Dear Internet Patrol: Love/Hate Relationship with WinXP SP1

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Dear Internet Patrol,

Time and again I have heard and read that after one installs WinXP SP1, there is a 20% to 40% chance it will damage your computer in one way or another. I did install SP1 in my computer and it crashed. I had to use a floppy to get it started, and then I ran System Restore. It worked, but I am still out SP1, and it seems that SP1 is important to install. So, now what? I really like your blog. I’ve learned a lot from it. Thanks!


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Dear Matthew,

Thank you for your kind words! Even though we are not Windows experts, but rather spam experts, your lovely note moved us to do some research on your behalf.

The WinXP SP1 (Service Pack 1) was released in September of 2002. We hope that you have only recently installed your WinXP, and that you haven’t been having unprotected WinXP for a year and a half!

Shortly after the release of WinXP SP1, users started to complain that SP1 was making their computers run extremely slowly; many others complained that their systems started crashing, or refused to start at all, after installing SP1. So take heart, dear Matthew, you are not alone.

Fortunately for those of you who are unlucky enough to have an XP system which doesn’t play nice with SP1, Steve Gibson of Gibson Research developed XPdite, which patches the most horrific of the security holes which are supposed to be patched by SP1, without the nasty crashes. You can check out XPdite at

Now, go forth and patch your holes, and for gosh sakes make sure that you wear clean underwear in case you get into another accident!


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8 thoughts on “Dear Internet Patrol: Love/Hate Relationship with WinXP SP1

  1. Hi,
    i have a problem with my Win XP Pro… suddenly after i installed the patch for the Blaster Worm i noticed a slow performance from the very startup to the shutdown. Everything is slow… ahhhggg help.

  2. I’d been having trouble with a new install of XP Pro. As soon as SP1 went in, it wouldn’t boot at all. I was directed to your page via Lockergnome
    after days of searching for solutions. “Tomer’s” post seems to have worked. I updated my video drivers on yet another fresh install, and so far so good. Thanks Tomer!! And Aunty Spam of course/

  3. I have learned (from reinstalling XP many times) that SP1 or 1A don’t play well with others. I would install SP1 or 1A and try to install Word or Norton Anti virus or printer software and have all kinds of problems. Now when I put a fresh copy of XP on I put ALL my software on before SP1(a). Once the basic apps are on then you can go on line for updates if needed but I even put those on CDs if possible. Order MS security update CD (it’s free) that has SP1A on it, then you won’t go on line unprotected.

  4. Most of the troubles with installing SP1 were with bad video card drivers (especially Nvidia). Try updating your drivers first, and then install SP1. Go to your graphics card maker homepage and download the drivers from there, not from Microsoft.

  5. I have installed Sp1 and Sp1A and both screwed up my system requiring me to uninstall the fix every time. Thank God that Microsoft allows this to be uninstalled through the and/remove in the control panel. If you are going to install make sure that ALL programs are shut down and in particular your anti-virus software. It might be of interest to some readers that Microsoft plans to release Sp2 late this summer. It supposedly will have lots of new things like pop-up blocking for example. It’s also supposed to run much better than the previous service packs. We shall see –


  6. I too, had a problem with the Sp1 download. I feel my dial up ISP contributed to the download problem. I ordered the sp1 on a cd from Microsoft’s website. No problems installing, no crashes this time around.

  7. If I download XPDITE on top of SP1 will it do any good or harm. I have been having problems forwarding email and nobody seems to know why. I really hate to think about reformatting my drive.

  8. Auntie Spam, the most recent version of a Windows XP Service package is 1A and it has fixed most of the problems with version 1. Your reader just needs to go download the most current version.

    OR, he can go to the update section of the Microsoft site and apply the individual patches one at a time so he can ascertain what crashed his machine.


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