Problems Reported With Windows XP SP3

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has reportedly warned that users updating to Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) won't be able to downgrade from Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) to IE6 without uninstalling Windows XP SP3.

A post on Microsoft's IE Blog warns "If you choose to install XP SP3, Internet Explorer 7 will remain on your system after the install is complete. Your preferences will be retained. However, you will no longer be able to uninstall IE7. If you go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, the Remove option will be grayed out."

The inability to downgrade to IE6 after installing Windows XP SP3 was by design, because the service pack includes newer versions of the old browser's files.

Users who want to retain the ability to downgrade from IE7 to IE6 should uninstall IE7 before ungrading to XP SP3. Once XP has been updated to SP3, users can then install IE7, which will allow users to revert back to IE6 in the future if they want to.

Microsoft's IE blog says the restriction on uninstalling only applies when you install a Windows service pack on top of a stand-alone IE release.

IE7 has not been as popular as IE6, particularly amongst businesses. Windows XP users who have installed IE8 Beta 1 will not be offered Windows Windows XP SP3 because of possible instability problems. It's recommended that you uninstall IE8 Beta 1 prior to upgrading to Windows XP SP3 to eliminate any deployment issues.

Some users have reportedly had problems with XP SP3 that range from spontaneous reboots to system crashes. It's not uncommon for major operating system updates to cause problems due to conflicts with software, such as drivers, system files or other applications that reside on a user's PC.

If you're unable to uninstall Windows XP SP3 because of spontaneous reboots or system crashes, you can try to restore Windows XP back to a previous restore point created with system restore.

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