XP Service Pack 2: do or don't?

Dennis Faas's picture

I spent much of this weekend going over the emails that I've received from Readers concerning a new eBook that I'm working on, a Windows XP Service Pack 2 'failsafe' installation Guide.

The consensus from the majority of Readers is that XP Service Pack 2 has caused some confusion (with respect to new security features), problems connecting to the Internet (related to the new Windows Firewall) and in some cases, failed to install properly (requiring the user to erase the C drive and reinstall Windows).

As I mentioned earlier, the pros of Service Pack 2 outweigh the cons (in my opinion), even if means having to wipe your drive clean in order to do so. The focus of the guide is to prepare the user for a worst case scenario (I.E.: fail safely) by backing up critical files such as documents, emails, bookmarks, and then reinstall Windows with Service Pack 2 (either integrated as a 'slipstream' or post Windows install).

Side note: "Slipstreaming a Service Pack, is the process to integrate the Service Pack into the installation so that with every new installation the Operating System and Service Pack are installed at the same time ... Microsoft added the ability to Slipstream a Service Pack to Windows 2000 and Windows XP. It not only has the advantage that when you (re)install your OS, you don't have to apply the Service Pack later, also if you update any Windows component later, you'll be sure that you get the correct installation files if Windows needs any." (Source: windows-help.net)

Now that I've got the majority of my research complete, compiling the eBook will take some time, especially since a large portion of the book will be dedicated to answering questions I've received from Readers over the weekend (now standing at 70 emails).

Having said that, I'm up in arms about releasing the eBook and would like to get some more feedback from Readers. If installing Service Pack 2 meant that you had to start from scratch, would it be worth it in your opinion? The biggest plus to installing Windows from scratch (if you had to) is that your system will "clean" and revitalized, much the way it was when you first purchased your system.

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