SP2- To install or not to install, that is the question

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

I have been putting off installing SP2 on my machine, and now I need to make
a decision, to install or not? From the threads on this group, I am leaning
toward NOT.

If I have adware/spyware software, and norton anti-virus and have kept my
machine up to date with all the MS updates, and a install a firewall can I
live without SP2 until they distribute a more stable fix?

I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke why fix it?
PS please recommend a good firewall app.
16 answers Last reply
More about install install question
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    The installation of Service Pack 2 is not required. At least, not yet!
    There is no reason to install it if you are protecting your system with a
    firewall, anti-virus and malware applications. I use Zone Alarm Pro as my
    firewall and it has worked without issues for quite some time. Service Pack
    2 is a major upgrade (?) to the Windows XP operating system. As such it
    makes many changes to the core code of Windows XP. Sometimes these changes
    can cause problems. There are steps that need to be taken to prepare your
    system for the installation of SP2. These can be found on the Windows
    Update website.

    I have not installed SP2 and my system is running just fine. No adware,
    spyware, worms, Trojans, popups or viruses have made their way onto my hard
    drive in a long, long time. If you don't want to install SP2, don't. At
    some point in the future, the installation of SP2 will be a requirement to
    download and install further updates and patches.

    "Undecided in DC" <Undecided in DC@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
    message news:AA8641D8-90A8-48AD-A3A2-D5E8984271FE@microsoft.com...
    > I have been putting off installing SP2 on my machine, and now I need to
    make
    > a decision, to install or not? From the threads on this group, I am
    leaning
    > toward NOT.
    >
    > If I have adware/spyware software, and norton anti-virus and have kept my
    > machine up to date with all the MS updates, and a install a firewall can I
    > live without SP2 until they distribute a more stable fix?
    >
    > I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke why fix it?
    > PS please recommend a good firewall app.
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    There is nothing unstable about SP2. Millions have installed it without a
    problem. I have installed it on 6 machines with no problems.

    It is not a "fix." It is a substantial rewrite of the OS that implements a
    number of security strategies that go far beyond what patches and programs
    can do.

    As for firewalls, I recommend Zone Alarm.

    --
    Colin Barnhorst [MVP Windows - Virtual Machine]
    "Undecided in DC" <Undecided in DC@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
    message news:AA8641D8-90A8-48AD-A3A2-D5E8984271FE@microsoft.com...
    >I have been putting off installing SP2 on my machine, and now I need to
    >make
    > a decision, to install or not? From the threads on this group, I am
    > leaning
    > toward NOT.
    >
    > If I have adware/spyware software, and norton anti-virus and have kept my
    > machine up to date with all the MS updates, and a install a firewall can I
    > live without SP2 until they distribute a more stable fix?
    >
    > I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke why fix it?
    > PS please recommend a good firewall app.
    >
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    In news:AA8641D8-90A8-48AD-A3A2-D5E8984271FE@microsoft.com,
    Undecided in DC <Undecided in DC@discussions.microsoft.com>
    typed:

    >I have been putting off installing SP2 on my machine, and now I
    >need
    > to make a decision, to install or not? From the threads on this
    > group, I am leaning toward NOT.


    Your choice of course, but I think you're making a poor decision.


    > If I have adware/spyware software, and norton anti-virus and
    > have
    > kept my machine up to date with all the MS updates, and a
    > install a
    > firewall can I live without SP2 until they distribute a more
    > stable
    > fix?


    It already is very stable (although, like anything else, not
    perfect). Realize two things:

    1. If you're reading about problems in the newsgroups, this where
    people come with their problems, not with their successes. You
    get a very distorted view of what's going on in the real world
    here; as someone once said, "hang around a transmission shop and
    you will think that all cars have transmission problems."

    2. Most problems, by far, that people report--whether or not they
    are SP2-related--have nothing to do with defects in the software.
    They result from people's ignorance, from bad or inadequate
    hardware, from old drivers, from viruses, from spyware
    (*especially* from spyware; installing it on a spyware-laden
    machine is a presciption for disaster), and so on. And except for
    very rare situations, they always get a fix for their problems,
    and in most cases, that fix is a very simple
    one to implement.

    I've personally installed SP2 on several machines and I know many
    others who have installed lots more. In the all the installations
    I've been part of or know about, I know of a single failure, and
    that was on a spyware-laden machine. Even there, uninstalling it
    fixed the problem easily.

