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This article discusses the new service pack removal functionality that is included with Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4). This functionality permits you to remove SP4 by using the Windows Recovery Console.
If you click the Archive Files option in the Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 Setup Wizard during Windows 2000 SP4 installation, the following files are created in the C:\WINNT\$NtServicePackUninstall$\Spuninst folder (where C is the drive that Windows is installed on, and where WINNT is the folder that Windows is installed to):
Note The $NtServicePackUninstall$ folder is a hidden folder. To view hidden folders, follow these steps:
Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Folder Options.
Click the View tab, click Show hidden files and folders, and then click OK.
If you remove SP4 by using the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel, the Spuninst.exe file runs. However, if you cannot start Windows, you can remove SP4 by running Spuninst.bat from the Windows Recovery Console. To do this, follow these steps.
Important The removal of SP4 from the Recovery Console is intended for emergency use only, such as after an unsuccessful SP4 installation where Windows no longer starts. For the standard removal of SP4 in Windows, use the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel.
Start Windows by using the Recovery Console. To do this:
Start your computer with the Windows Setup floppy disks or with the Windows CD-ROM.
At the "Welcome to Setup" screen, press R to repair a Windows installation.
Press C to start the Windows Recovery Console. Type the number for the Windows installation that you want to repair, and then press ENTER.
Type the administrator password, and then press ENTER.
Note If you do not have an administrator password, just press ENTER.
Switch to the $NTServicePackUninstall$\Spuninst folder. To do this, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
Note If you archived the service pack uninstall files to a different location during SP4 Setup, navigate to that folder location.
Run the Spuninst.bat batch file. To do this, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
When the Spuninst.bat batch file has successfully completed running, type exit, and then press ENTER to restart Windows.
Note The Spuninst.bat file only copies the archived Windows files back to their original locations. You must complete the removal of the service pack by using the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel. This restores the Windows registry settings that may have been changed by the service pack installation.
Log on to Windows.
Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add/Remove Programs.
In the Currently installed programs list, click Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, and then click Change/Remove.
Follow the steps in the Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 Removal Wizard to completely remove the service pack.
Restart the computer when you are prompted to do so.
To make sure that a user does not inadvertently run the Spuninst.bat file in Windows, rename Spuninst.bat as Spuninst.txt. To do this, follow these steps:
Start Windows Explorer. To do this, right-click Start, and then click Explore.
On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
Click the View tab, click Show hidden files and folders, click to clear the Hide file extensions for known file types check box, and then click OK.