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Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Do I need the SP2?

by mike62 / February 26, 2006 11:33 PM PST

I am running XP Home Edition with IE 6.0 and have not added either the SP1 or SP2. I attempted the SP1 when it came out and started having problems with my computer and ultimately uninstalled it and the problems cleared up. However, I am willing to try again I will just set a restore point for sure. My question is do I need the SP2 as well? Or is it more for IT people?

Also, does one of those versions not come with a firewall? I currently use a purchased version of ZoneAlarm and am pleased. If Microsoft does come with the firewall will I have the option of disabling it? Or is it superior to ZA?


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I did. Here's why.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2006 11:36 PM PST
In reply to: Do I need the SP2?

In SP1 I need the USB 2.0 support. But we found that we couldn't chkdsk USB 2.0 drives until SP2.

For us, we can't do without SP2.

-> In most cases the issues I see are spyware and pest related. Microsoft did not expect that on the machines and we saw a lot of complaints that were not due to Microsoft.

If your machine is not spic and span (free of pests) then you will have issues.


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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 26, 2006 11:56 PM PST
In reply to: Do I need the SP2?

Do you need SP2? Short answer = Yes.

Long answer;

SP2 included a lot of safety and security features not present on Windows XP prior to SP2, and these become more critical as time goes by. The Windows Firewall was introduced, a beefed up version of the Internet Firewall prior to SP2. The Security Center was introduced that managed any anti-virus and 3rd party firewall installed, and managed future updates. Certain changes were made to Internet Explorer to make it more secure, and a lot more internal work was done. As time goes by, support for pre-SP1 and eventually pre-SP2 Windows will decline and stop altogether.

I notice that you don't even have SP1. I wouldn't bother with SP1 and go straight to SP2. It includes everything SP1 has. But, like Bob says, your computer as got to be squeaky clean before SP2 will install correctly. That means no viruses, no spyware, no trojans, nothing. So you would do well do review what you use against viruses, spyware etc, beef them up if necessary, and scan everything to clean any nasties out from the deep recesses of your computer.

Make sure your BIOS is uptodate, and any drivers are up to date. Your PC manufacturer will help with the BIOS and will have information about upgrading to SP2.

Make sure everything works beforehand; eg try a System Restore, carry out error checking and defragmenting. Backup everything that you find is essential and cannot be lost.

Grab a whisky, or a coffee if you don't drink, some spare time, and take the dive.

The new Security Center should recognise that you have a valid version of ZoneAlarm, (I don't think it recognises anything before version 5), and should turn off the Windows Firewall. If it doesn't, you can turn it off through the Control Panel.

Good luck,


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About the firewall in SP2. It's very basic and has an off..
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 27, 2006 12:04 AM PST
In reply to: Do I need the SP2?

Zone Alarm will automatically do that for you.

-> But be sure that nothing has changed in the service packs. If you had issues before and your machine is in the same condition you will repeat the problems.

It's not funny to some that Microsoft didn't clean up the service packs. Why should they? The problems from what I experienced were pests and damaged systems. The Service Pack does not fix such things but only highlights the problems.


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