    Can you live without it? Probably. But over and about it's
    highly-touted new features, there are lots of fixes and new
    improved code in SP2, and most people should have it. See "List
    of fixes included in Windows XP Service Pack 2"
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;811113&Product=windowsxpsp2


    > I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke
    > why fix
    > it?


    I think that "if ain't broke why fix it?" is a usually a very
    prudent and good point of view. But not here. When dealing with
    something like SP2, it's a very *imprudent* point of view. This
    is a security-oriented release. It's not primarily designed to
    fix things that may be broken now, but to protect you against
    problems in the future. There are some small risks in installing
    it, but the risks of running without it are far greater.


    > PS please recommend a good firewall app.


    I'm happy with the free version of Zone Alarm.

    --
    Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
    Please reply to the newsgroup
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Salut/Hi Ken Blake,

    le/on Sun, 23 Jan 2005 17:58:15 -0700, tu disais/you said:-


    >> I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke
    >> why fix it?

    >I think that "if ain't broke why fix it?" is a usually a very
    >prudent and good point of view.

    I don't. Certainly on anything mechanical, preventive maintenance is
    crucial. Sorry Ken, but my brother in law lived on a boat. His guiding
    principle was "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". So whenever we had a storm,
    all the things that were holding on by their fingernails would break because
    they were stressed to the limit. Sheet lines broke, mast stays broke, etc
    and so forth. And always just at the moment when it was crucial that they
    worked ad always at a time when it was horribly difficult to replace/repair
    them. A simple inspection and replacement of worn stuff BEFORE they broke
    would have prevented a great many near catastrophes.

    Even on computer systems, I suggest that a similar methodology should
    prevail. My main problem is to work out what to do and how to do it! Should
    one regularly uninstall a program, (saving data and settings first, of
    course) and re-install it (possibly upgrading/dating at the same time)?
    Should it be windows that we do that to? How about defragging disks? What
    intervals....

    >I'm happy with the free version of Zone Alarm.

    I have some issues with it, but on the whole I agree.

    --
    All the Best
    Ian Hoare
    http://www.souvigne.com
    mailbox full to avoid spam. try me at website
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Why wait? I installed it as upon release and persuaded several others
    to do the same. None had significant problems other than the short learning
    curve. Read all the problems in this and other forums and you will soon be
    persuaded the world has come to an end. The ones not represented are a huge
    bunch who have installed SP2 and marched forward to other things.
    Gene K
    "Undecided in DC" <Undecided in DC@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
    message news:AA8641D8-90A8-48AD-A3A2-D5E8984271FE@microsoft.com...
    >I have been putting off installing SP2 on my machine, and now I need to
    >make
    > a decision, to install or not? From the threads on this group, I am
    > leaning
    > toward NOT.
    >
    > If I have adware/spyware software, and norton anti-virus and have kept my
    > machine up to date with all the MS updates, and a install a firewall can I
    > live without SP2 until they distribute a more stable fix?
    >
    > I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke why fix it?
    > PS please recommend a good firewall app.
    >
    >
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Undecided in DC wrote:
    > I have been putting off installing SP2 on my machine, and now I need to make
    > a decision, to install or not? From the threads on this group, I am leaning
    > toward NOT.
    >
    > If I have adware/spyware software, and norton anti-virus and have kept my
    > machine up to date with all the MS updates, and a install a firewall can I
    > live without SP2 until they distribute a more stable fix?
    >
    > I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke why fix it?
    > PS please recommend a good firewall app.
    >
    >
    Rmember, people come here for help with problems. So naturally
    most of the posts you see will be negative. Most people installed
    SP2 without issues, as long as they prepared first. Check the
    following link for info on how to prepare.

    http://support.microsoft.com/winxp

    gls858
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    In news:ii27v0lojjnkdldtameaa19k7sm2r4klqe@4ax.com,
    Ian Hoare <ianhoare@angelfire.com> typed:

