Reinstallation - having issues obtaining SP3

I just did a clean install on a Dell Dimension B110 but it took me to SP1. Got everything configured and good to go I think, no hardware errors showing in device manager. Here's the problem, I tried to run windows update and windows says I need SP3 to do that. I tried to download SP3 but was taken to the Server/IT version, when I tried to follow the link to the "single user version", it said I needed service pack 3 to do that... Arrgh, I'm caught in a loop... Any suggestions? Solutions? A better link perhaps?

A little more digging, I find that I will need SP1a or SP2 installed before installing SP3 - but I can't find those either - even a sketchy link here would be better than nothing...
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  1. Yes, that is why I have SP3 on a CD ;)

    You can download SP3 directly from Microsoft; it is not hidden very well :)
  2. Give this link a try. Ignore the IT Professionals and Developers bit, this is just the "full" download of SP3 which does not need an Internet connection to be installed. It can also be used to make slipstreamed install media.

    What I would suggest doing is download this, then format the system and reinstall again. You do NOT want to have Windows XP pre-SP3 connected to the Internet for any period of time if you can help it. So make sure you have all the drivers you need, this SP3 installer, all on some kind of external media. Then format and reinstall again, make sure to pull any kind of network connection before you finish installing. Once you're back up to at least SP3, you can reconnect to the Internet and then download all the subsequent updates with significantly less risk of malware pouring in through some exploit that doesn't require any user interaction.

    Later, you can look into creating a slipstreamed install CD.
  3. Okay, this is "solved" - turns out I'm running XP Home 32bit here. Had to find the MS link for SP2 for 32 bit... once that was found and run from CD I was up and running so to speak, got SP3 onto DVD but not without issues, ruined two DVD's in the process and the error messages, of: "This is not a 32 bit application" had me all messed up - Got a clean copy on the third try.
    Phil, you are semi-correct. Not hard to locate once you know what MS calls it, elsewise google and bing weren't too helpful (BTW best search phrase I found: Service Pack "*" for Windows XP 32bit). All other searches led me to strange download sites (that were not helpful and seemed to specialize in redirect). Now I have both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of SP2 plus SP3. Thanks
    Scott, I was not aware of that IT pro/dev thing, I've been rather respectful of that (not wanting to get into issues I do not understand)... good to know info, thanks.
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