Resistance is Futile – Microsoft Forces SP2 Update on All XP and XP SP1 Machines

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April 12th is the very last day. That’s when the clock runs, and the deadline looms.

And here you thought it was April 15th. Nope, it’s the twelfth. Because we’re not talking about the day your taxes are due. On no. We’re talking about the day that your Windows XP or Windows XP SP1 computer will be automatically updated to XP SP2 (Service Pack 2) whether you want it to or not. Period.

And here you thought that you owned your computer and the contents thereon, and could do whatever you wanted with it, and could choose what would, and what wouldn’t, be installed on it.

Wrong.

Up until now users who did not want to accept the SP2 update had the option of temporarily blocking the update from being downloaded to their machines through the Automatic or Windows Update mechanisms, however that option expires on April 12th.

 

According to Microsoft’s latest alert on the issue, “The intent of this alert is to provide you with a reminder about the upcoming deadline around the date on which Automatic Update (AU) and Windows Update (WU) will deliver Windows XP SP2 regardless of the presence of the blocking mechanism.”

Now, Aunty isn’t saying that you shouldn’t update to SP2 – indeed, you should, as it fixes many serious security holes. But there is something about removing the element of choice in how a consumer uses a personal product for which they paid which just doesn’t sit well.

An Update to this Article:

At least one person has commented here, and a few others personally to Aunty or in other fora, that Aunty has her facts wrong, that Microsoft is not requiring you to update to SP2, and citing as support for that the fact that Microsoft has stated that they will support SP1 through 2006.

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To that Aunty says:

https://web.archive.org/web/20080101145824/http://www.microsoft.com:80/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/maintain/sp2aumng.mspx

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Resistance is Futile – Microsoft Forces SP2 Update on All XP and XP SP1 Machines

..which says, in relevant part:

“UPDATE: Time is running out! Please note that the mechanism to temporarily disable delivery of Windows XP SP2 is only available for a period of 240 days (8 months) from August 16, 2004. At the end of this period (after April 12, 2005), Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems.”

Now, granted English is Aunty’s first language, but still, to Aunty “will be deliveredâ€? means, well, will be delivered.

To those who took Aunty to task saying that this applies only to the Professional edition of XP, Aunty quotes from the same Microsoft document, wherein it offers the following timeline:

“Summary of Relevant Windows XP SP2 Dates

8/06/2004 – Release to manufacturing

8/09/2004 – Release to Microsoft Download Center (full network install package)

8/10/2004 – Release to Automatic Updates (for machines running pre-release versions of Windows XP SP2 only)

8/16/2004 – Release (English) via Software Update Services (SUS)

8/18/2004 – Release (English) via AU to customers running Windows XP Home Edition and not already running a pre-release version of Windows XP SP2

Later in August/2004 – Delivery of Windows XP SP2 (English) via Windows Update and delivery via AU to customers running Windows XP Professional Edition and not already running a pre-release version of Windows XP SP2

4/12/2005 – Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems.”

Please note the last three dates…it doesn’t say “Professional Edition only”..it says “first systems running Home Edition, then systems running Professional Edition….then all systems.”

It is, however, true that the update cannot be forced on you if you are not running Automatic Update or Windows Update.

Kissy kissy,

Aunty

  
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Resistance is Futile – Microsoft Forces SP2 Update on All XP and XP SP1 Machines

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  • Resistance is Futile – Microsoft Forces SP2 Update on All XP and XP SP1 Machines

55 Replies to “Resistance is Futile – Microsoft Forces SP2 Update on All XP and XP SP1 Machines”

  1. Do you guy’s believe in Michael Jackson dead? I don’t. His is a legend for me and I fan of his lyrics for a long time. Even my kind’s love it, there is a big loss for us. I still don’t believe in that, so sad.

  2. I have manually uninstalled sp2 because it affects my PC’s performance and made my system unstable. However, I cannot now install the new firefox pluging for active-x, without SP2 being installed on my system.

