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Can I reinstall Windows XP SP1 over Windows XP SP2?

I have a Shintaro USB flash driver and my operating system is
XP home edition. I installed the flash driver and it’s been operating fine –
transferring data between computers. Suddenly it doesn’t appear as a separate
drive on My Computer and when I plug it in, it makes a double “bling” sound
instead of a single one. I recently installed Windows service pack 1 (2 was
already installed.)

I’m afraid you probably answered your own question. Installing SP1 on top of
SP2 should not work. To be honest, I’m surprised that installing SP1 on top of
SP2 didn’t give you some kind of error message.

But if it succeeded … well, that’s just not good.

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First let’s be clear. Service packs are cumulative. If you install SP2 you
don’t need to install SP1 … everything in SP1 is already in SP2 (unless of
course it was something that needed to be fixed by SP2).

And if you don’t already have SP1, you don’t need to install it before SP2
… just install SP2.

As I said, installing SP1 on top of SP2, if it actually succeeds, can only
cause problems, in my opinion. I’d certainly suspect it with the symptoms
you’re seeing on your USB drive.

If you’re trying to revert from having installed SP2, you need to use
uninstall, if you had SP2 create an uninstall directory when it was installed.
If you didn’t, you’ll need to reinstall Windows XP to revert.

If you’re just trying to fix a problem you believe has been caused by SP2,
then I’d start by running the system file checker (See What is the System
File Checker, and how do I run it?
).

But I will warn you. If SP2 caused you problems, there are many possible
reasons, most of which are in your control. Making sure you’re spyware-free
before you install it is perhaps the most important, so if you do start over,
make sure your machine is as clean as possible and follow the instructions in
my prior article Will SP2 Crash my
machine?
.

But you don’t need to install SP1 if you’re going to install SP2.

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25 comments on “Can I reinstall Windows XP SP1 over Windows XP SP2?”

  1. I have done a repair from the Win XP SP1 cd on systems that have SP2 installed MANY MANY times. It *DOES* work.

    My organization is not yet using SP2. Occasionally we find systems on our network that have had SP2 installed. I have found using the repair option from the SP1 cd a quick and effective way of rolling back machines that do not have the Add/Remove option available.

    There are definitely other ways (and many will tell you BETTER ways) to roll your system back to SP1. After doing the repair and checking the system, you will find the Security Center applet is still in the Control Panel (but it will be unuseable). So far, I have found no other differences (not saying they’re aren’t any – but scans of the ‘rolled back’ system show it as being SP1).

    As for the trouble you’re having with the flash drive, I doubt that it’s do to upgrading to SP2. There are several things that could be the problem….

    This post is already long enough….Email me if you want and I’ll try to help.

    To date – zero systems corrupted or otherwise do to using this method of rolling your system back to SP1.

    Tom

    Reply
  2. I had my installation disc of XP PRO with SP1, after a month I upgraded to SP2 in WINDOWS UPDATE…
    after a time I got an error installing Visual basic and 32 bit applications saying about config.nt (i dont know if it has nothing to do with my installation of SP2).. I try to copy from XP sp1 the config.nt repair bcoz its my only cd but the same problem occured.
    I concluded to reinstall my XP but it tells that I had a higher version installed and SP! cant be install. so I downloaded SP@ from net.. pls give a comment how to solve this problem.. how to repair XP SP2

    Reply
  3. I am trying to do a repair install of Windows XP SP2 with my XP CD that I believe is even pre-SP1. During the installation, an error message appears, stating a file is missing. The installation then proceeds and completes itself. However when XP tries to load, a blue error page appears stating XP has encountered a problem and has shut down to protect the computer. It suggest to reboot, but the same page appears. The message goes on to suggest a virus scan, removal or reconfiguration of new harddrives (of which I have no new ones). Is it possibble that my system that has been configured to SP2 cannot work on the older version, and refuses it. Will I have to purchase a new version of XP with SP2 included, since I cannot slipstream the CD without access to my PC. Can this be done on a Mac (combining XP with SP2 on a bootable CD)?

    Reply
  4. Hi I purchased windows xp office some time ago and put it on my husbands lap top and mine-recently my compuet crashed and I had to reload xp only to find my serial number didn’t process as it said it has already been used.

    what do you suggest I do the product is registered under my name -and all of the programs work again but outlook has limited functions.

    Jo

    Reply
  5. Well, technically you’re supposed to purchase a copy of Windows for each computer. Microsoft has, apparently, begun enforcing that in an attempt to crack down on software piracy. My recommendation would be to purchase a second copy.

    Reply
  6. I have xp home with xp2, I bought xp pro upgrade with xp1. It will not upgrade (load) what do I do? Can a copy be made of the pro cd then down load sp2 to it for a bootable cd. I do have two cd drives.

    Reply
  7. I have xp home with xp2, I bought xp pro upgrade with xp1. It will not upgrade (load) what do I do? Can a copy be made of the pro cd then down load sp2 to it for a bootable cd. I do have two cd drives
    Please help… send me email..thank you.

    Reply
  8. hi, i want to install visual basic 2005, but it wont let me install it because i have sp1 intsalled, is there any way i can get a visual basic 2005 version that works for 2005?

