Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Windows XP SP3, What You Can Expect

Microsoft has announced that on Tuesday April 29th, Service Pack 3 for Windows XP will be available as part of Windows Update and Microsoft Download Center. It’s already available if you know where to look but officially it launches on Tuesday. While you won’t see any major changes to your system, thanks to WinPatol’s “First Detected” feature, I can give you an idea on what’s changed.

If you use any watchdog program like WinPatrol you’ll see some alerts of changes and obviously you should say Yes, and allow the changes during the install of install Service Pack 3.

You’ll find a few “RunOnce” Startup files that Service Pack 3 will execute when you reboot. These files clean up entries in the registry which are used during the update. I also noticed one toolbar extension and four new Services that came from Vista.

Startup RunOnce
cmd.exe /C cscript %systemroot%\Installer\TSClientMsiTrans\tscuinst.vbs
Script to run during a Longhorn Terminal Server client install. First a down-level MSI database transform is applied for any MSI installed Terminal Server client
Second, Script to apply a down-level MSI database transform for a Remote Desktop client installs

cmd.exe /C %systemroot%\Installer\TSClientMsiTrans\tscdsbl.bat

Personally I find it hysterical that the SP3 install depends on batch files and VB scripts which are executed at the command line level. Unfortunately, I have seen some security programs disable VB scripting as a way to protect users. I can’t say what impact this might have on the install.

Startup Notify
[DIMS Notification Handler]
The Digital Identity Management Service Notification Handler runs via Winlogon Notify and will appear in your Windows\System32 folder. This file is used to verify digital certificates and is something you’ll want to leave in place.
Microsoft has more at

IE Helpers
Msmsgs.exe is the executable for MSN Messenger, Microsoft's instant messaging, Internet chat, file sharing and audio/video conferencing. I’m not sure they need to add this back on my system but it’s there if you need it.

[Wired AutoConfig Service]
Previously this was called Windows Vista Wired Networking. Related files on your system may include dot3api.dll, dot3cfg.dll, dot3dlg.dll, dot3gpclnt.dll, dot3gpui.dll, dot3msm.dll, and dot3ui.dll. These files are used by your 802.1x wired network.

[Health Key and Certificate Management Service]
This is also found in Windows Vista. This file is the Microsoft Windows Key Management Service, a new Windows service used in volume-licensed environments to activate machines running Windows Vista or later versions. You'll find more information at

[Extensible Authentication Protocol Service]
You may see it described as "Microsoft EAPHost Service". EAPHost is a Microsoft Windows Networking component that provides an Extensible Authentication Protocol infrastructure for the authentication of "supplicant" protocol implementations such as 802.1X and Point-to-Point (PPP). The EAPHost APIs enable applications to authenticate using the EAPHost service, and provide a template for the development of conformant authentication methods for use with EAPHost.

[Network Access Protection Agent]
Also called the “Quarantine Agent Service Run-Time”. This file is required for Windows 'system health' functionality to provide security and data protection.
See more at

[Windows Service Pack Installer Update Service]
This service just runs once and removes itself. Spupdsvc.exe will appear in your Windows\System or System32 folder. It's the Windows Service Pack Installer update service also described as the Update RunOnce Service. As the name implies, this file should not need to be running all the time. If you've just installed or updated something and the file is in your Active Tasks list, try rebooting.

The descriptions above were found in the WinPatrol PLUS database because they were introduced with Windows Vista. In general, Service Pack 3 looks like it fixes some bugs and includes many of benefits of Vista without the extra baggage.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill P.,
When windows XP SP3 is released as an update should we
wait the usual 7 to 10 days to
make sure there are no problems
with its use?
As you stated if our VB
scripting is disabled the update
may not work. How does the average
user know if VB script is disabled?
How do you fix it? Does Win Patrol
show it as disabled in its program
Are there other signs to
lookout for in this major update?
Thanks for keeping us informed.WP2008 ability to control active X is another powerful tool at our disposal.


12:34 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Good question...
There isn't any reason to rush out and download this update. It doesn't include any real security patches so waiting a couple weeks or more won't hurt.

By then additional failures should be flushed out and solutions available.


9:39 AM  
Blogger Gordon Bennet said...

What about the VB scripting issue? ( It doesn't mean anything to me.)
Amen to comment about new WinPatrol - it just gets better and better and I advise everyone I talk to about computers to install.

3:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill: Thanks for the info about the VB scripting my free Zone Alarm I use 5.5.094 has a feature for disabling VBS in email. I will make sure that is turned off.

Dave if you use ZA you may need to look at that. I use an older version so I am not sure how the new Free version of ZA handles email VBS

6:50 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Just installed SP3. Thanks to your "...What You Can Expect" post and WinPatrol all went well, no Valium required. Thanks Again.

7:23 PM  
Blogger ErinGoBragh said...

Hi Bill, I have been using your program for years and I love it, however the watch dog caught some items with the sp3 that you don't have info on yet. Here is a copy/paste of your site "tscdsbl Not Found" and therefore I have been trying to find out what to do by googling, I can't find a clear answer

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am some one who has taken the leap and is now running happily on SP3. I think it did break an app or two (but they quickly released an update and that's fixed it).

I was aware of SP3 running scripts so had quit winpatrol and spybot resident (memory hog warning!!) and let the install run.

The dog ran hoarse barking after the machine restarted :-D In any case, it looks ok.

3:13 AM  

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