    In effect, Microsoft are forcing you to install this shoddy and ineffective peice of tripe because future downloads from Microsoft will not be possible without it!

  3. I cannot believe what I am hearing in this forum! I used to beta test back when 95 was to be released to the public, as well as 98 all the way to RC4, now Vista to RC2. Outside of the Vista, XP Pro SP2 is the most stable environment I have run to date! The RC2 Vista had issues that STILL need attention, but I have YET to see a computer that did not “work”, “lose data on reboot”, “bsod’s” they are ALL but a thing of the past. As for big brother watching, WHO gives a “F”??? IF you are a legimate person, you should’nt worry!! If Not, then the more “INTRUSIVE” “Patriot Act” concerning your privacy with your computers, CELL PHONES, and ANYTHING GPS capable, which is even soon to be in “Zune & IPod” products…Microsoft is the LEAST of my paranoia, I’ll fight and die for freedoms in this country, but HONESTLY now, how many of you know what it took to get the Patriot Act PASSED??? It makes Bill Gates look like Hitler it got thru SOOOOOOO fast and easy, with 90%+ not even READING it before passing it!!! SP2 is NOT a cloaking device for Vista..Yes maybe it does protect Gates’ EULA’s but IF YOU WERE HIM, You would do it as well! Run Linux or go to Apple if you are really THAT ummm…paranoid, shallow or whatever… I wouldnt run without it. OH and BTW, there ARE programs that allow the install of SP2 that BLOCK ALL information transmissions to Gates and his Empire. Think people, Think..Ok Im off my soapbox, I am personally against all this strongarm tactic, but it does help in the long run, if your computer cannot handle SP2, its time to UPGRADE YOUR COMPUTER!! get OUT of the stoneage….

  4. 3 months ago i installed sp2 and found out my virtual cd-rom aka cd anywhere
    made by v-com is made useless ,v-com states that due to sp2 it is discontinuing it producing of cd anywhere software,,,,is this because
    ms wants me to slot a cd everytime i use a program ie. my national geograghic cd set has 32 cd’s and w/cd-anywhere i never had to slot
    a cd well i unistalled sp2 and my machine works great,,yes bill gates i’m
    keeping my cd anywhere software and i promise i wont use the cd’s on the shelf on a differant computer bill or should i call you willy see the movie
    patton and you’ll get it…………..

  5. Having Automatic Updates turned off does the trick for me. I am on a dialup so I leave that function off. Its now past April 12th. No “forcing of SP2” on me. The only indication I did get was yesterday or the 13th of an auto detection where when I open IE for the first time I get redirected to the Window Update home page (This happens to me once in a great while so no biggie). I just simply shut down the IE window. So far…No SP2 on this machine. No force on this end!

  6. SP2 is not just about security. It is the frontrunner to Bill Gates plans for Longhorn. It will effectively block certain peer 2 peer programs and sites that do not conform to MS / Symantec standard. Do not be lulled by all the bullshit about sp2. It is no more secure than if you did not have it on your system. It gives us all pretty little shields to brighten up the oS whilst permanently running dangerous services with no way of shutting them off. There has been too much HYPE about this product and too many gullable people are going to be baying for blood when the real intent behind SP2 is finally realised.

    Be warned… if you value your security and your personal choice… do not allow this ‘corporate rape’ be instigated.

  7. re: Bart. You’ll sue MicroSoft til their dry?

    Even if you could get past their lawyers, have you read the EULA? The contract you agree too when you run Windows. Check out section 13 here:

    I would copy and paste it, but it’s in allcaps.

    Remember that while forcing this on users might be bad, there are some people out there who should not be left in charge of a computer. The kind of clueless users who don’t run any antivirus software or firewall and whose computers are propogating blaster and loveletter (yes, some people still have it) all over the net.

    My flatmate charges ?20 (about US$35) to fix his family’s computers. They get brought in riddled to the top with spyware, malware and viruses. In one case, every file on the hard drive was infected with loveletter. Every single one.

