I have a E510 which is the same computer. I had no problems with Winxp sp3, it went smooth.
Hope this helps.
SP3 behaves much better than the previous service packs did, but nobody can guarantee it 100%. If you do run into trouble, odds are very high someone's run into it before and can help.
A couple things that will help the odds a bit:
1) Use the downloadable stand-alone update package instead of Windows Update. Don't worry about it saying "only for network" - it still works fine for one PC (and MS's own articles recommend it if Windows Update acts up).
2) Make sure any background software is turned off before you install it - real-time antivirus software, any monitoring or update programs (like Dell Support Center or the like), things like instant messaging, etc.
Long-time member Joe53 compiled a nice list of guides from MS and elsewhere (hopefully the links still work - haven't checked them all):
Something to be aware of - if you're using this PC on the internet, likely you haven't had any security or other updates at all for a long time (MS stopped supporting SP2 over a year ago). Hopefully you haven't had any security issues, but after installing SP3, you will likely have a TON of updates left to do.
Just a comment or two that might be useful: First, be patient. I installed Service Pack 3 onto three computers, two that were already up and running, one that needed a fresh installation of Windows XP. The two computers that were already running Windows XP SP-2 required nearly two hours for the installation using the downloaded version of the update package for Network Managers. I suspect that this was because I was running Norton Anti-Virus which insists on inspecting every file before it is extracted and installed. I had disabled the auto-protect prior to beginning execution, but I didn't set it for a long enough period. By the time the installation finally completed I was beginning to wonder if something was wrong.
The computer that required a fresh installation was just about an hour as I was able to apply the Service Pack 3 update to a new installation of Windows XP SP-2 and had no anti-virus installed at that point.
Dell Forum member since 2005
Thank you very much for your response. The issue of updates post SP3 had not occured to me. Thankfully I haven't had any security issues, but I agree, I'm probably in for one hell of a long session downloading updates. I think I'll leave this whole thing until the weekend. Thanks again.
Thanks for your response. I'll have a go this weekend. If I come back into the forum screaming for help then it probably didn't work!
Thanks, I'm setting aside as much of the weekend as my computer needs so hopefully it will all go well, it'll just take a while.