as you know windows xp is nearing the end of it's life cycle, but thousands if not millions of computers still run it. i learned the following the hard way and am telling you this so your life will be easier if you have to reload windows xp.
i had a problem with one of my xp computers and had to completely reload windows. i loaded my disk and then went to the windows update site to get all the updates including the service packs. surprise. you can't access windows update to get the updates. with windows minus the service packs, you cannot get there from here.
it took me a while to figure out what to do. i went to the update site with an up to date, actually windows 7, computer and downloaded all the xp service packs. when you download the service packs you can save rather than run them. i saved them, put them on a disk and moved them to the reloaded machine where i then installed them.
because computers are picky and we never know when we're going to lose the operating system, i suggest you go to the microsoft download site and download the service packs for future use while you can access it....justin case. LOL...
i know some people use other operating systems and may suggest switching. that is fine. this is for people that intend to keep using windows xp or xp pro.