Knowledgebase: Misc. Tech Tips
Windows XP: Service Pack 2
Posted by Clarke M on 03 April 2006 08:50 PM
(this article is a little dated, but the tips still appply) Microsoft XP Service Pack - Almost a New Operating System.

Microsoft has finally released the long awaited SP2 (Service Pack 2) for Windows XP. It has been available as an administrative download for over a week now (the time of this writing being Aug. 17, 2004).
Users with automatic updates enabled will start receiving SP2 on Wed, Aug 18, 2004.
This will be a large download, between 60 and 80 MB, depending on your version (Home or Pro) and whether you have installed updates recently. This may take days on a dial up connection. icon_evil.gif This update will be available on CD later this summer (have we had a summer?) according to Microsoft

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/updates/sp2/cdorder/en_us/default.mspx

Some of the new features will be:

- Managing Internet Explorer add-ons
- Stopping malicious scripting in Internet Explorer
- Blocking pop-up ads
- More secure Outlook Express email
- A vastly improved firewall
- New Security Center feature
- Modified Automatic Updates configuration
- Disabled Windows Messenger Service
- Restrict ability of network services to propagate threats

Now a couple of problems, other than the huge download:

1. Outlook Express will block attachments by default.
To remedy this annoying default setting, see the following WTC Communications Tech Tip

http://forums.kingston.net/viewtopic.php?t=53

2. The new XP firewall is enabled by default. Although this may be a good thing in certain instances, it also disables the functionality of a growing list of applications.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=884130

If you are using a router, you should not require the XP firewall. This can be disabled in this manner:
Click “Start”
Click “Control Panel”
Double-click the new “Security Center”
Click on “Windows Firewall”
Select the “Off (not recommended)” button.
Click “OK”
Exit the control panel.

Your Windows firewall is now disabled. This will allow a large number of programs to function again.

There will be more tips to come on XP SP2 as the problems and their solutions are dicovered.

And remember folks "When the world's out to get you, paranoid is just smart thinking"
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