Ok i have an old laptop from a friend with only SP1. It was riddled with spyware and viruses but i managed to get rid of them (i think)

anyway, when i try to install SP2 it goes through all the backing up the files, registry etc and creates a restore point and then begins installing. It manages to do all of the install but at the end it says "Access is denied" and has to roll back

Cant. She threw away the recovery disks

jb, check the Svcpack.log file for error messages. Goggle em.

I did as instructed on the MS site (enable logging then change the reg keys) but t isnt working and half of the stuff ms recommend wont work (because it uses local security policy which xp home doesnt have!)

Inside the Setupapi.log you could do a word search for "access is denied", track down every instance. But as M$ says ud have to retry the installation with verbose logging enabled to get those reg references logged....Then if you find a reference to a key" hive?......\"vnd.ms.radio" go into registry and delete it everywhere it occurs.
Actually, I'd just try that key deletion straight off - find vnd.ms.radio.... M$ radio? what is that? And if you still get the access denied msg on the next attempt.. go into the setup.api log with word find .. you did set verbose for logging this time, didn you? to track down the next key that's blocking you.
To delete some keys you may have to change their permissions. Btw, that key does not exist in my SP2 registry..?!

Isnt the MS radio that stupid toolbar for IE5?

I deleted the radio one aned changed the ones MS said to change to be owned by "Admin and "System"

Im trying it again now lol i loved the error message before:

"SP2 could not be installed - Your system may not function now"

It failed again. Wait a sec and ill post the logs. Im gonna see if it will help to install in safe mode.

Format and reload ,If you have a legit full copy of xp home and laptop has xp home key ,format and use your xp cd and laptops key .

Cant. I have a valid key but my only other XP disk is a dell SP2 OEM one (pre-activated and SP2 means i cant do a repair)

Im currently reinstalling SP1 in safe mode (seems to be working) then ill try it for SP2

Yay, SP1 managed to reinstall in safe mode. Im gonna try SP2 now...

Yay, SP1 managed to reinstall in safe mode. SP2 is currently being installed the same way. Its nearly done and hasnt crashed yet so well see

Yay Sp2 Installed!!!!!!!!!!!!

actually i was going to suggest safemode at first post ,just wasn't sure it would install ,LOL,

Yeah, it wont install usually in safemode but if you get the version of the SP for "IT Professionals" for deploying across a network to many machines (over 300mb) then you can install it without using windows update or regular mode

right now m getting the hundreds of updates

jb, I'm just going to file that one away... nice that it does work in safe mode. I'm going to assume you used the Admin ac., so I guess that has full control of M$'s dodgy reg keys, if that is the problem....

Yeah i used the hidden admin account for that reason.

yeah it seems to be working now but i think the spyware caused some registry corruption as there is a few wierd bugs :(