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Beware of Windows XP SP3 !!!

Especially during test season.

While helping Aya study for a test, I stupidly agreed to install XP SP3 (offered by automatic updates). The nagging box asking me to restart kept appearing. During one of our study breaks, the box appeared, and having no one to tell it “No” for 5 minutes, it rebooted the computer.

When we came back, the computer was in a boot loop. Starting up in safe mode didn’t help, nor did “Last known configuration”. The solution was, oddly enough, to remove all USB devices! We used an old PS2 keyboard to run System Restore (God bless System Restore). The full solution might be here, I didn’t bother reading the rest of the thread right now.


  1. Eran:

    Yes, it’s widely spread that SP3 is very bad for you.
    It seems most people ran into one bug or another with it.

    I’ve seen a few conspiracy theories about SP3 being intentionally bad and buggy so to push people toward Vista.
    Some people claim it deletes good registry keys that SP2 installed and all kinds of things like that.

  2. roger:

    I tried to install SP3 on an XP Pro computer (1 year old) twice a couple of weeks ago, both attempts ended in the BSOD. So I blocked SP3 from the four XP computers I use for the next year. I will keep them up to date with other MS updates though.

    As for Vista, no thanks, I don’t see any benefit.

  3. Asaf:

    Every time the Automatic Update service wants a reboot, just stop it using either the command ‘net stop “automatic updates”‘ or the Services graphical interface under Manage.

  4. ripper234:

    Yeah, was lazy and paid for it 🙂

  5. Eli:

    Are you ‘chaotic_ron’ in the thread you linked to ?

  6. ripper234:

    Has nothing to do with me 🙂

  7. Eli:

    An interesting coincidence, then.

  8. ripper234:

    Especially given that Aya’s nickname is chaoticdawn.