    While I’m not saying this is entirely the user’s fault (it’s the ba—-ds who write the malware), people shouldn’t be allowed to take a computer out on the net any more than they are able to just get into a car and drive without any lessons or even a license. For these people, the forced update is a good idea. They get a little balloon telling them to install AV software.

    As for me, I run Linux :) I converted my last Windows box a few months ago. Just compiled KDE3.4 and it is seeexy

  8. I have just had trouble with sp2 and do not want to use it. I had problems onmy desktop and had to restore windows xp. got to doing updates and did xp2 and it made alot of hassles. I tried to get answers from micro but they just gave me run around. try this try that must be your problem… The thing is, looking at all of their customer forums and several others, I’m not the only one having these problems. I’d like to know what guarantee we are going to get that the whole thing is bug free for the most part before we try our luck at it.

  9. In face of M$ driving people (and me) nuts again, I finally did what I wanted to do for quite a while already and gave my notebook a totally new software package: SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional and – it works fine for me! (given I have the time right now to adjust to it and learn)

    Cheers, D.

  10. they could sue you(LOL) or buy you another hard drive to install sp2
    turning automatic updates off and the service automatic updates and background inteligent transfer service to off as windows update needs bits to work
    in windows 2000 windows update did not require bits to be turned on,in xp it is needed,when xp was released they released a program compatability update to make some apps compatible with xp
    maybe with the apps affected they should do it again

  11. Problem i have is i cant even update my SP1 to SP2 since i partitioned my hard drive and i dont even have enough space to install SP2. Lets see what microsoft can do to me=P

  12. Aunty Spam,

    I work with the Windows Update team at Microsoft. The text I read today (2/24/2005) on your website, “Resistance is Futile – Microsoft Forces SP2 Update on All XP and XP SP1 Machines”, is not fully accurate and I wanted to help clear up any misunderstanding. Please allow me to elucidate.

    There was a solution provided to corporations, by Microsoft, that allowed their Windows XP-based computers to effectively skip the detection logic of Windows Update related to Service Pack 2. This was always a temporary solution with a sunset date.

    Automatic Updates currently will not automatically install *any* update that has a pop-up window or End User License Agreement that must be agreed to by the customer. Windows XP Service Pack 2 just happens to meet both of these criteria.

    The only thing that will happen on April 12, 2005, is that IF and ONLY IF:
    1. The user has *not* gone up to the Windows Update site and hidden the update by checking the relevant checkmark box.
    2. The user has Automatic Updates component set to download and install at a specified time, or download and notify the user
    THEN:
    3. Windows XP Service Pack 2 will download to their machine, but will NOT install. They will be notified that the Service Pack is ready for installation and ask the user if they wish to install it.
    4. The corporate customer will be offered the Service Pack very much the same way the home user will, by it being downloaded to their system, but never installed.

    A home user can avoid the download easily, assuming they have not downloaded it already:
    1. Stop Automatic Updates component temporarily:
    a. Click Start
    b. Right-Click My Computer
    c. Click the Automatic Updates tab
    d. Click the radio button: Turn off Automatic Updates
    e. Click OK
    2. Open an Internet Explorer window and go to Windows Update
    a. Click Tools
    b. Click Windows Update. Allow the website to resolve.
    c. Click Custom Install
    d. Click Review and Install Updates
    3. Hide the Windows XP Service Pack 2 update
    a. When you find the Windows XP Service Pack 2, click the title and NOT the checkmark in front of the title.
    b. Now that you have highlighted this update, click the checkbox: “Hide this update”.
    c. Click Install Updates. Service Pack 2 should have disappeared from the updates offered.
    d. Verify that Service Pack 2 is hidden by going to the link on the left-hand side of the website: Restore hidden updates
    e. When this opens, look for Windows XP Service Pack 2 and verify it is in the hidden updates
    f. Close the Internet Explorer window here
    g. Repeat steps 1 a-e, except this time change the behavior of automatic updates back to what it was before this procedure started.

    Result: Automatic Updates is set to install or notify as it should, and Windows XP Service Pack 2 is not offered while it remains a hidden update.