    > Salut/Hi Ken Blake,
    >
    > le/on Sun, 23 Jan 2005 17:58:15 -0700, tu disais/you said:-
    >
    >
    >>> I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke
    >>> why fix it?
    >
    >>I think that "if ain't broke why fix it?" is a usually a very
    >>prudent and good point of view.
    >
    > I don't. Certainly on anything mechanical, preventive
    > maintenance is
    > crucial. Sorry Ken, but my brother in law lived on a boat. His
    > guiding
    > principle was "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". So whenever we
    > had a
    > storm, all the things that were holding on by their fingernails
    > would
    > break because they were stressed to the limit. Sheet lines
    > broke,
    > mast stays broke, etc and so forth. And always just at the
    > moment
    > when it was crucial that they worked ad always at a time when
    > it was
    > horribly difficult to replace/repair them. A simple inspection
    > and
    > replacement of worn stuff BEFORE they broke would have
    > prevented a
    > great many near catastrophes.


    I should have qualified that I didn't mean on mechanical things,
    and especially not on boats. But software doesn't wear out the
    way hardware does.

    --
    Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
    Please reply to the newsgroup

    >
    > Even on computer systems, I suggest that a similar methodology
    > should
    > prevail. My main problem is to work out what to do and how to
    > do it!
    > Should one regularly uninstall a program, (saving data and
    > settings
    > first, of course) and re-install it (possibly upgrading/dating
    > at the
    > same time)? Should it be windows that we do that to? How about
    > defragging disks? What intervals....
    >
    >>I'm happy with the free version of Zone Alarm.
    >
    > I have some issues with it, but on the whole I agree.
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    It is not a question of wear. It is a question of the appearance of new
    threats where none was perceived to exist. SP2 includes new processes like
    the stack watcher to intercept executables injected into the stack by
    malware, and a whole lot of other new programming.

    However, I perceive that you came in here asking a question without having
    any intention of dealing with the answers, so do as you like. It's your
    computer.

    --
    Colin Barnhorst [MVP Windows - Virtual Machine]
    "Ken Blake" <kblake@this.is.an.invalid.domain> wrote in message
    news:uf1TgsiAFHA.2060@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
    > In news:ii27v0lojjnkdldtameaa19k7sm2r4klqe@4ax.com,
    > Ian Hoare <ianhoare@angelfire.com> typed:
    >
    >> Salut/Hi Ken Blake,
    >>
    >> le/on Sun, 23 Jan 2005 17:58:15 -0700, tu disais/you said:-
    >>
    >>
    >>>> I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke
    >>>> why fix it?
    >>
    >>>I think that "if ain't broke why fix it?" is a usually a very
    >>>prudent and good point of view.
    >>
    >> I don't. Certainly on anything mechanical, preventive maintenance is
    >> crucial. Sorry Ken, but my brother in law lived on a boat. His guiding
    >> principle was "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". So whenever we had a
    >> storm, all the things that were holding on by their fingernails would
    >> break because they were stressed to the limit. Sheet lines broke,
    >> mast stays broke, etc and so forth. And always just at the moment
    >> when it was crucial that they worked ad always at a time when it was
    >> horribly difficult to replace/repair them. A simple inspection and
    >> replacement of worn stuff BEFORE they broke would have prevented a
    >> great many near catastrophes.
    >
    >
    > I should have qualified that I didn't mean on mechanical things, and
    > especially not on boats. But software doesn't wear out the way hardware
    > does.
    >
    > --
    > Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
    > Please reply to the newsgroup
    >
    >>
    >> Even on computer systems, I suggest that a similar methodology should
    >> prevail. My main problem is to work out what to do and how to do it!
    >> Should one regularly uninstall a program, (saving data and settings
    >> first, of course) and re-install it (possibly upgrading/dating at the
    >> same time)? Should it be windows that we do that to? How about
    >> defragging disks? What intervals....
    >>
    >>>I'm happy with the free version of Zone Alarm.
    >>
    >> I have some issues with it, but on the whole I agree.
    >
    >
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    I tried installing SP2 on my laptop and everything worked fine for 10
    days, then my computer stopped booting up following the windows xp
    screen and I was faced with a blank screen. Thankfully this was
    reversible (some friends of mine weren't so lucky) and I was able to
    get into the last known working configuration of windows to remove SP2.


    --
    ruth
  10. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    From one of the silent (till now) majority - SP2 works fine, provided the pc
    is fully "housekept" first - just read the "readme" file (or the website).
    As ever, time-consuming - takes about same time as initial installation of
    XP. But, the important thing is, IT WORKS.
    Only ever seen/heard of probs from those who don't RTFM's or believe they're
    sufficiently savvy "experts" who don't need to. Go for it!
    NB - there's already later critical updates posted that can't be installed
    without SP2 present.

