Happy Anniversary XP SP3


It’s been a full 6 months since the release of Windows XP SP3. The unsuspecting public downloaded it faster than Tom Cruise jumps on Oprah’s couch. It wasn’t long before 25% of us found we had grabbed a ticking time bomb. Endless reboots, blue screens, data loss and reinstalls were the wails coming from every help forum on the World Wide Web. In some cases Joe The Plumber didn’t even know the grenade was coming. It was tossed in the middle of the night by Microsoft’s Automatic Update service. You don’t need to imagine the problems this created because you lived it.

Fast forward to today and a rational person would assume the problems are fixed by now. Surely Microsoft has defused this mess without requiring users to search the web for system specific patches and home grown remedies, but such is NOT the case. While Microsoft may prevent your AMD system from downloading the update, the service pack will still cause the same problems if installed manually.

Not much has changed!

If you download and install SP 3 on your HP AMD machine without visiting HP for the patch, you will experience all the problems that existed in May of 2008.

Another problem specific to AMD boards plagued the Asus A8N 32 SLI motherboard. If you download and install SP3 on your Asus A8N 32 SLI motherboard you will experience the same problems that existed in May of 2008. Absolutely nothing has taken place to address this problem. Asus has ignored the situation completely. You can try manipulating some sort of USB device but the results are varied and not really a fix. Thanks for nothing Asus.

If you have both of the above, you will have both problems as they are separate problems.

If you download and install SP3 and have one of the many wireless cards that were experiencing problems in May, you will have the same problems now. You must visit the appropriate site and check for updates to the drivers or a patch specific to the problem. It’s a good idea to check with your hardware site and ask if the drivers address the SP3 problems. I wouldn’t just assume that new drivers address the SP3 problem.

Many people have asked recently if we recommend the installation of SP3. I’m sad to say we cannot give a blanket recommendation to install Windows XP SP3. What we can do is offer the following to everyone who has not installed this update. Following the steps below should help prevent any explosions. Keep in mind that people are still having problems with this service pack.

Before Installing SP3

1. Identify your system: create an account and run PC Pitstop OverDrive to identify your motherboard and processor. If you have an HP AMD machine or you are using an Asus motherboard, you will then be aware of the situation and be able to apply available patches.

2. Ready your system: correct any problems found by OverDrive before installing SP3. It’s best to apply to a clean and properly configured machine.

3. Identify any antimalware programs: turn off, or better yet, remove any and all antimalware software that is on your system. This includes but is not limited to Norton, McAfee, TrendMicro, or any other preventative or detection packages. You should see these listed in the OverDrive Results /Software/Installed Software

4. Apply the correct patches: if you have an AMD HP machine be sure to apply the patch before going to the Microsoft download site. Be aware that your antivirus or antimalware program may also require a patch.

5. Update your drivers: to avoid problems from your wireless card or any other hardware. I suggest using our DriverAlert Scan. Once identified you can either use the program to download the driver or find and install the latest driver manually. Even our free scan identifies hardware with updated drivers available.

After following the instructions above you can use the links below for further reference.

1 SP3 Download Microsoft SP3 Update
2 Microsoft SP3 Support
………Microsoft Help Line 1-866 234 6020
3 HP/AMD Based You must own an HP Pavilion, Presario or Media Center with Windows XP and an AMD processor.
You must install this update prior to applying Windows XP SP3 update.
HP Help and Support
4 A8N32-SLI Motherboard If your system has this Asus motherboard, insert a USB flash drive
5 Wireless card causes blue screen Check your hardware with PC Pitstop DriverAlert
6 System Uses antivirus or antimalware Turn off or better yet uninstall your protection software. Microsoft and most software programs have issued patches correcting previous problems.
7 No boot after installing SP3 Even if your system won’t boot you can use Recovery Console. You will need your XP cd. Scroll to Method 4. This is not the F2 command.
8 Microsoft. How to Remove SP3 Microsoft Help and Support ID 950249 rev. 4.0 dated 5/24, 2008

This Microsoft Help Thread is mostly abandoned leaving you to fend for yourself. There are 536 replies stretching over 36 pages. The Thread started in April and is still receiving reports of endless reboots as well as other problems all the way through Sept. There is no reason to assume you will have a problem free installation.

