For a list of what Service Pack 3 fixes read it here. Among the updates a feature called Network Access Protection that's borrowed from the newer Windows Vista operating system. NAP automatically validates a computer's health, ensuring that it's free of bugs and viruses before allowing it access to a network.
Prior to installing SP3, Microsoft recommends that you do the following:
| Start your computer, and then log on as an administrator.|
Note Administrators have complete and unrestricted access to the operating system and to its settings. You can use the Administrator user name to log on, or you can use another account that is a member of the Administrators group. To determine the groups to which you belong, click Start, click Control Panel, and then click User Accounts.
|2.||If your computer is running on battery power, plug it in so that your computer does not lose power during the installation.|
|3.||If you use Fast User Switching, make sure all other users are logged off. For more information, see "Fast User Switching" in Windows XP Help and Support Center on your computer.|
|4.||We recommend that you perform a full backup of the files that you have on your computer to an external location, such as an external hard disk, DVD, CD, USB flash drive, or network folder. You can use the Backup and Restore Wizard to back up documents, pictures, and other files. For more information, see "Backing up files and folders" in Help and Support Center.|
|5.|| If your computer is running Windows XP Professional, we recommend that you create an Automated System Recovery (ASR) set before you begin the installation. This will help you repair your setup if the installation fails. For more information, see "To create an Automated System Recovery set using Backup" and "To recover from a system failure using Automated System Recovery" in Help and Support Center.|
Note If your computer is running Windows XP Home Edition, ignore this step. ASR is not available for Windows XP Home Edition.
|6.||Exit all open programs.|
|7.|| Install Windows XP SP3. For more information about how to obtain Windows XP Service Pack 3, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: |
322389 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389/) How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack
NOTE: SP3 will not be shrink-wrapped for store shelves. "Windows XP SP3 is available to OEMs as an option for some of their product lines [and] for Volume License customers to simplify maintenance of their Windows XP machines," Microsoft said.
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