Upgrading to SP2 - huge performance impact.

I usually format my computer every now and then to keep it running smoothly. However the past few times I've noticed a HUGE performance-drop when upgrading from SP1 to SP2.

My CPU and XP copy is rather old, so I have to manually download SP2 via Windows Update everytime I format.

After a fresh XP and (up to date) overall driver install, my system runs like a charm.

As soon as SP2 is installd tho things get ugly. :)

Any ideas what can cause this? I defrag both before and after SP2 install, have good up to date virusprogs etc.

Perhaps I don't really NEED SP2, but I like to keep everything on my CPU up to date.

Any ideas?

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  1. Unfortunately it could be a lot of things.
    I've found XP in general to be very bloated. SP2 fixed some security problems but appears to have added more "crap" too.

    Check this out. I have XP service pack 2 on disc. I too do fresh installs from time to time. I use WinCleaner and the Norton Internet Security suite tools to keep windows running smoother. I keep my hard drive defragged.

    The other day, I took some of my old parts (AMD 64 3000+ Winchester chip, 512mb ram, older video card, old socket 939 mortherboard) and installed WINDOWS 98 (old copy) on a 5,400 rpm hard drive (6.5 gb) just because I was bored.
    At games, of course, it sucks compared to my 3800+ dual core, with 1GB ram and 7,200 rpm 160gb hard drive, 7600GT video card, etc, etc.
    But the "old" setup was much faster at loading up Firefox and I.E. 7.0, must faster and loading pages and much faster and downloading over my DSL connection.

    Obviously, something was wrong, right?
    After spending hours checking, I finally hit upon a security website and went through the steps to shut down unused and unnecessary ports. I also dumped Norton antivirus and Norton's firewall and went instead with trustee, free ZoneAlarm (which doesn't hog resources like Norton).

    So, my advice:
    1) Hit Control+Alt+Delet, note the processes running in the background. Disable things like Real Player, Apple and Ipod services, etc. that run all the time.

    2) Check your system for adware and spyware, which could include some things being downloaded by Microsoft without your notice. Spybot Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware are good programs for finding these. You can download from a variety of sources, but I recommend this link on the Overclockers site, from Sept. 18:
    My Freeware Favorites posted by Charlie:

    3) And read this very valuable article, which helped me a lot. Closing unneeded and unused ports not only helps security, but can also speed things up.
  2. Thanks for the reply.

    The increased security is mostly why I want to keep up to date with my installation.

    However, just as you say, SP2 seems to add alot of crap... it's not only boot and shutdown speed that takes a big hit, I notice a huge fps drop in games aswell.

    I only run two games on this cpu, I do not watch movies, listen to music nor download anything etc.

    XP SP2, anti-virus stuff/firewall and those two games are the only thing that I have installed. So there's not much to shut off in task manager :)

    Also I don't let Windows download anything without my notice, to see wth it is. They seem to not include alot of what they really are proposing to give me tho.

    ANYWAY, that last link you provided was very helpful, and I'll be going trough it thouroughly tonight.

    Thanks :)
  3. How much RAM do you have? I recommend at least 512MB for SP2; 1GB+ is ideal.
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