Windows XP Won’t Load After SP 3 Installation

service pack 3After you install Service Pack 3, sometimes Windows XP won’t load. All you can see is a blank screen.

Unfortunately, you have to uninstall SP3 to resolve this problem. To do this, you must restart the system and boot into Safe Mode (press and hold F8 after the restart until you see the new menu).

Once you are in Safe Mode, go into the Control Panel and click on Add/Remove Programs. Tick the Show updates option on top. Select Service Pack 3 from the list and click on Remove. That should take care of the problem. Next time you restart, Windows should load normally.

If the remove option doesn’t work, you’ll have to boot your PC with the Windows XP CD and go into the Recovery Console (press R at the Welcome screen). Select the required Windows Installation (usually just press 1) and type in the administrator password if there is one, otherwise press Enter. In the command prompt, type cd $ntservicepackuninstall$\spuninst and press Enter. Then, type in batch spuninst.txt and press Enter. A text file appears with a list of errors and files that are being copied. After the uninstall process, type Exit. Restart the computer and load Safe Mode again.

If the computer stops responding, restart the PC again. If you can see the desktop picture only, without any icons, press CTRL+ALT+DEL and go into File, New Task. In the open box, type regedit and locate the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\RpcSs

Click on the RpcSs key. In the details pane, right click on ObjectName, click Modify, type LocalSystem in the value box and click OK. Restart the PC. Windows should now load without problems. Service Pack 3 includes some important updates, but your PC should work fine without it.

If you’d like to read about other methods of uninstalling Service Pack 3, please go to this Microsoft Support page.

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