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How do I avoid Windows XP SP-2

Posted on 2005-03-17
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I attempted to install SP-2 on a laptop computer.  During the installatin, the computer froze.  Rebooting resulted in SP-2 being uninstalled and the computer reverting back to it's original configuration- a rather long process.  Just to be sure, I ran an XP repair process (not the recovery console repair but the one that can be selected during install) and the computer seems OK.  Now, with Autoupdate on, Microsoft is attempting to download and install XP again.  I still would like to install the periodic security updates but not SP-2.  How can I prevent SP-2 to always appear in Autoupdate?
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Question by:bobengel
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18 Comments
 
LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:DVation191
ID: 13567962
bobengel,
There used to be a registry key you could add that would disable the download and install of SP2 on XP machines. However this was a temporary fix and MS designed the key to no longer work after April 12.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/maintain/sp2aumng.mspx

After that, the fix won't work anymore and the SP will be downloaded. However automatic updates will not automatically install SP2 (at least not from what I've seen) It gets downloaded but not automatically installed like other updates.

Fact of the matter is, you won't be able to get a lot of the newer updates because they will require SP2. You'll only be able to avoid SP2 for so long, so you might want to start trying to figure out how you are going to make SP2 work on your machine instead of trying to avoid it.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:katacombz
ID: 13568850
use Linux...

aside from this disable auto updates, then when you do update select your updates leving sp2 unchecked
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Author Comment

by:bobengel
ID: 13569298
I've decided to attempt another SP-2 install and will post the results.  Too bad MS won't extend the disabling of SP2.  I'm sure we're not the only ones who have problems with this upgrade.  Maybe it will work this time as I did the XP repair function which may have corrected some missing or corrupted files.  I'll post the reslults.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Watzman
ID: 13569331

I think that you are trying address the wrong problem.

You SHOULD install SP2 on the computer, the problem worth addressing is why it won't install.  This is especially true because the most common reason for failure to install is that the machine is infected with virus' or spyware that is hosing up the attempted installation of the firewall.  The first rule for installing SP2 is to make sure that the machine is clean BEFORE you install it, because it's security enhancements are geared to preventing infection, not towards removing them from an already infected machine.

There is no single spyware program that will detect and remove even half of the spyware that's out there.  There is no 2-product combination that will detect and remove even 80% of them.  But for starters, I'd run:

- A good AV program (I use Norton)
- Ad-aware
- The new Microsoft spyware program now in beta test (it's available for free download)
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:DVation191
ID: 13569355
What to Know Before You Download and Install Windows XP Service Pack 2
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/sp2/sp2_whattoknow.mspx
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Expert Comment

by:Dallas_Hindle
ID: 13570826
bobenge

I agree with the DVation191 there will come a time when you will need to fix the problem with SP2 rather than just avoiding it.


However, if SP2 is automatically installing then make sure your not using a WUS or SUS server in your company that is pushing the installation out. I’ve setup WUS in our company to do this and so far haven’t run into any problems.


Check for any Software delivery servers, SMS could be doing it as well.



Hindle
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:CHurst5841
ID: 13571313
You won't be able to avoid Microsoft Windows XP SP2 as Microsoft will begin forcing clients to install the update on April 12, 2005.
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Author Comment

by:bobengel
ID: 13571453
I installed SP-2 from a CD which contains the installation file I downloadeed from MS.  This time, I will us MS download and see what happens.  I'll report results.
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LVL 12

Accepted Solution

by:
GinEric earned 195 total points
ID: 13571609
This has been reported numerous times months ago at dslreports.com

First, you will probably have to hit a Restore Point.  When you install SP2, in general, you should probably be offline, there is a place to download the entire SP2, called the "network install."

All firewalls and antivirus usually have to be turned off.  This is the problem with installing over the Internet, it leaves you naked, not a very good idea from Microsoft, I'd say.

Read all the documents everyone has suggested, then try again.

Secondly, you'll probably find SP2 quite annoying.  If you turn off some of the security features, wscntfy.exe, an annoying little piece of securityware, won't quit.  It comes back every night at midnight too, if you kill it off.  The only way to kill it is with Visual Studio and debug it.

