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XP SP3 won't install - Strange system 32 error message

I have three XP computers (described in my profile). On one SP3 installed fine right away. On the newest one, after much trouble and with the help of others, I got everything to update and download:

On my system with XP Home, I get the following error message when I go to the update site and SP downloads fine but fails to install and gives the same error message as follows:

"The file c:\windows\system32\smss.exe is open or in use by another application. Close all other applications and then click retry."

No other applications are ever running when this occurs and I am baffled by it. Anyone got any ideas how to fix this? Thanks.

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Last time I helped on this they wrote me and said.

In reply to: XP SP3 won't install - Strange system 32 error message

"I Cleaned all the malware and trojans off the machine and the Service Pack installed."

Another person had to uninstall all antivirus and such protections.

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Already tried that. Others having same problem

In reply to: Last time I helped on this they wrote me and said.

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The last time I used this scan.

In reply to: Already tried that. Others having same problem

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Thanks - but that did not work either

In reply to: The last time I used this scan.

All my computers are free of spyware, viruses, etc. Amongst other anti spy programs, I ran windows malicious software removal tool full scan, windows defender full scan, AVG full virus scan, AVG anti spware full scan, cwshredder, spybot, spyware blaster is up to date, etc. Since others on other Internet site forums are having the same problem - all noting that their computers work fine without the update ........ I am just going to leave it be until someone finds a fix for it.

It is amazing that each of my 3 computers had download problems relative to SP3 and the two now fixed each took a different fix - and the solution to this one seems to have yet to be discovered.

Again, thanks for trying to help.

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Just for closure.

In reply to: Thanks - but that did not work either

You did scan with the item I noted? I ask because others used your list and they had to run one more scan.

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Ran scan again. No malware found. See text; thanks anyway

In reply to: Just for closure.

After running the full scan, here is what the message was; it was printed out in notepad:

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.18
Database version: 882
11:43:56 AM 6/29/2008
mbam-log-6-29-2008 (11-43-56).txt
Scan type: Full Scan (C:\|)
Objects scanned: 115829
Time elapsed: 25 minute(s), 49 second(s)
Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 0
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 0
Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)
Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)
Registry Keys Infected:
(No malicious items detected)
Registry Values Infected:
(No malicious items detected)
Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)
Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)
Files Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

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Since nothing else seems to be working

In reply to: Ran scan again. No malware found. See text; thanks anyway

Try validating Windows again


Re-register the Windows Update DLL with the commands below

Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.

Type the following commands. Press ENTER after each command.

regsvr32 wuapi.dll
regsvr32 wuaueng.dll
regsvr32 wuaueng1.dll
regsvr32 wucltui.dll
regsvr32 wups.dll
regsvr32 wups2.dll
regsvr32 wuweb.dll

Attempt to run Windows Update

Also try the Windows Installer link for Non-Vista machines from Microsoft.

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That Process Should Stop Automatically...

In reply to: XP SP3 won't install - Strange system 32 error message

From I Am Not a Geek Site:
Session Manager SubSystem - smss.exe

What does it do?
smss.exe - This is the session manager subsystem, which is responsible for starting the user session. This process is initiated by the system thread and is responsible for various activities, including launching the Winlogon and Win32 (Csrss.exe) processes and setting system variables. After it has launched these processes, it waits for either Winlogon or Csrss to end. If this happens "normally," the system shuts down; if it happens unexpectedly, Smss.exe causes the system to stop responding (hang). Note: This process cannot be stopped via Task Mgr.

The smss.exe which is from Microsoft is located at c:windows/System32/smss.exe . We've been able to find several viruses that run as smss to trick you. (Other than above location)(Note:Lower case above)

Adware.Advision -
Adware.DreamAd -

Hope of some help. Happy

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Did I miss it?

In reply to: XP SP3 won't install - Strange system 32 error message

Symantec's Norton can be the cause here. There may be others that lock system files and prevent updates.

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Tell a little more about these machines.

In reply to: XP SP3 won't install - Strange system 32 error message

Some by HP and others need an update from their makers before SP3.

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