Most Windows XP users are sailing easily through SP3 updates, but there are always some exceptions. That shouldn't surprise anyone, since Windows XP can be run on an unfathomable number of hardware and software configurations. Fortunately, the XP team in Redmond's been keeping track of what's going wrong. Here's a roundup of what they found out.
Super Six Solutions to "STATUS_PREREQUISITE_FAILED" Error
If you can't install Windows XP SP3 and the service pack installation log (typical location: C:\Windows\svcpack.log) lists an 8007F0F4 - STATUS_PREREQUISITE_FAILED error along with additional information, there are six causes - and, thankfully, six solutions.
1. If your laptop is on battery power, plug it in. You cannot install XP SP3 on a system that is not running on AC power. If you see this message on a desktop system connected to a UPS, check to make sure the UPS is properly switching back to AC power after a power outage. You might also discover that the AC wall outlet the UPS is plugged into has failed or is unreliable.
2. If your computer has the Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP installed, you must uninstall it before installing SP3. The Shared Computer Toolkit was designed to preserve the configuration of a shared computer in lab, school or cybercafe-type environments. Although it's no longer available, it's been replaced by Windows SteadyState.
3. If your computer's running the KB 925877 update (which includes the Multilingual User Interface Pack for Remote Desktop Connection 6.0 [Terminal Services 6.0], you must uninstall it before you can upgrade to SP3. If you can't uninstall it, see this newsgroup thread for help.
4. Windows XP SP3 will not install over the Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (aka WinFLP) operating system, a stripped-down version of Windows XP SP2 made for older systems running Terminal Services or third-party clients. Never heard of it? Unless your company has Microsoft Software Assurance and uses various client apps on older PCs, you'll probably never see it.
5. Windows XP SP3 will not install over the Windows Embedded for Point of Service (aka WEPOS)operating system, another stripped-down version of Windows XP SP2, but optimized for retail POS systems. If you fall into categories 4 or 5, Microsoft promises that there will be a specific version of SP3 for these operating systems made available at a later date.
6. If you have Windows XP Media Center Edition (original version) or Windows XP Media Center Edition 2003, you need to install Windows XP SP2 first before you can install SP3. You can get SP2 via Windows Update, or here.
Get more information about these problems by reading KB 949388.
Other Common Errors and Their Solutions
Some other common errors that can cause installations to grind to a halt or blow up include:
Having other users logged into the system with Fast User Switching. If you play musical chairs with your home or office Windows XP system, declare yourself the winner and log everyone else out before you install SP3.
Not enough disk space. Run Disk Cleanup, empty the Recycle Bin or uninstall some forgotten software to free up at least 1.5GB of disk space for an install from a local drive, or 1.1GB for an install from a network share. Try to free up more than the minimum so there will be space for the uninstall (backup) file archive that the SP3 installer creates from the files it replaces; otherwise, you'll see another "not enough disk space" error later in the process.
Internal error occurred error message. Depending upon the cause (see KB 943384 for details), you might need to reinstall a .dll file from your original media, perform some minor surgery in the Windows Registry, or uninstall an application (Micrografx Picture Publisher 10) temporarily.
For more about these problems, as well as a list of 17 different error messages that indicate your SP3 installation attempt failed (along with their solutions), read KB 950717.