What is a Service Pack?
A service pack (often abbreviated as SP) is a collection of updates, fixes and enhancements to a software application or operating system — such as Microsoft Office or Microsoft Windows — that can be installed at once. This makes the process easier and usually more reliable than installing a series of individual update patches, especially when you have to update more than one PC.
Service packs are usually numbered and will normally have to be installed in order, e.g. install SP1 before SP2; these are called incremental service packs, or sometimes service releases (SR). Often service packs are cumulative meaning that they also contain the contents of its predecessors, e.g. SP2 will include files from both SP1 and SP2.
Microsoft Office 2003 SP archive
Here are the service packs for Office 2003, certainly the applications that I use. The files can be downloaded directly from Microsoft (without requiring a Genuine Microsoft Software validation test).
Where offered, I recommend downloading the full file rather than the client which requires the original CD-ROM to be inserted; I find the full file is quicker to install.
Microsoft Office 2003
- Office 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) (72.2 MB)
- Office 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) (101.8 MB)
- Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3) (117.7 MB)
- OneNote 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) (19.2 MB)
- OneNote 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) (30.8 MB)
- OneNote 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3) (35.4 MB)
- Project 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) (25.4 MB)
- Project 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) (35.0 MB)
- Project 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3) (40.7 MB)
- Visio 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) (22.0 MB)
- Visio 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) (34.4 MB)
- Visio 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3) (48.4 MB)
Other Office 2003 Service Packs can be found by searching the Microsoft Download Center (sic).
Download and backup
My advice is to download the files (broadband is highly recommended!) and then backup the files to CD-ROM or DVD so that you have then to hand the next time you need to reinstall Office 2003.
I ran the installation files in sequence by application, starting with the Office 2003 service packs and then moving on to the other individual applications.
The installer informed me which service packs had already been installed; in my case I had SP1 and SP2 already installed for each of these applications.
Office 2003 SP3 required a reboot after installation, the other updates didn’t.