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  • #2276530

    Is your company skittish about XP SP2?


    by debate ·

    What’s your take on the relevance of Windows XP Service Pack 2? What plans, if any, does your organization have for deploying SP2? If you’re putting off this long-awaited update, what are your concerns? Share your comments about the relevance of XP SP2, as discussed in the Nov. 8 Internet Security Focus newsletter.

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    • #3295634

      nothing to fear

      by frnt9 ·

      In reply to Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

      I like many of you were skittish upon the release of SP2. Let’s face it, MS’s track record of top notch patches hasn’t been that great. I decided to wait awhile before releasing it to my staff. I installed it on the office desktops about 3 weeks ago. While some of the bells & whistles are useless, the one thing that I hear the most positive feedback on is the built in pop-up protecter. I know its inevitable that something will go wrong in the near future, so hopefully it won’t be today.

      • #3295532

        No small task to test

        by zaferus ·

        In reply to nothing to fear

        As a medium sized company, we have a lot of offices, hundreds of systems, and several specialized applications. Testing SP2 is a big project.

        While our apps are vendor supported (fortunately), very few say they will support SP2. I know Microsoft is big on everyone upgrading and just “going for it”, but it’s not that simple. And how many business can afford to just cross their fingers on this?

    • #3295578

      XP SP2 on hold

      by stuart_lesnett ·

      In reply to Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

      We’re a small company, I’m the security officer and would like a select with ops-admin what changes are applied to the systems. The removal of internet problems was solved by Foxfire and the new email system neither took 75+ meg’s. We have a new laptop with XP and an older desktop. The old desktop took over 5 physical hours to install with Microsoft’s assistance together with 4 different 128k memory sticks and 2 different cd drives. We still encounter a number of crashes and send in the notification to MS but only receive its a drive problem contact the manufacture. Well! it would be nice to know which device has the driver problem. As the article indicates we’re still running 98 and 2000 but looking very hard at Mandrake.

    • #3312535

      will not recommend SP2 for most

      by jrice ·

      In reply to Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

      Tasked with looking after over 400 desktops I do not feel that this update is needed for all computer systems. I do feel that mobile users will find this a usefull update however the corporate desktop should not need this update for the most part. Workers should not be browsing the internet looking at bad sites so the need for protection with spyware etc is not needed. All the systems I look after are behind good firewalls so again the security changes are not needed for the most part. As for XP running better with the service pack again after seeing a number of systems running side by side this is debatable. Public access systems however do benefit and I have used this service pack on those systems. All and all when I am slow ( yea right) then I always have a make work project installing SP2.

      • #3312344

        Big deal about not much

        by ccollins ·

        In reply to will not recommend SP2 for most

        SP2 is basically just a modified Internet Explorer and a bit of a firewall. IE6SP2 can be opened up wide just like the older versions and you can turn the firewall off. Big fuss about nothing, in my opinion. I have to support software made fom 98 to date and it all works fine. if you want to you can tweak bits of it – all it took was finding the port numbers of stuff and a little modifying of MS’s security recommendations for IE (you have to allow users to add add-ins otherwise javascript doesn’t work).

        • #3312105

          That is provided the the

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Big deal about not much

          Computer restarts after the install. A lot of P4’s don’t without Flashing the BIOS to a latter version.

          Then there are all the other bits and pieces the complete SP2 is 266 MEG in length so considering the size of the Original XP Pro that we use it is more like a rewrite than a patch. Sure an individual computer may only require 75 odd MEG of download to install SP2 but even 75 MEG is one big patch and when you are looking at several hundred desktops across the business it is just not an option downloading the parts of SP2 that each individual computer requires you have to go with the CD version of the patch.

          Then there are the suppliers who actually tell you not to apply the Service Pack like in one of the places where I do the Consulting for every LT is not recommended to apply this patch to. Now that may work or they may not bit without a viable BIOS update I for one would never consider patching the CEO’s LT without first knowing if it will work after wards or for that matter any of the other field staff who use these things as they would go complaining to the CEO about the lack of their LT’s and being unable to do their work.

