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When you install Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) or Service Pack 3 (SP3), you may receive an error message similar to one of the following:
Service Pack 3 setup error. Access is denied.
Or, the Svcpack.log file may contain the following error message:
Service Pack 3 setup error. Service Pack installation did not complete
These errors can occur if permissions for one or more registry keys are restricted in a way that prevents the service pack from updating the keys. Registry keys can become restricted by certain programs that change the system access control lists (SACL) in the Registry so that administrator accounts cannot alter them. The service pack installer runs under an administrator account (User), and therefore cannot access restricted registry keys. If Windows XP Service Pack cannot update a registry key because it is restricted by another program, the service pack installation fails.
To determine whether an update to the registry has failed, go to the "More Information" section.
Use the following troubleshooting methods in the order in which they are presented to resolve the issue. These methods are intended for intermediate to advanced users.
Note You must be logged on to Windows with a user account that is a computer administrator to complete these methods. If this is your personal computer, you are likely already logged on with an administrator account. If this is a computer that is part of a network at work, you might have to ask the system administrator for help. To verify that you are logged on to Windows with a user account that is a computer administrator, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Method 1: Restart the computer, and then try to download and install Windows XP SP3 from the Microsoft Download CenterIf a program is running with a locked file, restarting the computer may unlock the file. To try to unlock the file, exit all programs and restart the computer. Then try again to download and install the service pack.
If you originally tried to install Windows XP SP3 through Windows Update and it failed, download the full Windows XP SP3 download package from the Microsoft Download Center. After you download the service pack, try to install it. For more information about how to download Windows XP Service Pack 3, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322389If this method resolved the error message and if you successfully installed Windows XP SP3, you are finished.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389/ )How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack
For more information about restoring the default security settings for Windows XP, , click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313222/ )How do I restore security settings to the default settings?
If this method did not resolve the issue, go to method 2.
Method 2: Restart the computer, and then close or disable any antivirus or antispyware program that may be runningWarning This workaround may make a computer or a network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend this workaround but are providing this information so that you can implement this workaround at your own discretion. Use this workaround at your own risk.
You can reduce the risk of attack by malicious users or malicious software by not visiting other Web sites or downloading files while your antivirus and antispyware program is closed or disabled.
One of the most common causes of installation failure is when a third-party program, such as an antivirus program, holds a file open or locks a file that the service-pack installer needs. To prevent this issue, follow these steps before you install Windows XP SP3:
If this method did not resolve the issue, and if you are comfortable trying advanced troubleshooting steps, go to the "Advanced troubleshooting” section. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting steps, go to the "Next Steps” section.
This section includes an advanced troubleshooting method to try if the steps in the "Resolution” section do not work. This method is intended for advanced users only.
Reset the registry and the file permissionsTo have us reset the registry and file permissions for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you would rather turn on Automatic Updates yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.
Fix it for meTo fix this problem automatically, click the Fix this problem link. Then click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in this wizard.
Fix this problem
Microsoft Fix it 50389
Note This wizard may be in English only; however, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
Note If you are not on the computer that has the problem, you can save the automatic fix to a flash drive or to a CD, and then you can run it on the computer that has the problem.
Let me fix it myselfImportant This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756To reset the registry and file permissions, follow these steps:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/ )How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
If this method did not resolve the issue, go to the "Next Steps” section.
How to determine whether the registry update has failed
Antivirus softwareAn antivirus program is designed to help protect your computer from viruses. You must not download or open files from sources that you do not trust, visit Web sites that you do not trust, or open e-mail attachments when your antivirus program is disabled. For more information about computer viruses, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/129972/ )Computer viruses: description, prevention, and recovery
If these methods did not work for you, you can use the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site to find other solutions to your problem. Some services that the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web sites provide include the following:
Article ID: 949377 - Last Review: July 18, 2013 - Revision: 13.0