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SP2 pack, to install or not.

By Maurice ยท 48 replies
Feb 5, 2005
  1. I thought the Meeting Spot would be the best place to ask members their opinions on the M/Soft SP2 pack.
    Like others, I get the reminder each time on boot-up, but am in two minds whether to install, I'm told that support will cease if I don't, & friends have said that I might have problems because I have XP Home.
    If I did, I would use a disc I have, as on narrowband, apparently a d/load would last around six hours.
    Using the disc, would I have the choice to load only the items I want?, & bearing in mind my nature to be over-cautious, what would be the safest items to load, & which to leave out?
    I know, I know, the old guy is off again, but bear with me, you don't normally let me down.
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Didn't we talk abotu this once before?

    Support isn't going to end for XP home anytime soon I don't think. They normally support their OSes for a long time after they initally came out.

    My opinion on this is that if what you have works then stick with it. SP2 is only going to give you some security enhancements, but those should be covered by other things such as a firewall you might already have installed.
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Banned Topic Starter Posts: 646

    Thanks, ol' friend, knew you'd be first on the scene, & with a sensible view,.....you know me well, don't you?, you've put my mind at rest, your patience with me is better than some others, have a look at my latest postings about AVG, accidently placed on the "Ad-Aware" thread, & see an explosive comment by a certain member.
    Now, I wouldn't expect you to make a comment, I'm not putting you in that position, I wouldn't do that, just have a look please, but only if you want to, of course


    **I have the built-in XP firewall switched on.
  4. DonBel

    DonBel TS Rookie

    SP2 installed

    I had SP@ installed automatically and it did have a few annoying bugs. Everytime Trend-Micro does an update I get a bubble on my screen saying that my anti-virus software is off.

    It's only off because it needs to shut down for a few seconds to install it's updates. Well, duhh!! I of course don't know that and have to call TM tech support to get the answer. There are a few other silly little quirks and some have had serious problems.

    One thing is that SP2 has all of the Bluetooth installation software in it so it handles Bluetooth mice and keyboards much better than the older system. Or so it seems so far.

    Microsoft has a whole division right now devoted to SP2 tech support and it's free. This of course led me to mention SP2 every time I've called them and usually has resulted in free help even though I'm way out of warranty.

    This is also why I'm getting my A+ and Network+ certs so I never, ever, ever have to call them again!!
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Banned Topic Starter Posts: 646

    Yeah, Don, I still think I'll keep away from PS2, the concensus seems split about 50/50.
    Southern Florida huh? I live in England, & had a friend in Tampa, a way back, lived on San Pedro Street, guess that quite a ways from you, isn't Tampa further north?
    By the way, welcome to TS, it's a great site, have you visited the gallery yet?, & have a look at my profile, just click on my name, top right.

  6. DonBel

    DonBel TS Rookie

    A limey, huh?

    My Mom, rip, was a war bride from Torquay, England. Nice little resort fishing village when I saw it in the fifties. Who knows what it's like today.

    Yeah, I don't see why you need the SP2. If you have good anti-virus software it's probably better than SP2's anyway from what I've heard. I'm a TrendMicro fan myself. Norton and McAfee both failed me. TM is still going good after two years--better than the other two.
  7. MYOB

    MYOB TS Rookie Posts: 492

    I wouldn't be so surprised about the UK and Ireland userbase here. One of the site founders is from Ireland, and the UK print media often mention Techspot.
  8. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    Personally if you have a good firewall and good antivirus there really no need for this as all . This is jsut a fix so microsoft can try to make some people happy .I just glad they did not release XP-Reloaded would of been worse than ME .. They need to get LOnghorn out or do something here real soon before more and more people start using linux .

