Windows 2000 Service Pack 3

Dennis Faas's picture

Windows 2000 users have a reason to jump for joy -- Microsoft has recently released Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3).

What is a Service Pack (SP)?

If you're new to Windows or have never heard of a Windows Service Pack -- it's a major software release which makes Windows more stable. Software fixes generally include: resolved security breaches, compatibility issues, bug fixes, and the like.

Generally speaking, a HotFix is a downloadable program that resolves a recently discovered exploit in the Windows Operating system. A HotFix is also referred to as a "software patch", and can include multiple patches in one package. An example of a HotFix might be the security vulnerability which was discovered in Windows Media Player. In contrast, a Service Pack is considered a major update to a piece of software (Windows) and contains * many * HotFixes.

Some conflicting issues with SP3

Microsoft is aware of some problems which may arise from the Service Pack 3 installation. One issue causes Windows Explorer to crash during the Service Pack 3 install. Another problem with SP3 is that it may conflict with previously installed HotFixes.

Installing Service Pack 3 on my own system

Since I do administration work, I opted to download the "network version" of Service Pack 3 from the Microsoft distribution web site. The file size was a whopping 128 meg and took about 20 minutes to download on my high-speed Internet connection.

The installation process took about 7 minutes to install on my system (Multiprocessor AMD Athlon 1800+, 512 Meg DDR RAM, 120 GIG RAID-0). The setup program copied and installed the appropriate files in around a minute or two; the remainder of the install appeared to "freeze" for about 5 minutes under the heading "Finishing Installation" while it updated the Windows Registry. In all, the installation did not generate any error messages for me and I was able to reboot my system without any problems.

Still waiting for Windows XP Service Pack 1

As you may already know, I am a fan of Windows 2000 -- mostly because it has been around longer than Windows XP. Windows 2000 and XP share similar core technology (the Windows NT kernel) and therefore function in the same respect. The main reason why I haven't upgraded to XP yet is due to the fact that I'm still waiting for the release of the * first * Windows XP Service Pack.

Simply said: a Service Pack = Major bug fixes and greater stability. Windows 2000 already has 3 of them; Windows XP has none.

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