Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Windows XP SP2 Official Download link

If you want to get your hands on Windows XP SP2 then you can try this download link – it looks like an official one from and seems to work from me. You’ll be downloading the full 272MB network installation, which will install on any legitimate copy of XP.

If the link doesn’t work, go to this BetaNews page which was where I got the link from.


  1. As another idea. If you add ‘’ to the beginning of the link you download from the offical mirror via a P2P network. This way you aren’t sucking up all of the bandwidth of M$. So you link above becomes This: “ 1/6/5/165b076b-aaa9-443d-84f0-73cf11fdcdf8/WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe”

    • I’m pretty sure they’ve got plenty of bandwidth. If they didn’t, I’d be worried.

    • I agree with Steve on the bandwidth statement. However, MS has been known to slow down pretty bad when lots of people download large files.
      I downloaded it earlier from the offical link, and it came it at full bandwidth speed, so I think they are handling it so far.
      I would question getting the download from P2P networks. I would certainly run the MD5/CRC checks after downloading to make sure that the file is clean.

    • Well with the FreeCache option you don’t have to worry about virus/malware issues. Go to to read more about it.
      It’s a great system.

  2. Why not just wait til Windows Update gets a copy of it? Sysadmins shouldn’t be mass installing yet, home uses should be waiting until there is an official release. None of our providers have made strong suggestions to install it, and we certainly won’t be rolling it out fully for a while yet.

    • Well, if you are a home user that has 5 computers to update, then getting the IT version is the way to go.
      SysAdmins will be mass installing if they have already been through the beta program. If a company is subscribed to either MSDN or the other subscription that gets you the later OS’s (I can’t remember what it’s called now), then they have been testing the beta and know it’s OK or not OK to use.
      Our company is just now testing SP2 even though we have had it for a while. We just haven’t had the time to evaluate it yet.

  3. It’s been mentioned in a few places that the link Neil posted might be an old RC version. The official official full version is here, supposedly. This is the Really Quite Large(tm) file for all versions of Windows XP, and I believe I’ve heard it also includes all previous security updates for XP Pro and Home (possibly other versions too.)

    • You think 270MB’s “Really Quite Large”? I take it you don’t download game demo’s/patches? I have seen some demo’s that are well over 800MB’s.
      No one is forcing anyone to go download SP2. It’s just there if you want to jump the gun and install it now instead of waiting for MS to let your machine know it’s time.

    • notnamed: I think you’ll find that if you actually compared the link I posted with the link you posted you would actually get the same file. It is the final version not an old RC.
      Service Packs always include all previous fixes – you can apply SP2 to a computer with a fresh copy of XP with no patches applied and it will bring it up to date.

  4. >>You think 270MB’s “Really Quite Large”?

    • notnamed: So let’s see, you have SP2-RC2, so you must have downloaded that at some point, and I doubt that was a small file. So what is the problem?
      I would have thought it was well known that SP’s always have all previous updates in them. SP2 also has all the updates that make up SP1. After Windows NT, MS finally got their act together and made sure that when you install an OS from scratch, you only need to install the latest SP and patches that were published after the latest SP.
      Now that you have the update available for download from Windows Update, I would suspect that your update time would be pretty short considering that you have SP2-RC2. There were probably not that many changes from RC2 to the final version.

  5. I tried it on my Dell 4300 with Windows XP PRO last night and immediately had problems – lost internet connectivity via my ethernet connection to Comcast cable box (with or without D-Link wirless router in line). Turned off XP firewall (SP2 did not recognize my Systems Suite 5 firewall or virus protection) – this still did not help with connectivity. At same time my wireless-enabled laptop which I had also put SP2 on had no problem getting to the internet via my wireless router – but, when I hooked it to the same ethernet line as my Dell I got the same connectivity problems. Used add/remove programs to get rid of SP2 on Dell, and upon bootup internet connectivity was instantly restored. Specific problem not discussed to date on Microsoft web dealing with SP2 problems.

  6. i have Automatic Updates on, but SP2 refuses to come down. there’s an icon in the taskbar to the lower right that continuously reports “Downloading Updates 0%”. it never changes and nothing happens when the appointed time arrives. any ideas? machine has been restarted after resetting AU. thanks.

