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Rick Brewster

Poll: Which version of Windows are you using?

Which version of Windows are you using?  

150 members have voted

  1. 1. Which version of Windows are you using?

    • Windows Vista
      80
    • Windows XP SP2
      28
    • Windows XP SP3
      63
    • Other
      6


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[How to find out what you have: (thanks BoltBait)

"Find your "My Computer" icon (either on your desktop or in your start menu), right-click on it and choose "Properties" from the menu. The "General" tab has the information you seek."]

Sorry but this does not tell me anything - It's just a General tab of very basic info and says nothing about what service pack is installed.

Now I do know that SP2 is in there as I remember the update so I'm going to click on the SP2 and vote. If SP3 has a price tag then it won't come my any time soon - being unemployed has a lot to do with that :cry:

This is what mine shows...

30_c94dbaa1540e6bc8e759c4b52a177be2

I'm not sure why yours doesn't show you the service pack level of your OS.

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On my primary PC, I now use Windows Vista SP1. However, I was running Windows XP SP3 for a while and my kids PC is running XP SP3. My wife's work laptop is also running XP SP3.

In my experience, it seemed like SP3 slowed the system a tad more than SP2 and it seemed liked I had a few weird issues. With my kids' PC or my wife's work laptop, nothing obvious stands out as a negative against SP3.

Now, all of that said, from the very beginning there have been documented issues with SP3 and there were people that clearly ran into problems. Many people have found that they had quirky issues with SP3 and I've seen quite a few benchmarks showing that systems were a tad slower in general with SP3. There was also the well documented issue (http://tinyurl.com/WinXP-SP3-AMD) with SP3 "killing" many AMD processor based PCs. I'm guessing that has all been worked out, but I'm not sure.

Another issue that has caused many people to go back to SP2 or stay at SP2 is that SP3 removes the "Address" bar option from the Taskbar. As many of you might know, if you right-click on the Taskbar, there is an option for "Address". Many people like myself use this all the time in Windows XP. If you install SP3, this option is removed. You can replace a DLL file and usually get it back, but it can be tricky (even if you have the DLL file). The only other option is a 3rd party application that gives you something similar... one example is at http://www.muvextoe.com.

Finally, another reason why some people avoid SP3 is that it really doesn't add much beyond SP2. Sure, if you re-installing a system from scratch, then SP3 will save you some hassle because it has many updates and patches that SP2 does NOT (after all, SP3 is a true service pack). SP3 does add a few "features", but they are only really beneficial to those in a corporate environment. Paul Thurrott at http://www.WinSupersite.com talked a lot about the difference between SP2 and SP3 when SP3 was coming and finally released.

The bottom line is a person running SP2 and an up-to-date system doesn't really have much of a benefit in installing SP3. Well, that is unless something like Paint.NET requires SP3. I personally would not go out of my way to install SP3 when reinstalling a system. In fact, when re-installing my kids' PC, I was planning on going back to SP2. Something like Paint.NET requiring it would probably be the only reason I would put SP3 back on.

I hope that helps and provides some insight.

-JayZJay :wink:

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I'm running SP2. Why? No actual reason. I installed an SP3 beta, but later uninstalled it, waiting for Windows to update to the official release automatically. Apparently, it never did. And thus far, my installation of XP hasn't been going through problems, and performance is just fine. And normally when I'm on the computer, I'm downloading something, and I don't want to stress out dealing with 10 Kb/sec download for something that isn't going to do much for me in the near future, especially knowing that updating will force me to re-patch uxtheme.dll

I know that in reality it isn't much of a job to download when I get off the computer and re-patch, but in the last year or so, my work's been piling up. I've barely been able to find the time to edit any pictures in Paint.NET (or Photoshop); just do the minimum computer work (for example, upload a 10MB video to YouTube).

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I use both XP SP3 and XP SP2

Reasons not to install SP3:

1) Very large, takes time/bandwidth to download.

2) Installs things that I don't want/need installed.

2.1) Microsoft Windows Installer 3.1

2.2) MSXML6 SP2

2.3) RDP 6 (Remote desktop)

For example having RDP 6 installed on my machine, breaks another critical application I use.

