Remove SP3 from WinXP

Hi Guys,

I just bought a new PC with windows xp sp3 on it preinstalled.I am trying to install PLC and SCADA sofware on to the PC but for my actual SCADA package I need to have WinXP sp2 or later.
Now what I saw is if I try to install the SCADA sofware to a PC which has win xp sp2 I have no problems whatsoever.I also bought a new Notebook which came preinstalled with SP3.In the notebokks case I can remove the SP3 as it comes up on add/remove section no worries.But the desktop has no trace of sp3 in the control panel add/remove ,there is no $NtServicePackUninstall$ directory in the hidden folders ,I cannot restore to a previous version of Windoes as this is the out of the box very first version.
I have no ideea how to get rid of the SP3 it almost looks like it is an integral part of the operational system itself.There is no trace of it whatsoever.
Any ideea of what to do to remove it would be greately appreciated.
Latzi_MarianSystems IntegratorAsked:
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Is SP3 was installed using a slipstreamed CD, i.e. an install CD that includes SP3, rather than it being added afterward, you cannot remove it. This is common with recent pre-installed PC's and sounds like the case with yours.
Latzi_MarianSystems IntegratorAuthor Commented:
Just as an observation in C:\WINDOWS there is not 1 folder with $NtUninstall
I think RobWill has the right idea. Your new PC was installed from a CD with SP3 already integrated into it. The old SP2 files don't even exist on that install media. Your only option is probably to reinstall Windows from scratch with an older XP install CD that does NOT have SP3 pre-installed on it.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
>>"Just as an observation in C:\WINDOWS there is not 1 folder with $NtUninstall"
They are not visible until you enable hidden files and folders (menu bar | tools | folder options | view | enable hidden files and folders)
Latzi_MarianSystems IntegratorAuthor Commented:
Please don't tell me that I have to reinstall everything again.That is the last option I would consider.I did install every bit of software I need except the SCADA package and believe me it's a big job to do it.I don't understand who's genius brilliant ideea was to integrate it in to WIN XP.I have sometime the feeling that people who built windows believe that everyone who operates a PC plays games on it and reads emails.There are a miriad of software developers who write sofware and don't have time to adapt to SP3 for instance so Microsoft shouldn't ever build service packs in the installation cd without the possibility of removing it.It is just ridiculous.I am really frustrated because I am afraid that you are right and I'l have to reinstall Win.
Latzi_MarianSystems IntegratorAuthor Commented:
Hi RobWill .I did make them visible.I need those files so always they are visible on my PC.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Once you enable hidden files and folders they will always be visible, but just for that user. Each user needs to do so. There are also 2 other options for system files in the same window.

I would be careful with a re-install. If you use different media like an SP2 CD your CD key may not work.

It is standard practice since Windows 95 when a major update/Service pack is released, to add it to the next generation of install CD's.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
I am surprised your PLC (programmable logic controller?) and SCADA software is not working. You say it specifies "WinXP sp2 or later"? What seems to be the problem? Does it install, does it run? does it make use of a com port that is not working?
Maybe we can help with the actual problem.

It is possible it is a problem with the software design, or compatibility of the hardware as well, don't be too quick to blame Microsoft :-)

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Latzi_MarianSystems IntegratorAuthor Commented:
When I try to run the SCADA package installer RSViuew32 Works from Rockwell sotware V7.20.00 it comes upo with error 102 saying the operating system is incompatible.When I run exactly the same CD on a PC with SP2 it runs as a dream.I actually have 4 new PC's 2 laptops and 2 desktops all with SP3 and all with slipstreamed cd's so I can't uninstall sp3.There is no way.And yes I do blame Microsoft as that kind of CD's shouldn't be produced at all.Microsoft should realiser that there are people trying to develop code and write programs in various countless environments and combionations which will have problems wityh the lovely SP3.So they should provide every CD but every single one of them with the polssibility to choose between sp2 or sp3 or at least don't embedd sp3 in the windows operating environment.I do blame Microsoft and myself because I lacked teh imagination required to foresee the porblemsd that sp3 might produce but I didn't think about Microsoft embedding sp3 into win without the possibility of removal.I am lacking imagination.Salvador Dali might of had enough imagination to thin k about it but I don't. :-)
Rob WilliamsCommented:
2:30am here, but I will look into th compatibility issue in the morning.

