To Download SP3 or Not - That Is The Question?

  Fastflys 12:59 09 Jul 2010

I am still running WinXP Home with SP2. I have no problems with other older software installed and access the Web via a plug in Belkin wireless network adapter. I’m reluctant to install SP3 has I’ve read about all the problems it has caused since it’s launch and my computer is working perfectly.

Microsoft are stopping support for SP2 on the 13th July 2010. Support for SP3 I believe continues until 2014.

My questions are:

What happens after the 13th July if I don’t download and install SP3?
Can I still download and install SP3 from Microsoft after the 13th July?
If I download and install SP3 and find that other software installed and/or my wireless network adapter stops working, can I completely uninstall SP3 and will my computer return to how it was before SP3 was installed?
To completely uninstall SP3 do you remove it from “Add/Remove” or use System Restore to restore to an earlier date or do Microsoft have a SP3 uninstaller on their website?

Thanks for any help offered.

  onthelimit 14:06 09 Jul 2010

1. Nothing - you just won't get security updates
2. Yes.
3/4. Yes. i think the easiest way is through a System restore point.

Having said that, I've put SP 3 on numerous machines and had no problems with any of them.

  johndrew 15:04 09 Jul 2010

If you install SP3 as an update from MS it will create a Restore point automatically; if you download the file and install it then it may not. The safest bet is to create your own Restore point.

It may also be worthwhile installing the update whilst in Safe Mode as those who did have problems found this helped. Having said that my installation and that of my son and daughter were fine as a 'normal' update - quite a bit longer though.

I should definitely install the update as it does provide advantages, especially for the future. You may well have an additional number that apply to SP3 on top of the SP3 update itself so allow plenty of time.

  Fastflys 16:41 09 Jul 2010

Thanks for your prompt response.

  lotvic 22:32 09 Jul 2010

Download SP3 from Microsoft Download Center and burn to CD for future use
Windows XP Service Pack 3 - ISO-9660 CD Image File click here

ignore the part that says "DO NOT CLICK DOWNLOAD IF YOU ARE UPDATING JUST ONE COMPUTER" as the ISO version will enable SP3 to install on any pc (instead of the customised smaller download that is tailored to specific pc's)

  Strawballs 01:25 10 Jul 2010

Installed it on numerous machines never had a problem with it.

  gengiscant 10:58 10 Jul 2010

Installed it originally on a self build which had the Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe which caused the PC to continually boot/restart. But that was when it was first issued. The PC now belongs to my better half and have just reinstalled XP + SP3 with no problems, though i had to update the bios prior to the reinstall.

I wouldn't have thought that SP3 is giving much problems, you could always Google your make/model PC + SP3 problems and see if anything specific turns up.

  p;3 12:42 14 Jul 2010

if you do not download and install SP3 the computer is more vulnerable to attack and infections; why do you seek to not download it?

  Fastflys 14:25 14 Jul 2010

Thanks for all your responses.

My computer is working perfectly at the moment but is getting on in years. I am concerned that if I install SP3, hardware such as the sound card, graphics card etc., will malfunction as too will some of my installed software.

I assume that this will happen if:
[a] A compatible driver is not available from the manufacturer
[b] MS assigns its own compatible driver

I’ve had problems in the past when MS assigns a compatible driver. Yes, the hardware/software will work but not to its previous full potential. Some of the “Bells & whistles” have either disappeared or just don’t work.

I’ve read that when SP3 was first launched it caused no end of trouble around the world because of the reasons above.

I’m not convinced that using “System Restore” to return my computer to an earlier date will completely remove SP3 [if installed] and all my original hardware/software drivers will be re-applied.

Unless any of you out there know different?

As for not receiving any further updates - My old desktop computer is just a backup should at any time my newer laptop fail. It get’s turned on once or twice a month just to keep it ticking over. I have the latest Trend internet security and all the MS updates till now installed - So in this case, is receiving future MS updates that important?

  wee eddie 15:40 14 Jul 2010

XP SP3 is still XP ~ The Drivers will be the same.

There were several million XP Computers out there when SP3 was added to the other upgrades, it would have been surprising if none of them had had any problem, as it were there were relatively few.

  Marko797 17:19 14 Jul 2010

ditto that

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