Why am I being prompted to install Windows XP SP3 when I already have it?
September 20, 2008 8:03 PM   Subscribe

I just got a notification on my Windows XP laptop to install Service Pack 3. Thing is, I already have SP3 installed. Is this a necessary update? A redundant Microsoft goof? Or something more sinister?

The notification looked like a standard Windows Update prompt, just a little bubble in the taskbar saying "updates are ready for your computer." So I clicked it and got this pop-up.

It struck me as odd, since

a) I thought service packs were major events in the Windows world, and that I would have heard something about this before now

and

2) I was pretty sure that said major event had already happened, and that I had SP3 installed

A check on Microsoft Word confirmed (2). Help -> About Microsoft Word, and the first line reads:

"Microsoft® Office Word 2003 (11.8227.8221) SP3"

So, why am I getting this prompt? Is it really asking me to reinstall all of Service Pack 3 (which I understand to be pretty large), or is it just an update for it? Is it merely a mistake on the part of Windows? Could it possibly be a virus or some other malicious program masquerading as a system update?

Basically, should I install the thing or just ignore it?
posted by Rhaomi to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
 
It's asking you to install Windows XP Service Pack 3, which is a separate (and larger) product from Office XP Service Pack 3. You should probably install the thing.
posted by crysflame at 8:32 PM on September 20, 2008


(Where I said "product", I meant to say "update".)
posted by crysflame at 8:32 PM on September 20, 2008


Go to "windows update" and see if it is available.
Go to word and check for update.
It is not clear if you are talking about windows or Word. I suspect it is Word.
I would open Word and see if an update is there.
posted by JayRwv at 8:50 PM on September 20, 2008


You can check your windows SP by clicking on start and right-clicking on My Computer and selecting properties.

I'm guessing crysflame is right and you are looking at the Office service pack, not the service pack for Windows.

BTW, Office 2003 is up to Service Pack 4, so you're behind on that too.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:58 PM on September 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


crysflame: "It's asking you to install Windows XP Service Pack 3, which is a separate (and larger) product from Office XP Service Pack 3. You should probably install the thing."

Ah, good point. I did the Microsoft Word check because I wasn't certain I had SP3 installed, and a cursory Google search showed that was a good way to check. Apparently the internet is not always 100% accurate (gasp!).

After considering your comment, I remembered that you can get some basic system information by right-clicking My Computer and selecting Properties. I did this, and found that I'm actually still on Service Pack 2. Update it is!

Thanks for your help, everyone.

On preview, damn dirty ape echoes the solution, and catches another problem. Best answers all around!
posted by Rhaomi at 9:01 PM on September 20, 2008


You can also hold down the Windows Key and tap "Pause/Break".

Same effect, less clicking :P
posted by Master Gunner at 9:41 PM on September 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


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