    It will never see the insides of my computer or any computer I own.
  9. jshields13

    jshields13 TS Rookie Posts: 109


    I usually just read the post and keep my opinions to myself, since I'm very far from being an expert, but I thought I'd through in my 2 cents in this instance. I too have XP Home and use Trend Micro Internet Security. I also have a home network through a wireless router. I do not have SP2 and have read too many negative things about it to download it. Since my system has both a hardware and software firewall, I don't think I would gain anything and most probably would be opening myself up to countless problems. Bottom line is that as long as you have a good anitvirus and firewall, you should be fine without SP2.


  10. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    I would perform a full system backup (using drive image, ghost, or something similar) and then install SP2 plus all new updates (there are loads) without delay.

    Research has shown that an unpatched windows box is generally compromised in some fashion within about 24 hours of internet activity.

    I very much disagree with this, and I believe that you are not helping people by saying this. Yes they SHOULD install SP2, whether they have good firewall software and anti-virus or not (which they ALSO SHOULD!)

    Unless you are a security expert, who can prove to us that what you say is correct, I would like to ask you NOT to give this advice out here again.

    I don't mean anything personal to you about this, I am sure you know a lot about computers. But you are wrong on this matter, so please don't give out bad advice here anymore.

    I'd also like to add that I have had NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER with SP2, on the many, many systems I have installed it on.

    If you are having problems, then you either have hardware that is not on the XP hardware compatibility list, or you have crap software installed on your machine that is causing a conflict. Backup all user data, reinstall your OS, and then install SP2 and all other updates BEFORE adding anything else.
  11. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

    I really like 95%+ of the things included in SP2 and would recommend it to everyone - but I'd do as Phant said and create some sort of backup first. I've seen a few horror stories about it, but I've never had any problems with it on any of my personal machines.
  12. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    I've had SP2 since the day it came out, and haven't had a single problem so far. And you can't get all the updates without it. Just got the newest batch of updates that came out the past Tue., and no problems at all.
  13. Maurice

    Maurice Banned Topic Starter Posts: 646

    Wow guys, what a mixed bag of opinions! [​IMG]I expected as such, I'm still making my mind up, you know me, Phantasm66 & olefarte, but thanks to all for your contributions so far.
    Phantasm, while we're on the subject of back-up, the free, d/loaded AVG 7 that I have, has back up to disc, would you give your opinion of this, please?, if you are not familiar with their system, I'll look into it further, & try to describe the way through it, probably you don't need me to do that, but just in case.....

  14. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    There to many horror stories about SP2 out there I seen problems with computers in my shop with this in .THere has been a lot posted on a number of Tech boards all over the net about the problems with this .. Yes you are correct some people do not have any problems and some do .. What I say is this I Have been following this for a long time but the final decision to install anything is up to each user...

    THere is also a pretty long list of applications that do not like SP2 this is another
    story for a nother time

    Like I said it is up to oneself..

    semper fi
  15. patio

    patio TS Guru Posts: 482

    I couldn't agree more Phantasm.
    In my experience almost every client i have that had SP2 problems were because they already had problems BEFORE SP2 was installed.

    Do your homework beforehand, i.e. driver updates etc. and do some basic maintenence as well..run your AV, Spybot, AdAware and scandisk before the install and all will go smooth.

    SP2 isn't all about security either it is an OS upgrade and should be treated as such.

    patio. :cool:
  16. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    And if you are a security expert, and can provide evidence of what you say, nothing will make me happier than to post a retraction on the front page, along with a heartfelt apology.

    Another very good point as well.

    Bottom line is - THERE NOTHING WRONG WITH SP2, OK!!! Is all your crap machines having out of date drivers, dodgy pirated copies of XP (which may indeed, if it was downloaded, be a release candidate or beta), hardware from all over the place, viruses and spyware, crappy shareware, memory that was not tested with your motherboard. Face facts.
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Banned Topic Starter Posts: 646

    Oops!! kinda sorry I started this thread, although it has raised some salient points.
    Attention, jshields & patio, don't forget that Phantasm holds a lot of sway as to what is OK on these forums & what is not, as an "Elite" he can ask admiistrators or whoever, to look at this thread, then they might very well close it, & no more comments would be accepted, & I, for one wouldn't want that.