    Delaying installation leaves your pc at risk. Your choice, your kit, your
    personal responsibility.

    Sincerely, Len. (experienced private user, retired, no connections to
    Microsoft or IT industry).

    "Undecided in DC" <Undecided in DC@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
    message news:AA8641D8-90A8-48AD-A3A2-D5E8984271FE@microsoft.com...
    >I have been putting off installing SP2 on my machine, and now I need to
    >make
    > a decision, to install or not? From the threads on this group, I am
    > leaning
    > toward NOT.
    >
    > If I have adware/spyware software, and norton anti-virus and have kept my
    > machine up to date with all the MS updates, and a install a firewall can I
    > live without SP2 until they distribute a more stable fix?
    >
    > I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke why fix it?
    > PS please recommend a good firewall app.
    >
    >
  11. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Software isn't a boat and doesn't age.

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.uscricket.com
    "Ian Hoare" <ianhoare@angelfire.com> wrote in message news:ii27v0lojjnkdldtameaa19k7sm2r4klqe@4ax.com...
    > Salut/Hi Ken Blake,
    >
    > le/on Sun, 23 Jan 2005 17:58:15 -0700, tu disais/you said:-
    >
    >
    >>> I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke
    >>> why fix it?
    >
    >>I think that "if ain't broke why fix it?" is a usually a very
    >>prudent and good point of view.
    >
    > I don't. Certainly on anything mechanical, preventive maintenance is
    > crucial. Sorry Ken, but my brother in law lived on a boat. His guiding
    > principle was "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". So whenever we had a storm,
    > all the things that were holding on by their fingernails would break because
    > they were stressed to the limit. Sheet lines broke, mast stays broke, etc
    > and so forth. And always just at the moment when it was crucial that they
    > worked ad always at a time when it was horribly difficult to replace/repair
    > them. A simple inspection and replacement of worn stuff BEFORE they broke
    > would have prevented a great many near catastrophes.
    >
    > Even on computer systems, I suggest that a similar methodology should
    > prevail. My main problem is to work out what to do and how to do it! Should
    > one regularly uninstall a program, (saving data and settings first, of
    > course) and re-install it (possibly upgrading/dating at the same time)?
    > Should it be windows that we do that to? How about defragging disks? What
    > intervals....
    >
    >>I'm happy with the free version of Zone Alarm.
    >
    > I have some issues with it, but on the whole I agree.
    >
    > --
    > All the Best
    > Ian Hoare
    > http://www.souvigne.com
    > mailbox full to avoid spam. try me at website
  12. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    David Candy wrote:
    > Software isn't a boat and doesn't age.

    No it isn't, but yes it does. A security vulnerability in a piece of
    software is not a problem until it is discovered. But when the vulnerability
    is discovered the software is suddenly rendered useless, regardless of how
    long the vulnerability has existed but not been exploited. Any worm from the
    last couple of years should prove this point.

    SP2 does not only contain fixes to know security holes, but also takes
    countermeasures to reduce the impact of yet unknown threats. My advice would
    be to install it, and be prepared to roll back if things breaks.
  13. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Salut/Hi David Candy,

    le/on Tue, 25 Jan 2005 02:21:47 +1100, tu disais/you said:-

    >Software isn't a boat and doesn't age.

    It's as true for sox as for anything else, IMO. People make mistakes, which
    little by little tend to reduce the reliability of the application. Disks
    become fragmented, the registry gets its knickers in a twist. All these
    things tend to make the operation of the computer less reliable.
    --
    All the Best
    Ian Hoare
    http://www.souvigne.com
    mailbox full to avoid spam. try me at website
  14. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    No it doesn't age. It is exactly the same. My Dos 3.3 works exactly the same as it did 15 years ago. I don't care about security. This is just linux marketing hype.

