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Part: VII Appendixes > Installation Options

Installation Options

Windows XP SP2 comes in four flavors. The following list summarizes the four ways of installing SP2, and the rest of this appendix explains them in detail:

  • Automatic updates— If your computer is set up to automatically download critical updates from Microsoft and you spend enough time connected to the Internet, SP2 automatically downloads. All the required service pack files will already be downloaded by the time you get the notification to install them. I'll discuss the installation procedure shortly.

  • Windows Update— If the automatic updates feature is not enabled, you can install SP2 from the standard Windows Update Web page. Windows Update downloads from Microsoft just those service pack components needed for your computer, saving some download time over the standalone method. However, if you have more than one or two computers to update, you'll save time by using the standalone version.

  • Standalone— The standalone version is the traditional service pack format. It's a compressed file that, for SP2, weighs in at nearly 275MB and contains all the updated files needed to add SP2 to any version of Windows XP. If you have two or more computers to update, the standalone method is the one to use. It's bulky and contains updated components your particular computers might not need, but it's still faster to download this one large file than to have several computers download the Windows Update version independently. You can download the SP2 setup file from www.microsoft.com/technet. If you have a slow Internet connection, you can order the standalone version on a free setup CD from Microsoft at www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/sp2, or you can likely obtain one at a computer store or from a friend.


    If you download the standalone service pack file, its default name will be something like WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe. I recommend that you save it with a more presentable name, such as XPSP2.exe, unless you have to keep track of several service pack versions in different languages. Save the file in a shared network folder or burn it onto a CD.

    You can either expand the service pack onto a shared network folder for faster, easier installation onto several computers or carry the service pack CD from one computer to another.

  • Integrated— The integrated version is a full, fresh installation version of Windows XP that has SP2 already included into its code. Installing an integrated version performs a full, clean installation of Windows XP SP2 without the need to subsequently install the service pack. However, it can't be used to upgrade an existing XP setup.



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