Earlier, I blogged about a site that has Windows XP Sp3 information.

On that site is an “unauthorized preview” of SP3.

From a Network World article, Mike Brannigan at Microsoft blasted it on a newsgroup (forum link here) saying:

“You would be well advised to stay clear of this FAKE SP3 package. It is NOT suitable for testing as it is NOT SP3.

If is just a collection of hotfixes and other updates we have released.  It will not update your Windows XP system to SP3 It also contains a number of private ” hotfixes that are usually only issued  to users with a specific identifiable problem.  The hotfixes are not as rigorously tested at public released ones this is why we ask you to call PSS to get them  so we can track you and provide further assistance such as new versions of the fixes etc as they become available.  Just installing all the “privates” on your PC may make you machine LESS stable and will also put you out of support from Microsoft or an OEM as you are installing incorrectly issued private hotfixes.

Frankly this “package” should be avoid and you should continue to use Windows Update and the download site to get the most up-to-date and correctly issued Microsoft fixes and patches.Anyone who installs this thinking they are getting SP3 (even as a preview) is being grossly mislead and is posing a significant potentially non recoverable risk to their PC and data.”

This SP3 pack game from the site I earlier mentioned, TheHotFix.net.  In Network World’s article, a post on The Hotfix says this:

“Our pack is indeed a preview to what the official service pack will be, as these hotfixes will be in Service Pack 3 as proven by Microsoft’s own knowledge base,” according to a post by Allen on TheHotfix.net. “Each of these hotfixes can be obtained for free from Microsoft by calling their support lines.”

However, there is also this:

Allen also wrote that while there is a possibility the SP3 on his site will make a user’s machine less stable, it is not the fault of The Hotfix, because the software came from Microsoft, not the site itself.

Allen put together the preview of SP3 from software updates he received from an internal Microsoft source.[My emphasis] In an interview Wednesday, Allen said that Microsoft has not contacted him directly about the hotfixes he has posted, but his Microsoft source told him the company was conducting an internal investigation to find out who was leaking the hotfixes to his site.

What would I do?  Stay the heck away from it, and wait until the official SP3 comes out. 

Read the Network World article here (via Donna).

Alex Eckelberry