During the Windows XP Service Pack 3 installation a message appears saying “An error occurred while copying file beethov9.wma. Cannot copy file to destination directory click Retry or Cancel”. Clicking the “Retry” button does not work and the message reappears, so I need to abort the installation. I found references on the internet to other people who have the same problem and the resolution involves altering file permissions. However, I am wary of this process and would appreciate your comments and a more detail explanation of this approach. Would it help if I tried to install the update through Windows Safe Mode?
When researching your question I also found that most users who experience the problems have found it to be a file permissions issue, where the Service Pack 3 installer cannot write the beethov9.wma file to a specific location (as an aside, it is somewhat amusing that the entire SP3 installation halts due to a relatively trivial sample music file not copying correctly, as opposed to a critical system file). In any case, installing Service Pack 3 in Safe Mode would not solve the problem, as file permissions are persistent regardless of whatever mode you use to access Windows. Additionally, it is likely that the SP3 installation would not even run in Safe Mode as the relevant supporting services and applications would not be running.
The beethov9.wma file is trying to copy into the All Users profile folder. This folder, as the name implies, can be accessed by all users on the computer. It is used to store data which all users of the computer may need to access. For example, there is a Start Menu folder within All Users and any shortcuts placed in that All Users Start Menu folder will appear in the Start Menu of all users. It seems the most commonly accepted way to resolve this problem is to modify some sharing permissions. In Windows Explorer go to the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents folder or C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents folder (it will be one or the other on your computer). Right-click on the “Shared Documents” or “Documents” folder and select “Properties”. Click on the “Sharing” tab and tick the box “Allow network users to change my files” then click “Apply” and OK to save and close. Retry the installation and hopefully it should no longer stop with that error.
In the event that the previous procedure does not resolve the problem, or sharing is not enabled on that folder and thus you cannot even access the required setting, the issue seems to be related to file permissions instead of sharing permissions. As you are running Windows XP at home (rather than on a corporate network) we need to complete some initial configuration so you can view the required security settings. Open Windows Explorer and go to the “Tools” menu > “Folder Options”. In the window that appears click the “View” tab. Scroll to the bottom of the list of options and then untick the option “Use simple file sharing (recommended)”. Click “Apply” and then OK to save and close. Now, return to the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents folder or C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents folder. Right-click on the “Shared Documents” or “Documents” folder and select “Properties”. Click on the “Security” tab. In the “Groups or user names” box you should see a list of all groups and users with permissions to this folder. If “Administrators” is listed in that box select that entry and ensure “Full control” is ticked. However, if “Administrators” is not listed in that box, click the “Add” button. Type “Administrators” then click “Check Names”. You should notice the name changes to \Administrators and is underlined. Click OK. Then select the “Administrators” entry and tick “Full control”. Click “Apply” and then OK. Now try completing the installation of SP3 and all should work.