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Windows Service Pack 2 and You.

So, I see lots of people complaining that

- Sp2 makes the system slow as heck

- Sp2 breaks many of my precious apps

- Sp2 makes my toaster burn my bread

Just a gauge for you guys who DID install it, what do you experience? Are you more unstable now than you were before? Do apps break? Do YOUR apps break?

Anyway, just to bring a "bit" of credibility into the discussion; I've been running SP2 #2096 for since it was released (3 months ago or so?), and never had a problem. Today I upgraded it to #2149 (most recent, and I think, the official release to come), and have had no problems whatsoever.

Okay, so not much have changed for me, though, I've to say I'm satisfied with the new firewall, and the pop-up blocking, more security aware Internet Explorer (even tho I just use to for my online banking + windows updates, for the rest I use Opera).

Your thoughts?

A Pterodactylus Ate My Baby
Friday, June 18, 2004

I haven't tried the "latest" but I did install the one before that (build 2142?).  The only real problem I saw was that my network activity icon disappeared from the system tray.  When I tried to get it back, I found that going to Control Panel -> Network Connections    gave me a blank screen.  Annoying but not a major problem.  Is that fixed in the latest build?

More interesting, is the subject of whether or not SP2 will install on "pirated" versions of XP.  This subject has been discussed before, here and elsewhere, and just as I suspected, it turns out to be much ado about nothing.

Just before Windows XP Service Pack 1 was released in September of 2002, the buzz going around the 'net was that it wouldn't install on "pirated" copies of Windows XP.  There was even this guy who had this website where he proclaimed in BIG BOLD LETTERS that everyone using a "pirated" copy would be doomed when SP1 was released.

What really happened was that Microsoft simply blacklisted two well-known, widely distributed keys, and SP1 wouldn't install on any computer using one of those keys.  Anyone with half a brain could see that one coming.  And that's why anyone with half a brain had already changed their key --  a key generator was released in early 2002 less than 6 months after Windows XP first hit the market.

Now SP2 is almost here.  And the dance beings again.  First Microsoft says that in the interest of security, SP2 *WILL* install on "pirated" copies of XP.  Then they say it *WON'T*.  It will.  It
won't.  It will.  No wait, it won't.  This time we really mean it.

People in various discussion groups debate at length the pros and cons of the issue.  But, just as I suspected, it is once again a non-issue for anyone with half a brain.

So, I downloaded the latest (at that time) "Release Candidate" of SP2 and it installs just fine on my "pirated" copy of XP Pro.  Windows Update works just fine too.  Why?  Because just like before, Microsoft simply blacklisted a few keys *THAT THEY KNOW ABOUT*.  Nothing more.

You would think a company with $56 Billion in the bank would be a little smarter than that.

Mo Hawke
Friday, June 18, 2004

No probs. The build 2149 (which is the final, mark my words) do NOT accept pirate keys. Well, unless if you change it, which is easy enough. It lives happily with my machine, and if they try to track me; sorry, I don't live in the Land of The Free. Good luck, MS.

A Pterodactylus Ate My Baby
Friday, June 18, 2004

BTW, anyone familiar with the FIRST reg key released - by a cracking team called "The Devils Own" ? :=)

If not, google and have a good laugh.

A Pterodactylus Ate My Baby
Friday, June 18, 2004

Running XP SP2 RC2 on my laptop. ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. The Firewall and the upgrades to the Wireless networking support alone are worth the download, in my book.

Brad Wilson (
Friday, June 18, 2004

I just installed build 2149 on both my desktop and my laptop.  Both work fine.  Haven't had any problems yet.  Two of the features in the service pack were actually features that I had been hoping for for a long time: the ability to choose "never trust ActiveX controls from company blah blah" and the ability to disable wireless networks in the preferred networks list.  I think the stuff about "Windows is helping protect your PC" sounds a little silly, but otherwise, good job, Microsoft.

Paul Jensen
Friday, June 18, 2004

Whats fun about the Devils Own key? I tried googleling it but it didn't turn up anything fun.

Martin Schultz
Saturday, June 19, 2004

You're right, it isn't funny. Dunno what I was thinking (them beers, them beers).

Anyway, the "Devil's Own" is the Windows XP beta reg-code that was leaked before the official release. Apparently, people believe it was Microsoft themselves who leaked it, to keep tabs on how much xp would be pirated... So hence the name.

I guess it's only funny for slashdotters and drunk people. ;)

A Pterodactylus Ate My Baby
Saturday, June 19, 2004

the firewall in XP SP2 is useless.

It cant block outbound connections.

Applications added to the allow list can be spoofed as there is no hash checking

Anyone logged in as admin (so, like, every home user) has the rights to programmatically alter the firewall with no windows dialog boxes, meaning someone can release a virus that disables the firewall without the user knowing

This is the big issue MS should be tackling. The local admin issue.

Dan G
Saturday, June 19, 2004

"the firewall in XP SP2 is useless."

Untrue.  If everyone had the firewall turned on, it would have prevented the Sasser worm.  While I agree that the integrated XP firewall isn't a good as it could be, calling it "useless" is simply false.

By your definition, the firewall in most broadband routers is also "useless".

Myron A. Semack
Sunday, June 20, 2004

The fact that there is no way to filter any outbound traffic what so ever, makes it nothing more than a toy

Dan G
Sunday, June 20, 2004

If you say something over and over again, does it become more true? :-p

Yes, it's not the best firewall, but the fact that it's on by default (and that the lack of anti-virus is an immediate warning that people will want to remedy) will cure 99.99% of the problems out there today.

Brad Wilson (
Sunday, June 20, 2004

I have installed the latest build if windows service pack 2 build 2149, however i have 1 problem when tryng to access properties in My Network Places on the desktop it fails and no windows show at all, I have also tried in Control Panel and double clicking on Network Connections and nothing happens at all, is there a problem with the pack? please does anyone else have this problem? if so please let me know at the following e-mail address

Jonathan Boldy
Wednesday, July 7, 2004

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