Windows XP Service Pack 2

Windows XP Service Pack 2

The general consensus from most IT professionals is, you should wait a bit before you install windows xp sp2, or service pack 2, since, in the past, software upgrades have added new problems while fixing some old problems, the more complicated your setup, the more possibility there is of something happening that hasn't been tested for or discovered yet. So, to be safe, you should hold off upgrading to service pack 2 for a little bit anyway, and watch the boards to see if anything bad is coming out, like software problems, bugs, etc. I myself have had no trouble with it yet, but the machine I'm testing it on is only used when I'm trying stuff out or testing new software, so it may be a bit before I run onto anything. Below is an artice from Microsoft that lists software that is known to have some problems with sp2.

Download Windows XP SP2

You can download Windows XP SP2 from here on Microsoft's website. If you want less technical info, go here.

Microsoft: SP2 makes Windows 15 times safer

May 24 2005-Computers running Windows XP Service Pack 2 are 15 times less likely than those running XP or XP SP1 to be infected by some of the most dangerous forms of malware, according to a Microsoft security guru.
Jason Garms, who heads the company's anti-malware product team, said Tuesday that this improvement had been revealed by an internal analysis of SP2's performance.
SP2--a major security update released in August--was designed to turn on auto-update by default and consolidate security controls into a "security center."
"A machine that had Windows XP or XP SP1 was 15 times more likely to have one of the highly prevalent top 20 worms installed than on a machine running XP SP2," said Garms, who spoke at a conference sponsored by Australia's national Computer Emergency Response Team, or AusCERT.
Go here for more.

More Snags in Windows XP Service Pack 2

Jan 27 2005-The PC World Test Center staff has discovered two bugs involving Windows XP's Service Pack 2. One can reduce the write speed of many dual-layer DVD drives. The other can decrease the battery life on some Acer laptops by an hour. One of the flaws could reduce the write speed of many common DVD drives.
Staffers were testing dual-layer DVD drives when they found that InCD4 DVD-burning software, by Nero AG (formerly Ahead Software AG), performed up to 40 percent slower than competing applications (such as Roxio's Drag-to-Disc) on systems running SP2. InCD4 ships with many drives, including those from Lite-On, Plextor, and Sony.
Nero developers say that the glitch is due to a cache problem in SP2 and affects InCD prior to release To check your version, open the program and select About. If your app is affected, get the InCD Update-Package 3. The fix bypasses SP2's cache management problem.
Microsoft is working on a hotfix that wasn't yet available at press time.

Stop Service Pack 2 From Leaking Data

Dec 21 2004-Plus: Patch a security hole in JPEG images; Mozilla fixes flaws in its browser.
Microsoft has been making a big fuss over security lately, especially now that Service Pack 2 for Windows XP is out. But while SP2 locks the doors on many types of attacks, it can also open a window for prying eyes to peer through.

Poisoned Pictures

Dec 19 2004-Microsoft released a patch for a flaw that could let a cracker take over your PC by sending you an attack program hidden inside a JPEG (.jpg) file. Except on systems with Windows XP SP2 installed, the hole affects all programs-including IE, Outlook, and Paint-that can open .jpg files. Although the flawed software component was not included with earlier Windows operating systems (including 98, 98SE, and Me), it often installs automatically on those OSs when you install programs that read JPEGs.

PC Welt, PC World's sibling publication in Germany, discovered a flaw in SP2 that can expose all of your shared files and folders to people on the Web. For data to be exposed, says Andreas Kroschel, one of the PC Welt editors who discovered the glitch, SP2 must be installed on your system; Internet connection sharing (ICS) must be disabled; file sharing must be defined on your PC; sharing exceptions must be specified in Windows Firewall; and the affected system must have a dial-up, DSL, or ISDN connection. (Due to the lack of cable modem service in Germany, PC Welt was unable to test the flaw under that connection.)

