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Windows XP Service Pack 3 May Cause More Issues Than It Fixes

I started writing this article from the standpoint that a third service pack to the already stable Windows XP operating system could only be a positive thing. Unfortunately, my opinion changed once I installed the update on my own computer.

SP3 is Microsoft’s final push to address issues with Windows XP before it is all but pulled from the market this summer. Once this happens, whether you are a Vista fan or not, that will be the only Windows choice available for purchase.

Windows XP SP3 is quite a letdown in comparison to the added functionality seen with Service Pack 2. Service Pack 2 gave new life to Windows XP, making you feel that the massive download and installation was worth the effort. The reality is that no real estate agent will directly benefit from SP3’s new feature set.

Issues with Service Pack 3 Installations

While you may not notice any benefit from installing SP3, you might be unlucky enough to experience issues related to the installation.

This past weekend, I upgraded the hard drive in my Windows XP laptop. Rather than clone the drive and inherit old quirks, I decided to perform a clean installation of the operating system, complete with SP3.

Once installed, Service Pack 3 caused my Internet Explorer 7 to malfunction. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue with my heavy use of Firefox except for the need for IE to download Microsoft Updates for Windows and Office.

Removing IE7 and SP3 and reinstalling did clear up the issue. Removing Service Pack 3 did wreak havoc on other programs, though, such as Norton Internet Security. That program required a Symantec tech over an hour to fix using a remote login program. That is on top of 2 hours of my own time trying to work out the glitches.

My experience was not unusual for this installation. Microsoft was forced to postpone the release of SP3 due to compatibility issues with their own business solutions software, which could cause data corruption.

A problem that is more likely to affect real estate agents is an issue that causes AMD-based computers to continuously reboot once SP3 is installed. Fortunately, fixes to the endless reboot issue are well documented throughout the blogosphere.

After all this, you may be asking yourself, “Why would I install SP3?” The answer is quite simple, it is going to be difficult to avoid installing the service pack. Microsoft has added SP3 to the critical list for Windows Update, making it a challenge to not install it.

Prepare For the Worst

The installation process for SP3 recommends backing up data before proceeding. Follow this advice!

Perform at least a data backup. Better yet, use backup software to create an image of your computer so that you can restore your computer to pre-installation state without hours of stress and anxiety.

About Chad A. Johnson

Chad A. Johnson is the President/COO of Agent Evolution, a social media education and WordPress web design firm. Through his multiple roles at Agent Evolution, Chad stays on top of the latest in WordPress development and business operations technology. Allow him to share WordPress tweaks, cloud computing services, and much more through his MTO posts.