August 19, 2004 2:31 AM   Subscribe

SP2 be or not to be? That is the question...
posted by damnitkage to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
Strange... I was just about to post to ask if anyone knew if installing SP2 was going to wreck machines that had been installed with SP1 and then hacked to (I assume) the corporate version. Judging by the number of emails I'm getting, I think just about everyone I know has installed this version.
posted by twine42 at 2:42 AM on August 19, 2004

I downloaded Win XP corp SP2 off kazaa, doesn't seem to have big issues. I've heard wireless networking security is greatly improved from the O/S standpoint.
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:33 AM on August 19, 2004

Okay, I have a friend, who is using a copy of xp pro that may or may not be legal. Should said friend download and install this update?
posted by damnitkage at 4:24 AM on August 19, 2004

There was apparently a lot of back and forth on this, since the general opinion was that MS should allow everyone to use the SP, no matter what, for the sake of general security, and MS was--no surprise--reluctant to let pirated versions get upgraded.

The actual outcome isn't totally clear, but this looks like the final word:

To clarify its position, a Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews, "Press reports indicating Windows XP Service Pack 2 will install on pirated or illegal copies of Windows XP are not entirely true. Prior to installing, SP2 will check the OS' product ID (PID) against a list of known pirated PIDs. If a PID is found to be invalid, SP2 will not install."

it looks like if the copy didn't use one of the "top 20" cracked serial numbers, it might be OK.
posted by LairBob at 5:00 AM on August 19, 2004

Change your key, if you're worried. There are tools to do so.

I must say that the only problem I've ever had that took a reinstall to fix was when SP1 went kablooie on me. That was my fault though -- not enough free space on my boot partition.

Me, I'm waiting for a month or two to try SP2. Wait for the bugs to get squished.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:06 AM on August 19, 2004

I think I'll recommend to my um...friend that he wait as well.
posted by damnitkage at 5:13 AM on August 19, 2004

I'm gonna wait a few months, myself - for the real beta test to finish.
posted by Blue Stone at 5:22 AM on August 19, 2004

I had horrible trouble on a legit XP Home installation. After the SP2 installation, my wi-fi card didn't show up, so I reinstalled the driver and rebooted. After reboot I got a 'Do you want XP to manage this device?" prompt, and whatever I clicked, the machine would immediately bluescreen. XP also broke Nero, which couldn't burn, and would repeatedly open and close the drive instead. Oh, and as an added bonus, the Security Centre and extra IE widgets transform XP into nagware. Avoid.
posted by influx at 5:45 AM on August 19, 2004

posted by Blue Stone at 5:54 AM on August 19, 2004

Me, I'm waiting for a month or two to try SP2. Wait for the bugs to get squished.

Sound advice.
posted by rushmc at 6:23 AM on August 19, 2004


But in general it is never a bad idea to wait for the big flaws to be ironed out.
posted by sebas at 6:24 AM on August 19, 2004

it was most remarkable ... over on SlashDot (or rather, AlterSlash) yesterday, I actually read a thread where were people defending Microsoft, when it was announced that someone had found a security flaw in the new SP2. Here's that thread.
posted by crunchland at 6:54 AM on August 19, 2004

That was because they weren't really true security flaws. Plus the service pack has to go out at some point. Which is better, a slightly buggy release or no release at all?
posted by ralawrence at 8:55 AM on August 19, 2004

If you're worried that MS will detect the key, you shouldn't. I am pretty sure the anti-piracy mechanism they're using in SP2 is similar to that of SP1. ie: If the key is bad, he'll simply spend hours downloading the service pack, and then, *just* before it starts installing, it'll pop up a message box telling you to restart and that you're boned, no service pack for you.

If microsoft did actually damage machines in any way through anti-piracy measures, the backlash would get the entire world working on OS X overnight. :-D
posted by shepd at 9:43 AM on August 19, 2004

Thanks to stories like this, I think I'll wait a while to upgrade. It amazes me how quickly people tend to break sofware when it's released.
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:00 AM on August 19, 2004

aye. Don't worry about upgrading with bad keys. If you have SP1 installed, then you can install SP2. They have the same type of code checking involved. I'm also not installing for a bit, there's bound to be problems with such a monumental release, and it's a good idea to just wait a bit. Unless SP2 fixes some crucial bug that's been killing you, i'd hold off.
posted by escher at 10:39 AM on August 19, 2004

Which is better, a slightly buggy release or no release at all?

exactly - look they just don't have the resources to get it right the first time, okay?
posted by petebest at 11:21 AM on August 19, 2004

I installed SP2 on my machine to check it out for the other machines in the house, since I have faith in my ability to get a pooched install back if I need to (up to and including simply restoring a partition image if I have to). So far, I've had no problems over the last week. I wouldn't install a major update like SP2 without backing up first, preferably at a partition level (I use Ghost to do that). I wasn't particularly worried about the security fixes included, since I don't use the programs that typically are the problem, but I thought I'd check it out. I'll give it another 3 weeks and then roll it out to the other machines.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 11:47 AM on August 19, 2004

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