Microsoft to secure IE for XP only

Sep 23 2004-If you're one of about 200 million people using older versions of Windows and you want the latest security enhancements to Internet Explorer, get your credit card ready.
Microsoft this week reiterated that it would keep the new version of Microsoft's IE Web browser available only as part of the recently released Windows XP operating system, Service Pack 2. The upgrade to XP from any previous Windows versions is $99 when ordered from Microsoft. Starting from scratch, the OS costs $199.
That, say analysts, is a steep price to pay to secure a browser that swept the market as a free, standalone product.
"It's a problem that people should have to pay for a whole OS upgrade to get a safe browser," said Michael Cherry, analyst with Directions on Microsoft in Redmond, Wash. "It does look like a certain amount of this is to encourage upgrade to XP."
Microsoft affirmed that its recent security improvements to IE would be made available only to XP users.
"We do not have plans to deliver Windows XP SP2 enhancements for Windows 2000 or other older versions of Windows," the company said in a statement. "The most secure version of Windows today is Windows XP with SP2. We recommend that customers upgrade to XP and SP2 as quickly as possible."
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Microsoft to step up SP2 downloads

Sep 22 2004-Microsoft said it would speed up SP2 distribution to meet its self-imposed goals, having distributed just one-fifth of its planned installations a month after launch.
Microsoft on Tuesday said that as of last week it had distributed 20 million copies of Windows XP Service Pack 2, last month's comprehensive security update to the company's flagship operating system.
On Aug. 6, the company set a goal of distributing 100 million copies within two months through its automatic update service alone. That projection didn't include installations of the upgrade downloaded from the Windows Update Web site.
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How To Save an Hour (Or More) On XP Installs Sept. 20, 2004

Sep 20 2004-Pre-patch your XP Setup CD once; never have to install SP2 again. Fred Langa walks you through a 16-step process.
Our recent discussions about Windows XP's SP2 show that the huge patch is working fine for most users; and that with caution (make a full backup or image beforehand; read and follow all of Microsoft's pre-SP2 installation tips), even potentially troublesome installations can be handled smoothly.
But not swiftly: The update process can take a considerable chunk of your workday, even if you don't count the download time or install from the free SP2 CD. Twenty to 40 minutes seems about the norm for installs on faster PCs; older, slower systems can take well over an hour.
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Spyware Can Foul Up SP2 Deployment

Sep 04 2004-SP2 is all about security. But SP2 itself cannot do much if a machine is already polluted with spyware -- and that shows to be a problem in some cases. Redmond is warning XP users to clean their systems and remove spyware before downloading SP2. Barry Goff, a MS group product manager, said some spyware could cause computers to freeze up upon installation of the update.
There are many categories of spyware, depending on who you talk to. It often comes as an unwanted parasite with file-sharing programs, starts tracking behavior and then triggers pop-up ads. And that's only one relatively harmless category of at least three dozen.
There are several freeware and for-pay products on the market to clean systems and spyware removal. Redmond recommends that you clean workstations of spyware and make backups before turning on the SP2 auto update feature. IDC estimates that by now, about 260 million copies of WinXP have been sold.
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For Businesses, It's Slow Going With Windows XP's SP2

Sep 16 2004-It could take months for many businesses to test and deploy Microsoft's most-secure operating system.
Despite the promise that Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 2 release will make PCs more secure, many businesses haven't even begun deploying it. One analyst warns that if companies don't pick up the pace of SP2 rollouts, they could face financial exposure if their computers are compromised without it.
Microsoft made SP2 available to business customers via download on Aug. 9, and by the end of the month, company officials said more than 1 million copies of the superpatch had been downloaded by businesses and many more by consumers. But it appears that many of those copies of SP2 are still running in test environments, as IT professionals check its compatibility with their applications and infrastructure software. "The patch is being applied very slowly," says Rob Enderle, principal analyst with the Enderle Group. "It's a large, complicated patch."
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SP2 vs. the plug-ins