  18. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    Maurice, I think you will always here more from people who have negative comments, than people that are positive, that's just human nature. I've seen a poll in another forum, where almost 80% gave SP2 a thumbs up. Now I'll admit, that 20% negative is not a minimule number, but you can have problems with any software you install. I could give you a long list of things I've had problems installing, from Photoshop, to games and video drivers, but I can tell you I'm not going to let that stop me from trying to install them.

    And, no offense intended, but without going back and checking, I seem to remember that you have had your share of problems with malware, or am I mistaken. If true, SP2 might be a help in that matter, as you know, there are a lot of bad things roaming around on the net. Again, if I remember right, the main thing you do with your oomputer is surf the net, so you probably don't have that many programs that would have a problem with SP2.

    Just my 2 cents.
  19. Darth_Terra1

    Darth_Terra1 TS Rookie Posts: 212

    I'm with Phantasm66 on this all the way, SP2 is more than just a security update,better .Net support, as well as blue tooth, the fact that only the files you need during updates are downloaded rather than the whole lot like before is a god send especially if you are using dial up like some friends of mine still are and even if you are using broadband, I dont use Internet explorer i still dont fully trust it as a secure browser but SP2 does make it far more secure than SP1, all in all a Essential upgrade for XP.
  20. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    I'd never do that sort of thing because someone came on here and disagreed with me - that's insane. Anyone can come here, make better points than any of us regulars and old timers, and give us a run for our money.

    Threads get closed / deleted when they get hijacked by immaturity.

    These guys - jshields & patio - are entitled to their opinion, and if they really stick to it they can come here and argue their point, believe me I will listen. Patio was actually agreeing with me, and had some excellent points to make.

    Like patio says, there is nothing wrong with SP2. At least, not in 99% of cases. Its people's machines, mostly.
  21. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Well, I haven't used XP SP2 myself, so I can't tell if it's going to be troublesome or not, but here's a small story:

    PC crippled by Windows XP Service Pack 2

    That said, I agree with Olefarte, people who don't have problems usually don't make noise about it either.
  22. Maurice

    Maurice Banned Topic Starter Posts: 646

    I hear you, Phantasm, got it a little twisted, didn't I?, apologies, I just thought that they might carry on in the same vein.
    At least it is a good thread, inasmuch as it is creating a a very lively, healthy discussion, that can't be denied.
    By the way, I see another Darth has crept in! [​IMG]

  23. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    That article is ALL just one person's opinion. Its just what one person thinks.

    Sorry, but that is all just one user's little story, no matter if they write for the Inquirer or not.

    Its not evidence or science. Its just a load of bull.

  24. DonBel

    DonBel TS Rookie

    SP2 comments

    I have to agree with Phantasm66 that incidental testimony isn't proof or even evidence by itself. I read the post and the writer seemed to be a prime candidate for Phantasm's assertion that most issues with SP2 are a result of a poorly managed computer.

    The writer has an almost cavalier attitude toward even basic computer maintenance and security yet chose to blame SP2 for all of his problems. And it doesn't look like his system is completely crippled nor does he mention what measures he took to fix his issues and what was finally found to be the causes.

    Poor science. Poor journalism.

    I imagine, like all new things, SP2 has had a few issues with it's installations. What major new development doesn't have bugs? I know they have a tech support completely devoted to SP2 issues. But, after having gone through a few minor bits of, well, really just newness with the package, I find it no problem whatsoever.

    One point: I'm not sure anyone actually said as much, but it seemed to me that some may think that SP2 provides an anti-virus program. I don't think it does. It does offer better spam and adware protection but not real virus support. Don't get rid of your AV subscription.

    Phantasm66, am I right here?
  25. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    To my mind, you want to take all OS updates, plus have a firewall, plus have up to date anti-virus software. SP2 has features to check if you have anti-virus installed. Microsoft just bought an anti-virus company to take it over and probably will bundle free anti-virus software with longhorn.
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