Installing Windows XP SP3 (on the Eee PC)

Hurray! Windows XP SP3 is here! Now, how do we install it on the Eee PC?

The Eee PC is a special case. With only 4 GB of storage, it’s a tight squeeze to fit the installer on there.

For starters, I would suggest doing a clean install. While normally not necessary, we need as much free space as possible. I would also suggest removing needless apps (uninstalling MSN Explorer, etc). Do not install anything that can be put on later, like IE7 or WMP11, until after installing XP SP3.

Once you have a clean install, download the full XP SP3 installer. I can’t post a link yet, but I will update this post as soon as Microsoft posts it for public consumption. This is a primer post so that you can restore your system and be ready.

Update: Grab XP SP3 from right here.

Now, copy the installer to a USB 2.0 flash drive. I would not suggest using an SD card as from my experience it’s much slower to extract the files.

Here’s the problem. Even on a clean install… there isn’t enough free space for the full installer to extract and then run fully. You will need to extract the files to the USB 2.0 drive, and run the SP3 installer from the flash drive. To do this, download and install WinRAR. After installing WinRAR, right-click the installer and chose Extract Files to… which will result in a folder being made with the install files extracted (on the flash drive itself).

Now, run the XP SP3 installer (the file is update.exe, it’s located in the resulting update folder). It will take awhile. I suggest Wendy’s baked potato and a large chili to pass the time.

When it’s done, your computer will ask to reboot (let it), and you may be prompted to enable automatic updates (I suggest not doing it since it will slow down the Eee’s limited CPU, run Windows/Microsoft Update yourself).

Finally, go to C:Windows and delete the Service Pack uninstall files (you’ll have to show invisible files, it will be the folder in blue text with a $ in front of it). That will recover a good 500 MB in space that is only needed to uninstall XP SP3 (which you won’t want to do, if you want to go back to SP2 for some reason… a full restore from the CD is the way to go).

Enjoy the final major release of Windows XP! Now might be a good time to start burying your Vista gripes…

5 Responses

  1. Christopher Price
    Christopher Price April 24, 2008 at 1:09 am |
  2. A Windows XP Primer for the Eee PC |
  3. JD
    JD July 21, 2008 at 4:06 am |

    Run the installer from command line with the option /nobackup that will save you a few GB

  4. CM
    CM July 30, 2009 at 7:03 am |

    I installed it but i want it back on linux, is this possible?

  5. Christopher Price
    Christopher Price August 1, 2009 at 10:01 pm |

    You can reinstall Linux, the version that comes with the Eee PC is available as an iso disk image from

    You can also install other versions of Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc) easily. I suggest Ubunutu Netbook Remix, since you’re wiping the drive anyways.

    You will need a USB flash drive or USB CD/DVD-ROM drive to reinstall Linux however.


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