the future though, so NOT having SP3 installed may cause problems with being selective about installing the later patches.  No problems yet - but I would not take any bets on Microsoft Cheesy
Just for comparison:  I've done around 60 machines now, a mix of Desktops / Laptops and Intel / AMD.  Now have I just broken the Karma  by mentioning it Shocked

Maurice
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: XP SP3

The only thing that's annoyed me is the removal of the address bar option from the taskbar toolbars - admittedly it's a relatively easy fix (replacing one of the dll files with one from SP2) but it's still irritating to have to do that following every SP3 install.
MuppetGrinder
Grafter
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎10-10-2008

Re: XP SP3

You use Automatic Updates Shocked
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: XP SP3

Quote from: MuppetGrinder
You use Automatic Updates Shocked

Well yes!  WSUS is a management system that allows  a single server to download all microsoft (well a user defined subset) patches to a database in one pass.  An administrator then authorises those patches which are considered safe according to which Management defined Group the PC is in.  E.g. in my case, most patches are authorised for onward deployment to a group called 'Client'  but 'tricky' patches like SP3 are only initially deployed to a group called 'Test' .  The individual PC's are set up to download patches from the local server and not the Internet.  More control, less Internet access? 
Most bigger networks will use something like WSUS to get this level of control?
M
 
Not applicable

Re: XP SP3

Yup - I use WSUS on my network - its the most sensible way to get them deployed TBH.
As Maurice says though, its not the same as Automatic Updates, as the WSUS Administrator chooses which patches to install, and on which machines.
MuppetGrinder
Grafter
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎10-10-2008

Re: XP SP3

Sure update, but not automaticly, and personaly, never on a server (not since auto update was nice enough to also auto reboot two of the ones I have here at work), manual updates are good enough for me.  I like to choose what updates I want to download before it's done.  I also like to chose when I download them, so I don't get annoyed by the "new updates are ready for your machine" shield poping up at me in the middle of somthing.
I get that it's convenient for a lot of you trusting types out there, but I'm a natural born cynic and I had too many problems with auto update buggering up systems (not mine cause I don't use it, i'm talking innocent civilans here).  In fact I think auto update may well have caused me my second highest level of residential call outs (the highest, by an unsupringly large margin, is muppets running file share programs with no av software at all) regarding XP hangs and boot failures.
And Yeah, WSUS is ideal if you have a pre-catch setup where you can trial "tricky" updates, but some of us support companies that don't have that kind of setup and security in place.
So ok, I get that i'm in the minority here, but I won't change from thinking that anything that puts software on a computer without the user telling it to is not a good thing Tongue
Not applicable

Re: XP SP3

Thats the point of WSUS - its a sensible alternative to Automatic Updates. (And is *not* Automatic Update - unless you choose to configure it to update things automatically)
Its free to install, and it sits chugging away downloading all the updates that fit the criteria you select (MS Office, XP, Vista etc, Software, Hardware Drivers etc.)
You then push the updates to your client computers as you feel the need (and after testing them).
No use for the home user, unless they feel like setting up an AD Domain, but for anybody with AD, its an absolute must. (Also remember to modify the relevant GP to disallow access to Windows Updates via the web - set the options to point to your WSUS box instead for updates)
MuppetGrinder
Grafter
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎10-10-2008

Re: XP SP3

I wish they would let me set up a full AD domain here, but despite all my pusshing, they just won't fork out for the CAL's  Cry
Not applicable

Re: XP SP3

CALs are pretty cheap anyway, but assuming you already run a Server OS, you'll already have the CALs for accessing that server.
If not, and you currently share files from Desktop OSs, the purchase of CALs will be small compared with the cost of an MS Server OS.
SBS 2003 comes with a bunch of CALs and adding more won't cost the earth - you can't need so many? If you do need more the reduced admin overhead of moving to a domain will pay for the outlay in a very short space of time.
MuppetGrinder
Grafter
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎10-10-2008

Re: XP SP3

We have an SBS Server running with the bundled 5 CAL's and I think the cheepest quote I got for getting everyone on there was circa £7K
so we have 5 users on the domain, using exchange, everyone else gets stuffed on the workgroup, which meens half my day is spen unlocking files on the server cause it keeps getting confused with too many guest access calls.  Then there is the complete moron that was contracted before they employed me who thought that he would get a Server 2003 box - then put it on the damn workgroup too Angry
As for Admin overheads, that would be me, I'm all the IT support there is for head office here and all our 58 remote sites Undecided
They are seriously cheep about their IT in this place, believe me, I don't even get the going wage for a helpdesk operator never mind an IT and network support tech Cry