Windows XP firewall service is enabled after installing XP SP3 – even if it was previously disabled

If Windows XP SP2 firewall service is set to manual or disabled when Windows XP SP3 is applied, the Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service and Security Cetner service will be changed to automatic startup.  This behavior is by design, for the purpose of increasing the security of Windows XP.

This setting will remain in effect for computers that had the service startup manually altered.  
According to the Microsoft Enterprise Networking Team:
If the service is administratively disabled via domain Group Policy, it will again be disabled after subsequent application of Group Policy. The automatic service startup should only be seen on the first reboot after applying Service Pack 3. To cause GPO settings to be updated immediately on a client, run gpupdate /force from a command prompt.

How much free disk space do I need to install Windows XP SP3?

Various Microsoft resources have different answers to the amount of free hard drive space needed to install Windows XP SP3.  You’ll see that the amount of free disk space required to install XP SP3 depends on where you’re installing from, as well as other factors.

According to KB950717 
We recommend that you have a minimum of 1,500 megabytes (MB) of free space on the system disk if you install Windows XP SP3 from the Microsoft Download Center. We recommend that you have about 1,100 MB of free space if you install Windows XP SP3 from a shared network folder.
According to KB956894  

To install the Windows XP SP3 package, the computer must have the following amount of free disk space:

  • One gigabyte (GB) of free space to make sure that the SP3 package files are extracted correctly
  • Another 1 GB of free space on which to actually install the SP3 package
    Note This includes space to create an archive folder that can be later used to uninstall the SP3 package.

According to KB 947311

Hard disk space that is required if you install Windows XP SP3 from a shared folder on the network

  System Restore feature enabled System Restore feature disabled
Working space 80 megabytes (MB) 80 MB
Files that remove Windows XP SP3 256 MB 256 MB
Total hard disk space that is required 1020 MB
1100 MB peak usage during installation
380 MB460 MB peak usage during installation

Note The numbers that are listed in this table are estimates. These numbers are not intended to be exact. User’s systems may vary significantly. Therefore, these numbers only represent guidelines to let users know approximately how much free space is required.

Hard disk space that is required if you install Windows XP SP3 from the Windows XP SP3 CD

  System Restore feature enabled System Restore feature disabled
Working space 280 MB
480 MB
Files that remove Windows XP SP3 256 MB 256 MB
Total hard disk space that is required
1485 MB
1765 MB peak usage during installation
750 MB
1230 MB peak usage during installation


  • In these tables, the “Working space” entry describes the hard disk space that is required for files that are used only during the installation process. The working space requirement is temporary. It does not contribute to the total hard disk space requirement.
  • In these tables, the “Files that remove Windows XP SP3” entry describes the hard disk space that is used for storing the files and the settings that are changed during the installation of the service pack. You can automatically back up the files during the installation of the service pack. These files are required if you want to remove the service pack later.
  • You must also have 30 MB of free hard disk space on the first primary system partition. The first primary system partition is the disk volume that contains the hardware-specific files that are required to start Windows. For example, the primary system partition contains the Ntldr file, the Boot.ini file, and the file.
  • We recommend that you have 1500 MB of free hard disk space if you install Windows XP SP3 through Microsoft Download Center or 1100 MB of free hard disk space if you install Windows XP SP3 from a shared folder on the network.

However, you can safely install Windows XP SP3 on a computer that has 700 MB of free hard disk space on the active partition. The remaining 800 MB of free hard disk space can be on some other partition on the computer. This remaining 800 MB of free hard disk space is used mainly to store the temporary folder that contains the extracted service pack files

  • The actual download size of Windows XP SP3 as obtained from the Windows Update Web site is approximately 70 MB. The download size varies depending on the updates that are installed on the computer.
  • The actual size of the %Windir%\SoftwareDistribution\Temporary_folder_name folder is approximately 600 MB.

If you want to install Windows XP SP3 on more than one computer on a local network, you can use the UNC mode of installation.

Note When you use the UNC mode of installation to install Windows XP SP3, you can save the hard disk space that is required for the extracted Windows XP SP3 files on the local computer.

To install Windows XP SP3 by using the UNC mode of installation, follow these steps:

1. Copy the contents of the Windows XP SP3 CD to a shared folder on the network.

2. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER.

3. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

windowsxp-kb936929-sp3-x86-enu.exe /x:shared folder name

Note In this command, shared folder name is a placeholder for the folder on the network to which you want to extract Windows XP SP3.

4. Under the shared folder on the network, locate and then double-click the Update folder.

Note The Update folder is located under the i386 folder.

5. Double-click the Update.exe file to install Windows XP SP3.

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Slipstreamed Windows XP SP3 Remote Web Workplace Active X problems

Yesterday I wrote about problemswith license keys on Windows XP SP3 installations performed on media slipstreamed on Windows Vista machines.  Today I found Susan’s postthat describes how to fix RWW issues associated with an XP SP3 slipstreamed install – Specifically, not having the ability to enable in Internet Explorer the Terminal Server Redistributable Active X control that RWW needs in order to work.

