Windows XP Service Pack 2 Headaches

It really couldn't be expected to be trouble free ... including a "switched on by default" firewall (in the update in order to tighten up the security of the operating system) and then expecting the end user to figure out why things don't work and what all the new terms they are faced with mean is a recipe for trouble. But we are now starting to find out the true scale of the actual problem as Microsoft releases two new documents relating to the latest service pack for Windows XP.

The first document contains advice about what end users should do if a program that worked prior to the installation of SP2 stops working after installation. Basically, this involves opening the apropriate ports for the afflicted software. The second document lists programs that may not work as expected after the installation of SP2.

As I said, it's really not surprising that there are problems. Why? Because the job of a firewall is to control access to the Internet but programs and services on the computer. So, programs that prior to the installation that had unfettered access to the net don't have this afterwards. This can cause all manner of problem - from not working completely, locking up or hanging to not updating properly. Take something away that was available before and trouble will follow.

Problems aren't helped by the fact that, for the average user that may not have a firewall already installed, the instructions to solve the problems aren't easy to follow. There are many new terms and concepts that may be totally alien to many.

The second document lists software that, to take the wording straight out of the document, "that may behave differently in Windows XP Service Pack 2". What is meant by "behave differently" is not made clear, but we can assume that it means in some cases that the software won't work. Before you install SP2 I recommend that you see how many of the following you run.
Program Version Vendor
App Version ISV
Star Trek StarFleet Command III v1.0 Activision
Medieval Total War 1 Activision
Pagemaker 7 Adobe
PageMaker (German) 6.5 Adobe
Photoshop Elements 2 Adobe
Ad-Shield 3 Ad-shield
ERDisk for AD Aelita
Nero 6 Ultra 6 Ahead
Nero Burning ROM 5.5.6 Ahead
Al Mawrad (Arabic) 2003 Al Ariss
PhotoClick --- Al Maalin
AOL Toolkit 1.13.2 AOL
Uno 1 Aris Buenaventura
Dead Man's Hand 1 Atari
MotoRacer 3 Atari
Scrabble v3.0 Atari
Unreal II 1 Atari
Unreal Tournament 2003 1 Atari
Unreal Tournament Game of the Year Edition 1 Atari
Extra Enterprise 2000 


--- Attachmate
Extra Personal Client 6.5 --- Attachmate
Extra! Bundle for TCP/IP 6.6 --- Attachmate
KEA! 340 v5.1 --- Attachmate
Command Antivirus 4.9 authentium
AutoCAD 2004 


