RE: XP SP2 other than windows update

Nanog folk,
Last week, I downloaded XP2 SP2 on one the major P2P networks (eDonkey).


None of the large organizations I am involved with has deployed SP2 on a
large scale yet. Users that request it will likely get it (from a share
on a corporate server that is); some organizations are also testing
their SP2 image by rolling out some of the new PCs with SP2; help desks
are still building FAQs about it as problems generated by early adopters
pop in. I expect most to push it to the desktop with SMS or similar
within a month.

Hard facts:

- The P2P download took two hours. Ymmv.

- The file was legit (I did a binary compare with the original;
matches). The file I downloaded is WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe. This
is the full install; the slower your connection to the net is the more
you want to download this only one-time and make it available locally
and burn a CD with it.

- The original file has been available from Microsoft for at least three
weeks free of charge, no need for any kind of signup.


- If I did not have the original file I would not have know which one to
grab. The most distributed files were complete slipstreams, not SP only
(I selected the best file of matching size).

- Two hours for 266 MB is not too shabby in the absolute, but the
original downloaded in less than 15 minutes from home each time and
tried and a lot less from the office depending where I was.

- On some P2P systems this kind of download speed can typically be
achieved only by sharing files to get a good U/L ratio. People that
don't share files would get at the end of the queue.

- I typically get much better download speeds while sharing than people
with an el-cheapo router because I QOS the upstream; one of the
annoyances of sharing files is that it will tend to clog the upstream
making even surfing rather painful.

- Downloading with P2P requests installing a client and possibly poking
holes in the NAT/Firewall.

- There is a trust issue. When the file I get is from Microsoft from a
download that I initiated myself not by clicking on a link provided by
someone else, I would tend to trust it. OTOH, all P2P systems feature
large amounts of illegal contents, including some that does not even
exist (Norton utilities 2004, anyone?).

- I never experienced nor heard any significant pipe clogging because of
SP2. Contrary to some FUD propagated earlier there was no operational
issue as a consequence of the download process.

I did not see any advantage of using P2P to download XP SP2 and several
drawbacks. I will continue to download patches directly from vendors.


Fwiw, XP SP2 CDs are available at some PC retail outlets. I picked one
up from Best Buy late last week, and saw them again at a CompUSA over
the weekend. As with the download, ymmv.

-Jim P.

not in all areas

they are not at any of the retail stores here.

FWIW, SP2 rendered my Sony Vaio PCG-SR17 completely useless. From what
I can tell, it replaced the PCMCIA bridge driver (pcmcia.sys) with one
that does not work, and there is no way to "roll back" the driver to
the pre-XP2 one without rolling back the entire OS.

I am in an ongoing dialog with MS support trying to resolve the issue
and will post if
we discover anything significant. But for now, if your laptop uses a
Ricoh PCMCIA bridge chip, I'd suggest you hold off on SP2.