Windows® XP Service Pack 2
All about Microsoft® Windows® XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)
Microsoft® Windows® XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), codenamed ‘Springboard’ provides new proactive security technologies for Windows® XP to better defend against viruses, worms, and hackers. In addition to a strong security infrastructure, SP2 improved the security configuration options of Windows® XP and provided better security information to help users faced with security decisions. SP2 also added new functionality to Windows® XP, such as WPA encryption compatibility and improved Wi-Fi™ support, a pop-up ad blocker for Internet Explorer® 6, and Bluetooth® support.
Following discussion will shed more light on the significance of SP2 pack:
- Preparing your machine for SP2 installation
- New features in SP2
- Other improvements
Preparing your machine for SP2 installation
Before upgrading your PC to SP2, you should scan your machine for spyware and remove any that you might find. Installing SP2 replaces most of your machine’s files. If a spyware module has changed aspects of your PC and then you start replacing system files, there is a good chance that Windows® will lose network and Internet connectivity. The next thing is to update all hardware drivers using ‘Device Manager’ in the ‘Control Panel’. It is also recommended to perform a full system backup prior to installing Windows® XP Service Pack 2. If you are running Windows® XP Professional, then you have a copy of NTBackup at your disposal.
New features in SP2
The ‘Security Center’ in the ‘Control Panel’ is a new service in Windows® XP SP2 that provides a central location for changing security settings and ensuring that your PC is up-to-date with the recommended security settings. The Automatic Updates feature has been turned on by default. Together with SP2, Microsoft® launched a new version of Windows® Updates, which allows smaller download sizes for patches and ensures smooth Internet connectivity.
SP2 includes a number of other improvements like the Network Setup Wizard has been greatly improved over the previous version. The new Wireless Network Setup Wizard allows you to add a wireless network to your system, either with or without security. An enhanced Bluetooth® networking stack has also been added to SP2. Additionally, Microsoft® has improved the ‘Add or Remove Programs’ applet in ‘Control Panel’. By default it doesn't show any product updates anymore, thus cleaning up the display a bit. Apart from the above, security is further enhanced in this service pack.