Saturday, May 17, 2008

Installing Windows XP SP3: My Experience

Windows XP logoImmediately after performing an antivirus scan and a full backup, I installed Windows XP SP3 on an old IBM laptop (model A21m, PIII 800MHz, 512 MB RAM). The laptop had the latest operating system critical updates, device drivers, and BIOS firmware.

The SP3 installation on the older laptop took an hour and a half despite a fast broadband connection. (SP3 installation on more powerful computers should take significantly less time.)

I would like to think that my cautious approach improved the chances for a successful installation:
  1. Download SP3 from Microsoft's Windows Update
  2. Disconnect the network
  3. Shut down ZoneAlarm*
  4. Disable Norton Anti Virus*
  5. Confirm that no other programs were running
  6. Install Service Pack 3
  7. Reboot twice (you may think this is one time too many)
  8. Connect to the network
  9. Rerun Windows Update (discovered that "Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool" did not download with the initial update)
  10. Download and install "Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool"
  11. Reboot
  12. Defragment the hard drive
* Never connect to the Internet unless your antivirus program is enabled. Preferably, you should also be protected by a firewall. Conversely, disable your antivirus program and software firewall (after you disconnect the network) during the installation of system upgrades.

I did not encounter problems with the SP3 installation. My computer is running smoothly and possibly a bit faster.

I installed May's Critical Updates on my other computers. However, I will postpone their SP3 installations for one week after Microsoft's June, 2008 upgrades become available.

July 1, 2008: Follow this link to a similar, but updated, set of SP3 installation guidelines.

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At August 4, 2008 11:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

after installing sp3 ihave problem access the network
my computer hang when i try to find another computer in my network

At August 4, 2008 9:54 PM , Blogger Donald French said...

Your network problems could be caused by a number of conditions.

Free Windows XP SP3 installation support is available from Microsoft. The details can be found at the following link:


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