Information on problems with Windows XP Service Pack 3 when alternative boot screens are installed

Because of the technical limitations of Windows, the use of an alternative boot screen could mean that the Service Pack 3 for Windows XP available via Windows Update cannot be installed. If you have installed an alternative boot screen, you have to undo this change if you want to install Service Pack 3 for Windows XP.

No changes are necessary if you have not yet individualised your boot screen with TuneUp Styler and you still have the original Windows boot screen.


The cause of the Service Pack installation problems does not lie with TuneUp Utilities.

TuneUp Utilities uses an officially documented* function provided by Microsoft in order to be able to display its own boot screens. (A reference to an alternative kernel which contains the individual boot screen is included in the file "boot.ini".) Although Windows officially allows changes at this point, they are detected during the update and unfortunately the installation of the Service Pack is cancelled.

More information on this problem can be found on this Microsoft Page.

You do not need to follow the solution presented there.


It is not necessary to uninstall TuneUp Utilities to remedy the error.

In order to circumvent the problem you need only to restore the default settings. You can do this as follows:

  • Click on the button "Restore Defaults" inside the window that appears before this information is called up, if this option is offered to you.
  • OR

  • Click on "Start" > "Programs" > "TuneUp Utilities" > "Utilities" > "TuneUp Styler" and select the function "Boot Screen". There you will also find the button "Restore Defaults".

  • After installing the Service Pack you can re-install an alternative boot screen at any time.

*Here you can find a description of the officially documented function that TuneUp Styler uses to make it possible to switch the boot screen in the boot.ini file.