Sep 04 2004-While security experts applaud Microsoft's recently released Service Pack 2, some companies that distribute their software over the Web are watching the product's introduction with dread and suspicion.
For years, software developers have offered applications to the world in Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser through the company's powerful proprietary API (application programming interface) called ActiveX. The technology starts up external applications, or "plug-ins," within a Web page.
But a tool that can run good software in a browser can also run bad software, and as a result ActiveX has been implicated in a wide array of security scenarios, most recently in the surreptitious installation of adware, spyware and worse.
Microsoft's Service Pack 2 security update includes a more complicated alert system for ActiveX, which launches applications within a Web page.
The changes have alarmed some software vendors that depend on ActiveX and has aroused suspicion that Microsoft is using security worries to further its strategic ends.
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PC makers: Look before taking SP2 leap

Sep 02 2004-Although Microsoft has recommended consumers turn on Windows' Automatic Update feature to get Windows XP Service Pack 2, PC makers are reminding Windows XP users to do their homework before installing the security update.
Major computer makers recommend consumers install the update, but in many cases they also have a list of revised drivers and other software patches that should be installed before downloading and installing the operating system update.
For example, Dell notes that owners of Inspiron 9100 or XPS laptops with certain ATI graphics cards should update their drivers, as should those with an internal Bluetooth wireless card.
Go here for more. Here for Dell's SP2 page, here for Sony's, and here for the one from HP and Compaq.

What are Some Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Microsoft® Windows® XP Service Pack 2 (SP 2)?

Sep 02 2004-For answers to questions you may have regarding Windows XP SP2, refer to the following:
What To Do Before You Download Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)
What Can I Expect After I Install Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)?
What are Some Technical Questions for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)?
How Do I Obtain Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)?
What is Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and What Are the New Features?
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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Important Information for Upgrading to Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2

Sep 02 2004-This document contains important information about the Service Pack 2 (SP2) Upgrade and what you need to do before upgrading. SP2 is designed for all PCs that use Windows XP (Home, Professional, Media Center, and Tablet Editions). HP and Compaq desktop PCs that were purchased prior to June 2003 may require other upgrades beyond the upgrades listed in this document.
Most companies provide free updates for their software products. HP and Compaq desktop PCs come with a wide variety of software titles not made by HP. After installing SP2, if you have an issue with a software title or a hardware device driver and the update cannot be found from the HP Web site, look on the product manufacturer's Web site for the latest updates. Most software downloads are located on the product manufacturer's Web site.
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Sony VAIO PC supports Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2

Sep 02 2004-Microsoft now offers Service Pack 2 to provide updates and fixes for the Windows XP operating system. The Service Pack update is only for computers that either shipped with or have been upgraded to the Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional or Windows XP MCE operating system. It is recommended to use the Windows Automatic Updates function to install Service Pack 2.
Go here for more.

What to Expect from Windows XP SP2 from Gateway

Sep 02 2004-Due to the number and type of security features it delivers, Microsoft® Windows® XP SP2 is a significant update. Here are a few tips about the time and computer memory required to install SP2, what you will see as you install it, and what might change after you install the service pack.
Hard Disk Space
You need at least 2 gigabytes (GB) of available space on your hard disk drive. To check your free hard disk space, from the Start menu, click My Computer, and right-click Local Disk (C:) or the name of the drive you are installing SP2 on, and then click Properties.
Also, make sure that your computer meets the minimum system requirements for Windows XP SP2.
The time it takes to download and install SP2 depends on many factors, but especially on the following:
Whether your computer meets the SP2 system requirements.
Whether you have completed the recommended steps before you download SP2.
The speed of your Internet connection. Downloading SP2 is recommended for high-speed and broadband Internet connections. If you use a slow connection, it is a good idea to turn on Automatic Updates. That way SP2 will download in the background while you are connected to the Internet. No matter how long it takes, it is a good idea to stay at your computer throughout the installation process in case you need to enter any information or respond to the Installation Wizard.
Note: Windows XP SP2 is a very large file, and could take a a significant amount of time to download, depending on the speed of your Internet connection.
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Windows XP SP2 Has a Dangerous Hole

