The blog of Windows Wally, a Windows Support Technician helping common people solve frustrating computer problems.

Windows Service Pack 3 Troubleshooting

Reader Question:
“Hi Wally, I am having problems with Windows Service Pack 3 and wondering how to fix it?”    - Katelyn D., USA

Before addressing any computer issue, I always recommend scanning and repairing any underlying problems affecting your PC health and performance:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (WinThruster for Win 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP and 2000 – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

Setting up weekly (or daily) automatic scans will help prevent system problems and keep your PC running fast and trouble-free.

Wally’s Answer:

Overview of Windows Service Pack 3

Microsoft distributes updates, security patches and hotfixes to their operating systems on a regular basis. If the automatic updates feature is enabled in the OS, these updates can be downloaded and installed as soon as they become available. Windows Service Pack 3 is the third service pack in the sequence to be released.

The first Service Pack, Windows Service Pack 1, is often scheduled within the first year after the release of the operating system because there are usually some features that still require testing. It can be several years before the next Service Pack, Windows Service Pack 2, is finally released. Thus, Windows Service Pack 3 takes several years to be released.

Windows XP was released in 2001 and is the only currently supported operating system on its third Windows Service Pack, often referred to as “SP3.” Windows Service Pack 3 was released in 2008 and included several new features including wireless LAN API, Microsoft Management Console and Credential Roaming Service, a digital identity management service. SP3 can be downloaded from the Microsoft web site.

While most of Service Pack 3 will install after the update, some of the components will be installed when the computer is rebooted.

What Problems are Associated with Windows Service Pack 3?

The most common error a user will encounter when installing Windows Service Pack 3 is, “The Service Pack installation did not complete.” There are several reasons this may occur.

Not having Windows Service Pack 2 installed is the most common. The Microsoft Service Packs are cumulative releases so it is necessary to have the previous Service Pack installed first. Users can find out what Service Pack is installed by clicking the Properties option when they right-click on My Computer. If there is no Service Pack listed, all three Service Packs will need to be installed, beginning with Windows Service Pack 1.

Sometime anti-virus programs will prevent Windows Service Pack 3 from installing. Turning off the anti-virus while SP3 downloads and installs can avoid this error.

Sometimes the error is caused by an inability to update a registry key. Restarting the computer in Selective Startup with only critical Windows services running will enable the computer to download and install Windows Service Pack 3 most of the time.

A few users will need to reset the registry key in order to complete the installation. Microsoft has a utility program available for download on their web site to assist with this process.

I Hope You Liked This Blog Article! If You Need Additional Support on This Issue Then Please Don’t Hesitate To Contact Me On Facebook.

Is Your PC Healthy?

I always recommend to my readers to regularly use a trusted registry cleaner and optimizer such as WinThruster or CCleaner. Many problems that you encounter can be attributed to a corrupt and bloated registry.

Happy Computing! :)

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About the Author

Windows Wally is a helpful guy. It’s just in his nature. It’s why he started a blog in the first place. He heard over and over how hard it was to find simple, plain-English solutions to Windows troubleshooting problems on the Internet. Enter: Windows Wally. Ask away, and he will answer.

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