The purpose of RC2 Refresh is to validate improvements to the Windows Update experience with Service Pack 3. Therefore, this beta release will be available only on Windows Update, in English, German and Japanese. Beyond fixes for common Windows Update issues and the inclusion of support for HD Audio, there are no substantial differences between this beta release (build 5508) and XP SP3 RC2 (build 3311).
XP SP3 RC2 Refresh includes all previously released updates for the operating system, similar to earlier service packs. It also includes previously released updates to the latest versions of some system components, as well as functionality that make it easier for enterprises to co-manage both Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista PCs within same corporate environment.
RC2 Refresh - Available via Windows Update Only!
If you want RC2 Refresh, be sure to download and run the 38KB install scriptafter removing previous builds of SP3 RC, RC2 or betas. The script will enable Windows Update to deliver SP3 RC2 Refresh to your PC.
Note that the SP3 full install versions offered are the original RC2 release, not RC2 Refresh.
RC2 Refresh Needs SP2 First
Remember, just in case you're wanting to do a fresh install of XP before installing SP3 RC2 Refresh, make sure you bring any older XP installation up to SP2 level before installing SP3 RC2 Refresh. You can grab a full installer for XP SP2 here, or use Windows Update to bring XP RTM or SP1 to SP2 status.
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