I have half of an XP SP3- rusty chainsaw needed!

Hello all! I’m working on a computer for a friend and have encountered a unique problem. I can’t install Service Pack 3 fully.

It seems to be half installed. An entry shows up in Add/Remove programs. However, using this entry does not result in uninstalling the Service Pack. It errors out before doing anything significant.

Attempting to install the Service Pack also generates an error about halfway through. It says “Service Pack 3 installation did not complete. Windows XP has been partially updated and may not work properly.” Thanks Microsoft!

In any case, I know about the KB article that says how to remove it. Methods 1,2 and 3 do not work. Method four would be a major pain but I’m willing to try it if anyone really thinks it will work. But there must be some other easier way or perhaps a removal tool that will let me get on with my life.

Apparently I don’t have a Recovery Console either. “Automated System Recovery” is not what I need to use and pressing R for Recovery Console never comes up as an option when booting from the disc. So it looks like I’ll have to reinstall from scratch.

You may want to create a slipstream CD with XP and SP3. Then it installs XP with SP3 already in it.

Trying this now, I’ll post how it goes. Thanks for the suggestion!

Ok, integrated SP3 was the way to go. This laptop is still flaky… I have a feeling it’s full of dust but I’m not fully confident that if I tear it apart I’ll be able to put it back together again. Anyone have any experience in the guts of laptops?

if you search online you can usually find a guided teardown, but there isn’t much accessable in most laptops without some work.

They’re not really that hard to disassemble. You just need patience, the manual, and the right tools. In your case, this will include compressed air.

However, if the problem is just dust, just squirting compressed air directly into the air inlet will probably do the trick.