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Should I install XP's SP2?

Microsoft has released WinXP SP2. What's the deal? anyone has installed this? Is it another round of countless miserable hours of frustration and anger.

I have zero respect for Microsoft Windows team. I think all of them are bunch of yahoos!

Security is not a joke
Thursday, August 26, 2004

EricL, do you have a word for this?

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I wouldn't. With MS you are going to have to wait at least a week or two.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I woudln't!!!  It caused more pain than joy.  Lotsa anoops over at microsoft!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Installed without issue one all five of our machines.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Installed it this afternoon.

First mistake was on the download site. Told me it was a 75MB download... Clicked to download and immediately got the message "downloaded 0.1MB of 111MB". Not looking good.

Downloaded and eventually installed. Restarted and everything pretty much the same... for some reason it needed to repair messenger...

After that eveything ok but suddenly popups get blocked and a new little line appears in the window saying "popups blocked" etc. turned that off (cos Google task bar already does this for me)

Next, the firewall comes up with a message with very little explaination telling me that Windows Explorer is being accessed across the network and do I want to continue blocking or unblock in the future.

Well, I'm behind my NATty little friend so I don't care so I ublock the lot, I'll probably turn the firewall off when I've got some experience of what it does.

I almost understood the message but of course the immediate question is "Windows Explorer is a Microsoft program, don't they know?". What on earth is the average user to make of this?? Will they have a bloody clue what they're being asked? No.

Back to the popups. Made me laugh. You can select 3 levels. One blocks all, one blocks none and the final option you are offered will "block many". What the bloody hell does "many" mean. How on earth is someone supposed to make a decision based on this?! Does it unblock every 7th popup? Or is there some more describeable reason/rationale!

Finally, Windows help, which is neatly formatted is presented in text with a message saying "Active X controls on this page - they were prevented from running - click here to allow them to run". Great! No obvious option to allow on a permanent basis. Seems you just have to click through on a case by case basis. I guess I'll find different when I've actually nosed round... but what is the average home punter going to make of it?

So, works on the whole, all the apps seem to work so far (except the messenger hiccup) but some annoyances are going to become more irritating.

I shan't make an effort to upgrade the rest of the network.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Installed at work: no problem.

At home, I play everquest on my XP box, and the folks who run EQ state that one should not install it yet (it will interfere with evercrack).

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I installed it, kind of annoying but that's it.  It kept complaining because I didn't have virus protection until I told it to shut up and then my app broke becuase the firewall blocked SQL Server.  Go ahead, install...  You will be assimilated.

Bill Rushmore
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Do it. Sooner or later you will need it.
Yeah, the pain is here, but it will be there 6 months from now. At least if you do it now 6 months from now you will be ok.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

gwyn, I used google bar as well but I turned it off after SP2 arrived. way better. and I'm not an msft employee.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I installed SP2 at home.  The most annoying things it did were:

-put the 'Messenger' icon back on MSIE's toolbar.  I took this off, why did they put it back on?

-Put the little 'broken shield' icon in my tray.  Yeah, I turned the firewall off--totally off.  So now I have to live with the broken shield icon, it seems.

-EXE downloads broken--I had to right-click 'save target as' to get the download file dialog to appear in MSIE.  I'm sure three more seconds of research will find me a fix, but until then...

Coolest things it did:
-Automatic updates - and it will install them automatically.  Yeah, I guess I could have had that before, but it wasn't turned on by default.  This one is.
-IE now blocks popups, and has a neat way to show them again instantly.  Excellent.
-Superb security center.  I don't mind the 'broken shield' icon so long as it works for the clueless users.  "What?  I don't have an antivirus?  What?  I don't have a firewall?  ***I'd better get that fixed.***"  If the security center tutors all the users like it should, this will really help out.

Scariest prospects:
-I don't see where or how to download hardware driver updates.  This used to be on, but now is it integrated with the Automatic Updates?  If so, that's very bad, because I might not want those driver "updates".  Video card makers often release new drivers that break older (and newer) games.  Games are, of course, the most important thing(s) you can do with a computer.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I've installed SP2 on two systems and haven't had a problem yet.  Not sure what the above poster is complaining about regarding it breaking SQL Server.  In my experience, Windows XP SP2's firewall always asks you what it should allow when an application makes its first network connection attempt.    The interface is very slick.

The popup blocker is also a lot better than the google one (it blocks a lot of popups that the google popup blocker lets through).  So I turned off the google popup blocker.

All in all, I think SP2 is great.  Sure, it complains a bit too much about things when you first install it, but the average user probably should be constantly reminded that installing a virus checker is a good idea.  And it is easy enough to shut the complaints off...

Mr. Fancypants
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Be afraid!  I tried to install it on my laptop.  It took forever, then slowed my machine down, and broke my wireless software.  Even if I turned the firewall completely off, I could not get on the network.  So I rolled it back.  Not worth the trouble.

A Programmer
Thursday, August 26, 2004

I was rather hoping it might improve networking connections because pre-SP2 it's very yucky when you're on the limit of range, all sorts of undesirable and odd behaviour.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I installed it on four machines, one of which is a laptop with a wireless network connection. Not a single problem. I say yes, install SP2.

A Programmer With more than half a brain
Thursday, August 26, 2004

2 machines, both notebooks, no problems.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, August 27, 2004

I installed sp2 on my HP laptop.  During install it rebooted, and it continued to reboot endlessly.  Unable to roll-back.  Unable to repair.  Forced to re-format and reload all my software.  I was SERIOUSLY ANNOYED.  Lucky for me I had back ups of all my important data.  I say wait a while for MS to fix the fix.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Just installed it on the laptop - the reason was my office desktop died and the only way I could get any work done was taking in my home laptop; at least I saved a long download!

So far all it appears to do is send stupid error messages. "Internet Explorer has blocked your download; do you want to see why it might be dangerous".  No, I don't. If I didn't want to download it I wouldn't have clicked on the download link to start with.

The firewall goes off straight away, as I don't want to find out later what it is breaking.

And it seems to make automatic downloads a default choice - which is not what I want.

Still, at least it is not as bad as Outlook 2002 which proceeds to swallow up any attachment it doesn't like, and apparently there is no way the Exchange Adminiistrator can recover the damm things!

Stephen Jones
Saturday, August 28, 2004

Those IE message are just evil. "Hi, I helpfully destroyed the purpose of this link/website. Are you happy with me? Yes/No." The worst thing about them is that there's no way to turn them off entirely.

Other than that and an incompatible copy protection that was already fixed, I have no problems with SP2.

Chris Nahr
Sunday, August 29, 2004

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