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Manually Uninstalling Windows XP Service Pack 2

by SAJR / January 23, 2006 9:58 AM PST

I have installed Widows XP with Service Pack 2, but the Service Pack 2 installed incorectly and it doesn't work properly. I looked at Add or Remove Programs but the I did not find the Service Pack 2 there, so tried to uninstall it using the method that Microsoft posted on their site but it could not find the folder:

Use the hidden $NtServicePackUninstall$ folder
1. Click Start, click Run, type c:\windows\$NtServicePackUninstall$\spuninst\spuninst.exe in the Open box, and then click OK.
2. When the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Removal Wizard starts, click Next.
3. Follow the instructions on the screen to remove Windows XP SP2.

I have a separate Service Pack 2 on a separate disc, I tried to install the Service Pack 2 from the disc, and it works until it starts installing, and then it gives an error.

What I mean when I say did not install correctly is that Service Pack 2 is supposed to show the Internet Explorer information bar when attempting to install an ActiveX Control, but I don't see the information bar. I can't even download Windows Updates from the Windows website because it asks me to install an ActiveX Control but I don't see the bar on the top.

So I am wondering how can I manually uninstall Windows XP Service Pack 2 so I can reinstall it? Or can anyone tell me what I can do to fix my problem. Thanks

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this is an option u can change
by nerdyboy1234 / January 23, 2006 10:44 AM PST

to fix this "What I mean when I say did not install correctly is that Service Pack 2 is supposed to show the Internet Explorer information bar when attempting to install an ActiveX Control, but I don't see the information bar. I can't even download Windows Updates from the Windows website because it asks me to install an ActiveX Control but I don't see the bar on the top."

in internet explorer, go internet options and look for active x

for reinstall...just use fdisk command in cli and then reinstall windows.

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RE: this is an option u can change
by SAJR / January 23, 2006 12:57 PM PST

I went to the options of Internet Explorer, looked around and then decided to went to the Microsoft site to see if they have anything about this problem and this is what I found: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/883255/en-us.

I followed those instructions, but that didn't help.

Any other advice? I can also make an upgrade install of Windows XP Pro that has no Service Packs, but I don't know how to do it because it says that the installed windows is newer than the one on the disc. What can I do to so it will install the Windows?

By the way, thanks to everybody that helps me

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Reinstall
by phantazy / January 23, 2006 4:16 PM PST

Unless you can get to a suitable restore point to before you installed SP2 (You'll need a 'snapshot' version from System Volume Information), you will have to find a way to back up your data files and start a fresh install of XP. It is next to impossible to cleanly remove SP2, in my view. I would also advise you use a program called 'Erunt' which backs up your registry for just such a failure

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SP2 uninstall.
by Cursorcowboy / January 23, 2006 9:52 PM PST
I looked at Add or Remove Programs but the I did not find the Service Pack 2 there, so tried to uninstall it using the method that Microsoft posted on their site but it could not find the folder:

So. You did not try any of the other recommended options in the article -- if in fact it was installed?

The article [Q837783] explains the hard disk space requirements for Windows XP Service Pack 2, [Q329260] describes the purpose of the three archive folders created when Service Pack 1 (SP1) was installed and which folders can safely be deleted, but I find nothing written by Microsoft concerning the SP2 folders -- perhaps not written but I assume the same process applies. The article "HOW TO: Remove the Service Pack Restore Files and Folders in Windows (Q290402)" written for W2K discusses the details of the Uninstall folder, but whether the exact same process is used in WinXP, I wouldn't know, but your attention is specifically directed to the topic Troubleshooting in that article. For your reading pleasure -- unless you want to simply delete and see what happens down the road -- is:

Note: During the installation of SP2, the Select Options dialog box displays the following message:

Setup creates a backup of system files so you can uninstall the service pack if necessary. Click Browse to choose a location for these backup files, or click Next to accept the location displayed below:

Uninstall folder
C:\Windows\$NtServicePackUninstall$


a. "After You Install Service Pack 2."

b. "Removing Service Pack 2."

c. The information written by "Alex Nichol, MS-MVP Windows XP."

Note: SP2 includes a built-in AutoRecovery feature that lets you recover from an interrupted or unsuccessful installation (Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs) and choose to uninstall the partial installation, [Q878455].

d. "How to remove Windows XP Service Pack 2 from your computer (Q875350."

Warning: The article [Q843020] warns that when you try to play some licensed media content that you previously played in Windows Media Player, the licensed media content may no longer play and you may have to reacquire some licenses to play the content unless you back up the licenses for your digital media files.

e. "How to help protect your computer if you decide to remove Windows XP Service Pack 2 from your Windows XP-based computer or from your Windows XP Tablet PC 2005-based Tablet PC (Q878454)."

f. Use the information published by Alex Nichol, "Tidying Up After Installing SP2," to clean extrenious files taking up drive space.

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