    (i still have sp1 because when i intalled sp2 it didnt work)

    please help

    Reply
  9. hi, i want to install visual basic 2005, but it wont let me install it because i have sp1 intsalled, is there any way i can get a visual basic 2005 version that works for sp1?

    (i still have sp1 because when i intalled sp2 it didnt work)

    Reply
  10. I had my installation disc of XP PRO with SP1, after a month I upgraded to SP2 in WINDOWS UPDATE…
    after a time I got an error installing Visual basic and 32 bit applications saying about config.nt (i dont know if it has nothing to do with my installation of SP2).. I try to copy from XP sp1 the config.nt repair bcoz its my only cd but the same problem occured.
    I concluded to reinstall my XP but it tells that I had a higher version installed and SP! cant be install. so I downloaded SP@ from net.. pls give a comment how to solve this problem.. how to repair XP SP2

    Reply
  11. I am having a lot of problems with window xp sp2 and have been told by tech. that I need to reinstall windows xp. I have sp2 on my computer and when I try to isstall, it tells me that the cd is later version. How do I get around it.

    Reply
  12. You need to follow the instructions from the CD’s setup program to perform a complete setup, probably including a reformat. You will lose all data on your computer when you do this, so back up first.

    Reply
  13. Is it possible to run Windows XP Pro SP1 AND Windows XP Pro SP2 on the same machine as two separate O/S, maybe in separate partitions? The reason I ask is that there are several things I can do using SP1 that SP2 won’t allow. For instance, I can no longer embed sounds in an email message using View, Toolbars, Web Tools. You will see that the sounds icon is inaccessible although you can do it using SP1. Thanks.

    Reply
  14. I try to install SP2 and half way through i get a error message on a blue screen. I don’t what the problem is? Could it be a driver or some kind of program? If so how do i find it and fix it? Please Help Me my computer needs SP2, Thank You

    Reply
  15. when my windows start its showing 2 mesages whether 1.i should start windows with boot screen and 2.start with windows normally why??its hapening.

    Reply
  16. my yahoo messenger id had been hacked sice from 5-6 months i dint remmber any account information ?please if u have any soultion for that tell me in easy method.

    Reply
  17. Well I see your comments are mostly full of trash, but I’d like to correct one thing – you DON’T need to reinstall Windows if your SP installation is corrupt. Just insert the boot disk and do a REPAIR INSTALL (you’ll find lots of guides by using Google) – this will reinstall all system files – effectively wiping out any service pack upgrades and hotfixes – but will leave personal files and installed programs intact. I hate it when people give out bad advice to the effect of “your only option is to reinstall and lose everything”, because to most people, reinstall = reformat and very few know about the repair install feature.

    Reply
  18. Dear Mr. Leo,
    I have this comment: Should’nt we all simply forget about windows, which the way I see it, it’s been full of problems since microsoft started to prevent people to use windows (any version) for free.. As I was told, Microsoft has a whole department(s) simply to attack users; the proff is on the case seen on the news about the hacker that got busted and has currently “house for jail” …BUT the judging says that he cannot use Linux instead of windows because with Linux the government cannot spy on him to know about his activities…(I wonder if is a goverment department of Microsoft jajaja)…anyways, my final comment would be SHOULD’NT WE ALL USE LINUX INSTED AND AVOID ALL THIS TROUBLE???
    I am seriously thinking on starting to set my company’s computer to Linux…

    Reply
  19. hi sir,

    i’m experiencing problem right now with my computer(xp sp2) because it is not getting an ip address from the modem though the modem has an active internet connection when we connect another computer to it. we already change the LAN CARD of the desktop but when we do ipconfig we are not getting any ip address and we’re getting an error code 2 when we do “ping loopback” in the command prompt. when we check the status in the network connection it says connected but we’re not getting any ip address. a friend told me that maybe i need to uninstall and reinstall the tcp/ip but when i go to the LAN properties window the uninstall option is greyed out when i click on tcp/ip. is it a problem of the computers winsock? pls i need your advise with this. i’m really planning to uninstall and reinstall the OS but i think all the files will be deleted when i;ll do that right? can i save the back up file in a floppy?

    Reply
  20. I have been trying to do a repair on my dell laptop but has not succeeded. Currently I have XP home edition SP1 CD (laptop is running xp SP2), cannot access the boot menu either after restart, is their a way to repair? I am not even sure I can reinstall since it Setup cannot continue because the version of Windows on your computer is newer than the version on the CD. Help. Thanks.

    Reply
  21. I have a system with windows xp pro sp2 on it and i dont have a product key for it. Although i do have a product key for pro sp1. I really need to know how to install windows sp1 on the system. The pro sp2 was installed via an installation disc. I have both installation discs and the code for sp1 and i really dont want to by a liscence or another windows disc, please help. Thanks.

    Reply
  22. i was running xp with sp1 my computer crashed had new hard drive installed and it had xp3 the problem i ran into is my embroidery software that i was working with is only compatible with xp 1 now i am not able to access this progam is there any way around sp2 & sp3 or back to sp1 please advise thank you

    Reply

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