Cannot Get Service Pack 3 to Work in XP

Microsoft released three separate service packs for Windows XP; each service pack contains a comprehensive collection of hot fixes, or patches, developed to improve the performance of the operating system. Upgrading to Service Pack 3 -- the last SP released for Windows XP -- should be simple, but some computers have trouble upgrading or using the service pack due to conflicting software or settings.

  1. Antivirus or Firewall

    • Anti-virus, anti-malware and firewall software use real-time protection to keep track of changes made to the computer. Despite the protection they provide, some of these applications can be invasive, preventing the OS from updating the computer. Exiting from the software is usually not enough to disable real-time protection; these applications instead provide an option in the settings to turn off active protection.

    Repair Install

    • The Windows XP CD provides users the option to restore the operating system without formatting the hard disk. This option, called a repair install, while useful, can impact system configuration and files. The repair install loads into the OS an outdated or unregistered copy of wups2.dll, which the Windows Update Agent uses when upgrading the OS. Download and install the latest version of the Windows Update Agent, or execute the command "regsvr32 %windir%\system32\wups2.dll" from within Command Prompt to update the file.


    • The error 8007000b appears when Windows Updates detects that the file system transaction log is corrupted. The transaction log is responsible for recovering the disk volume if a file transaction damages the integrity of the NT file system; if the log is damaged, Windows Update will refuse to run. Executing the command "fsutil resource setautoreset true C:\" -- without quotes -- from Command Prompt cleans out the data stored to the file system transaction log.

    Corrupted File

    • The messages "An Internal Error Occurred" or "Service Pack 3 Installation Did Not Complete" may appear if the registry is incorrect or if the file licdll.dll is corrupted. You can replace licdll.dll, found in C:\Windows\System32, with a healthy copy of the file from the Windows XP CD. If replacing the file fails to eliminate the error, delete the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID{00020420-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\InprocServer32 and confirm that the product key found in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\ matches the key found on the Windows XP CD.

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