How to create a Windows XP Service Pack 3 disk (XP SP3 CD)

Want to create an XP SP3 disk? If you have every had to wipe a hard drive and reinstall Windows XP you will know how long your PC takes downloading and installing all the updates to the operating system. The downloads seem to take forever and the problem is multiplied if you have several computers to deal with.

One way of reducing the pain is to create a Windows XP Service Pack 3 disk, containing all of the SP1, SP2 and SP3 updates rolled into one.  You can download a .iso file of SP3 from the Microsoft website here and simply burn it to a blank CD. ISO files are a bit like .zip files but contain the entire contents of a CD or DVD. Providing you have a CD or DVD-R/W drive and suitable burning software it is very easy to do. Here is a simple three step guide:

  1. Download the .iso file from It is around 350Mb so will take a while.
  2. Start your CD/DVD burning software (Nero Burning ROM is ideal and comes bundled with many drives) and open the .iso file.
  3. Pop in a blank CD and click the ‘Burn’ button.

If you don’t already have suitable software you can download free and open source .iso burning software from a number of places. ISOrecorder is free for personal use and can be downloaded from here.