Aug 26 2004-Windows XP Service Pack 2 promises to raise the security bar for the sometimes beleaguered operating system. Unfortunately, one of the new features could be spoofed so that it reports misleading information about system security, or worse, lets a malicious program watch for an opportunity to do damage without being detected. The feature is the Windows Security Center (WSC), which displays the status of the key elements of your defenses: Firewall, Updates, and Antivirus. If your firewall has been disabled, or your antivirus is out of date, that news will display here. The information is stored in an internal database managed by the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) subsystem built into Windows.
According to Microsoft, WMI is the Microsoft implementation of Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM), an industry standard for accessing management information on a system. For Windows XP Service Pack 2, Microsoft added new fields or records to keep track of the Firewall and Antivirus information in the WMI database. Unfortunately, the WMI database is designed to be accessible via the WBEM API (application program interface) and is available to any program that wants to access the WMI. These programs can be desktop applications written in desktop- or web-based scripting or ActiveX modules.
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Microsoft continues Windows XP SP2 distribution

Aug 26 2004-Security-focused update now available on Windows Update and on CD-ROM.
Continuing the roll-out of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday began pushing the security-focused update to PCs running Windows XP Professional Edition, made it available on Windows Update and started taking orders for SP2 CDs.
Since signing off on the English version of SP2 on Aug. 6, Microsoft has also finished work on SP2 in other languages. As of Aug. 25, SP2 is available in English and German. Microsoft is on track to release the software in 25 languages within two months and has already finished the Japanese, Korean, simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese versions, the company said. Microsoft advises customers to use the Automatic Updates feature in Windows to get SP2. However, at between 80MB and 100MB, this is a hefty download for users on slow connections. Microsoft offers no-charge CD-ROMs with SP2 for those users and the company will also pay for shipping and handling anywhere in the world, a spokesman said.
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Application Compatibility Testing and Mitigation Guide for Windows XP Service Pack 2

Aug 25 2004-Windows XP SP2 introduces new security technologies to better enable Windows XP computers to withstand viruses, worms and other kinds of attacks. This guide will assist IT Professionals to test and mitigate application compatibility issues arising from these more stringent security technologies.
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) introduces a set of security technologies that improve the ability of Windows XP systems to withstand malicious attacks, and provides the IT administrator with system wide security configuration capabilities.
SP2 is more secure by default, and thus automatically provides Windows XP systems with improved protection. However, because system security becomes more restrictive upon initial installation, SP2 may also expose application compatibility issues. It is important that an investigation into possible application compatibility issues takes place prior to full deployment.
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Microsoft addresses NAT conflict introduced by SP2

Aug 24 2004-As expected, the release of Microsoft’s Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP is being met with reports, even from Microsoft itself, of unexpected conflicts.
Based on similar experiences with Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 1, the reports have led some to suggest holding off the installation of SP2 until the initial dust settles and Microsoft responds with fixes to the biggest showstoppers.
Several large companies including IBM have announced, as a matter of policy, that SP2 should not be installed immediately. For companies that use Microsoft’s Active Directory Group Policy or logon scripts to enforce IT policies, Microsoft has issued a special SP2 blocker that prevents users from taking matters into their own hands by installing unauthorized copies of SP2.
Based on tests conducted by ZDNet, one SP2-injected change in Windows XP that could interfere with plans to roll out SP2 appears to involve a loss of network connectivity for workstations that use Microsoft’s L2TP-based virtual private networking (VPN) client to connect to servers that are connected to NAT-based networks (explained below). Based on an SP2 design decision, Microsoft refers to the anomaly as an expected change to the default behavior of Windows XP, which, prior to the update, allowed for L2TP-based connectivity to NAT-based servers.
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SP2: Bad for your blood pressure?

