The Windows XP Service Pack 2 (XP SP2) fixes a range of bugs in Windows XP. The file is a large download and can be applied to any version of Windows XP Home, Professional, TabletPC or Media Center. It doesn’t matter what XP updates you have previously applied to your system, SP2 will update any unpatched, partially patched or completely updated system (it includes all previously released patches and updates). If you are going to reinstall the original release of Windows XP on a PC, it is important that you apply this Service Pack BEFORE connecting to the Web. Nasty viruses and worms like Sasser and Blaster can enter an unpatched system as soon as it is connected to the Web. They come through an open port on your system. You don’t even have to receive email or go to a web site – just being connected is enough. XP SP2 fixes the security holes so you won’t get attacked.
The advantage of this full download is that it can be used on any system – plus it doesn’t require an Internet connection to install. You can download SP2, burn it to CD and use it on multiple PCs.
Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) provides enhanced security measures that will hopefully improve defences against viruses, worms and hackers, along with increased manageability and an improved experience for users. In addition to security and bug fixes, it will change many default settings to improve security, but it may also create some problems:
- The firewall will be turned on.
- Messenger will be turned off by default.
- Media Bar has been removed from Internet Explorer 6.
- New version: Windows Movie Maker 2.1.
- You can no longer print or print preview a Web page that includes an ActiveX object.
- XP SP2 includes a new power-management option for Windows XP. You can now use the tool Powercfg.exe to configure power-management settings from the command line.
- The new Wireless Network Setup Wizard makes it easier to create a security-enabled wireless network and add a new computer or device to an existing wireless network.
- When you install SP2, Internet Explorer 6 is updated and includes a new security setting, called Binary Behaviors. To view this setting, click Tools, click Internet Options, click Security, and then click Custom Level.
- The Security Center is a new feature in SP2 that tracks and reports your computer's security settings and sends you alerts if your settings might be putting your computer at risk.
- Automatic Updates will help improve the security of your computer. By default, after you install SP2, these updates are installed automatically when you shut down your computer. If the 'Turn off computer' dialog box appears, it displays a new security shield icon that gives you the option to 'Update and Turn Off' your computer. If you choose this option, the downloaded updates are installed, and then your computer shuts down.