Microsoft's advice to encourage individual users to get Windows XP SP3 via Windows Update is useful - but only if Windows Update is working properly. Learn how to avoid wasting time and update XP systems painlessly.
If Windows Update isn't working (one or more updates in the recent update history that could not be installed is a typical sign of WU woes), there's no point in trying to use Windows Update to download Windows XP Service Pack 3.
Users who are unaware of other methods for getting their hands on XP SP3 might be tempted to try to fix Windows Update to enable XP SP3 to be delivered - but there's really no need to.
Instead, they should download the self-extracting executable file or, if they have access to recordable CD or DVD drives and a burning program that can create a CD from an ISO disc image, they can download the ISO-9660 image. If a user needs a CD burning program that can create a disc from an ISO image, the Imgburn program is a good choice.
The only disadvantage to bypassing Windows Update for receiving XP SP3 is larger download sizes: the self-extracting executable is about 316MB, while the ISO image is about 545MB. However, once SP3 is installed, Windows Update will work properly, enabling further updates to be delivered normally.