    • To Steve K : don’t bother with automatic updates,
      just go to:
      this will (in IE only) redirect you to an SP2 page.
      I did the “custom install” option, and it worked beautifully. Install took *ages* but worked without a single glitch. After the reboot, the security panel even killed XP’s firewall in favour of Zonealarm for me, and recognised AVG. I’m impressed.

  7. I installed sp2 on my computer and everything is fine EXCEPT when I download a file or a program .
    I no longer get a dialog box asking me where to download the file to. I have to search my temporary internet files to find it . Any suggestions will be helpful.

  8. The WindowsXP SP2 download was available for me through my automatic update setup. After downloading and installing it, my computer would not boot except in safe mode. I was able to get to Restore to previous point and rolled back to an earlier date.
    Thinking I had perhaps gotten a corrupted copy, I used a copy from a CD that had worked beautifully on another computer and again the same thing happened.
    I am now afraid to try again after having the problem repeat itself. Anyone else have this problem and do you know the solution? TIA

  9. I installed Windows XP SP2 and could not reboot, not even in safe-mode. Only solution was to restore.
    Spent 1 hour waiting to talk to Microsoft technician and another 30 minutes going through the problem. Advice was to Restore then try again with Anti-virus disabled.
    Ever the optimist, I tried again today with my anti-virus disabled. Same thing, would not reboot and was advised to Restore again.
    Am planning to say no to automatic updates and find a way to survive without SP2.

  10. SteveK and John: I also had the downloading 0% and my system showed only SP1 installed. It had started to download some of it, but stopped. rebooted, etc. np. John, your suggestion worked great. Now let’s see if I have any of the other problems listed here.

  11. As with all software from MS, it is best to wait until the “early adopters” have downloaded it, messed with it, broken it, gotten broken by it, sworn at it, cused at it, and then finally MS gets the bugs out of it. This is usually the time that MS ships it to their Action Pack Subscribers in mid-October 2004. By then, MS has gotten the biggies solved and rephased and the fury dies down and we all move on. 😉 Just some advice from an old salt that’s been around the MS / PC world since they were invented (pre-1976).
    “Life is too short to upgrade immediately.”

  12. Upgraded to XP SP2 and worked fine. Then upgraded ActiveSync 3.7.0 to 3.7.1. The XP would then only boot into Safe Mode! Nothing fixed the problem (tried restore, roll back, uninstall). I got it working again after manually copying some USB related files from a pre-SP2 computer to the SP2 computer. In particular, the files were: c:\windows\system32\drivers\usbhub.sys, c:\windows\system32\drivers\usbport.sys, c:\windows\system32\drivers\usbohci.sys, and c:\windows\system32\usbui.dll files. Those files showed up in the “Driver Details” of the USB controller (your computer might use different driver files); I don’t know if replacing a subset of the 4 files would have fixed the problem. The XP SP2 computer is now working fine.

  13. I installed the sp2 ,or I should say I tried to install it and now I’m having a nightmare with it. Not only did it freeze and shut down my computer,it would start and stop and not turn on, but after several hours on the phone with 2 different microsoft help desk agents and trying all kinds of fixes it is starting but I have all kinds of problems. I keep getting virus detection messages for the same virus over and over again saying they were detected and cleaned but they keep coming back.I never had them before the SP2 download. I ran virus scans and it picks up nothing, but these virus messages keep coming up. Now Microsoft is trying to pass the buck and blame McAfee for the problem. There is no way it has anything to do with them! Any help would be so greatly appreciated as Microsoft,in my opinion, so far has been useless.

    • Alan..Re your Yirus problem
      The same thing happened to me when I renamed a
      .exe file (program file). No problem after I went back to the original name.
      Hope this helps.

  14. after i installed sp2, some progs i tried to intsall keep showing a warning saying AUTOEXEC.NT cannot be found. can anyone help???? Says something about ms-dos subsystem also.

  15. I downloaded the big SP2 to my laptop at Panera Bread on their WiFi. It took 33min. They were closed and I sat outside at one of their tables. Now I have it a CD.