(Paint.Net != Critical)

I'm sure for 99+% of the world, having XP SP3 as a minimum requirement would work.

I'm however part of that less than 1% group. :(

P.S. The easiest way to see your Windows version is to press the "Windows Key" and then "Pause/Break" simultaneously

(assuming you can find those keys) :wink:

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Good info and stories, everyone.

To me it's clear that it's too early to set XP SP3 as the minimum. Maybe after it's been out for a full calendar year.

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We can't upgrade to SP3 at work due to a few bugs that haven't yet been rectified.

The main one is that roaming profiles don't load if a user changes their password:

http://www.edugeek.net/forums/windows/2 ... p-sp3.html

http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/Sho ... &SiteID=17

It was fixed it Vista but not SP3 as yet.. (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/941797)

Cheers,

Andrew

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I am avoiding upgrading to SP3 as so far I have seen no reason to install it (as I have all the previous security patches anyway) but mostly I have read so many stories of it breaking so many things (drivers, security software etc.)

I would prefer having SP2 as the base level and instructions on how to install the Indows installer (although sure I already have that as part of Microsoft updates?)

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SP3 after reading (somewhere) we'd need it for pdn4 ... or did I imagine it ?

To date no problems with downloading it or system faults after downloading it.

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Yes, there is a very compelling reason people stay with SP2, and here it is: we don't know if SP3 will screw up our version of Windows or add more bloat, and we can't upgrade to SP3, because more than likely it will break our copy of Windows.

I work as a PC tech fixing dozens of peoples computers, and most of the time its a dead harddrive and the fix is to install a replacement harddrive and reinstall Windows. Bear with me, because I'll tell you why... the version of XP I end up reinstalling is a cracked version of Windows XP with Service Pack 2 for Developers. Yes, these people have a legitimate licence to windows... the sticker with the code is right there on their computer from when they bought their computer. Is it usable by me to reinstall Windows? No. Because the CDs that came with the computer don't come in with the computer, or are long gone.

I suspect Windows CDs are batch coded to the keycode they are shipped with, and one Windows CD that uses one batch of keycodes will not work with another batch that uses another. Its infuriating. Further, you've got keycodes that were Windows Upgrade CDs (say from 98), that won't work will the full version CD, and the reverse, and so on. Its a bloody nightmare trying to go through a batch of a dozen different Windows XP install CDs in the hopes you'll find one that matches their legitimate keycode, and more often than not you are wasting your time. In short, if you don't have the same Windows CD that came with the keycode, you're out of luck.

So even though they have a legitimate licence to XP, you install a cracked version of XP because all they care about is getting a working computer again. The cracked version I have, you can get away with installing the SP2 upgrade for Developers onto it without breaking the crack (the regular SP2 upgrade will ruin it). Therefore, SP2 is as high as I go. I'm sure somewhere out there on the torrents there are probably cracked XP installs with SP3 rolled into it, but I don't have the time or money to hunt this down... SP2 does everything everybody needs it to. Nothing out there requires SP3 as far as I've encountered yet.

I wouldn't even install SP2 at all because of the bloat it adds, but there's a lot of infuriating software (IM clients) that require it. I am shocked that an installer program would even require it, let alone an installer program requiring SP3 be installed. I mean, and installer just... copies and installs files and makes perhaps registry entries. Why would you need a bunch of hotfixes and patches be present to copy files and add registry entries???

Of course, I install Paint.NET on all these fresh virgin computers, because it rocks, as well as other awesome freeware software... Firefox, Opera, Safari, Mozilla, Pidgin, Filezilla, Videolan, OpenOffice. Paint.NET is intuitive and just does everything right... all the other paint programs I've tried (Photoshop, The Gimp) though they have some awesome effects plugins, are infuriating to use. I will do all my work in Paint.NET, and only dip into those programs when I want to use one of their effects... do the effect, and bring it right back into Paint.NET. I actually understand layers in Paint.NET. The only thing I don't like about it is you can't dock the tiny tools, layers, color window wheel, all those little windows, inside the Window of the picture you are working on (like old school MacPaint). Its frustrating when you have a million windows and pictures you are editing on at one time on the screen to find these little windows buried somewhere when you are looking right at the window with the graphic you are editing. Where is the Tools or Layers Window Tool for this graphic. If you have the other Graphics programs open too, which have their own floating Tools windows, its very easy to get lost visually.

