Can Service Pack 3 be installed Windows XP without SP1 or SP2?

Drsunil V December 25, 2013

Can Service Pack 3 cover lack of SP2 and SP1 on Windows XP?

  1. Drsunil V
    January 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you very much!

  2. Matthew
    January 3, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    To re-iterate, according to their site, SP3 requires a minimum of SP1, or can also be installed over SP2.

    SP2 does NOT depend on SP1, so the Microsoft suggestion is to apply SP2 (if not already at SP1), then SP3. I would suggest turning off auto-updates, or setting to notify only, otherwise it will attempt to apply a lot of "in between" updates which will be obsoleted by the service pack.

    It is also possible, if you are seeing high CPU, that you are suffering the "update jam" cause by a pending Internet Explorer Cumulative - if so, then apply the current cumulative.

    The XP update system does not seem as refined as for W7 - on XP, it seems you often need to visit the windowsupdate site to get things moving.

    Looks like SP2 is called KB835935
    SP3 is KB936929

    AH, looks like this is useful
    Has links to SP3, SP2 (big) or SP1a express (online install?)

    After SP3 Update, I'd still keep updates off, then manually apply IE8 and Window Media player 11, then find the latest IE Cumulative for XP + your IE version (8 if you did it, otherwise whatever you have) - since the autoupdate bugs badly when there is an IE Cumulative pending, as it checks a HUGE supersedence chain dating back to something ridiculous - the windows update 100% CPU bug that's been annoying XP users for a while

    • Drsunil V
      January 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      Please tell , the download link works for xp?

    • Matthew
      January 5, 2014 at 12:47 am

      The link for SP1a express appears to be ok - [BROKEN LINK REMOVED]

      The "express install" being the one that downloads what it needs as it goes.

      Cannot find an "express" for SP3, other than going through Windowsupdate, but the larger packages are:

      [BROKEN LINK REMOVED] - the "full package" - you CAN use it on just one, but it's a bigger download than an "on the fly" updater.

      The biggest, is the "burn to CD" update - [BROKEN LINK REMOVED] - this is to make a SP3 Updater CD, not sure what else that includes over simply sticking the other download on CD

  3. Alan W
    December 28, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I am sorry, I thought the discussion was about Windows XP from what I read on your question??????

    • Drsunil V
      January 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      Yes , question is for xp. The link in your answer is for windows greater than xp?

  4. Alan W
    December 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Yes you need SP3 for the latest version of Skype.
    The system requirements can be found here:

    • Drsunil V
      December 28, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      You mean for newer versions of windows or even for xp?

  5. Alan W
    December 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Microsoft says that you must have at least SP1 installed first and recommends that you have SP" installed as well although its not necessary.

    • Drsunil V
      December 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      Please tell , whether Skype newest version requires SP3 to work on XP?

  6. Hovsep A
    December 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    well if you try it then perhaps you will get alert message inviting to install the other services

    • Drsunil V
      December 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks. You mean 'other services' = SP1? or like microsoft essentials..?

    • Hovsep A
      December 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      I mean SP1 if anything else is required then you should be prompt to execute.

  7. Oron J
    December 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    According to Technet (, to install SP3, Service Pack 1 must be installed. However, there's no need to install SP2 before SP3.

    • Drsunil V
      December 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks. If after switching on 'Automatic Updates' in xp , there is no indication of alerts of updates installed , does it mean the automatic update is not functioning? or

      it would show only on next reboot when updates would get installed? If so , then how can one verify prior to next boot which updates through automatic updates are installed?

    • Oron J
      December 26, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      There are many updates that will need to be installed after SP3, so it can take Windows quite some time to bring up the message. I usually run Windows Update from the start menu to kick-start the process.

  8. Susendeep D
    December 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    SP3 contains all the updates,bug fixes that its predecessor service packs have.It's economical way for those who cannot afford to download updates.

    • Drsunil V
      December 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Other than microsoft page , where can one download SP3 ( and SP2 ) directly , for XP?

    • Susendeep D
      December 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      It might be illegal to download updates other than form MS site,you can visit the below link and it'll serve the update file from MS server -

    • Drsunil V
      December 28, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      Thanks. Please note , I had to ask because even on selecting 'automatic update' and even 'notify but download manually' no new notification has been seen on two instances of using computer. Is there a way to know whether in background which updates have been downloaded , or selected for notification , in xp?

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