When the third service pack for Windows XP went gold, News.com reported that the upgrade process would be a "quick, painless" affair for most users. Not always so, according to InfoWorld, which says SP3 drew "hundreds of complaints" from users within mere hours of its release on Windows Update earlier this week.
Indeed, a quick look at Microsoft’s official Windows XP message group shows a considerable number of threads about numerous problems with SP3. Users claim the update has caused their computer to crash, fail to recognize external drives, enter reboot loops, or stop booting altogether. InfoWorld quotes one user who calls himself "Doug W." as saying, "After three attempts [to install XP SP3] with different configurations each time, System Restore was the only way to get me out of deep s**t."
InfoWorld blames conflicts with already-installed software and drivers for these snags. However, considering Microsoft seems to be pushing SP3 through both Windows Update and Automatic Updates, some of the aforementioned users may not have had a chance to double-check program compatibility before installing.