--- Autodesk
bv-Admin Mobile 7 --- Bind View
StarCraft 1.05 Blizzard
BitDefender 7.2 Blizzard
Starcraft v1.11 Blizzard
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Collector's Edition v 1.0 Blizzard
Patrol for Windows 2000 --- BMC
Word Perfect Family Pack 5 - Encyclopedia Britannica Ready Reference 2003 Britannica
WISO Sparbuch 2004 Buhl
InnoculateIT --- CA
MpegCraft DVD x Caropus
Citrix ICA client 7.1 Citrix
FileMaker Pro (German) 5 Claris
ArcServe 6.61 Computer Associates
ArcServe 7.0 --- Computer Associates
BrightStor ArcServe Backup 9.0 --- Computer Associates
eTrust 7 Computer Associates
eTrust 6.0.100 --- Computer Associates
eTrust EZArmor AE Test Computer Associates
Corel Draw 9 - PhotoPaint (German) 9 Corel
WordPerfect Office 11 Corel
1st Grade Excelerator Curious George Studio 1 --- Countertop Software
Serious Sam: The Second Encounter 1 Croteam
Retrospect Client x Dantz
Dave's Quick Search Toolbar 3.16 Dave Bau
Diet KaZaa 2.52 Diet KaZaa
The Lion King Animated Storybook 1 Disney
DivxPlayer 2.5.3 Divx
Command & Conquer Generals --- EA Games
Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour --- EA Games
Earth & Beyond v.1 EA Games
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2 1 EA Games
SimCity 4 v1.0 EA Games
Freedom Force 1 Electronic Arts
NBA Live 2000 1 Electronic Arts
CheckSoft Home and Business 2004 Eliibrium
EDM File System Agent 3.1 --- EMC
Chess Advantage III: Lego Chess --- Encore
High School Advantage 2003 --- Encore Software
Encyclopedia Britannica 2000 Deluxe 1 Encyclopedia Britannica
Smarterm Office 10 ---
Smarterm Office 11 ---
Diskeeper 8 Executive Software
Der Brockhaus Multimedia (German) 2004 F.A. Brockhaus
JAWS 5.0 5 Freedom Scientific
F-Secure 5.52 F-Secure
Drivers & Utilities CD --- Fujitsu-Siemmens
Cute FTP 5.0 --- GlobalScape
Conflict: Desert Storm --- Gothamgames
Window-Eyes Professional 4.2 GW Micro
HP Quick Launch Buttons --- HP
HP SJ 6350 --- HP
HPSetup 42NAheBLU1 SW build --- HP
Exceed 8 --- Hummingbird
Host Explorer 8 --- Hummingbird
Rational's Clearcase 2003 IBM
ViaVoice for Windows Personal Edition 10 10 IBM
SmartSuite Millennium Edition ScreenCam (German) 9.5 IBM Lotus
ICQ Pro 3916 ICQ
iMesh 3.1 iMesh
TurboCAD Professional 9 IMSI
Installshield 8 Installshield
Quicken 2003 Premier Home and Business 2003 Intuit
Quicken Deluxe 2001 2001 Intuit
Kazaa 2.52 Kazaa
Kerio Personal Firewall 4 Kerio
WinRoute 4.25 Kerio
Playzone Preschool - Kindergarten - Jump Start Spelling 1 Knowledge Adventure
Live Journal Semagic Live Journal
SmartSuite Millennium Edition - Fast Site --- Lotus
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic --- Lucas Arts
Merriam Webster's Reference Library 2003 - Journey to the Planets 2003 M-2K
ColdFusion MX for J2EE 6 --- Macromedia
Freehand 8 (German) 8 Macromedia
MapSend Direct Route --- Magellan
McAfee Internet Security Suite 2004 6 McAfee
McAfee Parental Controls 1 McAfee
McAfee VirusScan 4.51 McAfee
Netshield 4.5 --- McAfee
VirusScan 7 McAfee
Encarta Encyclopedia 2002 Microsoft
Age of Empires II: Age of Kings --- Microsoft
Application Center 2000 SP2 --- Microsoft
BizTalk 2004 --- Microsoft
CMS 2001 Microsoft
Combat Flight Simulator 3 1 Microsoft
Excel 2003 Microsoft
Halo Combat Evolved (Arabic and Hebrew) Trial Microsoft
MapPoint Europe 2004 Microsoft
Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 SP1 Microsoft
MS License 3.7 Microsoft
MSDN --- Microsoft
MSN 7.02 Microsoft
MSN 9 QFE1 and 9.1 beta 9 Microsoft
Office 11 Microsoft
Office - Power Point 2002 (German) 2002 Microsoft
Office Access 2002 2002 Microsoft
Office System - Power Point 2003 Microsoft
Office XP Access 10 Microsoft
Office XP Professional Excel 10.0 SP2 --- Microsoft
Office XP SP2 - PowerPoint 11 Microsoft
Office XP Standard 10 Microsoft
Outlook 2000 9 Microsoft
Outlook 2002 10 Microsoft
Outlook 2003 11 Microsoft
Outlook Web Access x Microsoft
Revenge of Arcade v1.0 Microsoft
Server Administrator Tools --- Microsoft
SMS 2.0 SP5 Microsoft
SMS 2.0 SP5 Microsoft
SMS 2003 RC2 Microsoft
SMS 2003 RTM Microsoft
SMS --- Microsoft
SNA Server 4.0 SP4 --- Microsoft
SQL --- Microsoft
SQL 7 Microsoft
