Even though we are living in a day and age of high technology, software manufacturers knowingly continue to release products containing major bugs. It is a pity that this happens but it is also normal practice and reality in the software business. Having said that, a good software company will also try to resolve these bugs by releasing future patches and service packs. So when Microsoft Update informed me that Windows XP SP3 (Service Pack 3) was ready to be downloaded and installed, I was happy to check it out. Unfortunately, the result was a disappointing experience. SP3 actually broke Windows Update and it required some time to troubleshoot and fix.
On a brand new notebook with Windows XP (SP2) installed, I manually ran Microsoft Update to ensure that all the latest files and security patches were up to date. To my surprise, the first recommended update was Windows XP SP3. Installation was painless and only required a few simple clicks. After rebooting the notebook, I installed Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007. That was also uneventful but it sure did not last long.
Microsoft Office 2007 Updates Failed
Shortly after the new install, Microsoft Windows Update informed me that I had a few recommended Microsoft Office 2007 updates. This was where the headache began. Multiple attempts to install the Office 2007 updates failed; even logging into Microsoft’s website to manually install the updates returned the same error message.
This is a popular Microsoft product and surely, someone must had encountered this same issue and documented it online. My search came up with nothing that could help. Not even Microsoft’s website had a resolution.
What is Causing Windows XP Not to Update Office 2007?
After much grief, I was almost ready to give up on the Office 2007 updates. Then it dawned on me that perhaps SP3 was the cause of the Office 2007 failed updates. Could it be? Could Microsoft have actually released a service pack that was supposed to fix bugs but at the same time also introduced a major one into the wild? Yes, they can and they did.
Resolution – Uninstall Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)
Luckily Microsoft developed Windows XP SP3 so that it could be uninstalled. After doing so, all Office 2007 updates installed properly. In fact, after the Office 2007 updates, a queue full of Windows XP security updates began to download and install themselves.
If you are having problems installing Office 2007 or other Windows XP updates, try uninstalling Service Pack 3 (SP3) and see if that also resolves your issue. Since SP3 only includes a few new functionalities and you can still obtain Windows XP security updates from Microsoft without it, I would suggest you skip this service pack until there is a resolution for the Office 2007 update issue. We can only hope Microsoft will find a fix and incorporate it into SP3 so that all XP customers can continue to stay up to date with Office 2007 fixes and security updates.