          Rather than experiment I’m sitting put until the maker of these LT tells me it’s OK to install the patch and if things go wrong then at least I have an e-mail to point to and say well the maker claims it’s OK to install now!


        • #3312078

          very big deal

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Big deal about not much

          I’ve got a client I’d like you to tell about how it’s no big deal. Fully 50% of his computers would not reboot after he installed SP2 on them against my recommendation.

          Once SP2 was installed, it decided that the installed drivers on those systems for the SATA controllers did not belong there, and eliminated the drivers. Unfortunately, the SATA drive attached to the SATA controller in each machine was the bootable drive. Attempting to reinstall the driver didn’t work, of course, because during boot the SP2-enhanced OS got rid of the driver again ? which means that Windows XP never finished booting up, and the system could not be rolled back to pre-SP2.

          The drives had to be wiped, and XP had to be reinstalled from scratch without SP2. Luckily, this client had critical data backed up.

          It was a very big deal.

    • #3312301

      SP2 has many good features for remote workforce

      by smcgirk ·

      In reply to Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

      My company is a National Medical Transcription company,, we have 3500+ users that work from home over VPN using dial-up, DSL or Cable Internet access. We are 70% complete deploying XP to these users and will soon begin testing and deploying SP2. SP2 benifits are many for this type of work force, enhanced firewall features and pop-up blocking (to help thwart spyware and malware) are the primary areas of concern at this time.

      If companies are not running XP (has been on the market for 3 years now) they are falling behind current desktop OS technology and will be left behind in the patch management, security fix and application development process. Companies are not writing software for NT4 anymore and Win 2K will soon follow, replaced by Server 2003.

      Wind 2k will soon go the way of NT4, this is fact, and as Microsoft stops releasing security updates for these legacy operating systems companies will be at greater and greater risk, not to mention hardware vendors such as HP/Compaq no longer support NT4 on their new servers and workstations.

      • #3312831

        SP2 … I’ll wait for SP2A…

        by j.g. ·

        In reply to SP2 has many good features for remote workforce

        I am amazed at the MS company line spouted here: “If companies are not running XP … they are falling behind current desktop OS technology.”
        What did you have in mind?
        Curvy, blue-tinted user interfaces?
        XP Home’s inability to join a domain?
        Patching everything ELSE on an XP-SP2 system just to make it run again?
        A nice read, on-topic, direct from Redmond:

        I will wait and see, using OpenOffice, websurfing with Firefox and/or Mozilla, on Win2000, behind a “real” firewall.

        P.S. Open Office “*.sxw” documents open up NICELY in IE6, of all apps.

    • #3313153

      more than skittish

      by apotheon ·

      In reply to Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

      There are two XP systems here: one has SP2 on it and the other does not. There’s one Windows 98 system as well. All other Windows systems are Win2k, because that’s the one that Just Works. The three Windows systems running XP and 98 are useful for testing purposes, as this is an IT consultancy.

      Everything else in-house runs Linux at present. It’s just safer, and it doesn’t require signing over privacy rights to Microsoft to use Linux.

    • #3311754

      Not having much luck

      by patpawlowski2000 ·

      In reply to Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

      The first machine that we installed sp2 on was a seldom used machine that was set up for video editing. After reboot, we got a bluescreen. I booted into safe mode and attempted to do an uninstall, but was told I didn’t have sufficient privledges. Even though I was logged in as the local administrator. So I tried a roll-back. This resulted in a blue screen even in safe mode. Now I’m convinced that some hardware has failed. I attempted to reinstall windows, but first tried doing the ‘copy all files’ option. Oddly enought, after reboot, the roll-back seemed to continue??????? Afterwards, I finally got back to the login screen sans sp2 and all appears to be well. But I have lost faith. I have recently installed on 2 more of our desktops, after ghosting an image of the existing configuration and all seemed to go well. However, just last night I realized that the patch/rebuild seems to affect the Borland DAtabase Engine’s ability to connect to a local ms sql server. I guess I know what I’ll be working on today.

