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How do I block Windows XP Service Pack 3?


My machine can’t handle Windows XP SP3. How do I prevent Windows
Update from continually trying to install it?

Window XP SP3 has had a fairly reasonable success rate, but it
definitely causes some people problems. While I don’t think it’s a long
term solution, you can indeed prevent Windows Update from trying to
install SP3.

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First, let’s make sure that you’ve done everything correct to prepare
for installing SP3. It’s not as fragile as SP2 was when it first came
out, but nonetheless, the following steps from the “are you ready for
SP2” information still apply:

“Window XP SP3 has had a fairly reasonable
success rate …”
  • Make sure you’ve scanned for both viruses and spyware, and that your
    scanners are running with up-to-date malware databases.

  • Make sure you’re up to date with all the patches prior to SP3.

  • Back up your computer.

  • Make sure you have room for the service pack to download and
    install. (Microsoft recommends at least 1.5 gigabytes.)

Microsoft also has its own knowledgebase article, Steps to take before you install Windows
XP Service Pack 3
, with these and other tips for a successful SP3

But what if all that still fails? There are reports of machines
where SP3 causes problems which force users to uninstall it to recover.

Microsoft has also made available a Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit. This tool will add
a registry entry that will prevent Windows Update from installing SP3.

Note that manual installs will still work; this blocks only the
installation via Windows Update.

When the time comes to install SP3, you can then also use this tool
to remove that block.

Do this

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8 comments on “How do I block Windows XP Service Pack 3?”

  1. When Windows Automatic Update shows the XP-SP3 update just uncheck the box. Windows Update will ask if you want to ignore the unchecked update in the future, check the box. Windows Update will not ask again. If you want to later install it you can go to Windows Update and choose Custom Install which will show the updates you have chosen not to install. You can then install the updates.
    I am waiting to get XP-SP3 on CD so I don’t have to download it and will have it on hand for future use, if needed.
    Leo, is there any news on Microsoft offering XP-SP3 on CD?

    As I understand it, SP3 has been available on CD for a while: How do I get Windows XP SP3 on CD?


  2. Why should I backup? Isn’t the Restore function good enough if something goes wrong?

    No, no, NO. System restore only restores certain things (like the registry), and only keeps the information for a limited amount of time. If what you’ve lost is outside of what system restore does, or longer ago than system restore has bothered to keep it, then you’re screwed. System Restore is NOT a replacement for backups.


  3. Uncle please tell me how to disconnect his internet connection example:my brother always download some program from rapid share or something and make mine it’s very very slow and i want to know how to disconnect his connection line i mean disable his not mine please tell me……….thanks

  4. I’ve had mixed results with service pack 3. my computer now has a system process that constantly runs at 10% CPU usage. This has slowed my computer greatly. I checked for other rogue processes, but it seems that this is a windows process that starts almost at boot time and has turned my once reasonable computer into a slow pig.

    This occurred immediately after installing service pack 3. While I won’t uninstall SP3, had I known how to block it I might have. I suspect this is the last straw for windows in my network.

  5. Thanks! I’ve tried and failed to install Service Pack 3 on two laptops and one desktop 3 times each. Each effort failed. Thanks to the blocker I won’t have to deal with this nightmare again!

  6. Without my knowledge and approval, Microsoft has attached Window XP Service Pack 3 to my hard drive, causing their advertising of this product to flash across my screen, every few seconds. It is very disruptive. I have asked them to remove it. They have not done this. They attached it, without a ” Removal” button, for me to click, in my “Add/Remove” program. It is outrageous. I just want to know how to dismantle it. If you know, please contact me. — Ann E. Rankin [email address removed]


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