Aug 24 2004-Most IT managers believe that upgrading systems to Microsoft's latest security patch for Windows XP could generate problems, according to a recent survey.
The InsightExpress study, which polled IT managers in the United States, found that 63 percent of respondents believed SP2 would prove the most difficult Windows update installation ever, with 3 percent noting their "blood pressure rises just thinking about it."
In addition, 66 percent said they expected calls for help from workers to increase with the update. And 30 percent did not know how the SP2 upgrade would affect their company's support desk.
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Windows XP SP2 respite to end

Aug 24 2004-Microsoft on Wednesday will start pushing out the update to PCs running Windows XP Professional Edition .
After a nine-day postponement, Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday plans to start pushing out Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) to PCs running Windows XP Professional Edition.
Taken off guard by the large number of business customers who rely on the Windows Automatic Updates feature for patches, Microsoft last week postponed automatic distribution of the mammoth service pack. The software maker sent a note to corporate customers saying the delay was in response to customer requests for more time to install a registry key that will block the automatic delivery of SP2.
"When we designed Automatic Updates, we had consumers and small businesses in mind. We have been surprised by the number of enterprises who use Automatic Updates," said Jon Murchinson, a program manager at Microsoft.
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IE flaw under SP2: User’s problem or Microsoft’s?

Aug 23 2004-A security researcher has turned up another problem with Internet Explorer that paves the way for malicious code to sneak by all that Microsoft’s Service Pack 2 for Windows XP has to offer (from a security perspective), store itself on a hard drive, and install itself the next time a system boots up. But the exploit (and Microsoft’s response to it) raises questions about how far Microsoft must go to keep users from being their worst enemies. Unlike worms which may wriggle their way into systems with no involvement from end-users, this exploit depends on a Web site’s ability to turn a user into a willing participant in the infection process by dragging and dropping an object from one part of a Web page to another.
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Microsoft sends security update to home PCs

Aug 20 2004-Microsoft has started to send out its latest major security patch to home PCs--but some people won't get it for a while.
The first computer owners to get Windows XP Service Pack 2 began receiving it on Wednesday night, Microsoft said. The update is being sent to people who have the automatic update feature turned on in the operating system. But it will take at least a few weeks to deliver the 80-plus megabyte patch to the installed user base, a company representative said on Thursday.
"By October, everyone who wants it will have had the chance to get it," the representative said.
Placing SP2 to the Windows Update service is the final step in Microsoft's introduction of the security patch. The company had delayed distributing the update through the automatic process so that companies could block the patch until after they had fully tested it. Microsoft has already listed some applications that are affected by the new software.
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Pros point to flaws in Windows security update

Aug 18 2004-Security researchers say they're starting to find flaws in Microsoft's latest major update for Windows XP.
Last week, German company Heise Security announced that two flaws could be used to circumvent the new warnings that Windows XP Service Pack 2, or SP2, normally would display about running untrusted programs, potentially giving a leg up to a would-be intruder's attempts to execute code on a victim's PC.
And more revelations about vulnerabilities are on the way, Thor Larholm, senior security researcher with vulnerability-assessment company PivX Solutions, said Wednesday. Larholm has been looking for holes in the security of SP2 since the update was released and has notified Microsoft about several issues, but he would not discuss the details.
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Windows XP SP2 Support Center

Aug 17 2004-Be sure to check out the Windows XP support center. This portal can help you find answers and troubleshoot SP2 on your home computer, notebook or network. Look for answers and solutions to the three most common topics, installing Windows XP SP2, what to do after installing SP2 and using programs and hardware with SP2.
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Microsoft delays SP2 auto update

Aug 17 2004-Microsoft is delaying distribution of Windows XP Service Pack 2 via its Automatic Update service by at least nine days in order to give corporate customers more time to temporarily block automatic downloading of SP2 by their employees.
The software maker notified customers of the decision via e-mail on Monday, when it had planned to make SP2 available via automatic distribution. Microsoft said many big companies aren't ready to make the move and need more time to put in place tools to block automatic updates to SP2 until they can fully test their internal applications.
SP2 now won't be available on Automatic Update until Aug. 25 at the earliest, according to the e-mail, which was posted to a number of enthusiast Web sites, including one run by Steven Bink, a software developer based in Amsterdam.
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First MS SP2 errata reveals compatibility, usability issues

