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It's always a good idea to let other people be the guinea-pigs when a major service pack comes out. You never know what will be affected. SP3 isn't a major update like SP2 was. If you've kept up with security patches you're not missing much with this update.
Within hours of its release, Microsoft's Service Pack 3 for Windows XP began drawing hundreds of complaints from users who claim the update is wreaking havoc on their PCs.
The problems with XP SP3, according to posters on Microsoft's Windows XP message board, range from spontaneous reboots to outright system crashes.
Windows XP SP3 Now on "Tuesday Update" Shall I Download it, or Wait? [informationweek.com]
I fired up a non-important machine on XP SP2 and the process went smoothly. No apparent issues, but the machine is not used in anger very much. Perhaps, not the best test.
Obviously, back up before you do update.
Microsoft's service pack three (SP3) for Windows XP has caused havoc on hundreds of PCs, just hours after it was released as an automatic update.
Angry customers have vented their spleen on the firm's Windows XP message board, posting complaints that include spontaneous PC reboots and system crashes after the service pack installs.