Windows XP has released Service Pack 2 that can be downloaded via the Windows Update Service – visit http://update.microsoft.com to get it.
This free upgrade to Windows XP adds a slew of security features and fixes to your computer, most notably the Windows Security Center. Double-click on the shield in your System tray (bottom right corner of your screen presuming your taskbar is at the bottom) to find out more about this feature. It will alert you to security problems on your computer and help you turn automatic Windows updates on, manage your firewall, and check to ensure that you are running an anti-virus program.
Service Pack 2 is often abbreviated “SP2”. Here are some questions and answers about it.
Q.: What does SP2 do?
A.: It adds new features to your computer (including an updated firewall), and it suppresses unauthorized programs from sending e-mail from your system. It also adds features to Outlook Express and Internet Explorer. There’s more below.
Q.: The Windows Security Center says I don’t have an anti-virus program. What should I do?
A.: Get one! And install it. We recommend Norton AntiVirus or McAfee VirusScan Plus. If you are looking for a freebie, go get AVG from Grisoft.
Q.: What does it do to the e-mail program Outlook Express?
A.: Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Outlook Express.
Q.: What does it do to Internet Explorer?
A.: Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Internet Explorer.
Q.: What does it do to the Windows Firewall?
A.: Windows XP Service Pack 2 and the Windows Firewall.
Q.: I got an error that says “Stop C0000135” or “winsrv not found”Â after I installed SP2. What do I do?
A.: Check out this Microsoft article: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;885523.
Q.: What if Norton AntiVirus is not recognized by Windows Security Center and it says I don’t have an anti-virus program installed?
A.: Symantec has an update (distributed via their LiveUpdate) that resolves this. Click LiveUpdate in Norton Anti-Virus program.
Q.: What if SP2 melts down my computer – how do I get rid of it?
A.: See this Microsoft article: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;875350.