Patrick Marshall has a weekly column in the The Seattle Times where he answers reader questions "about everything from recovering deleted files to the pros and cons of handheld technology."  Today he has a column in which he responded to a reader having difficulty installing Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) and noted that Installing Service Pack 3 is worth the trouble...

Q:I have a Dell Deminsion 8300 PC with Windows XP Home Edition, Service Pack 2. Periodically I receive pop-ups from Microsoft asking me to download a software update. Last week I received a request from Microsoft to download the Service Pack 3. I started the download, which seemed to take a long time so I left the PC for about 45 minutes. ...

Now when I turn on the PC it is still asking me to install Service Pack 3, but I am afraid to try again. Should I give it another try or ignore this download request from Microsoft?

A: Installing updates can be frustrating, but if you want to keep using Windows XP, I'd recommend that you install Service Pack 3. It contains dozens of major enhancements and fixes, including security patches.

As I posted previously here, Microsoft offers free Technical Support on Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), available on the SP3 support site. [updated: if you are unable to get to the XP SP3 support site via the previous link, please visit http://support.microsoft.com/ph/1173.]  Customers are entitled to free unlimited installation and compatibility support for Windows XP SP3 when they update their older versions of Windows XP (from Windows XP RTM, SP1 or SP2), valid until April 14, 2009. (Visit the page for more info on service options and the policy).

Tags: Microsoft, customer support, feedback, customer service, Windows XP, SP3.

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