Subscriber Mike Gallagher wrote recently to ask for suggestions on installing Service Pack 3 on his Windows XP computer:
I have a computer running Windows XP, SP-2.
It will not install SP-3, either a downloaded version, or from the SP-3 CD.
I wrote back to Mike to tell him that I didn’t have this problem with any recent Service Pack upgrades with my antivirus, but when installing XP SP1 or SP2 (don’t recall which), I had to uninstall the antivirus program that I was using in order to install the SP.
Simply disabling the AV wasn’t adequate – it had set some internal flag in Windows XP that was blocking the upgrade.
If you choose that route,
- before disconnecting from the Internet, see if your AV program has a full downloadable definitions file that you can use to install without being connected to the Internet – if so, download it
- disconnect from the Internet
- uninstall your AV program,
- use the XP SP3 CD or downloaded full version – not WIndows Updates or the small "Internet installer" version of the SP installer
- after installing the SP, reboot again
- reinstall your antivirus program
- install the AV definitions file that you downloaded in step 0
- connect to the Internet and do AV updates immediately
- do Windows Updates or Microsoft Updates to get any updates that have been issued since XP SP3