The Final Countdown for Windows XP

Windows XP Service Packs

Windows XP If you are still using Windows XP be aware that Microsoft support for this Operating System will end on the 8th April 2014. So now is the time to make sure your Windows XP installation is fully up to date.

By now you should have Service Pack 3 installed. To check if you have, right click on My Computer and select Properties. Under the System heading make sure it says Service Pack 3. If it lists Service Pack 2 or even Service Pack 1 it's time to update your copy of Windows XP to Service Pack 3.

How to get Service Pack 3

The easiest way to get SP3 is to turn on Automatic Updates which will download SP3 when it's available for your computer. You only need a few clicks to begin the installation and the rest of the process should be  automatic.

To turn on Automatic Updates yourself, follow these steps:

Click Start, and then click Run.

Copy and then paste (or type) services.msc in the Open box, and then click OK.

In the Services console, right-click Automatic Update, and then click Start.

Close the Services console.

If you do not want to wait for Automatic Updates you can install Service Pack 3 by using Windows Update at the Windows website.

Click start, All Programs and select Windows Update. This will take you online to the Windows Update section of Microsoft's website which will check your PC to see what updates you need to install.

Problems installing Service Pack 3

Occasionally Service Pack 3 refuses to install and if that happens to you these are the steps you need to take.

Method 1: Exit all open programs, restart your computer, and then try to reinstall Service Pack 3

Sometimes an installation of SP3 is unsuccessful because a previous operation was not completed for some reason. By restarting your PC, you close any pending computer operations and restart the process.

Once your PC is up and running download Windows XP Service Pack 3 from File Hippo filehippo.com/download_windows_xp_service_pack_3/ to reinstall Windows XP SP3.

Restart your computer and check if the installation was successful.

If the installation fails try the next step.

Method 2: Temporarily disable any antivirus, antispyware and third-party firewall programs

Installation failure may occur when a third-party program, such as antispyware, holds a file open or when it locks a file that the Windows XP SP3 installation program needs.

Before you try to reinstall Windows XP SP3, follow these steps:

Exit any open programs, and then restart your PC.

After the computer has restarted, disable any antivirus, antispyware, and third-party firewall programs that may start during the start-up process (these steps may increase your security risk). You can usually do this from the program notification area. The program icons typically appear in the lower-right corner of your computers screen. To disable a program from the notification area, right-click the program icon, and then click an appropriate option to disable the program.

Once you have disabled the software go to File Hippo filehippo.com/download_windows_xp_service_pack_3/ to reinstall Windows XP SP3.

Restart your computer and check if the installation was successful.

If the installation fails try the next step.

Method 3: Download and reinstall Windows XP SP3 from File Hippo

To download the file, click the following link: filehippo.com/download_windows_xp_service_pack_3/

To copy the download to your computer for installation at a later time, click Save or Save this program to disk. To start the installation immediately, click Open or Run this program from its current location.

If the installation is successful, you are finished.

If all the above steps do not result in a successful installation of SP3 the next few are for more experienced users, but they are well explained so have a go these steps if all else fails.

Advanced SP3 Troubleshooting

Method 1: Start the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) and reinstall Windows XP SP3

The Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) transfers files (downloads or uploads) between a client and server and provides progress information related to the transfers.

If the BITS service is turned off, Windows Update may have problems delivering files to your computer.

To start the BITS service and reinstall Windows XP SP3, follow these steps:

Step 1: Start the BITS service

Click Start, and then click Run.

Type services.msc in the Open box, and then click OK.

Right-click Background Intelligent Transfer Service, and then click Properties.

On the General tab in the Start-up type box, click Automatic, and then click Apply.

In the Service status section of the properties dialog box, verify that the BITS service is started.

If it is not started, click Start.

Click Apply, and then click OK.

Step 2: Restart the PC and try to reinstall Windows XP SP3

Method 2: Turn off Automatic Updates, clear the Software Distribution folder, and then download Windows XP SP3

A file in the Software Distribution folder might have become corrupted or previous files might interfere with the installation of SP3.

Clearing the Software Distribution folder helps prevent these problems.

Step 1: Turn off Automatic Updates

To turn off Automatic Updates yourself, follow these steps:

Log on to the computer as an administrator or as a user who has administrative credentials.

Click Start, and then click Run.

Copy and then paste (or type) services.msc in the Open box, and then click OK.

Right-click Automatic Update, and then click Stop.

Step 2: Clear the Software Distribution Folder

Click Start, and then click Run.

Copy and then paste (or type) the following in the Open box, and then click OK:  %windir%\SoftwareDistribution   

Right-click the Download folder, and then click Rename.

Type Download.old as the new folder name, and then press ENTER.

Exit Windows Explorer.

Step 3: Turn on Automatic Updates to download Windows XP SP3 again

To turn on Automatic Updates yourself, follow these steps:

Click Start, and then click Run.

Copy and then paste (or type) services.msc in the Open box, and then click OK.

In the Services console, right-click Automatic Update, and then click Start.

Close the Services console.

Step 4: Reinstall Windows XP SP3

To reinstall Windows XP SP3, visit File Hippo: filehippo.com/download_windows_xp_service_pack_3/

If the installation is successful, you are finished.

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