Aug 16 2004-Home IT Management Personal Technology Software Infrastructure Security With barely a week of public availability under Service Pack 2’s belt, Microsoft’s first major errata report regarding SP2 deployment problems lists 47 newly discovered conflicts between the default settings of SP2’s Windows Firewall and some commonly used applications. Reflecting the early release’s focus on IT managers, 40 firewall conflicts are ones that will primarily be found in business environments and the remaining seven are with games. Of the 40 business-oriented conflicts, six are with Microsoft applications including Visual Studio .NET, Systems Management Server 2003 Server, and Microsoft SQL Server. But, with multiple listings for the same product (sometimes using different text), inexact product names, and incomplete information, the list looks rushed. Perhaps drawing attention to SP2’s absence of sufficient graphical, Windows-based tools for managing the firewall, the document contains a step-by-step explanation of how to use the Windows command prompt to discover the precise firewall settings that need to be changed, and how to change them. Should average users encounter problems with the listed applications, or should the list expand (and it will after SP2 penetrates the small business and consumer segments), these not-for-mortals steps for firewall conflict remediation will become a source of frustration for many.
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Programs that may behave differently in Windows XP Service Pack 2

Aug 16 2004-Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) introduces a number of new features that help increase the performance and the security of your system. These changes also affect the operations and functionality of some programs.
The programs that are listed in this article may experience issues after you upgrade to Windows XP SP2. You may not notice some of these issues. Additionally, software vendors may have resolved some of these issues. Contact the software manufacturer or vendor for more specific details.
You can also search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for specific issues that are related to your program and for the effects of the increased security features that are offered in Windows XP SP2. (Use the WINXPSP2 keyword in your searches.)
Many of these issues are related to the introduction of the Windows Firewall feature.
For additional information about Windows Firewall, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
842242 Some programs seem to stop working after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2
875357 Troubleshooting Windows Firewall settings in Windows XP Service Pack 2
875351 You receive a "Data Execution Prevention" error message in Windows XP Service Pack 2.
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Is Microsoft's Firewall Secure?

Aug 14 2004-Some say Win XP SP2 enhancements cause conflicts, don't protect as claimed.
Security experts and vendors this week welcomed the introduction of Windows Firewall, part of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), as a valuable way of protecting PCs. But while the firewall is an improvement, it falls short of the standard of protection expected of commercial firewalls, according to some industry observers.
Windows Firewall--which replaces the old Internet Connection Firewall--marks the first time all up-to-date PCs will have a firewall switched on by default, an important step in stopping the spread of viruses, according to industry analysts. However, the software suffers from two major flaws, critics say: it does not block outbound traffic, and it can be switched off by another application, possibly even by a clever worm.
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List of fixes included in Windows XP Service Pack 2

Aug 13 2004-This article lists the problems that are fixed in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). Service packs are cumulative. This means that the problems that are fixed in a service pack are also fixed in later service packs. For example, Windows XP SP2 contains all the fixes that are included in Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1). You do not have to install an earlier service pack before you install Windows XP SP2.
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Temporarily Disabling Delivery of Windows XP Service Pack 2 Through Windows Update and Automatic Updates

Aug 10, 2004-Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) contains major security improvements designed to provide better protection against hackers, viruses, and worms. Windows XP SP2 also improves the manageability of the security features in Windows XP and provides more and better information to help users make decisions that may potentially affect their security and privacy. Because of these significant improvements, Microsoft views Windows XP SP2 as an essential security update and is therefore distributing it as a critical update via Windows Update (WU) and the Automatic Updates (AU) delivery mechanism in Windows. Microsoft strongly urges customers with Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1-based systems to update to Windows XP SP2 as soon as possible.
While recognizing the security benefits of Windows XP SP2, some organizations have requested the ability to temporarily disable delivery of this update via AU and WU. These organizations have populations of PCs, upon which they have enabled AU. This is done to ensure that these PCs receive all critical security updates.
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Windows XP Service Pack 2 Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers

