Mar 28, 2008
Tip and Trick Editorial

How to Uninstall Windows XP SP3 Beta and Release Candiate Versions

With the impending release of latest service pack for Windows XP – Service Pack 3 (SP3), users who install beta or release candidate test versions of Windows XP may wish to uninstall the the beta releases or RC versions of the service pack, as the final RTM version of SP3 for Windows XP may not install if there is any previous test release installed, or not on Windows XP SP2 status.

To uninstall any version of Windows XP SP3 Release Candidate or Beta versions, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, then Control Panel, and choose Add and Remove Programs. Alternatively, click Start, click Run, type appwiz.cpl, and then click OK.
  2. Click Change or Remove Programs.
  3. Click Windows XP Service Pack 3 (936929).
  4. Click Remove.
  5. Restart the computer.

The uninstallation steps should work for Windows XP SP3 RTM or final version too, if Microsoft doesn’t make SP3 mandatory and cannot be uninstalled.

  • John Revers

    This happend to me to day aswell. The only thing was to do a repair install with SP2 intergrated. That removed the SP 3 Beta that was slipsteamed. After that I installed SP3 again and worked great.

  • Tom

    Help, when I tried to uninstall my sp3 v5508 it said it has been uninstalled, but then when I checked the version it’s still showing sp3 v5508 instead of sp2. I also look in the windows directory but the $NtServicePackUninstall$ is gone. is there another way to uninstall sp3 v5508?

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  • admin
  • Alan

    I'm sorry it was gdi32.dll when I choose restore option after booting from the Windows XP CD it ask for administrator password. I don't have an administrator password set. When I just press enter it says password is incorrect and after the 3rd try the system reboots. Any more suggestions.

  • admin

    gdi.dll or gdi32.dll? If it's gdi32.dll, boot from XP CD, the select Recovery Options, then copy and replace the gdi32.dll from <del datetime="2008-04-17T07:25:55+00:00">CD</del> the service pack to replace the incorrect version on Windows directory.

  • Alan

    Installed Windows Service Pack 3 and when the system restarted I got a blue screen problem with gdi.dll. I tried to restart with last know good and it didn't work, tried to start in safe mode and it didn't work. What can I do to get my system back running. Help???

    It made a backup of the old windows files but I can't even get to windows to remove service pack 3 and revert back to SP2.

  • Andrew

    There was nothing in the Add/Remove Programs entry to remove it. right clicking or otherwise. Not even the "help and support" link that sometimes has a repair option with remove in it.

    I had to search the registry for "Windows XP Service Pack 3". Eventually I came across an entry that contained the path to the uninstall program and directory. It was a hidden file and folder structure;


    running this file started the SP3 uninstall program and away it went! (took a while, though, after warning of some programs that may stop working – they didn't)

    PS: the SP3 build I had was 3244 RC1.

  • admin

    Try to right click on it and see if there is Uninstall option.

  • Andrew


    But what happens when the Add/Remove Programs interface doesn't have a "Remove" button?! :/

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  • Deyaa Addeen Fahmy

    welldone, thanks.

  • admin

    435987 days? It will be closer than you think. 🙂

  • Andrew Askew

    So what do you think, is it worth it to install the RC2 refresh now? or wait another 435987 days to install the RTM?

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