Daring to install Windows XP Service Pack 2
I’ve just taken the plunge and installed Service Pack 2 in Windows XP, convinced that my PC would never work again after I had done it. I did (almost) all the things you’re warned to do before installing SP2, although I confess that I didn’t brave the mysteries of trying to up-date my BIOS or my drivers: but I backed up all my files, set a new system restore point (although SP2 does this for you anyway), ran a virus checker over the whole system, ran Ad-Aware to eliminate trojans, spyware, adware, tracking cookies and other non-virus nasties that try to take control of the computer, ran checkdisk and defrag… and when I had run out of excuses, I took a deep breath and installed the new service pack — almost a whole new operating system, really — from the CD I had ordered from Microsoft. Even with my fairly fast processor, lots of memory and masses of space on the hard disk, it took well over an hour. Several times I thought it had frozen, but it eventually resumed its activity, and it now seems to be up and running. Haven’t yet come across any of the notorious incompatibilities with my existing programs, but it’s early days!
If anyone reading this is using Windows XP, has installed SP1 but not yet SP2, I would encourage you to grit your teeth and do it. Before you do, I suggest you read the advice from Microsoft on what you need to know and do beforehand. Don’t try to download this monster from the Microsoft website, especially if you only have a dial-up connection â€“ it would take many hours with all the risks of interruption. Order the CD from Microsoft: it’s free, and you can of course re-use it. (If anyone reading this wants to borrow mine and knows my snail-mail address, drop me a line or email me quoting my snailmail address and I’ll be glad to lend it to you.)
29 October 2004