No, You Dont Have
to Load SP2"> One of the rumors I heard on Patch Day, in the confusion surrounding Microsofts release of a large number of patches for various versions of Windows and other products, was that there were patches for problems affecting Service Pack 1 that required you to install Service Pack 2. There are many places I could go with this, such as to the point that almost everyone should be running SP2 anyway, so whats your excuse? But there are some reasons not to install SP2 even today, and even I have one. There is one application I have, and absolutely must use, that is flat-out incompatible with SP2. The developer has said Microsoft wont be fixing the problems anytime soon. My solution is to keep a separate SP1 computer on my network that I use almost exclusively for this application, and in fact I generally use remote desktop to access the system.Since Patch Day, I ran Windows Update on that system, and I can see how someone would be confused by the messages it sends. The bottom line is that its possible to apply the SP1 patches and not install SP2, but Microsoft makes it really convenient to apply SP2. First, forget about automatic updates. I dont think theres a good way to get around SP2 there. I wasnt exhaustive in my studies, but it doesnt matter. Go to the real Windows Update site (Tools-Windows Update in Internet Explorer). Let Automatic Updates take over, and it will try to give you SP2. Even if you havent installed SP2, it looks like you get the new version 5 Windows Update now, so things may not be as you remember. Theres an Express Install and a Custom Install. Choose Custom. Most of the next screen will be dominated by an effort to get you to install SP2. At the bottom there is another section that says "If you do not install Windows XP Service Pack 2, other updates might still apply to your computer." Click the "Review Other Updates" button nearby. The rest of the process is basically like the old Windows Update, and there are no more tricks to get you to install SP2. I saw five critical updates on this system: MS04-031, MS04-032, MS04-034, MS04-037 and MS04-038. This is exactly what I would expect based on the configuration of the system and the issues in the advisories. Fellow SP1 hangers-on, well all have an inconvenient time of it until such time as we can apply SP2, and that has to be viewed as a goal in and of itself. Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.
SP2 may mean trouble for agentless patching. Click here to read more.