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This article was previously published under Q329260
Three folders are created when you install Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows XP and archive the files that are necessary to remove Windows XP SP1. These three folders contain temporary and archived files that you can use to remove Windows XP SP1. This article describes the purpose of these three folders, and which folders you can safely delete.
New Folders That Are Created When You Install Windows XP SP1The following folders are created when you install Windows XP SP1:
The %systemroot%\Servicepackfiles FolderIMPORTANT: Do not delete or move this folder.
This folder contains files that are required when you add or remove optional Windows components. This folder is also used by Windows File Protection (WFP) to replace damaged or changed protected system files.
The %systemroot%\$NtServicePackUninstall$ FolderIMPORTANT: Do not delete this folder unless you are sure that you will not want to remove Windows XP SP1 in the future.
When you install the service pack and choose to archive the files you need to remove the service pack, Windows automatically creates a backup. This is a backup of the files and settings that the service pack installer changes, and which are saved in the %systemroot%\$NTServicepackUninstall$ folder. You can use the contents of this folder to return your computer to its previous state. If you delete this folder, you cannot remove the service pack. If you are sure that you will not want to remove the service pack, you can safely delete this folder. If you delete the %systemroot%\$NtServicePackUninstall$ folder, the option to remove the service pack still appears in the Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel. When you try to remove the service pack, you may receive the following error message:
If you click Yes, the option to remove SP1 is removed from the Add or Remove Programs tool.
An error occurred while trying to remove Windows XP Service Pack 1. It may have already been uninstalled. Would you like to remove Windows XP Service Pack 1 from the Add or Remove programs list?
The Windows XP SP1 Installation Temporary Files FolderThis folder is not required after you install the service pack, and you can safely delete this folder. When you install Windows XP SP1, this temporary folder is created on the volume that has the most free space. The folder name contains 20 random characters, and is not always created on the same volume as the Windows folder. For example, this temporary folder may have the following name:
9470bb12e8a4f3447657236478e41c5This folder is automatically deleted by Windows XP after you install the service pack. However, if the folder is not automatically deleted by Windows XP, you can safely delete this folder.
Removing a Service PackYou can remove Windows XP SP1 by using the Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel or by running the uninstallation program from a command prompt. Notes about removing a service pack:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389/EN-US/ )How to Obtain the Latest Windows XP Service Pack