staving off XP SP3 (or any automatic update)

 

1.refuse it when it installs if you get the choice.

2.change your automatic update settings.

start|control panel|security center|Manage Security Settings for: Automatic updates| click Notify me but don't automatically download or install them.
click OK.
close the windows you opened (red X in upper right corner)

3.when the update comes, opt out permamently

  1. double-click on the little yellow shield in the system tray.
    yellow shield
  2. choose "custom install" and click OK or whatever to continue on. It then shows you what updates it plans to install with checkboxes next to them.
    choose custom install
  3. uncheck the ones you don't want: Uncheck XP Service Pack 3 (it has a long name). click OK.
    uncheck checkbox
    (note: I was unable to get an exact shot of this dialog, since I took care of it on all our machines already)
  4. you will get a dialog box asking you if you don't want to be bothered about this update again. check the checkbox saying you don't want to be bothered again about this update & click OK.

You are done.

By the way, with SP3, you are better off downloading the cd ISO file from microsoft and installing it from that than waiting a week for BITS to finish dribbling the data down the wire its own slow computer-consuming way. it's huge.

You should know that much of the software for XP circa 2011 requires SP3.