Got Windows XP SP3 Problems? We’ve Got Answers!

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The most sure fire way to keep your Windows installation from crashing during these upgrades and to fix problems in the event they do happen, without losing hours and hours of time and priceless amounts of data, is to use XP Repair Pro. You won’t need to spend hundreds of dollars hiring a technician, and this software is leagues ahead of the competition in terms of reliability and performance. Not only will it fix your Windows problems, it will increase Windows’ overall performance and speed as well. Click Here to check out XP Repair Pro now, while your Windows installation is still up and running.

Is SP3 a long overdue Windows update?

Windows XP SP3 (service pack 3) is a collective update for Windows that incorporates all the little fixes and security updates that have been released to Windows XP owners via the Windows update service. You’ll probably see this update popping up in your update list (or installing automatically – depending on your settings) if you haven’t already. But is it a good idea to install XP SP3? In theory it is, as it includes some important new security features; but in practice we’ve seen several reports from users experiencing problems after installing XP SP 3.

What’s new in Windows XP SP3

The following descriptions are taken from the Microsoft white paper on XP SP3.

“Black hole” router detection – Windows XP SP3 includes improvements to black hole router detection (detecting routers that are silently discarding packets), turning it on by

Network Access Protection (NAP) – NAP is a policy enforcement platform with which you can better protect network assets by enforcing compliance with system health requirements.
Using NAP, you can create customized health policies to validate computer health before allowing access or communication; automatically update compliant computers to ensure ongoing compliance; and optionally confine noncompliant computers to a restricted network until they become compliant.

CredSSP Security Service Provider – CredSSP is a new Security Service Provider (SSP) that is available in Windows XP SP3 via Security Service Provider Interface (SSPI). CredSSP
enables an application to delegate the user’s credentials from the Client (via Client side SSP) to the target Server (via Server side SSP). Windows XP SP3 involves only the Client side SSP implementation and is currently being used by RDP 6.1 (TS), though it can be used by any third party application willing to use the Client side SSP to interact with applications
running Server side implementations of the same on Vista / LH Server. CredSSP is turned off by default.

Descriptive Security Options User Interface – The Security Options control panel in Windows XP SP3 now has more descriptive text to explain settings and prevent incorrect settings configuration.

Enhanced security for Administrator and Service policy entries – In System Center Essentials for Windows XP SP3, Administrator and Service entries will be present by default on any new instance of policy. Additionally, the user interface for the Impersonate Client After Authentication user right will not be able to remove these settings.

Microsoft Cryptographic Module – Implements and supports the SHA2 hashing algorithms (SHA256, SHA384, and SHA512) in X.509 certificate validation. This has been added to the crypto module rsaenh.dll. XP SP2 crypto modules Rsaenh.dll/Dssenh.dll/Fips.sys had been certified according to FIPS 140-1 specifications. The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-1 standard has been replaced by
FIPS 140-2, and these modules have been validated and certified according to this standard.

Windows Product Activation – As in Windows Server 2003 SP2 and Windows Vista, users can now complete operating system installation without providing a product key during a full, integrated installation of Windows XP SP3. The operating system will prompt the user for a product key later as part of Genuine Advantage. As with previous service packs, no product key is requested or required when installing Windows XP SP3 using the update package available through Microsoft Update.

Windows XP SP3 Problems

Problems reported are primarily related to SP3 not yet being compatible with various hardware drivers and software applications. This could mean not being able to access important data on a harddrive, maybe even your Windows drive. Other problems include involuntary system reboots, system crashes, and more. While SP3 has some important updates and security fixes, it just isn’t quite ready in our opinion. Read over the new features below and decide for yourself if they’re absolutely critical. If the descriptions look like gobbledygook, you can probably stand to wait until Microsoft has shored up the service pack and increased its compatibility.

Only upgrade SP3 with new installations

Our bottom line recommendation is that, at this time anyways, you only upgrade your Windows XP installation to SP3 if it’s new – ie. to prevent you from having to download a gazillion updates. This is especially true if you’re deploying multiple Windows installations, which is typical in a corporate environment. Note that if you have a version of Windows XP that doesn’t yet have SP1 or SP2 installed, you’ll need to install those first. Only the installation of SP1 is required, but Microsoft recommends installing SP2 as well before installing SP3.

Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.

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12 Comments on "Got Windows XP SP3 Problems? We’ve Got Answers!"


When i press e i got € please help me to fix the problem

jessie i.t
jessie i.t

I’m am doing a college course and at the moment, we are covering software installs by installing service pack 3 on XP. I noticed there is no real gain to this software other than a few minor security and bug fixes.

Nothing that would help the user in a big way. It is known to however have tons of stupid faults that outweigh the minor fixes.

Such as the device manger will sometimes be black when opening, or printers and internet connections won’t work for a long period of time. Most of all if the computer dose not have the exact or over the amount of RAM, hard disk space and CPU usage it will likely crash.

So I wonder why bother? Maybe because it would cost a lot to keep the computer maintained at SP2 or even upgrading to windows 7. But overall it would not be to useful to companies who need bug free secure computers.


Since installing the SP3 on my computer it won’t connect to the internet all the settings have changed. i have internet access as it says i have but it’s lost explorer the e symbol has changed and i don’t know how to set it up, can anyone help?


