Microsoft Corporation regularly improves the performance and security of the Windows XP operating system. Operating system improvements are available as individual updates and fixes, and are later packaged together and released as a Service Pack. In early August, Microsoft Corporation released a new service pack, Service Pack 2, for the Windows XP operating system. This Service Pack includes the latest patches and updates to the XP operating system as well as new features and technologies to better address security threats.
According to Microsoft, Service Pack 2 establishes stronger default security settings and includes the following new security features:
?\tA pop-up blocker to reduce unwanted Web advertisements
?\tBetter protection of the Windows Internet Explorer Web browser against certain types of exploits
?\tAutomatic activation of a host firewall to help block unsolicited network traffic
?\tExtension of firewall services during computer power-on and shutdown
?\tBetter logging capabilities
?\tBetter memory protection
?\tA Windows Security Center application to view and manage settings of your anti-virus program, Windows firewall and/or automatic update configuration.
Before installing Windows XP Service Pack 2, it is strongly recommended that you:
?\tBack up all your data files (for info on data backup, visit: http://security.ucdavis.edu/101_databackup.cfm).
?\tVisit the support site of the computer manufacturer to identify any special precautions you may need to take before installing this upgrade
?\tEnsure you have at least 2GB of available hard disk space.
Where to Get Windows XP Service Pack 2
Some campus units may use a central distribution method for this update, so faculty and staff should check with their campus unit technical staff prior to installing this Service Pack.
Microsoft CDs with Windows Service Pack 2 are available at selected campus locations at no cost. These locations include the MU Bookstore Computer Shop, IT Express (located at 182 Shields Library), and all of the campus computer rooms. (A listing of campus computer rooms can be found at http://clm.ucdavis.edu/rooms/).
You can also download Service Pack 2 from the Windows Update Web Site.
After the Service Pack is downloaded or Service Pack 2 CD is inserted into your computer drive, it may take up to two hours to complete the installation.
Additional Windows XP Service Pack References
- Microsoft Windows XP SP2 Home (Consumer)
- Microsoft Windows XP SP2 Support
- Programs That May Stop Working After Installation of Microsoft Windows XP SP2
- Programs That May Behave Differently After Installation of Microsoft Windows XP SP2