UPDATE #7 - XP SP3 available for download from Microsoft

XP SP3 now available for download.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

[UPDATE #7 05/03/08 - TechNet Plus subscribers can now download a slipstreamed Windows XP SP3 ISO.

[UPDATE #6 - Here are the download links for all the language flavors of XP SP3:

Enjoy ...

[UPDATE #5 04/30/08 04:45 -  The debate continues to rage in the TalkBack section as to the validity of the SP3 download from the Microsoft site. Well, what I've done is download a fresh copy and put this next to the update package from the TechNet Plus download I have and take the hashes of the two downloads ... and as you can see from the image below, both are identical ...


Here are the digital signatures:

As you can see, both files are identical.

[UPDATE #4: According to my blogging colleague Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft has now also pulled the plug on the automatic distribution of Vista SP1 because of the Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) bug affecting XP SP3.]

[UPDATE #3: There seems to be some debate as to whether the download listed here from the Microsoft site is actually the genuine XP SP3 RTM or not. I have SP3 from three different sources - a TechNet Plus download, on a CD sent to me by Microsoft and the download here - and the digital signatures of all three files check out, and the MD5 hashes of each of the update packages (bb25707c919dd835a9d9706b5725af58) are identical. I've also used the download to apply SP3 to several systems and everything checks out.]

[UPDATE #2: I've checked the download from the Microsoft site against the TechNet Plus download I have and the CD that I was sent containing the XP SP3 bits, and all three are identical.

[UPDATE #1: According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the Release to Web (RTW) of Windows XP SP3 has been delayed:

In the last few days, we have uncovered a compatibility issue between Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) and Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). Microsoft Dynamics RMS is a retail chain management solution for small and midsize customers.

In order to make sure customers have the best possible experience we have decided to delay releasing Windows XP SP3 to Windows Update and Microsoft Download Center.

To help protect our customers, we plan to put filtering in place shortly to prevent Windows Update from offering both service packs to systems running Microsoft Dynamics RMS. Once filtering is in place, we expect to release Windows XP SP3 to Windows Update and Download Center.

Until we have published a fix for this issue, we advise Microsoft Dynamics RMS customers to not install either service pack.  Microsoft Dynamics RMS customers running Windows XP SP3 or Windows Vista SP1 should contact Microsoft Customer Support Services for additional information.

The fix is currently in testing and will be available as soon as that process is complete. 

For further information regarding Windows XP SP3, please visit the TechNet Forum.

I'll keep you updated. However, the download link below still works.]

For the Windows XP users out there ... XP SP3 is now available for download from the Microsoft website. Note that this is a direct link to the executable fileand contains no information about the download. If you are uncomfortable with such things, don't download this update and wait for the update to be officially released.

At present the link is just a direct link, but I imagine that Microsoft will have a landing page that I can link to sometime soon.

The download is 316MB (MD5 hash: bb25707c919dd835a9d9706b5725af58) and contains some 1,100 hotfixes and patches.

For more information on XP SP3 check out the following:

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