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Service Pack 3 - Windows XP - A simple question


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#1
Onaipian

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This isn't a problem, but rather, a question:

I have Windows XP Service Pack 3 installed, and there are no problems. But I have been seeing more and more people with problems ranging from "download and run this to fix it" to "replace your RAM" all being caused by SP3. All of this is starting to make me wonder if Service Pack 3 is to be trusted.

What do you guys think?

Edited by piano9playa5, 12 October 2008 - 01:14 PM.

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#2
AitrusSkyy

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Originally when windows xp SP3 was released there were initial problems with some computers having completed the installation then not being able to reboot. Those issues involved people with AMD processors and some select people with IntelPPM running on their system (which not everyone has). You can read here about that.
http://msinfluential...ing-xp-sp3.aspx

SP3 in general contains all SP2 updates and updates beyond that. SP3 is not necessary for everyone to update to, however it is recommended. There is nothing wrong with SP3 in general.

I do not believe SP3 itself would cause any hardware related issues.

For exact changes in SP3 or additions, you can see this.

http://download.micr...8... Pack 3.pdf

A lot of people assume SP3 is some new huge update. But it is really not. It contains all previous updates from other service packs, a few new changes, and updates released after SP2 but before SP3.

Edited by AitrusSkyy, 13 October 2008 - 07:21 AM.

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#3
Onaipian

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Thanks for clearing that up! Now that I understand this a bit more, it makes more sense.
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#4
AitrusSkyy

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No problem. Just to add to what I said, from personal experience people may experience more issues with ANY updates or service packs if they install them over lots of software / previous updates. Not always of course. What I mean is, when any major update comes out like that, I usually backup my data, do a format, then reinstall windows, and immediately install the service pack. That way I am installing the service pack on a fresh copy of windows not over other programs or other previous updates. That usually helps prevent the random issues than can occur. It is also a safe way to install a service pack, because all my data is backed up in case the service pack is faulty.

Better to be safe than sorry.
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#5
The Skeptic

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Since you don't have any problem with SP-3 then you shouldn't worry. Had you been asking me whether to install it prior to the installation I would recommend not to do that. The risk isn't worth the potential benefit.

On the whole I fully agree with AitrusSkyy on all the specifics that he mentioned in his comprehensive answers.
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#6
Onaipian

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I'll change this into a GeekU question based on The skeptics response:

Should I warn a user that I am helping to avoid SP3 in the cleaning up/prevention speech? Or should it be an optional installation...

I ask a lot a questions by the way... just ask Kat lol.
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#7
Rorschach112

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GeekU questions shouldn't be asked here

I would ask your teachers in your exercises and see what they say.
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#8
AitrusSkyy

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GeekU questions shouldn't be asked here

I would ask your teachers in your exercises and see what they say.


What he said of course :).


On a personal note when it comes to things like that I try to not tell a user TO or NOT TO download whatever service pack. Let that be their preference. However recommend they backup data, because that can't hurt.

It's kind of a possible lose/win situation. On one hand if you update service packs your system becomes patched and more secure... so if you don't update your risk of being exploited is higher... On the other hand you could update, get patched, have fewer vulnerabilities... but then the service pack screws up your system... It's really user preference. Just make sure the data backup is key :)
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#9
The Skeptic

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I don't want to open a discussion about the importance of updates in general and windows updates in particular. I'll just say that in my opinion many updates are of marginal importance, if at all, but can bear considerable risk. I know that many, if not most, people think differently but being a born skeptic I live with that.

I can give you lots of examples starting with SP-3 for Microsoft Office all the way to Windows, printers ,other device drivers etc.

As a rule I don't update any of my programs except for antimalware. As far as windows updates that's where I am hesitant; I disabled and re-enabled the option a hundred times. The problem is not with backing up the data, that's something that should be done on a regular basis. The problem is that a minor update for your web camera or printer or whatever can cause such damage that it either takes great efforts to rectify or even a reinstallation from scratch. For people who are not professionals that can take a lot of effort, frustration and money.

SP-3 for windows is not just an accumulation of previous updates. Had it been that simple Microsoft wouldn't release a beta version before offering the "real" thing. Other updates that I give the same status are WMP 11.0 and Internet Explorer 7.0. I install all of them without any problems on freshly formatted computers but I have seen many problems with them on long running computers. I'll rather have the older versions then risk the potential troubles.
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#10
AitrusSkyy

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I'll just say that in my opinion many updates are of marginal importance, if at all, but can bear considerable risk. I know that many, if not most, people think differently but being a born skeptic I live with that.

I can give you lots of examples starting with SP-3 for Microsoft Office all the way to Windows, printers ,other device drivers etc.

As a rule I don't update any of my programs except for anti-malware. As far as windows updates that's where I am hesitant; I disabled and re-enabled the option a hundred times. The problem is not with backing up the data, that's something that should be done on a regular basis. The problem is that a minor update for your web camera or printer or whatever can cause such damage that it either takes great efforts to rectify or even a reinstallation from scratch. For people who are not professionals that can take a lot of effort, frustration and money.

SP-3 for windows is not just an accumulation of previous updates. Had it been that simple Microsoft wouldn't release a beta version before offering the "real" thing. Other updates that I give the same status are WMP 11.0 and Internet Explorer 7.0. I install all of them without any problems on freshly formatted computers but I have seen many problems with them on long running computers. I'll rather have the older versions then risk the potential troubles.


Can O' worms opened... :) I'm kidding.

Although I hope you run some kind of firewall or have a router to say the least... When things like backtrack linux exist for free... You might want to think twice. I know what you mean though. Not exactly the same, but I ran my computer for 6 years without virus protection, never had an issue because I knew what to do and what not to do.

The most amazing thing I had ever seen in my life was when my friend and I were formatting his machine. Plugged that sucker into the net, booted xp, started the first round of windows updates, and upon restart the thing was password protected. Well we got through that only to find it cram packed with some trojans...

Basically someone had probably been doing a random "scan" (if you will) and tada jackpot an xp sp1 machine non-patched...Exploits = holes and no patches or updates = more holes... Dangerous not to I'd say unless of course you run a firewall and maybe some registry/process monitoring software...

SP3 In general I will totally agree was not necessary, in fact Microsft stated that probably only major networks and business would benefit from the few changes in it.

As for beta... well... there are always beta's thats the way of software life. People auto think beta = caution/avoid (caution which is wise) but the mindset should really be beta = contribute to new. Something along those lines anyhow.

Skeptic. You ever scan with http://secunia.com/v...canning/online/ I'd be interested to see what your results would look like :).

Not all updates are bad, especially drivers. I've seen video drivers work flawlessy and help better the graphics. I've also seen ethernet updates completely stop the ethernet connection from working... I know what you mean Skeptic... Gotta love it. Good post.

Edited by AitrusSkyy, 13 October 2008 - 03:15 PM.

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#11
Onaipian

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Okay. I get the point. Thanks guys.
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#12
The Skeptic

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Hey piano9playa5, the topic you started ran out of your control (joking).

Of course I use a firewall both on my computer and router. A case like your friend's couldn't happen to me because I never, ever, connect to the internet without having antivirus installed (I install it from a disk and only then connect to start updating both antimalware and windows.)

By the way, when I return a computer to a customer it's fully updated and update enabled. It's not for me to decide for him what to do. I just share my thoughts here.

AitrusSkyy: shall we stop here? Like I said, I didn't want to start a discussion but I knew very well, even then, that I do start one. I think that we understand each other very well.

Edited by The Skeptic, 14 October 2008 - 12:45 AM.

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