We know that many have installed this update to many systems without problems. Infact, 75% of you experienced no problems at all. We also know that a big minority had some big probelms.

Be careful and look before you leap!

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73 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary XP SP3”

  1. i installed sp3 on all my computers back in may and june, most of my computers are Asus boards. i have even put sp3 on a few hp systems with Asus boards and have yet to have any problems at all.

  2. Installed SP3 two weeks ago. AMD 3200+ processor and Asus K8SVE motherboard. No problems – really can’t tell any difference in appearance or performance. But, system was clean and all Microsoft updates before installing with Norton turned off

  3. I realize this is a bit late. I downloaded SP3 and had absolutely no problem. I have an AMD machine using a MSI motherboard. Didn’t shut down anything. And it’s still working

  4. Shelly. Next time you manually do Windows Update, you can check a box next to the SP3 update (or any other update for that matter)to “Hide this update in the future”. Then you wont have to look at it 🙂

  5. Installed SP3 on my Compaq Presario 061 with Kapersky 7.0 internet security in background 6months later and still everything running sweet, if my PC could speak for itself it would say “don’t know what the fuss is all about”.

  6. I have a Dell Dimension 3000, a Compaq EVO D310, a Compaq NC600 laptop and even an old Compaq Presario 5000US – all with Sp3 installed and running without a hickup. I also run Windows Live OneCare on all of them, doing auto-backup, auto-update, etc., and so far none of the problems other users have reported with that software either. The Compaq Presario C500 running Vista is another story – what a load of c*#p that OS is.

  7. I have a Dell Dimension Pentium. The Automatic Update Downloaded the SP3 but it will NOT Install and from what I read now on your site that may be a Blessing. However the Update Icon (the yellow Shield) is sitting there waiting for me to install again. How do I get the SP3 Downloaded File OFF my PC now? If I don’t want it What do I have to do to get it off the computer altogether? I will take the advice to ask for Notification before any other Update Downloads.

  8. I think XP Sp3 was a plan by Microsoft to de-stabilize all the smooth running Xp machines so they would switch to the slow selling Vista.
    I installed two(2) Sp3 beta’s on my machine and they worked fine, my machine was faster and it cleared up several shut-down problems. When the final release came out (v.5512)I did a fresh install of windows with Sp3 and all H**l broke loose two weeks later. I had to Format my hard drive and re-install Windows XP with Sp2, after a month of smooth sailing, I re-installed beta Sp3 (v3264) and it has been a dream, fast,smooth, stable and error free, since July.

  9. Subsystem Description Specification
    System OS Windows XP Home SP3
    System OS Install Date 8/16/2008 3:14:59 PM
    Main Board Make ASUSTeK Computer INC.
    Main Board Model A8N-SLI DELUXE
    Main Board Version 1.XX
    Main Board BIOS Phoenix Technologies, LTD Phoenix – AwardBIOS v6.00PG Nvidia – 42302e31 20051201
    Processor Description AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4600
    Number of Processors 2

    Looks like I have the dreaded ASUS A8N/SP3 combo…but mine is purring like a kitten.

  10. Failed to mention it is HP’s fault for the problems. They didn’t correctly install the OEM version of XP on their machines.

    As for the anti-virus issues if I remember right it, the Service Pack Install specifically states to disable your anti-virus before installing SP3.

  11. Hummmm …runs smooth as silk for me..never had a single issue .. maybe thats because I have a PC that’s never been messed up..Oh well

  12. What I said is truefull and accurate, So Help Me God !!!!
    I AM an Ordained Christian Metaphysical Minister and have been since the mid 1980’s. I taught private group classes for over seven years, after seven years of training from four (4) different Ordained Ministers. I also did “public work” in several Metaphysical/Spiritualist Churuhes. I also did private ministeral counseling, readings, house clearings of negative spirits and entities, and freely shared my aquired knowledge froms allsources, including my own spiritual insites. I did all this while doing a full time job teaching all of the natural sciences in the public schools wher I was periodiically assigned. Rev. Dennis A. Dort