If you required SP3, I could no longer bundle Paint.NET on these new computers, because it would be the only program I've ever run across that required it, and so unfortunatly being the odd software out, it would get the ax.

There are other computer techs like me in the same situation... so don't think that computers with cracked versions of XP are not worth supporting, because there are way more of them out there than you can imagine... which all should be legitimate reinstalls of Windows but could never be done so because of time and money. Its a thousand times simpler just to put the same cracked XP version with SP2 on it to fix all these computer than to try and get the CDs from these people and do it the way Microsoft wants you to do it. You know these people had a legitimate version of Windows because they bought it from the store with Windows XP on it, its got a sticker right on the computer that says so, and even the keycode more often than not. But all these 'fixed' computers that come through the shop are plateued at SP2. I tell them, don't update... and I delete the automatic update link in the menu...

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We use PDN in an educational environment, and must, for the time being, use XP SP2, as SP3 has been tested and provides a lot of problems (we're looking at a few months until we can upgrade). Believe me, if we could use SP3, then I would get it on our computers right now, and it would sure free up space from each security update which has been released since SP2!

It would be a shame if SP3 was the "minimum" requirement, for us at least. I have held off updating our custom MSI of 3.30 in hope we would soon deploy 3.5!

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starguy, I am not concerned with users who have pirated/cracked versions of Windows. You absolutely should not be installing cracked Windows onto customers' boxes just to save some time because you haven't been able to find a way to properly fix their computer. That's unethical, lazy, and illegal.

I tell them, don't update... and I delete the automatic update link in the menu...

So basically you want then to fall behind on security updates so they get a virus and have to come back and pay you more money to fix their computer again? Again, that's unethical and lazy.

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I'm now on XP SP3. I always wait on a major update in order to evaluate the experience of others. I support a lot of machines on a university campus, and users (and I) don't like nasty surprises. When I set up a new machine, I always load everything available; not necessarily so for service packs on machines that have been in use for a while. The two machines I have at home were upgraded earlier, but that's a different story. Here on campus we have a system that checks machines for required updates and anti-virus (http://www.bradfordnetworks.com/); it now considers SP3 a required update (which I don't agree with).

I upgraded this afternoon because (a) it was time, and (B) I wanted to upgrade Paint.NET. I already had .NET 3.5 and Windows update 3.1, but not the full SP3.

On the other hand, many software packages try very hard to work at the earliest compatibility level possible, rather than targeting the latest. Microsoft is burdened with this at every turn, but it pays off.

By the way, the confirmation code on the registration page can be very hard to read. I don't know for a fact, but it may be impossible for someone who is color blind.

// Ted Brewster

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I'm using XP SP2 and have no intention of upgrading to SP3 because there is almost nothing in SP3 thats worth it. SP3 is mostly bloat-software that most users Do Not Need. On top of the afore mentioned, it has caused conciderable problems and crashes on many PC's in which I have tried to install it.

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I would just like to point out that tests have shown that SP3 increases performance over SP2, and it's not bloat (quite the opposite).

http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/operatingsystems/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=207602577

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9048658

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I just upgraded to SP3 yesterday, i was lazy to download SP3, until yesterday, so far i don't see any differences except it's faster!! But in july 2009, maybe i'm upgrading to a mac, and i'll buy VMware fusion so i can still run Paint.NET, i might learn programming...

Also why is vista bad, i see it as good, but i don't want to upgrade from xp, if this comp is good. Vista is actually good, compilable with pre vista program, if you installed it from a disc, that's why. but the thing i hate about it, it is, it's not coming with a recovery disc, now i gotta buy one from microcenter, if i get vista.

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