August 9, 2004
Microsoft Releases Windows XP Service Pack 2By: Arie Slob
Today Microsoft released Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) with Advanced Security Technologies to the Microsoft Download Web site. This free service pack delivers the latest security updates and innovations from Microsoft, establishes strong default security settings, and adds new proactive protection features that will help better safeguard computers from hackers, viruses and other security risks.
"Service Pack 2 is a significant step in delivering on our goal to help customers make their PCs better isolated and more resilient in the face of increasingly sophisticated attacks," said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft. "It is the result of sustained investments in innovation and extensive industry collaboration. It also reflects a broad recognition that as the security environment changes, the industry needs to work together to respond."
You can find the Release Notes for Windows XP SP2 on the Microsoft Knowledge Base. This article also contains links to a List of fixes included in Service Pack 2 for Windows XP.
There are two ways to get Windows XP SP2. You can download it directly from Microsoft, or you can order the Windows XP SP2 CD from the Microsoft Web site (FREE shipping). Currently only the English & German versions are available for order.
Other languages will be available to order according to this schedule:
Date Available to Order
Right now, SP2 is available for download only as a Network Installation. The size of the Network Installation download is 266 MB . The Network installation includes all of the Windows XP SP2 files needed for installation on Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Media Center Edition. This is an ideal download mechanism for IT professionals who require a downloadable copy of SP2 that they can use for network deployment.
Microsoft is making SP2 available in stages: Last week, Microsoft's beta testers & Microsoft Development Network (MSDN) subscribers where given the chance to download SP2 first, today Microsoft is making SP2 available for download from the Microsoft Download site. Next it will be made available via Automatic Update on the following schedule:
- Aug 10: release for machines running pre-release versions of SP2
- Aug 16: release for all other Windows XP versions
The Service Pack is now also available to Windows Update for interactive user installations, but only 2.5 million users will be able to "see" the update on the WindowsUpdate site, so if you don't see it, try at another time again. Microsoft is following this staggered release because of anticipated high demand. Microsoft estimates that well over 100 million users will update via Automatic Updates alone.
For support, see Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) Support Center
For more information on Slipstreaming SP2 in a current Windows XP install share see: Slipstreaming Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Create Bootable CD.
Microsoft also published some additional documents/tools that will help either individual users or system administrators with deploying SP2:
|Troubleshooting Windows Firewall in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2||This document describes how Windows Firewall works, the common problems with using Windows Firewall, and the set of tools used to troubleshoot Windows Firewall issues.||Download 292 KB|
|Application Compatibility Guide for Windows XP SP 2||Windows XP SP2 introduces new security technologies to better enable Windows XP computers to withstand viruses, worms and other kinds of attacks. This guide will assist IT Professionals to test and mitigate application compatibility issues arising from these more stringent security technologies.||Download 2.88 MB|
|Windows XP Service Pack 2 Support Tools||The Windows Support Tools for Microsoft Windows XP are intended for use by Microsoft support personnel and experienced users to assist in diagnosing and resolving computer problems.||
Download 4.7 MB - ENG|
Other Lang. (Chinese, French, German, Korean)
|Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2||This spreadsheet lists the full set of Group Policy settings described in Administrative Template (.adm) files shipped with Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2.||Download 1.47 MB|
|Managing Windows XP Service Pack 2 Features Using Group Policy||This white paper includes information about assessing, deploying, and using the new Group Policy settings delivered with Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).||Download 957 KB|
|Deploying Windows Firewall Settings for Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2||Windows XP Service Pack 2 provides Windows Firewall, an enhanced firewall that is enabled by default. This white paper describes the methods used to deploy Windows Firewall settings in a managed environment.||
Download 942 KB - ENG|
Download 1.85 MB - JAP
|Toolkit to Temporarily Block Delivery of Windows XP SP2 to a PC Through Automatic Updates and Windows||While recognizing the security benefits of Windows XP SP2, some organizations have requested the ability to temporarily disable delivery of this update via Automatic Updates (AU) and Windows Update (WU).||
Download 96 KB|
|Executable to Temporarily Block Delivery of Windows XP SP2 to a PC Through Automatic Updates and Windows Update||This Microsoft signed executable creates the registry value and sets the associated value that temporarily blocks the delivery Windows XP SP2 to the system via Automatic Updates (AU) or Windows Update (WU).||
Download 90 KB|
|Executable to Un-block Delivery of Windows XP SP2 to a PC Through Automatic Updates and Windows Update||This Microsoft signed executable removes the previously created registry value that temporarily blocked the delivery Windows XP SP2 to the system via Automatic Updates (AU) or Windows Update (WU).||
Download 90 KB|
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