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Home > Windows XP Common Issues > Service Pack 1, Do you need it?
August 29, 2015

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What is Service Pack 1? Do I really need it?

Revised: November 7, 2003

Service Pack 1 is a collection of all the fixes that have been released for Windows XP since it's release last year, in addition to this it upgrades many of the programs that came with Windows such as Media Player and Internet Explorer. In Service Pack 1 there is also a new feature that has been added because of the legal action with the DOJ, this is a panel in the add/remove programs dialog to select the preferred type of browser, Java virtual machine, media player, instant messenger program and default mail client. To see a screenshot of this panel click here.

If you have a PC from a PC company that provided a self restore CD-Rom or have a restore partition on your hard drive contact your PC manufacturer before installing Service Pack 1. A few have released patches so their systems function correctly with SP1. If you are using a copy of Windows XP Volume license/corporate or "Devils Own" using certain widely used pirate keys service pack 1 will refuse to install on your system. Please click here for more details.

Service Pack 1 is a fairly essential patch, it includes a fix for a fairly bad bug in the Windows Help and Support center that allows the deletion of files on your PC if you follow certain links. There was a section on Tech TV recently which shows this problem in action, in the video it is said that renaming a certain system file will cure the problem. It will but Service Pack 1 is the best way to protect your system, but if you don't want to install SP1 for whatever reason it is now possible (Oct 10th) to patch the problem in the help and support center without installing SP1. Follow the link below for more details.

If you read the Windows XP public newsgroups you will see posts telling of how Windows XP destroyed their install of Windows XP, do bear in mind that more people post with problems rather than saying everything is okay. The Service Pack was extensively tested before release both inside and outside of Microsoft but not every configuration can be tested, please be sure to backup anything important you have on your system before you install. If Windows has been modified through hacks this can also cause problems with the SP1 install, I have heard of problems with modified boot and logon screens. The Service Pack is only designed to patch what Microsoft released so any modifications could potentially cause problems

I said earlier that SP1 updates many of the programs that come with Windows, in Service Pack 1 Internet Explorer is updated to 6.0 SP1. Outlook Express is also updated to version 6.0 SP1, Windows Messenger to version 4.7 (build 41), Windows Media Player remains at version 8.0 but the build is updated to 4487.


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