End of the road for Windows XP…

If you are still using Windows XP be aware that Microsoft support for this Operating System will end on the 8th April 2014. That’s not a bad run considering Windows XP is now 10 years old!

So now is the time to make sure your Windows XP installation is fully up to date.

By now you should have Service Pack 3 installed. To check if you have, right click on My Computer and select Properties. Under the System heading make sure it says Service Pack 3. If it lists Service Pack 2 or even Service Pack 1 its time to update your Operating System to SP3. (If you need to install this update it probably means you do not have Automatics Updates enabled).

How to get Service Pack 3

The easiest way to get SP3 is to turn on Automatic Updates which will download SP3 when it’s available for your computer. You only need a few clicks to begin the installation and the rest of the process should be automatic.

To turn on Automatic Updates yourself, follow these steps:

Click Start, and then click Run. Copy and then paste (or type) services.msc in the Open box, and then click OK.

In the Services console, right-click Automatic Update, and then click Start.

Close the Services console.

If you do not want to wait for Automatic Updates you can install Service Pack3 by using Windows Update at the Windows website.

Click start, All Programs and select Windows Update. This will take you online to the Windows Update section of Microsoft’s website which will check your PC to see what updates you need to install. If it selects Service Pack 3 download and apply it.

Problems installing Service Pack 3

Occasionally Service Pack 3 refuses to install and if that happens to you these are the steps you need to take.

Method 1: Exit all open programs, restart your computer, and then try to reinstall Service Pack 3

Sometimes an installation of SP3 is unsuccessful because a previous operation was not completed for some reason. By restarting your PC, you close any pending computer operations and restart the process. Once your PC is up and running go to Windows Updates http://update.microsoft.com to reinstall Windows XP SP3.

Restart your computer and check if the installation was successful.

If the installation is successful, you are finished.

If the installation fails try the next step.

Method 2: Temporarily disable any antivirus, antispyware and third-party firewall programs

Installation failure may occur when a third-party program, such as antispyware, holds a file open or when it locks a file that the Windows XP SP3 installation program needs. Before you try to reinstall Windows XP SP3, follow these steps:

Exit any open programs, and then restart the computer.

After the computer has restarted, disable any antivirus, antispyware, and third-party firewall programs that may start during the start-up process (these steps may increase your security risk). You can usually do this from the program notification area. The program icons typically appear in the lower-right corner of the computer screen. To disable a program from the notification area, right-click the program icon, and then click an appropriate option to disable the program.

Once you have disabled the software go to Windows Updateshttp://update.microsoft.com to reinstall Windows XP SP3.

Restart your computer and check if the installation was successful.

If the installation is successful, you are finished.