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remove sp3 when no $ntservicepackuninstall$ dir can be found

Posted on 2009-07-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I can't remove sp3 from add/remove.  The $ntservicepackuninstall$ dir is not present so I can't find the spinst.exe.  How can I remove sp3?  My client is using an old CAD program that doesn't work with sp3.
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Question by:Randell_Hazel
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by:JeremySBrown
ID: 24805672
Hi Randell_Hazel,

I'm just curious...did SP3 come with Windows...when it was installed...or was SP3 installed later...the reason I ask is...if SP3 came with Windows...in the installation...you can't remove SP3...
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by:SHagel
ID: 24805676
how have you tried finding that folder

have you just gone to C:\WINDOWS and dont see it
    -make sure you have view hidden folders checked

have you tried going start run
and entering C:\WINDOWS\$NtServicePackUninstall$

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Expert Comment

by:ahmad2121
ID: 24805785
Get a windows XP disk that has service pack 2, load the disk, boot from it. Once you get to the setup, choose "repair" (not recover using recovery console, go one step further into the installation and you should see this option).

The installation will lose all updates, so it will have to be updated again.
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by:Jonvee
ID: 24806023
It would probably be worth you browsing through all of the comments in this previous thread>

"Remove SP3 from WinXP":
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_23904251.html
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Author Comment

by:Randell_Hazel
ID: 24806379
All,

After I posed this question it came to me that SP3 was probably installed with windows (sp3 cd) and not as an update.  This does explain no $ntservicepackuninstall$ folder.

ahmad2121,

If I do a "repair" with a sp2 cd will I lose apps installed?  Example: Old CAD program that does not like sp3?  I have little experience with "repair" installs.  What experience I have with them did not do what I needed so I have steered away from doing them.
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Accepted Solution

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ahmad2121 earned 500 total points
ID: 24806487
All the apps and app settings will be retained. Everything remains.

The only things that get forgotten are updates. Trust me, I have done this many times :)
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by:JeremySBrown
ID: 24806754
I think...that points should of been split...the comment that I posted pretty much answers the quesiton...
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Author Comment

by:Randell_Hazel
ID: 24806772
All,

Thanks for the assistance.

ahmad2121,

It looks like this is the answer for me, I don't want to have to format and re-install from scratch.  Thanks
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Author Comment

by:Randell_Hazel
ID: 24806848
JeremySBrown,

Your response:

          Hi Randell_Hazel,

          I'm just curious...did SP3 come with Windows...when it was installed...or was SP3
          installed later...the reason I ask is...if SP3 came with Windows...in the installation...you
          can't remove SP3...

was correct in that sp3 was not installed as an update and therefore couldn't be "un-installed".

But I asked how sp3 could be removed and ahmad2121 gave me the answer.

No offense intended, I just felt ahmad2121's answer applied the best to my situation.

Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:JeremySBrown
ID: 24806897
True...but in your comment you put...<After I posed this question it came to me that SP3 was probably installed with windows (sp3 cd) and not as an update.  This does explain no $ntservicepackuninstall$ folder.>
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:JeremySBrown
ID: 24807592
It doesn't matter...the important thing is that there is a solution to your question...
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Author Comment

by:Randell_Hazel
ID: 24807671
JeremySBrown,

Thanks for your help.  the repair install did work without re-installing apps and setings....
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Expert Comment

by:JeremySBrown
ID: 24807687
Excellent!
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