  13. Timothy M Alberts

    I have 4 computers w/sp3 installed & running fine one of them has a AMD chip w/no blue screen yet !!! good luck to you hp & asus oweners I owen gateway & compaq

  14. I noticed that SP3 had at least 2 versions, with dates specified. I run an AMD 1400 KB/sec processor with an independant custom built computer with an MSI Bios and mother board. Tried to downoad each version of SP3, but each version changed my computer so much, that I could not stand the differences, so removed both versions, and selectively blocked SP3 from auto downlod/install. I will avoid SP3 at all cost. After uninstall, there were a few auto updates that caused no problems. I run nearly all PC Pitstop programs. They work great ! Dennis, in Florids, Saint petersburg, to be specific.

  15. We all must SURELY be aware by now that money and the capitilist attitude of those making it all, puts the consumer far from first. If your not aware of this, be aware now, for your own sake. They release software that “sort of works” knowing that decent people (hackers, not crackers) will repair and provide for free the fixes required to make the capitalists software do what it is suppoded to do. Their attitude is all about maximising the ammount of almighty dollars they can squeeze out of the unsuspecting consumer. They do this by releasing software that is full of faults because they know they make more profit by allowing others to fix their shortcomings for free, rather than paying their own people to do it right in the first place. The best protection you can give yourself from these money hungry giants, and yes, you can give this protection to yourself, is to not allow half to 3/4 finished programs full access to your operating system etc. I know most people these days seem to be allergic to the idea of doing something for themselves manually (and yes, you are right, you shouldnt have to. But that doesnt change the fact that you still DO need to), and the simplist way to provide yourself this protection is this…..
    1. DISABLE automatic updates! Go to control panel and click the windows update link yourself, do this 1 or 2 times a week. Make your own decision on what you will install on YOUR system, for yourself. It takes only a few precious minutes 🙂
    2. And you can apply this to everything in your life, not JUST your PC’s….If it aint broke, don’t fix it!
    Oh, and heres another, a bit of a pain, but less of a pain than if you ignore it…
    3. BACKUPS! BACKUPS! BACKUPS! Can be time consuming, but thats all, just time consuming. Its free, unlike data recovery because you trusted the capitalist. Protect yourself and realise that pretty much only YOU care about YOU. One exception I have found to this last rule is PC Pitstop and their affiliates. They provide a wealth of helpful info AND free scans etc that realy do seem directed at helping the lowly consumer, to not alot of financial benefit to themselves (Good On them!)
    If this helps just one PC user out there…well, thats a pretty lousy percentage, lol, but hey, he/she will be happy, like we all deserve to be. Good luck all 🙂

  16. I had auto update on and started the install before going to bed not knowing all these issues were happening with SP3. I have a Compaq Presario with an AMD chip. My wife was the next one to use the computer and is not sure what happened, but did say something about Recovery running. This would be the Compaq recovery program that came with the computer. I lost all three users I had created, one for me and one for my wife and step son. All were gone after SP3 did its thing and recovery did there things. Not able to run programs that are still on the computer but I am able to access pics etc through My Computer. Still the only option I seem to be given is reformatting and starting again.

  17. bob j Klamath falls , or

    have 2 shuttle xpc with AMD 3700 processors and with windows XP home ,auto downloads on ,it downloaded SP 3 and absolutely no problem at all ,runs better than ever.also same thing on 2 everex laptops. i use no pay security programs in my computers ,, all free ones only. for virus ,spyware ,ect . could this be the reason? ,for no trouble.? but i keep my computers cleaned out and reg upkeep maint. done .

  18. I’am a security and system maintence ,computer support technician, have 2 dell dimensio 2400 computers, 1 hp compaq D530,
    1 e machines , 1 gateway ,and installed SP3 to all of them,
    no problems reported about that.
    Repairing and maintainig computers,and reinstalling windows xp pro an all that came to service,installing sp3 ,no problems on any,an amd based computer serviced and installing sp3,no problems.
    Think that have to know what to do when a problem came.
    Every one must to use the It resources,the information technology help a lot so use it.