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.uscricket.com
    "André Gulliksen" <andre.gulliksen@start.no> wrote in message news:35kke0F4nus27U1@individual.net...
    > David Candy wrote:
    >> Software isn't a boat and doesn't age.
    >
    > No it isn't, but yes it does. A security vulnerability in a piece of
    > software is not a problem until it is discovered. But when the vulnerability
    > is discovered the software is suddenly rendered useless, regardless of how
    > long the vulnerability has existed but not been exploited. Any worm from the
    > last couple of years should prove this point.
    >
    > SP2 does not only contain fixes to know security holes, but also takes
    > countermeasures to reduce the impact of yet unknown threats. My advice would
    > be to install it, and be prepared to roll back if things breaks.
    >
    >
  15. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Thanks to all for your input. It has been very helpful in my decision making
    process. I will do a little more investigation, and move forward.

    One last question, if SP2 comes with a firewall, and IF I decide to install,
    is it recommended that I still put another firewall in place?


    "Len Dolby" wrote:

    > From one of the silent (till now) majority - SP2 works fine, provided the pc
    > is fully "housekept" first - just read the "readme" file (or the website).
    > As ever, time-consuming - takes about same time as initial installation of
    > XP. But, the important thing is, IT WORKS.
    > Only ever seen/heard of probs from those who don't RTFM's or believe they're
    > sufficiently savvy "experts" who don't need to. Go for it!
    > NB - there's already later critical updates posted that can't be installed
    > without SP2 present.
    >
    > Delaying installation leaves your pc at risk. Your choice, your kit, your
    > personal responsibility.
    >
    > Sincerely, Len. (experienced private user, retired, no connections to
    > Microsoft or IT industry).
    >
    > "Undecided in DC" <Undecided in DC@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
    > message news:AA8641D8-90A8-48AD-A3A2-D5E8984271FE@microsoft.com...
    > >I have been putting off installing SP2 on my machine, and now I need to
    > >make
    > > a decision, to install or not? From the threads on this group, I am
    > > leaning
    > > toward NOT.
    > >
    > > If I have adware/spyware software, and norton anti-virus and have kept my
    > > machine up to date with all the MS updates, and a install a firewall can I
    > > live without SP2 until they distribute a more stable fix?
    > >
    > > I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke why fix it?
    > > PS please recommend a good firewall app.
    > >
    > >
    >
    >
    >
  16. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Since the SP2 firewall does not stop outbound traffic, many users use a
    third party firewall, like Zone Alarm.

    --
    Colin Barnhorst [MVP Windows - Virtual Machine]
    "bklyngrrl" <bklyngrrl@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:01BA23B2-1829-459B-B237-3AE970F370C1@microsoft.com...
    > Thanks to all for your input. It has been very helpful in my decision
    > making
    > process. I will do a little more investigation, and move forward.
    >
    > One last question, if SP2 comes with a firewall, and IF I decide to
    > install,
    > is it recommended that I still put another firewall in place?
    >
    >
    >
    > "Len Dolby" wrote:
    >
    >> From one of the silent (till now) majority - SP2 works fine, provided the
    >> pc
    >> is fully "housekept" first - just read the "readme" file (or the
    >> website).
    >> As ever, time-consuming - takes about same time as initial installation
    >> of
    >> XP. But, the important thing is, IT WORKS.
    >> Only ever seen/heard of probs from those who don't RTFM's or believe
    >> they're
    >> sufficiently savvy "experts" who don't need to. Go for it!
    >> NB - there's already later critical updates posted that can't be
    >> installed
    >> without SP2 present.
    >>
    >> Delaying installation leaves your pc at risk. Your choice, your kit, your
    >> personal responsibility.
    >>
    >> Sincerely, Len. (experienced private user, retired, no connections to
    >> Microsoft or IT industry).
    >>
    >> "Undecided in DC" <Undecided in DC@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
    >> message news:AA8641D8-90A8-48AD-A3A2-D5E8984271FE@microsoft.com...
    >> >I have been putting off installing SP2 on my machine, and now I need to
    >> >make
    >> > a decision, to install or not? From the threads on this group, I am
    >> > leaning
    >> > toward NOT.
    >> >
    >> > If I have adware/spyware software, and norton anti-virus and have kept
    >> > my
    >> > machine up to date with all the MS updates, and a install a firewall
    >> > can I
    >> > live without SP2 until they distribute a more stable fix?
    >> >
    >> > I haven't had any issues so far, and I figure if ain't broke why fix
    >> > it?
    >> > PS please recommend a good firewall app.
    >> >
    >> >
    >>
    >>
    >>
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