While I agree the problem is annoying, uninstalling SP2 and turning off automatic updates (or the firewall) isn't a good option.
Reason? You're using an OS that gets a lot of attention from those who write exploits to vulnerabilities, and if you don't keep up with your updates, you expose yourself to further harm.
There's a fix from Microsoft that might do the trick(http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=884020)... it didn't work for me.
You can also try making your IP address static, rather than using DHCP, which seems to work for most people.
Maybe check out http://www.michna.com/kb/WxSP2.htm
What happens with my XP machine is a loss of the gateway IP address. What works for me is running the command "netsh winsock reset" and rebooting. The command "netsh int ip reset" might also work for you... depending on what the problem is.
It doesn't always work on the first try, but if I keep on trying, it eventually works.
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