  19. I have a older HP (2004)so I turned off the auto-update and chose “notify,but do not install.” I really didn’t feel comfortable with “custom installation” but I did want to be notified about updates that were concidered to be important. I did not want to take the chance with SP3 download,but MicroSoft stop sending all security updates, and the only thing under the update notification “pop-up” was the sp3 download, nothing else! So I went to MS web page to search for updates, ran a check to see what updates were available, and the only update listed was “SP3”!!!
    I gave up and downloaded sp3, It took over 1hr to download, including all the security updates that was being witheld,(18 total)even the security patch that MS felt was important enough to release out of cycle, and so far there’s been no major issues, The lesson here is choose “custom install or auto install” There is NO middle ground with “Notify me”!!!

  20. Everett R Miller III

    I’m one of the millions who got burned by SP3 when it came out in the merry month of May. I had to do a complete reinstall. (XP Home SP2) Based on my own experience, and that of others, I would not touch SP3 with a ten foot pole. I’m running a dual hard drive generic with a dual core AMD CPU with Linux Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) on the second HD.

    I’m just beginning to find my way about in Ubuntu and it’s truly a revelation. Consider these facts: Linux never needs to be defragged. Requires no anti-virus software or security patches,nothing at all except a firewall. I’ve been surfing the net for about six months and have not encountered a single problem.

    Linux is STABLE and responsive. No blue screen of death. Never. Ever. And there is software galore that is equivalent to anything you can run on WINDOZE. There is even a program called Wine that will adapt some Windows programs to Linux.

    And get this:my operating system CD cost just ONE DOLLAR AND NINETY FIVE CENTS…from osdisc.com

    So if you want to give the Renton MONOPOLISTS a good kick in the guts make the switch. If they lose a few million captive customers they’ll take notice. Believe me.

  21. Thanks for the info… I do have an HP machine with AMD processor. I had no idea there would be any “glitch” with installing the servicepack 3 – until I tried it! Then I went on a search to find out WHAT was happening? Thank you for this information and making the patch so available. I will try it after writing this little note of thanks! AND let you know later how it all worked! Thanks again for putting it all together for me.

  22. Buyer Beware. I purchased SP3 on CD from Microsoft, tried it on a clean install. I use an Intel board and processor. Major browser and connectivity problems. Web pages would not load properly, could not access pages I had access to before and really poor performance in general. Think Microsoft will offer me a refund? Think again. Steer clear. Block it from auto update if you dare leave auto update on (I don’t). Bad news ! ! !

  23. I installed SP3 in two almost identical Dell 4600’s (Intel in both).

    In the first, I installed it just after reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling XP, so it was “brand new”. Worked perfectly.

    But the second computer has been in use for several years. Lots of applications have been installed and uninstalled, and there are many programs still there. That computer was wiped out by SP3. It can’t connect to the Internet with IE or Firefox (although it has no problem connecting to the local network) and many applications just won’t run, or won’t run right. A few smart folks have looked at it, and all came to the same conclusion — wipe it clean and start again. Thanks again Bill.

  24. mehboob sadicote

    SP3 is best on a fresh install of XP(SP2) as a standalone .exe packet before installing the motherboard drivers. I have an AMD system with ASUS motherboard and never had these issues. I guess they apply only to HP Laptops.

  25. My amd wont dl the sp3 which seems to be a blessing.I use my computer for personal uses not business and I admit I am not very computer savvy.I am not very impressed with my amd and doubt I will buy another.I have 2 other computers in the house, both are pentiums.I have never met a mac owner who hasnt been happy with their machine.I will definetly consider buying a mac when it is time to upgrade.

  26. I installed service pack3 on my system and in the begining all was fine.Now all my usb ports have gone dead.No fixes I have tried worked.

  27. Tried to install SP3 on Del Dim 2400/WinXP Home/PentIV. It failed three times. One site suggested safe mode, but just before the actual install, there was a warning about installing in safe mode. Any ideas??

  28. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry because there are so many trusting people out there. I still haven’t dl’d SP3 and I never will. I turned off Auto Download 2 yrs ago and do custom only. Like a cowgirl and her boots, I’ll die with my XP on, and it won’t have Silverlight, Windows Live (that oughta be a clue right there! what was it before: Windows Dead?) Of course macspook is right: we are being coerced – no, forced into buying yet another “upgrade” with Vista. And MS doesn’t give a whit about loyal customers. When you run a monopoly, you can do as you please.

