Windows XP Service Pack 1 Problems
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
Microsoft released Windows XP Service Pack 1 nearly three weeks ago. According to Microsoft, there have been some five million downloads of the service pack in the first two weeks, and support calls have been fewer than expected.
Now that doesn't mean that there are no problems; you'll always find a problem if you try to install software on a couple of million PCs. It's just not so nice when it has to be you! I haven't encountered any problems myself, but there have been a number of people who reported having problems on our WindowsBBS forum.
Problems encountered seem to range from an inability to install the Service Pack to slow performance after installing SP1. A number of people also encounter a high instability, resulting in many crashes. Another frequently encountered 'glitch' seems to be that Outlook Express will no longer allow you to switch identities (which can be worked around by setting OE to start without starting into a particular identity, and choosing the identity you want to use when you start OE. Now you can use the 'switch identity' feature... Go figure).
Another idiocy is with the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) included with SP1. The JVM included is build 3805, but it will only install if there is no other version of JVM installed. If an older JVM is installed, this will remain in place. Users with an older JVM on their system will get prompted to install a new JVM when they go to the Windows Update Web site, because around ten days after the release of SP1 Microsoft released a separate security update for it's JVM (see Flaw in Microsoft VM JDBC Classes Could Allow Code Execution). ALL users will need to get the latest update, as even the version shipping with SP1 is vulnerable to this exploit.
The positive side is that so far I have heard, uninstalling SP1 will return the OS to it's pre SP1 fine working state should you have trouble. So I would suggest you give SP1 a go. If you are running into trouble, uninstall SP1 (please be so smart to answer YES to the question if the SP1 installer should save a backup of your old files). Unfortunately staying without SP1 is not a viable option, because according to Microsoft, future patches will require SP1 to be installed. Lets hope Microsoft will get SP1 fixed for the people who are having problems.
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