SQL 2000a 2000a SP3 --- Microsoft
TaxSaver 1999 Microsoft
Virtual PC 2004 Microsoft
Visual Basic 6 Microsoft
Visual C++ (16-bit) 2 Microsoft
Visual Studio 7 Microsoft
Visual Studio 97 Microsoft
Visual Studio .NET Enterprise 2003 --- Microsoft
Visual Studio 98 6 Microsoft
Windows Sharepoint Services 2 Microsoft
Windows Sharepoint Services --- Microsoft
Word XP Microsoft
Works Suite 2004 2004 Microsoft
WSS 2 Microsoft
Musicmatch Jukebox 8.20.0107 Musicmatch
StyleSelector x NEC
Veritas --- NEC
AppManager 5.01 NetIQ
End2End 4.1 --- NetIQ
File and Storage Administrator 2.1 (191067) --- NetIQ
ViewNow 1.05 1.05
View Now 1.0 1
ViewNow 1.05 1.05
McAfee Remote Desktop 32 --- Network Associates
ESET NOD32 for windows --- Nod32
Norman Personal Firewall 1.40 AETEST Norman
Norman Personal Firewall 4 Norman
Becky 12.09.01
KaZaa Media Desktop 2.6.3
PhotoImpact 7 (Traditional Chinese) 7
Sony: PCV-W510G 510G
Super Collapse (Demo Only) 2
UX Theme MultiPatcher 1.5.1
PhotoExplosion Deluxe 1 Nova Development
NovaNet Web 3.6 NovaStor
Pinnacle Studio Beta NX - Pinnacle Studio 9 cause data execution prevention errors
Instant CD/DVD 7 Pinnacle
Real Player (free version) 10 Real Networks
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield 1 Red Storm
Action Request System x Redmedy
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne 1 RockStar Games
NASCAR Racing 2003 Season v2003 --- Sierra
Tribes 2 1 Sierra
Harvard Graphics 3 Software Publishing Corp
SonicWALL Virus Scan --- SonicWall
Sony: PCV-V200G: --- Sony
VirusSecurity 2004 2004 Sourcenext
BootSkin x Stardock
Ghost Corporate Edition 7.5 --- Symantec
Norton Antivirus 2003 2003 Symantec
Norton Systemworks 2003 - GoBack Personal Edition Other MS Symantec
Norton Systemworks 2003 Professional Edition 2003 Symantec
Norton Systemworks 2004 - GoBack32 Beta Symantec
PCAnywhere 11 --- Symantec
Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition 8 Symantec
Talkworks Pro x Symantec
Winfax Pro 10 Symantec
Roboword Pro (JAPANESE) 6 Technocraft
Style XP 2 tgtsoft
Eclipse 3 Unknown
Midnight Outlaw: Illegal Street Drag 1 Valuesoft
Roller Coaster Factory v3.0 Valuesoft
Elite Forces Vietnam: Special Assignment 2 ver 1 ver 1 Valusoft
Midnight Outlaw Illegal Street Drug v1.0 ValuSoft
Backup Exec 9 Veritas
Backup Exec 9.1.4691 Veritas
Backup Exec 8.6.1 --- Veritas
Backup Exec 9.1 --- Veritas
BackupExec 9.1 Veritas
BackupExec 8.6.1 Veritas
Backcup Exec 9.1 --- Veritas
Volume Manager 3.1 3.1 Veritas
Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 v1.0 Westwood
Command and Conquer Red Alert 2 1 Westwood
Windgate 5.2.3 WinGate
Reflection 9 WRQ
Reflection 9.03 WRQ
Reflection 10 WRQ
Reflection X 10 WRQ
Reflection X 11 WRQ
Reflection X 10 --- WRQ
Xoreax Incredibuild --- Xoreax
Yahoo x Yahoo
Yahoo Instant Messenger x Yahoo
Yahoo Messenger Yahoo
PC Magazine Business Winstone Benchmark 2004 Ziff Davis
ZoneAlarm 5.0.590 ZoneLabs

If you have any problems, the first thing you should do is look for an updated version of the software causing you problems. Usually, this will solve the problem but there are no guarantees and updates may not be available yet (irf at all).

What also might have been nice is a bypass in the installation that detected a firewall and given the user an opportunity to disable the XP SP2 firewall as there is no need to have both.

My advice is to play things slowly and carefully. There is no doubt that Windows XP SP2 closes a lot of holes in Windows but if you currently have firewall and antivirus installed, there is no real rush. Try to find out what software you have installed that might cause problems. If you have affected software, look for updates. Pay close attention to any software that you have that is critical to you or your business (in particular financial software and other security products).

Microsoft advice on programs that seem to stop working once SP2 is installed
Microsoft advice on programs that behave differently once SP2 is installed
Windows XP SP2 Support Center

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
Last updated: August 24th 2004
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