  29. Thanks for the update. I’m one of those unlucky ones who paid a premium price for an ASUS A8N-32SLI mobo only to be abandoned by ASUS after having gone through weeks of endless reboots after installing SP3. Microsoft came through and helped me uninstall SP3 and I thank them for that. Yours is the first site that has provided a current update on the ASUS problem, and as you note it is not fixed nor likely to be fixed as ASUS is AWOL leaving its customers in the lurch.

  30. I have XP ‘home’ on an Asus P5KSE board and dont appear to have any problems with SP3 so far..I hope that continues..

  31. I upgraded two dell laptops to sp3. one an older Inspiron 9100 and a newer Latitude 530. Both run well and have experienced no issues. My co-workers who also have the Latitude machine have upgraded theirs to sp3 without issue. The problems appear to be machine dependent. I am not a huge fan of Dell and have had my issues with their products in the past. In this case the sp3 seems to be ok. I am running vista ultimate on my acer machine with an AMD processor. It works ok.

  32. I downloaded SP3 and have an Asus motherboard. I get the error message about windows messenger when booting my computer. This is mentioned all over the web as an ongoing issue. However I just cancel the nmessage and everything works OK so until a simple update appears I will just put up with this trivial inconvenience.

  33. I have been a computer consultant for twenty years. We have one Dell computer in our store running XP Prof. Two more Dells in the house, running XP, one Sony Laptop running XP, and one custom computer running Vista. All computers were upgraded with the latest service pack, and NOT ONE PROBLEM.

    I for one will never switch to Macs. I know a few people (friends/colleagues) who have them and love them, but Windows is the way to go for us. Sure, I run into problems over the last twenty years, but since the advent of XP, I’m been a pretty happy camper.

  34. Installed and messed up my pc, uninstalled and went back to sp2, thank god it recovered and works like a charm. XP3 no THANK YOU!!! VISTA NEVER!!

  35. I have never seen an explanation of what SP3 does for XP. I do not believe there are any significant improvements in it. In fact, the OS has run perfectly on every machine I’ve had it on (5 if I remember correctly, all with AMD processors). It’s the only OS that M-soft ever really got right. I long ago shut off the SP3 update, and install everything manually to be sure MS doesn’t try to sneak it in. If I never get another update I have no reason to assume the 2 machines I still use with XP will ever have a problem or know the difference. I am now working on my only VISTA machine, and I must say I have never had a problem that I could attribute to VISTA either. However, I notice NO IMPROVEMENT WHATSOEVER over XP. This machine is a little faster simply because it has a newer, faster processor and more memory. I bought VISTA this time only because it will be supported longer than XP. It remains to be seen whether that will matter either.


  36. Lol, I have xp pro sp2 and doubt I’ll ever install sp3. I have an inspiron 9300 and it runs just fine without it. I have an internal hard drive going bad and have enough problems. Thanks to image for dos it’s about a 30 minute fix when another sector goes bad. SP3 just plain scares me.

    When I get a new HD for my PC I may try it but I’ll sure put the old image back quickly if it doesn’t run perfectly.

    I’ve seen to many bad things from MS to leave my updates on automatic. No, I’ll never switch to Vista either. Nor will any amount of money spent on advertising ever convince me.

    Lol, what with the world economy MS may just learn that crap doesn’t do well when people are pinching pennies. Maybe slow sales will wake them up.

    MS has become pathetic what with a bigger bugs manual than instruction manuals. Heh, and then they want me to pay for support when they make crap.

  37. I am not defending sp3, but I installed it on three PCs, one with AMD and have had no problems whatsoever. I did this two weeks after the release of sp3. I applied no patches, did not turn off anything, and did not update any drivers. I can only attribute this to constant PC maintenace.

  38. Is this really the place for drivel like “The unsuspecting public downloaded it faster than Tom Cruise jumps on Oprah’s couch.”? That sound you hear is my stomach churning.
    As for SP3, I had absolutely no problems with either of two computers. Admittedly, we waited for about five days before downloading the package.
    It seems to me that people who have dealt with Microsoft and their “improvements” should know by now to only download immediately if they are going to catch the download on a virtual machine.