      • #3311718

        Well MS accept that 10% of all computers where

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Not having much luck

        SP2 is installed will have an adverse outcome.

        You have been unlucky enough to be among those people who use software that is adversely affected by SP2. Honestly most business applications are adversely affected by SP2 if only from the improved security but the very market that was supposed to benefit from this rewrite of XP are the ones suffering.

        To date I have not found a single company which actually benefits from this rewrite of XP, but they must be out there however none of them are my customers.


      • #3311711

        Problems here also

        by smack ·

        In reply to Not having much luck

        We have custom apps that our employess use all day.

        All features worked fine which was expected since they were VB .net except the audio encoding. Well part of the encoding , seems the conversion from .wav to wma worked just fine, but suprise suprise conversion to .wav to .rm fails.

        Why does Microsoft think thier standards, products are the only ones in the world. To me it is just a further blatten attempt to monopolize the PC world further.

        Our solution, there will be no upgrade to SP2.

        All new apps that are being readied for deployment are web based with no MS dependent components. Audio conversion is now being handled on centralized Linux servers.

        Our goal is to within 6 months eliminate MS OS’s from 70% of our workforces machines, since they only work on our custom apps and use basic functions like email.

        But yes will be impossible to migrate upper management any time soon, since they are totally dependent on Office.

    • #3311714

      None of the companies I have contracted with

      by packet spoofer ·

      In reply to Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

      are running XPsp2. Many have been testing it on a couple of computers but that is it….
      I think SP2 has created more problems than it has fixed…..

    • #3311681

      We tested and did it

      by craigr ·

      In reply to Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

      We have 40 offices and over 200 users on our network. We tested everything, did a beta roll out of SP2 and when we were comfortable with it, we released it to everyone. Sure, we ran into some small problems, but they were easily fixed and everything is cool.

    • #3311674

      No thought for Small Businesses

      by hollyday ·

      In reply to Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

      Small Businesses cannot afford downtime, either caused by shortcomings with SP2 or caused by lack of support for other products, whether it be anti-virus or accounting software. Computers and all associated software are critical systems to all companies, but going with out them is the kind of thing that can sink a small business. I am waiting, still. On top of allof that, the other products that are on these PCs are so one off, but necessary, I don’t anticipate that those companies are any where near a supportable product for SP2. The business I support will hopefully hit a slower period in the next couple of months so if something goes wrong they don’t have as much of a critical need. Microsoft has lost touch with the everyday business person, and for that, we’ll load this when we are sure and ready.

      • #3311631


        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to No thought for Small Businesses

        In the X-Mass New Year break you might have a chance to have a play but as a precaution GHOST all the drives from any computers that you migrate first so it will save you the effort of reloading if things go wrong.


      • #3293293

        Unrealistic Expectations

        by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

        In reply to No thought for Small Businesses

        Small Businesses cannot afford downtime
        —– —– —– —–

        Every well-run business plans for inevitable downtime.

        If you build a computer network – and don’t plan for outages, you’re making a big mistake.

        • #3293202

          unplanned downtime

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Unrealistic Expectations

          Somehow, I think HollyDay was referring to downtime due to failures, not due to scheduled maintenance and upgrades.

        • #3293185

          Totally correct

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Unrealistic Expectations

          But by the same token you don’t plan to deliberately take the system down either. While crashes are inevitable I at least try to minimize them as much as possible and do any maintenance work outside of normal business hours so if anything unwanted happens there is minimal impact on the business.

          With SP2 however it is known that there will be problems with wireless and propriety software so why temp fate and destroy all you’ve worked to prevent?


