Here's more info on the SP3 bug and Microsoft has confirmed that they are working on a "Hotfix".
"HP is working diligently with Microsoft on a software update and will be proactively distributing a patch this week through HP Update that will prevent this error from occurring," the company continued. "HP recommends consumers with AMD-based desktops wait until after HP's or Microsoft's updates have been deployed on their systems to install Service Pack 3." The patch will be posted to this page of HP's support site when it's available.
"Microsoft is also developing a prerequisite fix that must be downloaded before SP3 will automatically install prior to its proactive distribution of SP3," HP statement added.
The Microsoft update that HP referenced is in the works, a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed Thursday. "Microsoft is developing a hotfix for this issue, and will be available after it has been rigorously tested and meets our quality bar for release," she said in an e-mail Thursday afternoon.
Neither HP or Microsoft provided any details on what the Microsoft hotfix would do, but the "prerequisite fix" phrasing likely indicates the patch would be applied to either selective PCs or all XP machines before they are allowed to receive SP3 in the coming weeks when Microsoft flips the switch for automatic downloading and installing via Windows Update.
Microsoft has had to release several similar prerequisite updates or filters this year to prevent some users from obtaining service packs through Windows Update (WU). Last month, for instance, it delayed XP SP3 from reaching WU until it could craft a filter to exclude machines running its retail point-of-sale software. Microsoft also blocked significant numbers of users from receiving Windows Vista SP1 from WU beginning in late March.
PC World - Business Center: HP Confirms XP SP3 Endless Reboot Snafu, Promises Patch