Mar 27, 2008
Tip and Trick Editorial

Windows XP SP3 Release Notes and Known Issues

Microsoft has published release notes documentation that contains known issues and information information for Windows XP Service Pack 3, which XP users should read and know before deploying and using Windows XP SP3.

The Release Notes for Windows XP SP3 can be downloaded from Microsoft Download Center, or can be read directly at this HTML page. The title still reads “Release Notes for this Release Candidate of Windows XP Service Pack 3”, but that doesn’t void the release notes. The release notes will most likely to stay the same when the XP SP3 finally goes live or RTM with just a title chance.

The release notes of Windows XP SP3 is quoted below.

New functionality included in this service pack

Technical Area Functionality or Feature Details
Networking Black hole router detection Improves black hole router detection (detecting routers that are silently discarding packets). This detection is turned on by default.
Networking Network Access Protection Allows you to better protect network assets by enforcing compliance with system health requirements. For more information about Network Access Protection, see
Security Credentials security service provider Allows forward compatibility with Windows Vista® and Windows Server® 2008, And enables applications to delegate user credentials from the client to the target server. This security service provider is available through the security service provider interface, and it is used by Remote Desktop Protocol 6.0.
Security Descriptive security options control panel Offers more descriptive text to explain the settings and prevent incorrect configuration of settings.
Security Enhanced security for Administrator and Service policy entries Presents Administrators and Service entries (in System Center Essentials) by default on new policy instances. Additionally, a user will not be able to remove the setting in the UI for the “Impersonate Client After Authentication” user right.
Security Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module Implements and supports the SHA2 hashing algorithms (SHA256, SHA384, and SHA512) in X.509 certificate validation.

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-1 standard has been replaced by FIPS 140-2, and these modules have been validated and certified according to this standard.

Setup Windows Product Activation Allows users to complete their software setup without having to provide a product key.

Previously available functionality

The following items included in this release candidate were previously available as separate downloads.

Technical Area Functionality or Feature Details
Imaging Microsoft® Windows Imaging Component (WIC) Provides an extensible framework for working with images and image metadata. For more information about the WIC, see
Management Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0 Provides a framework that unifies and simplifies day-to-day system management tasks in Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. For more information about the MMC 3.0 update, see
MDAC Microsoft Core XML Services (MSXML) 6.0 Provides improved reliability and security, conforms with the XML 1.0 and XML Schema 1.0 W3C recommendations, and is compatible with System.Xml 2.0.
Windows Installer Microsoft Windows Installer 3.1 v2 (3.1.4000.2435) Provides a minor update to Windows Installer 3.0 (which was released in September 2004). For more information about Microsoft Windows Installer 3.1 v2, see
Networking Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) 2.5 Helps improve security. This is a required component for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 and for Windows Live OneCare. For more information about the BITS update package, see
Networking Digital Identity Management Service Makes it possible for users who log on to any computer running Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 or higher and that is a domain member to silently have all of their certificates and private keys available for applications and services.
Networking IPsec Simple Policy Update for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Helps simplify the creation and maintenance of IPsec filters, reducing the number of filters that are required for a server and domain isolation deployment. For more information about IPsec security filters, see
Networking Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRP) 2.1 Enables Windows XP Service Pack 3-based applications that use PNRP to communicate with Windows Vista programs that use PNRP. For more information about upgrading PNRP, see
Networking Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 Provides the same support for Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) as is provided in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003 with SP2. For more information about the WPA2 update, see

Apple computers

This issue affects Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional operating systems running through Apple Boot Camp.

If you attempt to install this release candidate on an Intel-based Apple computer (Mac Pro, Mac Mini, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or iMac) that is running Windows XP SP2 through Boot Camp, installation may fail with the error “Out of disk space”.

To avoid this, manually create a necessary registry key as follows:

To create the registry key

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and click String Value.
  4. In the text box under the Name column, type BootDir and press ENTER.
  5. Right-click the name BootDir, and then click Modify.
  6. In the Edit String Value dialog box, type the drive letter for your system drive, and then click OK. For example, if your system drive is C:, type C:\.
  7. Close Registry Editor.

After you have created this registry key (or if you created this key when you installed a previous version of this Service Pack), you can proceed with the installation.

Custom installation

This issue affects Windows XP Home Edition N and Windows XP Professional N.

Creating an integrated installer (“slipstream”) by combining the installation disk for this release candidate with Windows XP Home Edition N or Windows XP Professional N by using the /integrate or /s command options is not supported.

To perform an integrated installation of this release candidate for Windows XP Home Edition N or Windows XP Professional N, obtain the appropriate installation media directly from Microsoft.


If you have enabled Remote Access Server Quarantine Enforcement Client (RASQEC), it may appear to not be initialized even when it is. As a result, the first attempt to dial a Network Access Protection (NAP) RAS connection may fail.

If this occurs, redial the connection.


The font families Cambria and some versions of Arial may not print correctly on PCL- or PCL5e-type printers.

There is no solution at this time other than to choose a different font.

Remote desktop connection

If you have installed the pre-release version of Remote Desktop Client 6.1 (KB 937468), and then install this release candidate, the desktop will continuously display the text “For testing purposes only. Build 2600.xp_sp2_gdr…”, and you will not be able to uninstall KB 937468 by using Add/Remove Programs.

To avoid this, uninstall KB 937468 before you install this release candidate.

If you have already encountered this issue, follow these steps to remove the test certificate that is responsible for the text message being displayed.

To remove the test certificate

  1. Click Start, click Run, type certmgr.msc, and then press ENTER.
  2. In the list that appears, find and expand the Trusted Root Certification Authority folder.
  3. Within the Trusted Root Certification Authority folder, find and expand the Certificates folder.
  4. In the right pane, find and delete all entries named Microsoft Test Root Authority.
  5. Restart the computer.

Windows Media Center

This issue affects Windows XP Media Center Edition 2002.

If you install this release candidate on a computer running Windows XP Media Center 2002 with XP SP1, Windows XP Media Center may malfunction.

To avoid this, install Windows XP SP2 before you install this release candidate.

If this issue has already occurred, uninstall this release candidate, install Windows XP SP2, and then reinstall the release candidate.

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