Reinstalling Win Xp SP3 and getting it up and running - it ain't easy? Or am I doing something wrong

I have some win xp machines in my 'lab' - all Dell's if that matters.  I was rebuilding one with the Dell Win XP SP 3 pro disk.

installed it fine, then loaded the drivers for that machine (it just dawned on me after all these years - shouldn't dell OEM xp install disks have the dell drivers on them?!

Anyway, all the hardware is OK at that point. But then to get on the web / get windows updates / get to ninite to install apps, etc.

sp3 came with what? IE6?  Which seems not to be compatible with most anything - even win update?  A catch 22.  Can' get to win update till you update the browser and it seemed like other things.

Is it me or besides the OEM reinstall disk, then I have the thumb drive of drivers.  Then the thumb drive of IE8 and flash? java?  .net?  even the ninite installers don't run on the clean SP3 : (
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dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
You've got Win XP SP3 so integrate the XPSP3_QFE_UpdatePack for Windows XP Post-SP3 pack into it.

That'll give you an XP install disk with 99.9% of all of the XP critical patches in it.
I rebuilt a Dell laptop a month or two ago with SP3, and I know I put something more recent than IE6 on it. I downloaded a newer version by browsing to, and downloading it as a manual installation file.

As to the Dell drivers, browse to using the SP3 box, find the driver download page, type in the service tag of your box, then download the drivers directly to the SP3 box.

Java installed fine from my SP3 box by doing the same thing as IE - browse to from the SP3 box, download the installer manually, and then install it.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
After installing XP SP3, Windows Update likely won't work.  Do the following:

(1) Install IE8 without allowing updates.  

(2) Search for KB898461 (Google it)  ... download the installer.   To do the download it may require installing the Genuine Validation component.   Allow that, then download the KB installer, but do NOT install it.

(3) Run the standalone installer for the Genuine Validation Notifications (KB905474).   (Download it if  you don't have it)

(4) Run the standalone installer for KB898461 (downloaded in step 2)

(5) Run the installer for the Windows Update Agent.  (Download it if you don't have it)

(6) Windows Update should now work just fine :-)

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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Note:  If you need any of the specific downloads, PM me and I can e-mail them to you.
I believe that most of the Dell oem restore disks for windows XP are SP2 with ie6. You have to manually retrieve SP3 as well as IE 7 at least.
The windows update will not install the activex control needed on IE 6 and because of that it will not work.  Dell oem disks have different variants dealing with which systems they support.  While the indies XP will install, not all drivers are included in all variants.

If you can not prepare ahead of time downloading the drivers needed for the systems you restore.
BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
Thanks!  At least I know I'm not doing something wrong (other than still using XP : )
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I have a USB drive with Firefox and Chrome and other goodies on it that I keep updated from this computer.  I think I even have an IE8 install on here somewhere.
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