Windows XP Update Crashes Some PCs

Users who forgo recently released SP1 risk a major vulnerability, as well as missing numerous small fixes.

Some Windows XP users are having trouble installing the operating system’s first service pack, bulging with bug fixes and updated drivers–and are judging the cure worse than the disease.

Although SP1 plugs a major hole in the OS, the fix has been painful for a tiny but vocal few of the estimated 1 million users who have downloaded the update, which Microsoft posted on September 9. For the vast majority, the download and installation has gone well, according to a Microsoft spokesperson, who calls the process “smoother than a lot of previous releases.”

But Internet support forums and e-mail to PC World from disgruntled users show that many people continue to have serious problems with the update. The chief complaint: PCs that run like molasses after installing SP1. Running a close second are reports that PCs refuse to restart after installation or become highly unstable. Some systems continuously reboots. Other users complain that applications won’t start or now crash repeatedly, including Microsoft’s own programs.

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