  39. I am an IT Freelance Tech, so see all kinds of configurations. SP3 works flawlessly about 75% of the time. The other 25%, it is just about impossible to get it to function correctly. Even in the 75% that work, there is still one unaddressed bug….The Daylight Savings Time clock function doesn’t work properly. Even on machines that had the patch for this applied in 2007, once SP3 was applied, the corrections were removed. Most of the problems are not just Software, or just Hardware related, but are a combined Software/Hardware Engineering problem, and take the customers getting up in arms to force the Suppliers to provide the required Support.


  40. I had my comuter mess up after Sp3 downloaded through automatic updates then after restoring computer to factory settings found out about the HP patch. Tried to install the HP patch only to have a message come up saying install aborted your system does not meet the minimum requirements.

  41. I’m with Ron Graves – I’ve got all the upgrades outside SP3 including the recent October scare stuff. I’ve simply turned off the auto update and manually load anything on the other side of SP3. It’s just a simple old eMachine with new board and power supply, and a CD didn’t come with the machine. Is there any reason Ron and I need this trouble maker? Hey Ron, hang in there, we can just jump straight to WIN 7!

  42. I run two older Gateways with Pentium 4 processors – an E4000 and an E6100. Both have had XP Pro SP2 on them and just last month I finally decided to give SP3 a try. Both have been running fine ever since. Perhaps I’m just lucky?

  43. I have a dual boot on my “no-name” computer, with 2 hard drives and an Intel dual core CPU. My original HD has XP Pro SP2 and when I installed SP3 on it, numerous odd things began to happen. Programs would suddenly close or would freeze up. I had done the updates to my equipment prior to installing SP3, but that was not the answer. I continued using that OS until finally the programs that I use the most (Corel Draw and Adobe Photoshop) would not open but gave some erroneous referred memory errors. I had to quit using that system, but thankfully I had a new installation of XP Pro SP2 on the second HD so I could keep on working.
    I wonder too if Microsoft is just ignoring these problems to antagonize people into purchasing Vista now, and then Windows 7 in late 2010 (Ha Ha) as they have never hit a release date yet.
    I love the simplicity of the setup of XP as compared to the days of MS-DOS, but the problems are almost too much. If only Microsoft would let the manufacturers know what the “actual” requirements are for the hardware to be able to work with the software, then it would solve a lot of problems.

  44. The auto Windows Update downloaded and installed XP SP-3 on my HP Pentium-4 machine about 8 weeks ago. So far no problems. I didn’t do any prep. I didn’t know I had it until it finished the download.
    Maybe I was just lucky.

  45. I have installed SP3 to various machines and have not had any problems as such, although a few friends did, none of which have AMD machines or Asus motherboards.
    I don’t doubt microsoft does not care at all about its previous OS now they have Vista out there, which I do not use at all, I stuck with XP and will continue to do so for awhile yet knowing microsofts reputation for FAULTY OS’s in the past.
    I have installed Vista and tried it out but was very disapointed it still had major problems, and considering it took them so long releasing Vista since it was first was called “LONGHORN” (yes I tried the beta) it should have been a much better OS than XP, perhaps they should of taken another year before releasing it, but for the time being I will stick with XP.

  46. I don’t have SP3, and have deleted it from my update notifications – the only sensible implementation of Auto Update is the Notification option; fully auto is asking for trouble – as even though I don’t have an HP AMD PC I feel it’s just too much of an unknown quantity.

    I do have a question, though – what, if anything, apart from grief, does SP3 have to offer? I’ve installed SP2 and every security update and sofware/OS patch that’s been offered during the life of XP, so am I actually missing anything vital?

  47. I still haven’t downloaded sp3 and have been wondering whether I should or not. I guess I won’t, still. I have a 4 year old Dell latitude and when I get a new system, it will be a Mac.