The solution appears to be resetting IE once the XP SP3 slipstreamed installation is performed.  To reset IE:

Select Tools – Internet Options – Advanced.  Click the Reset button, and restart Internet Explorer.

Problems with license key after slipstreaming Windows XP SP3

A co-worker forwarded me this link to a post that describes the problems with Windows XP license keys not working after XP SP3 is slipstreamed into the installation media.  The problem stems from the API calls made by the slipstream program when run from a Windows Vista machine.

He was using a volume license key in an answer file, but when the slipstreamed CD got to the point where it would read the file for the license key, the unattended installation kept asking for a valid key.  Even after a valid license key was entered manually, the installer kept prompting for another key. 

The problem was solved by performing the slipstream process from a Windows XP machine, rather from the Vista box.  Apparently all types of license keys are affected, not just volume license keys.

Howto: Fix Remote Web Workplace not working with XP SP3

After applying Windows XP SP3 you may receive the following message when trying to access Remote Web Workplace (RWW) on a Windows Small Business Server (SBS):

This portion of the Remote Web Workplace requiresthe Microsoft Remote Desktop ActiveX Control.  Your browswer’s security settings may be preventing you from downloading ActiveX controls.  Adjust these settings, and try to connect again.

This error is a result of a disabled Microsoft Terminal Service ActiveX control Add-On.  To fix the problem:

  1. Within Internet Explorer, open ToolsInternet Options – Programs tab – Select Manage add-ons
  2. Highlight the Microsoft Terminal Service ActiveX control, which will be set to disabled. 
  3. Select EnabledOK
  4. Restart Internet Explorer.

 You can also create a GPO to enable the ActiveX control.

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Updated Sysprep.exe now available for Windows XP SP3

If you plan on deploying Windows XP SP3 machines through imaging, you’ll need the updated SP3 deployement tools, which includes sysprep.exe.

Check out David’s post regarding changes to profile behavior in SP3’s sysprep where the default profile is no longer being copied. David has also updated his sysprep.inf reference.

See KB 302577 for additional details on how to use Sysprep when deploying images.

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Fix: After installing Windows XP SP3, the Address Bar is Removed from the main taskbar

From the Windows XP General newsgroup, edit for French to English translation issues and brevity:

I just installed SP3 using Windows Update (I had XP SP2 Pro fully
updated). Everything went fine, I restarted the PC and apparently everything
fine after the desktop showed up (no error messages, etc). But after
examining my system I found the following:

The address bar is removed in the main taskbar, so I triedrRight clicking
on the taskbar > Toolbars> but notice that the Address option has been
removed in SP3.

To restore the Address toolbar in the taskbar, in the  %windir%\system32 directory, replace the SP3 version of browseui.dll with the SP2 version.  Windows File Protection gets in the way (and so does explorer.exe for the Windows desktop and some other processes).  The workaround is to use the PendingFileRenameOperations key in the registry.  

Values under this key specify which files to move, replace,
or delete when Windows starts up.  Get the file from
SysInternals (now a Microsoft company) which contains the
pendmoves.exe and movefile.exe utilities.  Pendmoves tells you what is
already in that registry key to get renamed on the next Windows startup
(afterwhich this key gets cleared).  movefile lets you add entries to
this registry key.  

If you haven’t yet installed Windows XP SP3, save a copy of the file: 

Start – Run – Cmd
md c:\backup 
copy “%windir%\system32\browseui.dll” c:\temp\

f you have already installed SP3, you will have to get a copy of
browseui.dl_ (ends with the underscore character) from your backups,
from a Windows SP2 install CD, from another of your hosts still running
Windows XP SP2, or from a friend that you really trust.  If you get the
compressed browseui.dl_ file, decompress it:

expand [drive:[path]]browseui.dl_ c:\backup\browseui.dll

Now that you have the old version of the browseui.dll file, you need to
replace the SP3 version with the old version.  Run the following
command in a DOS shell:

copy c:\windows\system32\browseui.dll c:\windows\system32\browseui_sp3.dll
movefile c:\backup\browseui.dll c:\windows\system32\dllcache\browseui.dll
movefile c:\backup\browseui.dll c:\windows\system32\browseui.dll


The assumptions are: movefile.exe is in the current directory or found
by the PATH environment variable and that you saved the old version of
browseui.dll under c:\backup.  

Do NOT use “%windir%\system32\browseui.dll” for the destination since the windir
environment variable won’t be defined when the move operation is
performed during Windows startup.  In the above, I save a copy of the
SP3 version of browseui.dll just in case it is found later that using
the old version causes problems and I have to revert back to using the
SP3 version along with having to sacrifice the Address toolbar.

While this gets back the Address toolbar in the Windows taskbar, the
browseui.dll file is used by lots of different functions within Windows.
So it is possible that reverting to the old version could cause problems
with other functionality.