How do I install Service Pack 3 in Windows XP without Service Pack 1 and 2?

Drsunil V September 13, 2013

How to install Service Pack 3 in Windows XP without Service Pack 1 and 2?

Is it necessary to install Service Packs 1 and 2 in order to install Service Pack 3 in Windows XP?

  1. Alan W
    September 14, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Would it not be easier to download SP1 and install that first?

    [Link Removed]

  2. Drsunil V
    September 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks with respects

    • Susendeep D
      November 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Kindly resolve your question and choose a best answer.

    • Drsunil V
      November 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm


  3. Dalsan M
    September 13, 2013 at 10:45 am

    SP1 and SP2 have prerequisites to SP3, meaning that if you don't have at least SP1 installed first, then many errors will result since it will install updated software or code for items that are missing (which is why SP3 will not install without at least SP1). SP3 should have a good portion of SP2 in it, but it still is recommended to install both of the previous packs first to lessen the chances for errors.

    • Bruce E
      September 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      If you don't have SP1 installed, SP2 and SP3 will both abort almost immediately when they see SP1 isn't there.

      SP2 is not required at all for this and if you already have SP1 on the box, it is recommended that you do NOT install SP2 on the way to SP3 since all of the fixes in SP2 that are not superceded by something else are already in SP3. It is a waste of time and has been known to cause problems on occasion (drivers with certain systems) so you are better off going straight to SP3.

      Once at SP3, you should run Windows Update manually and ensure you have the latest post-SP3 certified drivers for your hardware as well.

    • Oron J
      September 16, 2013 at 11:27 am

      I agree entirely with Bruce, SP2 is not required. To quote from Technet (
      "To install SP3, your computer must meet the hardware and operating system requirements listed below. In addition, your computer must at least be running Windows XP with Service Pack 1 installed."

  4. Hovsep A
    September 13, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Installing Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)
    We recommended that you have Service Pack 2 installed before installing SP3.

    • Drsunil V
      September 13, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Thanks. Your point is noted

  5. Jan F
    September 13, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Service Pack 3 does require at least Service Pack 1 present for a pre-installed system.

    The only way around this issue is slipstreaming the SP3 into a Windows XP Installation CD and perform a new installation with it.

    You will also want the network installation pack do to do
    [Link Removed]

    • Jan F
      September 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      * When doing the slipstream option it doesn't matter whether the Installation source is SP2, SP1 or no Service Pack

    • Drsunil V
      September 13, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Thanks. Can you pl tell what exactly Slipstream means?

    • Justin P
      September 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Slipstreaming is adding the service packs to the Windows XP installer. Here's a Lifehacker tutorial for doing that:

    • Oron J
      September 14, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Perfect answer from Jan, as usual... Slipstreaming means incorporating updates (service packs, patches and hotfixes) into the Windows installation process itself. The link Justin points to uses nLite, which is the route I was going to recommend, so we'll leave it at that!

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