Aug 10 2004-This installation package is intended for IT professionals and developers downloading and installing on multiple computers on a network. If you're updating just one computer, please visit
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) provides new proactive security technologies for Windows XP to better defend against viruses, worms, and hackers. In addition to a more robust security infrastructure, SP2 improves the security configuration options of Windows XP and provides better security information to help users faced with security decisions.
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Windows XP Service Pack 2 Deployment Tools

Aug 10 2004-Download the latest deployment tools for help installing Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) on multiple computers. This file contains updates to the deployment tools and documentation.
The Windows XP Corporate Deployment Tools ( assists system administrators in installing Windows XP Service Pack 2 on multiple computers. This file contains updates to Setup Manager, the Sysprep utility, and related documentation.
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Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2

Aug 9, 2004-This document is Part 1 of Changes to Functionality in Windows XP Service Pack 2 and provides an introduction to Microsoft® Windows® XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). You can obtain the other parts of the paper in the Microsoft Download Center, at
This document applies to Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) for the 32-bit versions of Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home Edition. It does not describe all of the changes that are included in the service pack, but instead highlights those changes that will have the most impact on your use of Windows XP SP2 and provide references to additional information.
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Windows XP Service Pack 2

Aug 9 2004-Microsoft continually works to improve its software. As part of this effort, we develop updates and fixes to recognized issues and release them for use by customers. On a regular basis, we combine many of these fixes into a single package and make the package available for customers to install on their computers. These packages are called Service Packs.
Available soon, Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) will bring users the latest security updates and innovations from Microsoft. It will establish stronger security settings that help defend against viruses, hackers, and worms and will provide unique new security features designed to make it easier for you to protect your PC.
Get Ready for SP2: Turn On Automatic Updates Today
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Guide for Installing and Deploying Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2

Aug 9, 2004-On This Page, About This Guide, What You Should Know Before You Deploy Service Pack 2, What Is in Service Pack 2?, Planning Your Deployment, Installing Service Pack 2, After You Install Service Pack 2, Removing Service Pack 2, and For More Information.
This guide provides information for administrators and other advanced users who are installing Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).
This guide includes procedures and recommendations that can help you install the service pack on multiple computers in a small business or corporate environment. It also includes key scenarios for installing the service pack either alone or integrated with Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition or Microsoft Windows XP Professional. As an alternative to using the methods described in this guide, you can buy and install Windows XP, which now includes SP2.
Throughout the rest of this guide, Windows XP is used to refer to both Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional unless otherwise stated.
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Installing Service Pack 2 (SP2)

Aug 07 2004-Regardless of whether you download SP2 or order products CD, there are a number of steps you should take for a successful installation. Find out how to make sure your PC is ready to be upgraded, how to back up your personal information in case of problems, and how to troubleshoot issues if you’ve already installed or tried to install the service pack.
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What to do after installing Service Pack 2 (SP2)

Aug 07 2004-To help protect your PC, SP2 delivers new security features with the recommended settings turned on by default. Windows XP SP2 also applies different default settings to some existing programs. Learn how to choose or changes settings so that your programs work the way you want them to while keeping your computer more secure.
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Using programs and hardware with Service Pack 2 (SP2)

Aug 07 2004-Now that you’ve installed SP2, you might notice that some programs and devices work differently. Get help with drivers, software updates, settings, and other compatibility issues. Learn more about why some programs work differently with SP2.
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How to install Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) by using Systems Management Server

Aug 05 2004-You can use Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2.0 or SMS 2003 to distribute Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) from a shared distribution folder on a network.
Important To distribute Windows XP SP2 by using SMS 2.0, you must have SMS 2.0 with Service Pack 4 (SP4) installed.
To distribute Windows XP SP2 by using SMS, you must complete the following steps:
  1. Create the SMS package by importing the package definition file for Windows XP SP2.
  2. Provide the path of the Windows XP SP2 source files in the package properties.
  3. Distribute the SMS package to the distribution points.
  4. Create the advertisement to notify SMS clients about Windows XP SP2.