  48. I have been working on computers for 25 years. I started out working on mainframes system 34 IBM. Personal computers at the time usually had some sort of menu program and emulation board. If you didn’t know dos commands you didn’t do much other than general office functions. Every since Gates and Allen came out with windows it made my job easier. Selling home computers before was not an option unless it was the ceo of the company that wanted to be able to work from home. The offices that have Mac apple in them always made you worry because they had bad bugs also the problem was trying to find the other 20 people that had the same setup. I know people like different OS You name the system and I have been there done that.
    The thing with Microsoft is to upgrade hardware and some software also. 8 bit 16 bit 32 bit and on, not all software runs good on older computers. The only real problem was 98 waiting for sp2. Xp pro is one of the best OS out there for administrators for all the functions you have for networking and being able to install hard ware. I don’t know how many of you were around before plug and play was the norm. But con flicks with expansion boards could last hours.
    I don’t recommend OS to costumers, but I would prefer Windows just because if you do have glitches then you can usually find the answer fairy fast. Auto update always leave off and do it yourself pick your updates. I have most of windows OS, also other OS, but 95% of people and offices have windows. The people that have most of the problems are the ones that don’t want to upgrade there hardware. Ever try to put a round peg in the square hole. Vista, dual core 1 gig memory reload it when you get it. Chances are that if you get Dell, Hp or any proprietary system. {Also make sure you get a legal copy of the OS with your new computer. Don’t buy it if they don’t offer it. Leaves you at their mercy. HD crash you have to buy HD plus OS or pay price of whoever you bought it from.} They have loaded their own backup to the system. Dell system with media direct you need to create a partition you can find it on dell.com.
    My Dell with vista crashed twice I use the system restore that was for dell. Then I reformatted the hard drive reloaded media direct then vista, have not had any problems since. I think it has to do with the way it is loaded from the manufacture. I use to sell computers and load them myself. My costumers never had the problems like the people had that bought proprietary systems preloaded from the factory. One thing for sure, before windows no money in home computers. Windows hit the market and overnight millions of jobs opened up from tech to programmers and on software developers.
    So even if Microsoft comes out with glitches it can be worked out. Apple has had glitches also. Just never hear about it because there aren’t as many users.

  49. Switch to a linux distribution. I was a bit dubious about going over to the other side. Now, after a couple of happy months of Ubuntu usage, I’m an avid advocate of open source stuff. I’ve had better support (in clear language that non-professionals can understand) than I ever had off Microsoft. It boots cleaner, shuts down quicker, requires less system resources. Go Ubuntu!

  50. I’m fed up with your sensationalist reporting, and your continuing to knock XP SP3. There’s nothing wrong with the service pack – the problem lies with HP, Asus and other such companies. As you say yourselves “Asus has ignored the situation completely”.

  51. Just wanted to say that maybe the problems were already there but the service pack 3 just became the straw that broke the camels back? I run a 5 year old Toshiba Tecra A2 laptop XP Professional – tweaked out! Ha Ha. I installed the service pack with no difficulties. I have numerous software like RegScrubXP, CCleaner, Registry First Aid, PCPitstop Optimize2 and Disk Keeper 9 Lite running to get rid of all the bloated, fragmented and useless settings that are, unfortunately, strewn throughout XP.
    I am one of those people that enjoy finding new problems to tackle and overcome with XP and since mine has no problems I have to buy old laptops from EBay to refurbish just to get my fix!! Ha Ha.
    I hope those with problems manage to get them sorted out soon.
    Hasta La Vista

  52. I have an HP Pavillion computer with Windows XP Media Edition and an AMD Athlon 64 processor, purchased Aug 28, 2005. The Windows XP Service Pack 3 downloaded and asked to be installed. It cautioned me to back up my files and system, and I backed them up onto two CD’s. I held my breath and let SP3 install. That was on Oct. 22. Nine days later, after using my computer a lot, I’m happy to report NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER!

  53. I have no idea what sp3 is or what it does or why I need it. I only know, it keeps being rejected by my computer which is set for automatic updates. I go to my history of MS updates and there I see many, many, many times this sp3 update was unsuccessfully downloaded. I’m just gnoring it now. What am I missing?? Do I need it?? If so, why??
    Charlie C

  54. Fortunately I took some good advice and turned off automatic updates entirely and never installed SP3.
    For updates I rely on Secunia. Of course I also didn’t “update” to Vista either. I’ll see how Windows 7 turns out, as far as I can tell, Vista is a disaster and for the moment I’ll stick to XP SP2.

