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Will WinXP SP3 contain all previous updates?

Posted on 2011-03-04
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hello Folks!

I am wiping and reloading a machine that recovers to before any SPs for XP. My question is can I just download and install SP3 to cover all updates or do I need to do the updates previous to it first in the proper Automatic Updates order that happens if I just leave it be to update itself?
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Question by:mrosier
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jrwarren earned 50 total points
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XP SP 3 is a a roll-up update.
   It includes all prior SP updates.

However, once SP3 is installed you will still need to run updates on the machine, as there many many updates even after SP3.
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by:mrosier
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great, thanks a bunch!!!
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by:dbrunton
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Well, not quite.

You need SP1 on the machine before you can apply SP3.  See http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=5b33b5a8-5e76-401f-be08-1e1555d4f3d4&displaylang=en&pf=true#SystemRequirements and note the requirements.  Must be SP1 at least.
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by:mrosier
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I have WinXP Pro which seems to be ok. This seems to apply to the Home edition
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by:mrosier
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nevermind that, I misread. Got it!
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by:mrosier
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Can you tell me if I can install SP2 without SP1 then first?
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by:dbrunton
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You can install SP2 without having to install SP1.
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by:mrosier
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thanks a bunch!!!!
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by:mrosier
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BTW, I was already installing SP3 and let it go to see what happens.... it seems to have completed ok, and Windows is claiming it is SP3 in the info section or My Computer. Is this probably not accurate then?
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by:jrwarren
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I am pretty convinced it should be ok.
   I am unaware of any pre-requisite for having SP1 installed.

I am aware that if you upgraded IE to version 7 you were required to install SP1 to upgrade to SP3.  but a straight off the disc install of XP does not install ie7.
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by:mrosier
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well I upgrade to IE8 anyway by hand so it is not a big deal for that. So far things seem to be ok going straight to SP3 at the start.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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dbrunton,

Please post an excerpt claiming SP1 is required for SP3 in any version of XP.  The requirements on the link you posted state:
Supported Operating Systems:Windows XP Home Edition;Windows XP Professional Edition;Windows XP Service Pack 1;Windows XP Service Pack 2

And I have never seen or heard anyone at Microsoft or otherwise make that statement.  Vista is a different story.
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by:dbrunton
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by:jrwarren
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I can see where leew is coming from, and that is a similar approach I knew... It is compatible with all those, not one or the other... so it should work

@dbrunton
   Good catch, but I have never had to install SP1 before upgrading to SP3.   As is the case mrosier has experienced.   I wonder if this is an oversight on the verbage from Microsoft or if, at the time or writing, they were just playing CYA because they did not know if it would break without SP1 installed.
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by:dbrunton
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From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP#Service_Pack_3

"Windows XP Service Pack 3 is a cumulative update of all previous service packs for XP. The service pack installer checks HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Windows\CSDVersion registry key to see if has a value greater than or equal to 0x100, and if it does it will allow the update to proceed. Otherwise it will prompt to install either XP SP1 or SP2. Since SP1 is no longer available for full download, it would need to be downloaded using Windows Update. The other option is to manually change the registry key, in essence fooling the installer into thinking SP1 is already installed.[68]

However, it is possible to slipstream SP3 into the Windows XP setup files at any service pack level—including the original RTM version—without any errors or issues.[69] Slipstreaming SP3 into Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is not supported.[70]"

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I have to admit that I was under the impression that you could put SP3 straight on.  Comments somewhere (can't remember where indicated SP1) had to go on first.  The truth seems to be it depends.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Interesting... have to see if I can dig up exactly why SP3 recommended SP1 first.  Truth be told, I just slipstream into media with nLite and don't think about it anymore... so LITTLE media remains pre-SP1.
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