After installing XP SP3 games dont work.

I held off for ages installing SP3 but after i installed ACT, my system got mucked up and I reinstalled windows xp overtop and did the sp3 update. This all went smoothly and everything went well- until i played a game like bioshock, MOH or Call of Duty. The games all start then suddenly quit. Bioshock does start but the images are mostly unintelligable.
So far I have...
* uninstalled and installed the latest graphics drivers
* done all Windows updates
* ran sfc
I dont wanna wipe and reinstall.
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Kind of a weird problem, its likely there was an issue when SP3 got installed, try uninstalling it by the below method and see if it resolves the problem.

   1. Click Start, and then click Run.
   2. Copy and then paste the following command in the Open box, and then press ENTER:
   3. Click to select the Show Updates check box.
   4. Click Windows XP Service Pack 3, and then click Remove.
   5. Click Finish to restart the computer after the removal process is complete.

If your games work again, try reinstalling SP3, test again and see what the result is

If uninstalling SP3 doesn't resolve your issue, see if you have any restore points on the computer and roll back to before you originally installed SP3 and see if that resolves the issue.

Let me know how it goes
restore ur computer functions...

install directx

config setting of the game
Most times games that can't handle a new service pack will post a patch on their website. I would check to see if you can find some and if you post exactly what games you have that don't work, I could look into it too. I had the same problem with Red Alert 2 awhile back. It didn't like sp2 but the problem was fixed when sp3 came out.
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RartemassLife CoachCommented:
It may be due to re-installing XP over the top. It may have changed some registry settings required by the games, possible directx stuff.
Try running a repair on the games from Add/Remove programs.

Also at the run prompt type dxdiag and run the tests. They are located on the Display tab (Test DirectDraw and Test Direct3D).
If they fail then re-install Directx.
chnzchnzAuthor Commented:
Oh, yeah i forgot to mention that I totally uninstalled (deleting all the files and reg settings etc after using the uninstall wizard) one of the games and it made no difference.
RartemassLife CoachCommented:
Did the DirectX tests work?
chnzchnzAuthor Commented:
the tests worked- no errors. ALSO i must have installed windows overtop with a disk that had  sp3 already....there was no uninstall option.
i fear too that the overtop install is the cause.
i see one solution : a clean install of the OS and all the apllications and games.
To avoid this problem in the future, i suggest when everything is ready, to take an image of the disk; thhis lets you reainstall in 1 hour. there are free disk image programs on the net; but personally i use Acronis True image.
here the free one :
RartemassLife CoachCommented:
Another great image tool is BartPE.

chnzchnzAuthor Commented:
ok...but the horse has bolted...i need to repair this- not go back in time and get a backup done.
Well, although you have voiced you really do not want to do a fresh install, it's really begginng to look like that is really your only option.

If you've done all the graphics drivers, directx, windows updates, sfc, there isn't much else you can do.

you can try a chkdsk /r to see if anything is out of whack that is causing the games to disagree with the system.

After that, it's looking like you're going to have to do a full format/reinstall.

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they may be able to revore what you want - but no warranty...
The only thing i could suggest at this point is to do a repair install with your windows disk to try and correct the issue without doing a full format / reinstall. Atleast this way you can keep your applications in tact, wether they will work or not afterwards is unknown.

Since you installed windows sp3 over the old install, some issues have been caused in the process and since there is no way to roll back or uninstall back to what you had, your pretty stuck in options.
try finding a patch for your games, you can go to sites like or just google patches for your game, also, exactly what games are you having problems with? specifically
chnzchnzAuthor Commented:
annoying but true
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