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TECH TIP – Windows XP Service Pack 2 Install

October 30, 2004

 

I have written several Tech Tips and referring to Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).
(See Tech Tip About Windows XP Service Pack 2 )
If you use Windows XP, you will be interested in this.  

 

SP2 came out in August and although it is a very important update with many security patches, it was strongly suggested by some of the experts to wait for a few months before you install it to be sure the bugs have been worked out.

 

Well, it’s been a few months and most of the bugs have been worked out – but there are still some concerns for XP users.  Some programs seem to stop working after you install SP2.  I looked at the list of these programs, and, fortunately, it looks like they are mostly programs that the average computer user does not use.  You can look at the list here;

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/842242

 

However, there are still many people who installed SP2 and have had nothing but problems.  The website below talks about the problems encountered with SP2 and a very extensive “Reader Comments” section.  You may want to read some of those comments

http://www.winnetmag.com/Windows/Article/ArticleID/43798/Windows_43798.html

 

If you decide to install SP2 after reading and researching about it, here are some considerations:

 

  • You need 500 MB of free hard drive space (most computers should have at least that.
  • Defrag your hard drive before you install SP2.
  • Remove spyware from your computer by running Ad-aware and Spybot Search and Destroy (both are free programs available at the links below:
    http://www.lavasoftusa.com/ (Ad-aware)
    http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html (Spybot)
  • Uninstall your antivirus software and firewall software.  SP2 has big-time problems with older versions of this software.  There is a good possibility that your computer will not start if you are using older versions of these programs. After installing SP2, reinstall your software with new versions, if possible.
  • Check the website of the manufacturer of your computer.  Read the information on their webpage about installing SP2.  It may be that you need to update your BIOS before installing.
  • Back up your data. Of course, you should also have original copies and serial numbers of all the software installed on your computer.
  • Visit the Windows Update website.  Click on the Express Install link to see a list of High Priorities that you need to install before you install SP2.  This step will greatly maximize your chances a having a good install.

When all these steps are done, you can finally click on the install button for Service Pack 2 at the Windows Update website.  If all goes well, you have a great update to your operating system.

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