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Some programs seem to stop working after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2

Aug 04 2004-After you install Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), some programs may seem not to work. By default, Windows Firewall is enabled and blocks unsolicited connections to your computer. This article discusses how to make an exception and enable a program to run by adding it to the list of exceptions. This procedure permits the program to work as it did before the service pack was installed.
To help provide security for your Windows XP SP2-based computer, Windows Firewall blocks unsolicited connections to your computer. However, sometimes you might want to make an exception and permit someone to connect to your computer. For example, the following scenarios describe occasions when you might want someone to be able to connect to your computer:
  • You are playing a multiplayer game over the Internet.
  • You are expecting to receive a file that is sent through an instant message program.
After you install Windows XP SP2, client applications may not successfully receive data from a server. Following are some examples:
  • An FTP client
  • Multimedia streaming software
  • New mail notifications in some e-mail programs
Alternatively, server applications that are running on a Windows XP SP2-based computer may not respond to client requests. Following are some examples:
  • A Web server such as Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • Remote Desktop
  • File Sharing

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Service Pack 2 to the Rescue

July 28 2004-Windows XP Service Pack 2: Where Will You Be the Day after Tomorrow? This is your wake up call, folks! Hackers deceive us right under our nose! I think you'll be quite amazed to read the "Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 " document. Just think of how many ways hackers can spoof us using Internet Explorer today. They can create a popup window that will hide important information like the address bar or the notification bar and make us believe that this is a secure site. They can pop-up an ActiveX install request as many times as they want, interfering our web browsing experience. Without the defense of a firewall, they can connect to our computers in unsolicited inbound connections through TCP/IP.
Service Pack 2 for Windows XP has more than 150 changes designed to improve the security and stability of our operating system. Although some of the improvements are not security related, most of them are.
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Top 10 Reasons to Deploy Windows XP Service Pack 2

July 28 2004-Here’s why SP2 is the most important update ever for Windows XP.
On This Page
  • Introduction
  • Proactive Protection
  • Compatibility
  • Improved Manageability
  • Windows Firewall
  • Blocking Pop-ups
  • Internet Explorer
  • Updates
  • Wireless
  • More new technologies
  • How to Get SP2
  • For Further Reading
There’s a lot of information elsewhere on, highlighting the business benefits of Windows XP, the consumer benefits of SP2, the important security enhancements it contains, and so on. But what seemed to be missing was an article written from the perspective of the IT pro, on what admins and, well, non-casual users should expect from this super-size (266 MB!) update. This article looks at the changes in Windows XP SP2 that affect IT pros, and why we think you will find it a worthwhile—maybe even great—update. Indeed, it’s almost worthy of being called an upgrade. Its new features bring enhancements to everything from web browsing to wireless networking. But make no mistake: Windows XP SP2 is, first and foremost, about security. So let’s start there.
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Much More than Meets the Eye

July 28 2004-Windows XP Service Pack 2 includes many more changes. Here is a quick list of some of them:
  • Any programs that work with RPC, DCOM or WebDAV will not use anonymous connections anymore. They must be authenticated.
  • A new wireless client supporting the new RADIUS server to be shipped in Service Pack 1 of Windows Server 2003.
  • Outlook Express does not download external HTML content automatically and helps users to avoid getting repeated spam mailings by preventing the user from unknowingly validating their e-mail address to spam originators.
  • NX ("No Execute") Technology - Execution protection is a new technology that works along with a supported CPU to protect the computer memory from programs that cause buffer overruns.
  • AES – Attachment Exaction Service helps IE, Windows Messenger, and Outlook Express to sniff executable files and to determine if they are safe.
  • Bluetooth support for most of the known devices.
  • MSI3 – Microsoft Installer 3 that supports Binary Data Compression for smaller patches.
  • Client for Windows Update Server that will be out soon.
  • Tablet PC enhancements to help you write more smoothly.

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