Windows XP SP3 Cheat Sheet


Since it’s release on May 7th there have been libraries writen about the woes of XP SP3. In additon to the problems there have been many reports of installations with no problems. In fact there are three times as many people who have had no problems what-so-ever. This is as expected given the 25% failure rate that we’ve seen at PC Pitstop. But with a 25% failure rate, this service pack is anything but ordinary.

Our two previous articles described the problems and fixes in detail and gave additional information regarding the causes of the problems. You can find those articles here and here. Because we’re not quite ready to sound the all clear, I thought it would be a good idea to outline a quick reference to help you cope with XP SP3. Use it as a “cheat sheet” for XP SP3.

1 Microsoft Help Line 1-866-234-6020
2 Microsoft SP3 Support
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 Belkin F5D6001,SMC 2635W, D-Link DWL-520 rev. C , Linksys WPC11 v1, Blitz NetWave Point PC,Corega WLPCIB-11, SMC 2602W rev.2, Xterasys Cardbus XN-2411b, D-Link DWL-520 rev. C, Xterasys Cardbus XN-2411b, Fiberline FL-WL-200X, 3com Office Connect 3CRSHPW796.
6 System Uses Norton/Symantec Turn off or better yet uninstall your Norton/Symantec and all other antivirus before SP3 installation. *
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

The problem that I find interesting is the one about wireless cards and SP3. Many people won’t know which wireless card is used in their system. Sometimes this information can be hard to find. I would suggest using Driver Alert Free Scan to identify the status of your Wireless and network drivers. Once identified you can either use the program to download the driver or find and install the latest driver yourself. There hasn’t been much published informatin about this, The important part is to be sure the wireless and network drivers are up-to-date.

If you are fortunate and find none of the above situations pertain to your setup, then SP3 installation should be safe. Please keep in mind that we’re still not recommending the installation. Unless you have a pressing need for the update, there is no reason to rush in to the abyss.

* Be sure to reinstall and activate your antivirus after SP3 installation.

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