  55. MS junked up WinXP w/SP3 to stroll with Vista on even keel…just totally OUT. As same for Customer Service that’s gone so far SOUTH will never come back. SP3 simply ruined MS’s only OS working mfrd. this century.

    The only thing pleasant is the cause for complete give up/throw out Windows and Purchase a New iMac Desktop v10.5.5 Leopard. A dream come true. No wonder Apple/Mac just passed MSoft in 4th Quarter earnings,a First ever. In our baaad market today, Apple/Mac continues soaring UPWARD. Even so,….As Expected”

  56. i have instaled sp3 3 times. what i don’t like-no address bar,meny programs won’t run. turn off automatic updates or you will get it
    —–xp pro 3.4g 1.222 tg 4g ram

  57. I have an HP-AMD computer and have yet to install SP3.
    My computer is still running fine.
    Does everyone think that Microsoft goofed? Have we fogotten the DR-DOS problem with Win 3.1?
    Microsoft obviously prefers Intel chips to be used in computers running their software.
    I will be buying a Mac soon.

  58. I tend to agree with macspook when he said, “maybe this crappy service pack is a deliberate tactic to get us to buy vista???” Why should microsoft support their loyal customers and a great product like XP when they want everybody to spend their hard earned dollars on their interim os vista? No money in that.

  59. I installed SP3 after a fresh install. I did not follow the directions to prepare my PC before installing. Everything went fine and have been runnig great for about 2 months. Yeah I have had a few glitches but I have’nt tracked them down yet as I think it’s between a couple of programs and some drivers, other than that it’s been great. I wonder what Windows 7 is going to create. 😉

  60. yes they make the operating system but they don’t make the various hardware. HP is responsible to take care of their customers since they sold the hardware. Is big minority people with amd processors and asus motherboards?

  61. I have a Dell XPS desktop at Vista Ultimate SP3, two Sony notebooks that are at XP SP2 (one went to Vista, and came back) and my 6 month old MacBook Pro that I now use 95% of the time. Goodbye BillG, I wish I could say it was fun. Hello Steve Jobs. The MBP begat an iPhone, and several friends have converted from PS to Mac now as well. I was a fool to stay with Windows for so long. As the commercials say: “WAKE UP PEOPLE”

  62. Rusty, I see your point about misleading info, but surely you see the big picture here?

    Most people as little Joe has perfectly demonstrated do not have a clue about PC’s, least of all whether they should buy a pre-built system or what cons might come with it, nevermind knowing that they can switch off automatic updates if they want to. Their selection process is based on the value of the goods and what goodies come attached for free.

    We have to assume that over 60% of the population ‘still’ falls into this category, therefore the majority will be reliant on Microsoft as the OS suppler to make sure that they work closely with OE PC builders to ensure the majority users out there will not be waking up to a mess and wondering how to fix it.

    They certainly work well enough with eachother in the board rooms when they are striking distribution partnership deals but apparently its not as important to focus on service as they focus on sales and profits!

    I can see the majority point of view and once upon a time I was in similar pains with Win95 so I can relate.

    For the record, I have a now ageing system which I built myself around 4 yrs ago which coincidently is running an unchanged AMD board and AMD CPU setup with XP SP3 installed and no issues experienced what so ever. Nevertheless I do share the view of the majority that MS just does not do enough and in a number of cases pushes people towards new purchases to serve theirs and their ‘strategic’ partners huge appetite for profit.

    I rest my case.


  63. I think you should stop trying to beat Microsoft to death and pay more attention to some of the info {missleading and does not work with all systems} that you push at your readers. You have a good site but you are not as good as you think you are. Ease up on the rest of the world and don’t take yourself so serious!

  64. Wish we knew about some of these things before they are automatically downloaded onto our computers, save alot of whatevers. Seems like those people at Microsoft, by now, would have some clue as to what is going on here. I mean they make the programs. After doing so many it seems like they would know what 1 & 0 do. Jack

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