Ziff Davis Internet
News & Resources for the IT Reseller
NewsReviewsTech AnalysisCommentarySecurityLinux/Unix
My Account |  

Larry Seltzer  
Should You Put Windows XP SP2 Deployment on Autopilot?
By Larry Seltzer

Opinion: Microsoft has recommended that most users acquire SP2 via the Automatic Updates feature and has provided tools for corporations to do this. Is it a good idea?

I’ve seen reports of people who are shocked! Shocked to hear that there are applications and network configurations that fail to function under Windows XP Service Pack 2.

After years of complaining about security problems in Windows, Microsoft finally does the right thing and plugs many of the holes even at the cost of breaking functionality of software. I, for one, am not shocked to see them criticized for doing just that. Of course, it’s almost the point of XP SP2 that it breaks these configurations. We shouldn’t be surprised to find issues with Service Pack 2. We shouldn’t take too much time in adopting SP2. But we should test it.


If you’re responsible for a large number of Windows XP systems and you don’t have an explicit test network, you should already have designated a small sample of typical systems as guinea pigs for the release candidates, and therefore the changes in the program should be no surprise to you. Move on to the release code on these systems for final testing and then to a staged deployment.

eSeminarsWhat does MARID’s collapse mean for e-mail standards? Find out Nov. 8th with an eSeminar hosted by eWEEK.com’s Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer and experts.

It’s entirely possible that you’ll find issues in testing. They may not be big problems; the firewall may be blocking a port you use and you might just open it. In other cases you might take the opportunity to rethink an application. I’ve seen one program (DivX video) that breaks on SP2 on systems with support for SP2’s Data Execution Protection, the ability to detect buffer overflows. Their solution? Turn off the protection, at least for their programs. Does this seem worth it to you? In fact, this is the perfect example of the kind of program that will have to change.

Next Page: Why not use Automatic Updates?

1 | 2   next >



Free Hands-On Training Lab
Find out how key features of SBS 2003 can help you open up a new line of revenue. Register now >>

SBS 2003 Sales Reference Card
This handy reference card contains features at a glance, sales objection handling, pricing guidelines & more. Get it now >>

Microsoft Empower for ISVs rewards your big idea with big benefits and support.
Access key development tools at a low cost to help you develop that idea into an innovative application. Learn more >>

Changing Business for the Better: A Practical Guide to BPM

This paper provides an overview of the benefits of BPM technologies and identifies the characteristics of BPM solutions that lead to successful BPM process-centric integration projects.

Download this free white paper to learn more!

>> brought to you by IBM

Attention Microsoft Solution Providers!

Want to gain a competitive edge? Try Microsoft Watch – FREE!

Each week you receive:
  • Microsoft News and Insider Information
  • Expert Analysis
  • Code Names of Upcoming MS Products
  • Year-Ahead Calendar, updated monthly

    Click Here to sign up now for your FREE 14 Day Trial to Microsoft Watch.
  • Add up to $1,200 of value with the new BONUS PACKS.
  • HP PartnerONE: The key to increasing your margins.
  • HP Compaq nc6129 Business Notebook. $1149 Smart Buy
  • HP xw8200 workstation. Smart Buy price $1549.
  • ProLiant DL360G4p server: HP Smart Buy price $1647
  • Microsoft files new anti-piracy lawsuits. Learn more.
  • New offers with Windows Genuine Advantage.

    •Catalog Publishing
    •Dealer Management
    •Order Configuration
    •Price Management
    •Sales Management

    View All >

    Search the jobs you want & get the info you need – post your resume here today!

    Powered by Dice
    White Boxes
    MS vs. IBM
    Linux in the Channel
    Stay in the Zone
    Put The Channel Insider on your desktop.
    Subscribe to The Channel Insider: Channel News, Reviews, Resources and more.

    Make your selections below:

    Contract Watch

    The Channel Insider Update

    Preferred e-mail format:

    Enter your e-mail:

    view all newsletters >>
    Channel Insider Quick Links
    Ziff Davis Footer Logo