Posted by mikeb on July 6, 2011
Believe it or not there are still people out there that have Windows XP Home Edition service pack 2 out there. When they go to install service pack 3 (sp3) they get an error about a missing file.
However, when you hit browse you will see the temp file sitting there. Many will try to either “retry” or “skip” the file and the SP3 install will fail.
Oddly enough, even as administrator, you do not have privileges to the \documents and settings\all users\documents (or if you have tried sharing it to fix the issue it will show up as “shared documents”).
There is a much more grandular way to do this but for the “home user” I’ll make it simple:
1. Reboot and press F8
2. Select Safe Mode
3. Logon as Administrator
4. Open My Computer and navigate to: Documents and settings>All Users
5. Right click on Documents (or as mentioned earlier you may now have “shared documents”)
6. Select Properties
7. Select the Security Tab
8. Select the Advanced radio button
9. Select the “Everyone” user that is in the window
10. (Note the existing permissions for later) –>Down below check the box “Full Control”
11. Ok all the way out to the main window
12. Reboot into your user
13. Now run the install again
At this point you should be successful.
This is, personally I think, a design flaw in the service pack for the home user. Many of us that haven’t touched an XP box (let alone a Home Edition) will forget this and I hope this prompts you to remember.
I would advise that once you have completed the SP 3 install you reset the permissions that you had noted in step 10.
This post is more of a “reminder” to technical folks but I made it as easy as possible for a home user to complete this task.
Please note, it is not recommended that you keep these settings at Full Control.