August 24, 2004 1:31 PM PDT

SP2: Bad for your blood pressure?

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Most IT managers believe that upgrading systems to Microsoft's latest security patch for Windows XP could generate problems, according to a recent survey.

The InsightExpress study, which polled IT managers in the United States, found that 63 percent of respondents believed SP2 would prove the most difficult Windows update installation ever, with 3 percent noting their "blood pressure rises just thinking about it."

In addition, 66 percent said they expected calls for help from workers to increase with the update. And 30 percent did not know how the SP2 upgrade would affect their company's support desk.

These concerns come as Microsoft tries to iron out some of the glitches in SP2, its security-focused update for XP. For example, the service pack allows locally run programs to circumvent its firewall and can make it difficult for other applications to work with the XP operating system, researchers have found.

These concerns are leading to a world of "have and have nots" when it comes to installation of SP2 in business systems, according to recent survey of IT executives by U.K.-based security company Mi2g.

Only half of IT departments worldwide are choosing to use the automatic update feature in Windows to download the patch to company computers, Mi2G found in its July Security Intelligence Products and Systems report.

The other half--which includes IT managers at many large corporations, government organizations and academic institutions--plan to conduct a manual installation only after rigorous testing.

"Many CIOs view the SP2 update as a threat to their operations--a forced security upgrade--which can undermine reliability and availability of many critical business services as old software applications may randomly malfunction," D.K. Matai, Mi2g's executive chairman, said in a statement.

Mi2g cautions that the latter, cautious, approach may expose businesses to digital risks such as viruses.

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SP2 the worst? Not a chance
Anybody who thinks XP SP2 is the worst has never applied NT4 SP3, SP4, SP5, or SP6....

At least MS is very open about what XP SP2 does....
Posted by (1 comment )
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What happen to easy upgrades?
I was looking forward to upgrading to XP SP2 to fix some of the security problems....then I upgraded. It has always been fairly easy to upgrade any of my past Windows Operating Systems, until now. My PC has not worked correctly since, I upgraded to XP SP2. Microsoft needs to improve this new release before anyone else is allowed to upgrade.
After upgrading to XP SP2 which took 4 hours, my PC completely locked up. I tried everything I could to bypass Windows XP to get access again, but gave up and contacted the PC maker. After working with their support team, they suggested I reformat my PC and completely reinstall the Windows XP. I was hoping it would work without reformating. Now it's been over a week and I've had to contact my PC support three times, because my PC has got so slow, it continues to install XP SP1 upgrade over and over and then locks. I'm glad I did a complete backup. I suggest that anyone wanting to upgrade, backup your PC, give yourself an entire day for the upgrade and do it when you know you can get access to your PC maker or wait until all the bugs are fixed and you are hearing no one else is having problems.
Posted by (1 comment )
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Are you sure
Are you absolutely sure that SP2 caused your computer to crash... it could have been many things... often when something happens and something else happens at the same time... people assume they are connected...

it took me about 30 min to download verify and install... perhaps your computer is on the edge of its life, your the first person who i have ever heard from having this problem...

there could be many other reasons for this happening such as having a pirated copy of XP... or maybe your computer sucks...
Posted by volterwd (466 comments )
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Posted by mhsare (2 comments )
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