    To conclude, while many updates will be “delivered” to machines, this does not mean that users will be forced to install.

    Respectfully,

    Pat Walters

  13. Dear Pat,

    Thank you very VERY much, from the bottom of Aunty’s heart, and from all of Aunty’s readers, for taking the time to clarify this for us!

    Aunty Spam

  14. MS continues to push buggy (known incompatible) ‘patches’ (XP SP2) to fix buggy programs (XP) as a part of their ongoing ‘upgrade or die’ customer exploitation. Short Term, many customers will accede, a few will rebel, a few will switch to other OS’s. Linux, Macs, and hacks/cracks/piracy all gain adherents from this, BUT.. on the numbers, I suspect MS will make a net profit.
    My opinion is based on the fact MS seems to be very good at making money, and their basic strategy hasn’t evolved much this last decade. The system they use works, due to the high percentage of uninformed and ‘plug and click’ oriented users. I don’t expect that will suddenly change. As for me, I’ll use the easiest method to run my comps .. currently 2k server, 3rd party security, and quite possibly Linux in future. Though the class action suit is appealing, wouldn’t it be NICE if MS could be held to a standard of accountability .. tis the ignorance of users which has shaped MS’s marketing strategy. They do no more than reflect our collective apathy.

  15. The update cannot be forced on you if you are not running Automatic Update or Windows Update.

  16. I forgot to mention. There is a XP HotFix (KB885626) that needs to be installed on some systemss before SP2 or you will not be able to boot up into XP after the installation of SP2. Some systems using Intel P4 Prescotts do not have substantial BIOS product support and that HotFix solves the problem.

  17. I installed SP2 myself with the Network Install package a few mothes ago. Although it has a few quirks, it’s a great addition to XP. In fact it’s a completely different and better O/S.

    I don’t know how other’s might have installed SP2, but having AU or WU do it is not the way to go. The best way to go is to either download the install package or order the free SP2 install CD.

    For even more optimal performance, it’s best to start with zeroed/formatted HDD’s, fresh install of XP,MB drivers,DirectX9,VideoCardDrivers, then SP2 before you install anything else.

    Again, I would recommend NOT having AU or WU install SP2 for you. You’re almost asking for problems doing it that way.

  18. At least one person has commented here, and a few others personally to Aunty or in other fora, that Aunty has her facts wrong, that Microsoft is not requiring you to update to SP2, and citing as support for that the fact that Microsoft has stated that they will support SP1 through 2006.

    To that Aunty says:

    ..which says, in relevant part:

    “UPDATE: Time is running out! Please note that the mechanism to temporarily disable delivery of Windows XP SP2 is only available for a period of 240 days (8 months) from August 16, 2004. At the end of this period (after April 12, 2005), Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems.”

    Now, granted English is Aunty’s first language, but still, to Aunty “will be delivered” means, well, will be delivered.

    To those who took Aunty to task saying that this applies only to the Professional edition of XP, Aunty quotes from the same Microsoft document, wherein it offers the following timeline:

    “Summary of Relevant Windows XP SP2 Dates

    8/06/2004 – Release to manufacturing

    8/09/2004 – Release to Microsoft Download Center (full network install package)

    8/10/2004 – Release to Automatic Updates (for machines running pre-release versions of Windows XP SP2 only)

    8/16/2004 – Release (English) via Software Update Services (SUS)

    8/18/2004 – Release (English) via AU to customers running Windows XP Home Edition and not already running a pre-release version of Windows XP SP2

    Later in August/2004 – Delivery of Windows XP SP2 (English) via Windows Update and delivery via AU to customers running Windows XP Professional Edition and not already running a pre-release version of Windows XP SP2

    4/12/2005 – Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems.”

    Please note the last three dates…it doesn’t say “Professional Edition only”..it says “first systems running Home Edition, then systems running Professional Edition….then all systems.”

    It is, however, true that the update cannot be forced on you if you are not running Automatic Update or Windows Update.