Not disagreeing with you but, the issue with slip-streaming is any argument you may have against installing SP3 might apply to someone else not wanting SP2, and then there is the guy that doesn't want SP1. Installed or not, as soon as you install Windows updates, even if you refuse the service packs, you get all the little updates, over 180 of them that put you in almost the same position. The service packs are mostly a collection of the smaller updates. SP2 had the greatest changes and we all accept that as the standard now.

The main changes that might affect applications with SP are network related. SP3 is mostly a roll up of previous weekly updates, but there are major changes to the TCP stack. This makes it very surprising that it would affect the install part of the application.
Latzi_MarianSystems IntegratorAuthor Commented:
Ok RobWill

I think I made a mistake when I became a Controls Engineer I should of became a taylor or bricklayer or something.I will explain why.
I have 4 PC's 2 desktops and 2 Laptops.I was able to uninstall the SP3 from the laptops as they were available on Control Panel add/remove etc.After uninstalling the SP3 I installed the RSView32 Works package without any problem.With the desktops I couldn't do anything as SP3 is stream-lined and built into the WINXP.
What I tried is this.I opened the folder where the package installer is located right click on the setup.exe file and tried to run it as an administrator.It came back with an error saying that the balck password is not valid which makes sense as the admin account has a password.I did select after this run as logged in user (user with admin rights) and guess what.It runed without any problem.I said cool. Something has been triggered by messing with the users which allows to install the sofware even though just a few minutes before that by clicking on the setup.exe returned the sofware cannot be installed with this version of windows.
Now the voodoo part of this that after I finished with this desktop I went to the other one perfectly identical with the first one (I tried to install RSView there as well and get the windows version error 101) and run the setup.exe and it runs without any further problems.I said maybe I am hallucinating or something so I found another pc with win xp sp3 and run the setup and it works.So this is why I should of became a taylor because I don't actually stand a chance to ever understand this.It looks like somehow I interacted with the actual installer CD by right clicking the setup.exe and running the run as .. which is nuts.Or the sofware installer will run only after a certain time of the day which is even nutter.Summa summ arum I don't understand this and I believe this will go down in history as one of those which have no explanation.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Very bizarre, but that is sort of normal :-)
I must say I have had different apps that won't install and then suddenly, miraculously do. One common problem is a system change, other app installation, or Windows update that has not fully completed, and then does so after a reboot, changing the ability to install. Regardless, glad to hear it is now working. I did do some goggling last night ad there are multiple comments, even on the Rockwell site, that state SP3 is not compatible, and others that say there is no problem. I appreciate your frustration.

How do you like being a "controls engineer"? I looked at that years ago and was quite taken by ladder logic programming, but never really went that route. I thought it would be interesting?

Summa summ arum ? Two years of Latin, but it was almost 40 years ago.
Latzi_MarianSystems IntegratorAuthor Commented:
Hi Rob,

I do enjoy being a systems nazi as they call me.It is absolutely fantastic and I enjoy every minute of it.Handling Robots and programming scada systems or HMI's it good fun.I also develop historian type of systems which do reporting based on data collected from the control system namely from PLC's or any other device.This I do through ASP ,Flash ,SQL and VB I mean a combination of thgis and you actually end up with a web based reporting system.
Regarding my last weeks problem as I said It will go down in history as unsolved.I am old and wise enough to be bothered by it for long.
As the latins say: "Acvilla non capit muscam"
Thanks for your help and here's the 500 points.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Sounds like fun! until you run into irritating problems like this.
Remember "aut viam inveniam aut faciam "
Thanks Latzi_Marian.
Cheers !
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