Windows XP SP3 Issues

Satheesh C B | Friday, June 06, 2008 | 0 comments


1. Registry Corruption After Installing Windows XP SP3. Starting one day after the May 6th release, users were reporting problems with their network connections. Reports of vanishing connections and missing network cards were pouring in. Bewildered users on the Microsoft support site noted the link between Symantec Corps, Norton Internet Security, and the huge number of broken registry entries all beginning with “$%&”.

Reboot your computer and enter SafeMode. You can reach SafeMode by tapping the F8 or F5 key during the boot process. After entering SafeMode you will need to run as Administrator and restore your system to a time before SP3 was installed: Start/Help and Support/System Restore/Restore to an earlier time. Without entering SafeMode and running as Administrator you will not be able to restore or remove the offending service pack. Upon rebooting SP3 will no longer show up in the Add/Remove programs list and you will no longer find the multitude of $%& registry entries.

2. XP SP3 removes previous restore points from System Restore. One of the first things after installing SP 3 was that  restore point was missing.  Normally, when you install an update, Windows will create a new restore point for the update. Because this is such a large update,  SP3 decided to  delete  previous restore point. This left  with no ability to use system restore. There is no excuse for Microsoft removing  restore point.

Microsoft should absolutely give a WARNING and advise how much space is needed before allowing the install of SP3. There is no fix for this, meaning that once the restore point is gone there is no getting it back. The only thing that can be done is to raise your allotted restore space before installing SP3. If you have already installed SP3 be sure to check your System Restore settings. Raise your allowed space to 5035 MB and create a restore point. Be sure to do this before being rear-ended by Auto Updates.

3. XP SP3 and Windows Home Server. It’s reported by users of Windows Home Server that SP3 disables terminal Services Active X control in Internet Explorer, by default. This prevents users from accessing their systems remotely.

@. FIX
There is a fix for this problem. You will need to enable Terminal Services ActiveX control in IE 7. To do this, open Internet Explorer and click on Tools/Manage Add-Ons/Enable Add-Ons in IE.

If you do not see “enable the terminal Service ActiveX control in IE7 on XPSP3”, the only work around is to delete the following registry keys:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{7390f3d8-0439-4c05-91e3-cf5cb290c3d0} HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{4eb89ff4-7f78-4a0f-8b8d-2bf02e94e4b2)

4. Branded versions of IE7 crash during installation. For those who have already updated and installed XP SP3, you may have problems installing IE7 offered by your ISP. These “Branded Copies” from Comcast, Qwest and others, tend to crash during the installation. This is because they are older versions of IE 7. Updated IE7 Administration Kits are available to the ISPs from Microsoft’s TechNet site. These are needed to make the necessary changes before offering the IE7 upgrade. Before installing IE7 from your Internet Service Provider at least call to be sure they have made the necessary changes.

@. FIX
Suggestion and Fix is, if you must have IE7, download and install it from the Windows Website.

5. HP/AMD desktop and SP3. Because HP added a command to load a particular driver on their install disks, some of their AMD based desktops are subject to endless reboots or blue screens after installing Windows XP SP3.

@. FIX
If you’ve already been rear-ended and need a fix, the best thing is to remove the offending SP3 from your computer. Because “not booting” is the problem, you will need to use the Microsoft Recovery Console. The following Microsoft Help and Support article also outlines using the Add/Remove Programs options and System Restore Options. Steps for restoring your registry can be found on the Microsoft Help and Support site here.

6. SP3 and AMD motherboards (A8N 32SLI Deluxe). After installing SP 3, users receive an error code stating "Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. Your system BIOS is not ACPI compliant." There just hasn’t been much reported on this issue but  can attest to past BIOS issues with the A8N board listed above.

@. FIX
If you have installed SP3 to your AMD/Asus based computer, cannot boot, and feel rear-ended, the fix is to stick a USB device in your machine.

7. AutoUpdate. Automatic Updating is a problem unto itself. As outlined earlier in this article you may loose your restore points because of a lack of restore spcae. You an also experience any of the problems outlined above because Automatic Updates installed this mess without your knowledge. The fixes or lack of fixes can vary with each individual situation.

There are a couple of ways to prevent this problem. The most obvious is to turn off Auto Updates. Start/Control Panel/Security/Turn Off Automatic Updates/. You can also turn it off in Services. Start/Run/type"services.msc" without the quotes/Automatic Updates/Stop/Disable/Apply/OK.

If you would like to continue with updates but avoid Service Pack 3, use this helpful link . The link and download are from Microsoft's Website. It stops Automatic Updates from downloading service pack 3 for one year.


You can find assistance with SP3 removal from this Microsoft Support Document "How to remove Windows XP Service Pack 3 from your computer".

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