    Kissy kissy,

    Aunty

  19. Bah.. this is BS. Forcing people to download and install the update is rediculous. Sure, the OS might still belong to MS according to the EULA, but the computer is mine and by forcing something on it like that, MS is indirectly taking control of it.. (sounds almost like a virus, doesn’t it?). I’m blocking mircrosofts ips and hosts.. see if they can do anything about that.

  20. Interesting…If turning off auto update doesn’t stop it, how about if the automatic update and BITs services are disabled?

    Personally I have never had a problem with SP2, either at work or at home, but like all of you have heard of other’s having problems. None of the people I know have had any problems with it either…and many are heavy gamers. Still I don’t like the idea of forcing updates. Microsoft should understand more than anyone that there are software/hardware out there that will not work…it’s impossible to be 100% compatible.

  21. Up until now all users who did not want to accept the SP2 update had the option of temporarily blocking the update from being downloaded to their machines through the Automatic or Windows Update mechanisms, however that option expires on April 12th 2005.
    Yes MS will automatically install SP2 If you like it or NOT!

  22. Up until now users who did not want to accept the SP2 update had the option of temporarily blocking the update from being downloaded to their machines through the Automatic or Windows Update mechanisms, however that option expires on April 12th. 2005
    and yes MS will automatically install SP2.

  23. Up until now all users who did not want to accept the SP2 update had the option of temporarily blocking the update from being downloaded to their machines through the Automatic or Windows Update mechanisms, however that option expires on April 12th,/2005

  24. Wow Microsoft is being pretty gay. I’m going to try and block this as well as I can, since I will never use SP2. I think it’s an invasion of privacy and lack of respect for there customers. Those bastards!

  25. You still have a choice to install SP2, you do not have to install SP2. And MS does NOT automatically install, you have to install it. Get your freaking facts staright. you still get support for SP1 till 2006. http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifesupsps

  26. I do not like moicrosoft in anyway..I Have Zone alarm install on my computer and I was playing with it today and found out that you can BLOCK OUT WINDOWS XP SP2 UPDATES!! So if you don’t have Zone alarm I would get it if you don’t want SP2 (Servies Pack 2) in your computer!!

  27. Isn’t that just wonderful.
    I have tried installing SP2 on this machine, from the disc they mailed me, and from a slipstreamed XP SP2 on a reformat.
    Got nothing but a blue screen each and every time I tried to boot the machine, My only option was to load it in safe mode and uninstall it(on the upgrade) and reformat back to SP1 for the second. My machine will not run with SP2. Now what!!
    As for turning off the automatic updates, if you reread the newbulletin you will see that is will bypass that whether you have it turned on or off. One way or the other, Microsoft wants that program on your machine.

  28. Did someone mention something about penguins? If my computer hoses because of this ‘update’ I suspect we will see class action lawsuits sprout like weeds in your lawn and I will gladly add my name to the list! Microsoft might own the software but they do NOT own my machine and any alteration of that machine which makes it unusable is an actionable offense.

  29. Not all of us need to have someone else pick what settings we need. And Alot of us are benchmark and gaming nuts. SP2 simply just does not work well in a High performance application. And it is not compatable with most high Graphics software.In other words SP2 is a SLUG! Also a point. Having MS upload and configure our personal property without out our knowledge isn’t that not illegal? Hacking ring a bell? Invasion of privacy?

  30. LMAO pirated copies not taking SP2 thats funny because I hate to tell you SP2 will install and run on pirated copies and you can still use windows update…………..

  31. I installed SP2 without any problems long ago. Can’t help wondering though — what about all the pirated copies of XP out there? SP2 won’t install on those even if it’s wanted.

  32. My work computer “Blue-Screens” with SP2, it only accepts SP1 … it’s a Dell :) Should I wait for April 12th and sue the begesus out of Microsoft?!

  33. I have four computers in the house, and two of them absolutely refuse to work with SP2. On one, Explorer freezes when I right-click any file, and the other exhibits some very strange behavior when I install the service pack. Unfortunately, I’m a writer and those are my mainstay computers. Hope MS has a Plan B for people whose systems are hosed by this thing.

