How to remove XP sp3 backup files

Written by jim campbell
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How to remove XP sp3 backup files
Service packs are used to fix computer issues. (computer repair image by UBE from

Each time you install a Windows XP update, the operating system takes a backup of the current system files. These backups are large data files located on your hard drive. They are used to restore the operating system to a previous service pack and allow you to uninstall the new update if system issues arise. After you update to Windows XP Service Pack 3 and the computer runs smoothly, you can delete these backup files on your machine to free up hard drive space.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Double-click the "My Computer" shortcut on your desktop. If you have Windows 7 or Vista, the icon is labelled "Computer." This opens Windows Explorer and it displays all the hard drives and files on the machine.

  2. 2

    Double-click the "C" drive. If Windows is installed on another drive letter, double-click it instead. Double-click "Windows" to open the list of system files and folders on your machine.

  3. 3

    Double-click the folder labelled "$NtServicePackUninstall$." In this folder, a list of service pack backup files is displayed. They are named with the corresponding date of when you installed the service pack. Locate the folder labelled with Service Pack 3 and click it with your mouse.

  4. 4

    Press the "Delete" button to delete the backup files from your hard drive.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use the same steps to delete other service pack backups from your machine.
  • The "$NtServicePackUninstall$" folder is a hidden file. If you are unable to see the file, click the "View" menu item in Explorer, select "Folder Options" and remove the check mark next to the option labelled "Hide system files and folders."

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