Windows XP Service Pack 3 Coming to an Automatic Update Near You

Windows XP SP3 will be released via Automatic Updates pretty soon.  This means that unless you take certain steps, you can expect SP3 to install onto all XP PC’s that have AU enabled.  I’m extra careful with service packs because they can affect business application support.  So a complete automatic deployment without manual testing or control is not probably ideal.

There’s a few things you can do:

  • Allow this to happen: That’s OK is a smaller company where you’re happy with it already.  Maybe you already trust the installer on your hardware platforms and with your software.  Beware anyone who has a HP machine with and AMD processor and OEM installed XP Media Edition.  There’s some gotchas there you’ll want to Google.
  • Block the install using the Vista SP1 and XP SP3 blocker tool:  This works for 12 months from the release of the service pack.
  • Control you updates: Use something like WSUS or System Center Configuration Manager to control what updates are approved and deployed on your network from a central console and use a test lab to evaluate and test.

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