    MAC

  34. How exactly is Microsoft going to force you to update to SP2? If you have an always on broadband connection I could possibly understand that. Will our computer be tied up and unable to do anything until SP2 downloads? I hope no one depends on their computer to make a living or anything ;-)

  35. How about a Class-Action suit for 100 Billion D0llars ? I will join that ! Hope Aunty posts a fix to abort this auto-download by Microsoft !

  36. I am an IT manager and have already seen problems that SP2 has with certain software packages. There is a specific problem it has with disabling a function of Adobe Premiere Pro. What about those issues? Will they force this install even on company machines that are running specialized software that SP2 interferes with? Not a smart move.

  37. I have SP2 installed, I hope it doesn’t try to re-install!
    Is this the start of a new “auto-update will no longer just check, it WILL install” policy? Will it install stuff I don’t want (Outlook Express, Messenger) and bypassed when I installed XP?

  38. How about a 100 Billion Dollar Class-Action suit ? I would join that. Hope Aunty finds a fix to stop this auto-update.

  39. #1, if your pc doesn’t reboot after installing the update you should contact microsft customer support. there have been issues with pc’s not taking the service pack properly. some caused by software/hardware configuration errors, some caused by the presence of certain malware. microsoft have however released serveral patches which address a lot of these problems; there shouldn’t be any problems as long as these are applied before the service pack. Of course, there’s always going to be problems with software patching – and not just isolated to microsoft either.

    #2, automatic updates has always, to my knowledge, used BITS (background intelligent transfer service), which only utilises available bandwidth to download patches. This is intelligent enough to determine if you go offline, and will resume patch downloads between sessions. personally i find it laughable that your pc loses data when you reboot, and if anything upgrading to the latest service pack / patches is more likely to fix particular that than sitting around a bitching at someone else about your problems is. again, if you have problems with your pc you are entitled to call microsoft customer support.

  40. This article isn’t written very well and fails to mention that this only effects coporate customers who installed a patch to allow SP2 to be hidden from the Windows Update Services.

    As you can read about here http://news.com.com/Microsoft+lets+companies+block+SP2+upgrade/2100-1016_3-5306227.html?tag=nl

  41. “But there is something about removing the element of choice in how a consumer uses a personal product for which they paid which just doesn’t sit well”

    Actually that comment is flawed, M$ retains the right to make any changes to the operating system it sees fit. Ownership of the operating system and its code does not pass to the user in the EULA, M$ retain all the code, and only licenses the user to use the operating system within the EULA.

  42. “But there is something about removing the element of choice in how a consumer uses a personal product for which they paid which just doesn’t sit well”

    Actually that comment is flawed, M$ retains the right to make any changes to the operating system it sees fit. Ownership of the operating system and its code does not pass to the user in the EULA, M$ retain all the code, and only licenses the user to use the operating system within the EULA.

  43. Microsoft will have a hard time getting SP2 installed on my machine which has
    an AMD 64bit processor. They have not yet finished upgrading for this system.
    I would have installed it voluntarily, but found it made my computer unoperable,
    so until they do their part, I cannot do my part. I went into Safe Mode and
    uninstalled SP2.

  44. what about 56k connection .. sp2 is a big update and it would take for ever for me to download . and by the way i have a problem with my pc i have to keep it on stand by cause if i reboot. the pc deletes anything that i have installed prior to reboot. so i can not reboot . what about that issue. is micro soft going to force me to reboot my pc so i lose alot of exspensive data. i will sue them untill there dead. btw again. i have orderd a softwere disk from microsoft two months before xmas ive called them alot of times and the pagage has never shown up. what a fucken rip off.

  45. What will Microsoft do if this forced install encounters problems and makes the machine unbootable? This is especially for users who might not know how to recover from any failures? Granted, that installing SP2 is a step towards making your system more secure, but the installation shouldn’t be forced onto your machine by Microsoft.

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