Windows XP SP3 It’s that time again! Yep, time for more Microsoft leaks. This time around a “hack” has been exposed that will let existing Windows XP users download and install a Release Candidate of Service Pack 3 (SP3) via Windows Update. If this sounds familiar to you it’s probably because a similar hack was already leaked back in October for Vista SP1.

Early reports are estimating that XP SP3 has roughly a 10% performance increase over XP SP2, which is a rather large difference. That’s definitely good news for XP users, and might end up pushing more users to make the upgrade

So what do you have to do? Not much actually. Just copy some text into Notepad, save and run the file, and then check for updates in XP. Running the file will modify the registry a bit, but it won’t screw up your system. I did get around to trying it out, and it worked flawlessly:

  1. Copy and paste the following code into Notepad:
    @echo off
    reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\XPSP3 /f 2> NUL
    reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\XPSP3 /v RCPreview /t REG_SZ /d 1c667073-b87f-4f52-a479-98c85711d869 /f
    echo XPSP3 registry key has been set. Please check for updates in Windows Update.
  2. Save the file as XPSP3.cmd (it’s important to include the extension).
  3. Run the file that you saved in Step 2 by double-clicking on it. Restart your computer and check for new Windows Updates.
  4. Windows XP SP3 should be found, and it is a 337MB download so give it some time to download and apply the updates. When all is said and done your version of Windows XP should be: Windows XP Build 2600.xpsp.071030-1537: Service Pack 3, v.3244

Enjoy the better performance and stability! You can hold off until next year if you want to download XP SP3 when it is officially released.

[via Softpedia & Computer World]
Thanks for the tip Storytellerofsci-fi!