I recently purchased a new print program, the Print Shop 2.0, so that I could make cards for my grandchildren. I tried to install this on my laptop but it said I couldn’t install it without Windows XP SP3.

So I loaded XP SP3, and after restart discovered I no longer had a D:/ drive! Wahoo, once again, way to go MSN! I had to delete this service pack upgrade in order to restore my drive. Luckily it did, but not without, once again, leaving a bad MSN taste in my mouth….I hate MSN and BG – they put the “ASS” in associates!


IDE and ATAPI hardware, floppy drives and the like are detected by BIOS and Windows registers them.

If you lose devices, looking in Device Manager will tell you what is recognized and where conflicts and missing devices are to be found.

Use the menu to rescan or F5. If the yellow triangle and “!” are still present and a drive or device that is inside the computer still is not showing (or pops in and out of Windows-becomes ‘found hardware’ often)

INTERNAL: SHUT DOWN COMPLETELY before checking cables and power connections. You can’t just plug and unplug IDE and ATAPI, Floppy drives like you can with USB. Windows won’t like you and you’ll have to shut down and do it anyway. Hotswappable drives are so at the dock, not the internals.

Over time when you add drives or move the computer about a bit you may loosen a connection or a cable and eventually intermittent cracks can form in the cables or POWER WIRES, even the white connector breaks down and I’ve had one with a single connection move about in the body. Mind you these connectors are based on industry parts that predate PCs by years. I’ve seen that one on a phonograph changer from a 1972 stereo!

IDE cables tend to get used over and over here as I build mine from used pairs, so YES I can blame that but heat, voltage and the tiny wires being used call for some replacements, standards upgrades for others (40-pin to 80, we all have had to buy new parallel cables for printers if we’ve spent 15 or more years at it).

The other clarification is that MSN is not the software provider, rather it’s Microsoft’s web and mail portal (like Google or Yahoo!) and they, other than providing links to Microsoft sites and downloads, had nothing to do with Windows, IE or the like. I don’t know who ‘BG’ is. G is above B on the keyboard so I can gather it’s Broderbund.

In the 33 years since I first turned on a Radio Shack computer at my high school I have learned many things.

One is computers seem to have more problems than children.

The thing usually tells you what is the matter if you know what to ask about, like kids.

With all the garbage in your daily life, it’s easy to default to telling at the box in front of you. On the other hand, you wrote.

Broderbund has been producing this program, in various versions for a long time. I have a CD-ROM from the Windows 95/3.1 era. The current version is design to run with Windows 7 as well. They have to be backwards compatible with files from two decades ago. I was using a 386 then!

Are they to blame for this?


SP3 came out in 2008 and the troubles people had then are not only well documented and abundantly so, they were resolved in most cases by the manufacturers affected.

So did Microsoft do this to you?

Maybe, Yes and Partly.

You’ve been online for THREE YEARS without taking care of your computer well. You didn’t update (the computer will do it for you automatically), well, you didn’t or maybe you made the individual ones that led up to SP3 which is a ROLL-UP of dozens of updates and updates of those and some extra. Microsoft had, may still have a CD-ROM you could order so you didn’t have to download so much…you can burn the files to CD yourself as well.

Still, all you had to do was ask somebody.

You can search for IDE drive not recognized after SP3 installed or something or SP3 whatever. If you are correct you still have yourself to blame for not looking it up.

Now you know, knowledge is power, best of luck, git ‘er done : )


I updated my XP desktop with XP SP3 software. Everything shut down. Windows would not reboot saying, “We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this.” The monitor continues to cycle over and over: the messages appear every 30 seconds (possible restarts – doesn’t work – tried last known good configuration; Safe Mode – restore menu, but won’t restore at the dates to choose from; start windows normally (doesn’t – goes back to the cycling messages). Shows Windows XP like start up, but then goes to black screen with the word Compaq, then messages and startups that don’t work. HELP! What can I do to restore my computer to what it was before today? Thanks.


I did a complete reinstall of XP Home and all was well after updating to SP3. Even after installing BitDefender 2010 all was well. It was when I started updating NetFramework that the computer started slowing down again, especially during a boot into Windows XP.

I found out it is specifically NetFramework 4 to be the culprit with the slowdown, not SP3, that everyone has associated it with. Go find the NetFramework removal tool (dotnetfx cleanup tool) and take NetFramework back down to version 3.5 and watch your slowdown troubles evaporate! NetFramework 4 is the culprit, not SP3. Hope this helps you.


Some of our .NET C++ applications are not working after installing SP3 on a SP2 machine. It was working fine with Sp2. Application just crashes!!


Sp3 stinks and Outlook Express compacts it endlessly. No fix from the humanitarian Gates and his cast of thousands.


I’ve never encountered a serious problem with my windows XP Service Pack 3 installed in my desktop computer unlike with windows vista that I’m currently using on my notebook computer. Overall, I’m very contented with windows XP service pack 3 but I’ve just switched to windows 7 and all I could say is that the people from Microsoft did a great job with this OS.



Good job. Thanks for making it so clear. The post is very helpful in that it raises an excellent point.


since sp3 was installed, Outlook (2003) requests network password authorization approx evry 5-10 minutes.
I’ve entered my password numerous times, went to email accounts and re-entered my password on all accounts, sent test messages.
Nothing has solved the problem. Anyone else run into this???


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