Windows XP SP3! What’s inside?

Day before yesterday Microsoft’s imminent release of Service pack 3 final version has been a buzz through not a big fan fare around the internet. I atleast managed to download the 300 MB package from MSDN site and install it. The first service pack for Windows XP has been during 2002 followed by SP2 during 2004. Service Pack 3 for XP comes nearly 4 years after the previous service pack release. Microsoft managed to release the long awaited Service pack 3 on April 29 to Retail manufactures and MSDN subscribers. We expected Microsoft to publicly release it on the same day but unfortunately it has been delayed due to a compatibility issue with DRM which is for Retail management systems. Microsoft had not announced the dates yet but I would recommend you go ahead and download the current version of Service Pack 3. You can download the Final version of Service Pack 3 from here.

Although the Final version of Windows Service pack 3 has been delayed to fix the issue addressed above, still it has nothing to do with us. So we can freely download the Service pack 3 and install it.

What’s inside Service Pack 3?

New features:

  • Black hole router detection
  • Network Access Protection
  • Credentials security service provider
  • Descriptive security options control panel
  • Enhanced security for Administrator and Service policy entries
  • Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module
  • Installing without needing a Product Key during Setup

Internet Jumpers are already slip streaming the current service pack with Windows Setup files and made them available to public in .iso format addressing the download as “Windows XP with Service pack 3″. So during the primary installation of windows into a new system, the service pack 3 is automatically installed. You can find one of those in torrent site like Pirate Bay, however, it’s never recommended.

Although that compatibility issue will be addressed via Windows Automatic updates for users who installed the Service pack 3 from RTM or MSDN sites, so no worries to wait for the final release.

What’s next?

Try the Windows XP service pack 3 for one month and if you face no issues with it then it would be a better idea to remove those unwanted backup files and uninstallers of service pack to save space in your desk.

This can be attained easily following the steps below:

The Service Pack Uninstall folder is a hidden file. If you do not find it in the following path, ensure that you have enabled the Show hidden files and folders option in the View tab in Folder Options:

  1. Locate the Service Pack Uninstall folder in the %Systemroot%\$NtServicePackUninstall$ folder.
  2. Select the $NtServicePackUninstall$ folder and delete it.
  3. To remove the Service Pack uninstall option from the Add/Remove Programs menu, delete the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Windows 2000 Service Pack x (where x is the version number of the Service Pack that is installed.)

Download Windows XP Service Pack 3 from here.

[Sidenote: This is a guest post from Sankaranand Balaradjou. To know more about Sankar, check out his blog or subscribe to his RSS feed]

This post was published by on May 1, 2008

About the Author: Thilak Rao works as a Social Media Expert. He is one of the first professional bloggers from India, and he loves to write, travel and click photos. Follow him on Twitter @thilak

  • SIddharth
  • Nicole Price

    Thank you for this direction. Would this not be done automatically in the upgrades?

  • SEO Man

    The 1st download link is missing, but I see you posted the link right at the end of the post, so all good. In your opinion, is it worth downloading and installing?

  • Sankaranand

    Yeah u r rite i stated that above , it has been delayed due to that compatibility issue with RTM but that has nothing to do with our systems.

    @Nicole Price
    You can wait through the final version has been delayed it takes a month for rolling the updates in automatic updates

    @SEO Man
    Ofcouse SEO, you can still use it…or u can wait until microsoft resolves that compatibility issue.

  • Wii

    I’d love to know who names compenent elements. What is “Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module” in layman’s terms !

  • Dr SEO

    Even though I have a dual boot system I usually use Vista. Surprisingly it works better with most applications I use. So should I bother with SP3? I bet it will cause more problems.

  • Eva White

    Thanks for the link…….

  • Fahad

    Thanks for the nice info. I am still deciding whether I should upgrade to SP3 or not…

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