That it is important to be virus, adware and spyware free, and that you have run Error Checking, (the old Scan Disk), and Disk Defragmenter, before upgrading to SP2.
Create a Restore Point before downloading and upgrading to SP2. SP2 creates it's own Restore Point, but it is better to create your own.
Many people blame Service Pack 2 for issues that appear with the computer after upgrading. But SP2 does not make these issues, it only highlights issues that existed before the upgrade was attempted.
In short, make sure your computer is clean and tidy before upgrading.
Hello, everyone. My name is Matthew. I am an A+, Net+ CompTIA certified PC technician. I also have acquired MCP certification from Microsoft. I have heard of a lot of issues, problems, and complaints with Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. So, as an experienced professional, I am offering the following info and advice. I will write this out as plain and simple as I can, for even the most basic computer user to be able to read and understand.
Before you install Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, if you have Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home Edition, this applies.
1. Much like with any serious upgrade on any computer, make sure that you have taken the time to make back-up copies of all important pictures, documents, passwords, mp3's, and anything else on your computer that you value and cannot easily replace. I cannot stress this enough. Also, don't make a back-up to the same hard drive on the same computer your planning on upgrading or patching. A backup doesn't do any good if the computer it's on gets fried.
2. Make sure that you read any information that Microsoft puts up on their website http://www.microsoft.com that has anything to do with the update, patch, or service pack. They usually put some fairly simple to understand information, and suggestions on their website to go with what they release. Take the time to read it, so you know what your getting into.
3. In the case of Service packs, Microsoft builds in the ability to have the service pack keep copies of any files that it replaces in a safe location on your computer where it will not get overwritten. The option is one where it will ask you too allow the service pack to archive files. Again I cannot stress this enough, choose YES. That way if anything goes wrong, or you just decide you hate the changes it makes, you can uninstall it.
4. Most every company that sells any software program or game, has a website. Take the time to go to that website, and to look up whatever software or game of theirs that you use. See if they offer any patches or fixes that you can download, that will make the software or game of theirs that you use, function properly with the new service pack. DO BOT EVER take for granted that just because it worked before, that it will keep working. Often times these companies will list warnings on their websites. They are usually quite informative to tell you if the game or program of theirs, that you use, does or will ever work with the new Service Pack.
5. Just because every person you see or read about, is flocking like a pack of seagulls to whatever new update or patch or service pack has just been released, doesn't mean that it AUTOMATICLY is something you must get or even need to get. Pay attention to the old proverb. If it aint broke, don't fix it.
6. Take the time to look into major online group forums, much like this one here at Cnet. There is also a rather large one hosted by Microsoft as well. There are many others. Wait a few days after some major release of something comes out. Read through the forums. Be patient. Odds are if someone has some bug, or problem or runs into some huge error because of using it, you'll read about it in these forums. You will also be able to read and learn if there are any ways around the problems they experienced.
7. Understand that the business of computer security, is just that, a business. It's a BIG BUSINESS at that. Some companies are making millions off of the fears of people who aren't properly educated in various ares of computer use. I know, I deal with this issue with my mother frequently. She never learned how to program a VCR and last year decided she needed a computer and the internet and email.
8. Any time you get any email or see some flashy banner on some website or get some pop-up that claims horrible doom and gloom and the absolute ruin of everything you ever consider dear to you on your computer, take the time to read up on it first. Check out the websites for McAfee or Symantec. Read through postings on different forums. Don't just buy that you have to go to some website RIGHT NOW! and simply must buy some product they are trying to sell or let them scan your computer or whatever else. Internet hoaxes of these types cost millions of dollars each year.
Now, if you see a major new feature on CNN that is being covered by well over 10 other news networks, and its in your newspaper, and headlining magazine articles....in that case, it probably is something of at least a little concern to look into.