    • #3311673

      nothing to fear

      by progrsys ·

      In reply to Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

      Very little to nothing has gone wrong.I’ve done at least 75 SP2 the only machine harmed was my son’s game pc.
      the gaming industry has brought computers to a halt with spyware.
      SP2 deals with that.
      Spyware needs to be stopped.
      Many apps supported by overseas call centers might be at risk.Check with software support vendors first.You could be essentially at the mercy of your apps.If your app can handle the change after 90 days after the release os SP2…Your app and its support suck.
      But they own you.

    • #3311655

      25K Strong!

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

      No issue on the 25,000 workstations deployed here with this client. Our worst issues are with folks still trying to press F# keys from the mainframe applications, while in Windows!

    • #3293179

      No SP2 yet on our rollouts

      by house ·

      In reply to Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

      The updates were handled a little differently at the institute where I recently finished a contract. Every workstation was rolled out with only SP1 and an RPC hotfix (windows update was disabled). Every patch was properly tested in lab settings as they were released. We used a third party program called “Patchlink” to push the updates to our clients. It will be some time yet before workstations are deployed with SP2 by default.

      • #3291072

        SP2 & SP3 for home computers?

        by fnmstaab ·

        In reply to No SP2 yet on our rollouts

        Many employees are asking if SP2 and now SP3 should be downloaded on their home computers. Does anyone wish to voice an opinion on this? I haven’t seen any reports on SP3 regarding problems or benefits. Any feedback will be appreciated.

        • #3291055


          by house ·

          In reply to SP2 & SP3 for home computers?

          Are we talking about the same piece of software? It is “fourth quarter, 2004” where I live. Maybe I haven’t been informed. What is service pack 3 on XP?

          Are your users talking about office? Are they talking about 2k? Is it .net?

          There might actually be an sp3 integrated XP that is being shared by some guy on a torrents board. This would probably be sp2 with a couple of hotfixes.

        • #3290987


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to sp3?

          As far as I’m aware, there’s no service pack 3 for Windows XP. I know that I refuse to use any Windows version for my own purposes that is newer than Windows 2000 SP2, however. The service pack 3 for Win2k adds terms the the end user license agreement that I have no interest in agreeing to, and those changed terms exist in one form or another in every single Windows EULA that has been produced since.

          I recommend against installing XP SP2, by the way. The problems it can potentially introduce are tremendous, and its benefits are dubious at best when one has a properly secured setup for one’s computer. For instance, you should never, ever, run a Windows machine on a broadband Internet connection without good antivirus and anti-spyware software or without an external firewall.

          With these things in place, and certain security vulnerabilities disabled in XP, you should cover everything that service pack 2 purports to “fix”, and a few things besides.

        • #3292627


          by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

          In reply to sp3

          I just got all into the whole “slipstream” thing. If you don’t know about it already, it’s pretty cool. You just run the SP’s setup with some command line arguments against your un-patched XP install files.

          You can burn the results to a CD and you don’t have to install, and then patch later. It also closes up some security issues with XP’s setup. Specifically, if you do the install with your NIC connected to the web, you’re the bitch of every script kiddy on your broadband domain.

        • #3292619

          Reply To: Is your company skittish about XP SP2?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Slipstream

          nice to know

        • #3294012

          More to the slipstream thing

          by house ·

          In reply to Slipstream

          You can mount the image with an iso buster type program and inject the updates without losing your bootable functionality.

        • #3304993

          More info

          by patpawlowski2000 ·

          In reply to Slipstream

          Where did you find info on slipstreaming. I have done it before with 2000 but haven’t been able to find information on it since and don’t remember the details.

        • #3292634

          There are SP3’s for Office XP and .Net

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to SP2 & SP3 for home computers?

          But as yet nothing is available for Windows XP along those lines. After all SP2 has just been released and only after many false starts.

          While there are already patches for Windows XP SP2 there is nothing newer as a Service Packs for Windows XP.


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