Users looking to Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, as Service Pack 2's second coming and the perfect reason to avoid Windows Vista SP1, might need to reconsider their plans.
The reason is rather simple, despite the fact that it has spent over two months more time in development compared to Vista SP1, while containing only a minor, standard evolution in comparison to SP2, XP SP3 has come to the table with a flood of issues, a wide variety of them impacting the deployment process. There are no less than nine officially documented scenarios in which end users will find it unable to install Windows XP SP3, and even more error messages associated with the problems.
1. The XP SP3 RTM Infinite Reboot Loop
Jesper Johansson was among the first to signal this problem after installing XP SP3 on an AMD-based computer, an operation which lead to: "incessant reboots. The computer booted, apologized for not being able to boot properly, asked if I wanted to boot into safe mode, defaulted to normal boot, rebooted, and so on and so on. At this point, I want to clarify that the endless rebooting is not at all related to SP3 per se. The problem is that with some configurations, SP3 causes the computer to crash during boot, and Windows XP, by default, is set up to automatically reboot when it crashes."
This is by no means an isolated case. In fact, end users have been crowding to the support forum for Windows XP SP3 signaling the very same problem, as well as variations from this issue. In response, Microsoft published Knowledge Base article 888372 detailing the issue. Essentially users are presented by a "Stop 0x0000007E" error message, having performed and upgrade to XP SP3 from SP2 on what Microsoft referred to as a non-Intel-processor-based computer.
"After you upgrade a computer that uses a processor other than an Intel processor to Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) or Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), you may receive the following error message after you restart the computer: 'A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer...Technical information: *** STOP: 0x0000007E (0xC0000005, 0xFC5CCAF3, 0xFC90F8C0, 0xFC90F5C0) SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED'," reads Microsoft's description of the problem.
2. 8007F0F4 – STATUS_PREREQUISITE_FAILED
There are no less than six errors for failed Windows XP SP3 installations which produce the with the "8007F0F4 – STATUS_PREREQUISITE_FAILED" log. The six errors have just as many causes, starting with the installation process failing to continue on computers running on battery power. In this case, Microsoft explained that in order to prevent and "update failure because of battery power exhaustion during the installation process," it generated the following error: "this Service Pack requires the machine to be on AC Power before setup starts."
3. XP SP3: "Access is denied" or "Service Pack installation did not complete"
The third and final service pack for Windows XP will also fail to deploy if the installation process comes across registry keys that it cannot modify. In such cases, the error messaged presented to the end user reveal that there has been a Service Pack 3 setup error and that "Access is denied" or that "Service Pack installation did not complete." There are various ways to resolve this issue, and they are all described in detail in KB949377.
"You may receive these error messages if permissions for one or more registry keys are restricted in a way that prevents the update of those registry keys," Microsoft informed. "Some programs change the system access control lists (SACL) in the Registry so that administrator accounts cannot alter them. The service pack installer runs under the user (admin) account and not under the SYSTEM account. Failure to update a registry key causes the Setup program to fail."
4. You do not have enough free disk space on %SystemDrive% to archive the uninstall files
This is without a doubt the most easily solvable problem relates to the installation of XP SP3 RTM. The error message "Service Pack 3 Setup Error - You do not have enough free disk space on %SystemDrive% to archive the uninstall files," is of course related to a scenario where there is insufficient disk space available for the archiving of the uninstall files. XP SP3 will not go ahead with the deployment because without the uninstall files end users will not be able to remove the service pack. KB949375 deals with this specific issue.
5. "You do not have enough free disk space on %SystemDrive% to install Service Pack 3"
KB949385 is closely connected with KB949375, in the sense that they both can be fixed in the same manner, namely by freeing up the needed disk space. "Service Pack 3 Setup Error - You do not have enough free disk space on %SystemDrive% to install Service Pack 3," is designed to alert the end user that XP will not deploy due to the lack of space on the installation drive.
6. Intel processor-based Apple computers can also run "Out of Disk Space" it's not only PCs that are affected by insufficient disk space problems, but also Apple Mac machines. According to Microsoft, Mac Pro, Mac Mini, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac computers with Intel processors running XP SP2 may spit of the "Out of Disk Space" error message when the user will attempt to install Service Pack 3. "This problem occurs because a critical registry key (BootDir) is missing. This registry key is not created when Windows XP SP2 is installed by using Boot Camp on the Apple computers," the Redmond company informed via KB950716. "Apple has released an update to Boot Camp [version 2.1]. This update addresses issues and improves compatibility with Windows XP and with Windows Vista when these products are running on an Apple computer that uses Boot Camp.
7. Setup has detected that another update is in progress
The "Setup has detected that another update is in progress. Please complete that installation or removal and try again" error message will be generated if Service Pack 3 for XP is installed concomitantly with Automatic Updates running the Update.exe file. "The Update.exe file runs the Windows XP SP3 installation. The Update.exe file does not let multiple instances of itself to run at the same time on the same computer. Most of the security updates and service packs that are released by Microsoft run the Update.exe file," the company explained in KB949381.
8. "Service Pack 3 installation did not complete" and "An internal error occurred"
"Service Pack 3 installation did not complete" is just a part of the error message produced by unsuccessful installations of Windows XP. Clicking OK will inform the end user that "an internal error occurred." This issue is also connected with a faulty registry. "The errors can occur because of files that are not trusted or because of corrupted registry keys. You can verify the cause by searching for related entries in the Svcpack.log file," Microsoft explained in KB949384.
9. Windows Update Failed Installations
Microsoft continuously advices end users to turn to Windows Update as the preferred way to upgrade to Windows XP Service Pack 3. The WU infrastructure is designed to serve specific Windows operating systems with the exact updates tailored to them, rather than with generic downloads. But this is not a guarantee that the introduction of XP SP3 will go smooth always. Case in point: failed installations that generate the following error code in the logs: 0x80246007.
"This issue may occur if one of the following conditions is true: the Windows – SoftwareDistribution - Download folder was deleted after the Windows XP SP3 download operation was completed. System files were changed after Windows XP SP3 was downloaded but before the service pack was installed," Microsoft explained in KB949386.
Posted By: IndoSourceCode