Updating Your Windows XP CD With SP2

So we’ve all decided we need SP2 for XP because, despite its flaws, it
really improves security in IE and the new firewall is actually
working. But SP2 is a long install and, should you need to crash your
system, you really don’t want to have to go through installing XP then
doing a massive upgrade to XP2 again. So what’s a techie to do?

Fred Langa, who just happens to write one of the few newsletters I’m
actually willing to pay for (besides Lockergnome of course), has
written an excellent article for Information Week on how to produce a
CD which integrates SP2’s files with those of your original XP setup

According to Fred, “Your hybrid install CD will work exactly as the
original one did, even to the point of using the same 25-character
Product Key, but it will be completely up-to-date with all patches and
updates, up to and including SP2. Any system you set up with the
hybrid CD will be pre-patched to current levels, in one step. You’ll
be totally up-to-date from the start, rather than facing maybe an hour
or more of additional downloads to bring the new installation or
reinstallation to SP2 levels.”

So check out the article here, and check out Fred’s site here.

And while we’re on the topic of SP2…

Microsoft released a series of patches recently that should close a
nasty security flaw in how Microsoft products process JPEG images,
even when you have a firewall and an up-to-date anti-virus program.
Over a dozen Microsoft products are affected, including:

  • Windows XP and XP SP1
  • Internet Explorer 6 SP1
  • Microsoft Office XP [Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint,
    FrontPage, and/or Publisher]
  • Microsoft Office 2003 [Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint,
    FrontPage, Publisher, InfoPath, and/or OneNote]

So, you think you should be patched because you have done as Microsoft
requests and turn on AutoUpdate, but how can you be sure? Go here
and check for affected imaging software. If you happen not to have
AutoUpdate on, or you haven’t updated Office, the links to those sites
are conveniently located on the same page.

As always, with security flaws, better safe than sorry. [Betty Law-Morgan]

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