Just as my fellow author, Amit, had warned you, Microsoft has ended support for PCs running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). According to figures I’ve seen at InformationWeek, as many as 45% of Windows XP machines will need to update to SP3 in order to stay secure.
If you are running a PC that has not been updated yet, there’s no need to panic. Computers running SP2 will continue to work as usual. The end of support for SP2 simply means that those computers will not receive the most current security fixes from Microsoft’s update website or the automated updates.
Since it’s very important to keep your Windows up to date, how can you find out if your machine needs to update to SP3?
The quickest and easiest way to find out is a keyboard shortcut: [Windows key] [Pause/Break]
Another way to view your current Windows version is to right click on a My Computermenu entry or desktop icon and choose the Propertiesitem in the list.
As a result of either of these actions, you should see your computer’s properties as shown below.
If it says Service Pack 2, then you should use one of the links below to update your PC to SP3. I’ve included four ways to update and a brief description of each method.
A. Windows Update Website
Yes, it’s as easy as visiting Microsoft, however, you will need to use Internet Explorer because Microsoft hates to see you use any other type of web browser.
B. Service Pack 3 Network Install
Despite what the title implies, you can download this single executable file and it will install SP3 easily on any XP machine that needs it. The file is a bit over 300mb in size.
C. Service Pack 3 Add-on for Multi-Lingual Users
If you use languages other than English, you may need this file in addition to the download Babove. It’s only about 9mb in size.
D. Service Pack 3 ISO / CD Image
You can download this ISO file (CD image) and burn it to a CD. This makes it possible for you to have a backup copy and to use it on any XP machine that needs it. The file is over 500mb in size.
Now, I’m feeling better after writing this important public service announcement. I hope you feel better too, after you’ve updated your old Windows XP machines.