I personally can't stand what Microsoft did with SP2, but live with it.  The reason is that eventually patches run out and you have to have their service pack installed to continue.

It blocks popups, all of them, even after you tell it not to, including banking and other critical popups and javascript, it thinks McCafee, Norton, Trendmicro, etc., are viruses [and they think SP2 is a virus, which is why most installs fail].

SP2 is "relatively" stable right now, but it is a pain to have to keep telling it to "shut up!"

That's the price of having Microsoft babysit so many users I guess.

The name of the network install SP2 file is:

xpsp2_en_x86.exe

and it is 266 megabytes.

The SP1A is

xpsp1a_en_x86.exe

125 megabytes.

Only these versions allow the complete uninstall of either one.

One last thing, I forgot, it is usually the CD one that fails too.

Try the xpsp2_en_x86.exe file, rather than installing over the Internet.  Numerous antivirus programs won't let it install, and if you shutdown your antivirus, well, you know . . .
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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:Watzman
Watzman earned 180 total points
ID: 13575077

I totally disagree with GinEric about SP2; I think it's the best thing that MS ever did to XP.  It is trouble-free, in my experience (once installed), and dramatically increases security.  Installation is trouble-free on a CLEAN machine, but can go bad if the machine is already infected, or in some cases if AV software is present and not disabled.  [There is also a problem with some motherboards with Prescott CPUs that have early BIOS' that don't properly support the Prescott processor].  It does not totally block popups if you tell it not to; I use numerous sites that depend on popups (including E-Bay for shipping costs), and if you tell it to allow popups for that site, it allows them.

You want to download, or have on CD, the entire SP2 update, it's about 270 megabytes.  I fully agree that the web install and the partial download done by Windows Update should not be used.  The version that I have is called WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe.  SP2 includes SP1, there is no reason to install or in any way worry about SP1, and it doesn't matter if it's installed first or not.  You can download the full 270 megabyte version from the Microsoft web site, but being 270 megabytes, it's a large and possibly long download.

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Author Comment

by:bobengel
ID: 13577764
I am noiw currently downloading the SP-2 update and it's being installed on the Compaq notebook in question.  If it stalls again as it did  before, I will need to do a clean  install of XP and then the SP-2 update.  

On the current machine, I ran three anti-sypware programs plus a virus scan and it's clean.  Previously, I reinstalled XP Home in the update mode hoping that it would correct any sofware problems.  It hit one snag during the install: "Error loading setup eak.dll".  I pressed OK and the update continued.  XP appears normal and the only thing that was lost is the program menu.  All of the programs are still there but they don't show up on Start>All Programs anymore.  I will have to manually place icons for starting each program on the desktop so the owner can find them. I will post results.
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Author Comment

by:bobengel
ID: 13584426
Final Report:  With the exception of the error listed above, SP-2 installed OK and the computer seems to be working fine.  Thanks to all who contributed.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:GinEric
ID: 13585538
Thank you bobengel

I'm wondering what the next Microsoft OS is going to be. Should be coming pretty soon, deprecating XP.  Microsoft PP ?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Watzman
ID: 13586312

The next OS will be the OS currently code-named "Longhorn" and it's due out 2nd half of 2006, but could well slip into 2007.
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Author Comment

by:bobengel
ID: 13586986
Before that, XP 64-bit will be out.  It's already available in beta, I believe.  This is not really a new OS but an upgrade to take advantage of AMD's 64 bit chips and some software that's available.  
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Watzman
ID: 13587242

I don't think that Windows 64-bit will be of widespread general interest at this time.  My guess is that it will sell more copies than tablet, but fewer than Windows XP MCE (media center).
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Expert Comment

by:CreativeTech
ID: 14208646
You might try checking with the vender of your laptop to see if they have a pre-SP2 update prior to installing the MS SP2. I ran into a problem with a machine crashing because I did not get the vender update first.
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Author Comment

by:bobengel
ID: 14215301
Creative Tech,

THanks for your response.  The issue has been resolved earlier so this subject can be closed
  RME
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