Getting ready for Service Pack 2

Posted Aug 17, 2004 in Technology.

Microsoft will soon be unleashing Service Pack 2 upon the general populace. The “Home” version is imminent, with the “Professional” version following right after. I have several PCs, with various operating systems. These include 2 desktops and a laptop running Windows XP Home, a desktop running Windows XP Professional, and a laptop running Windows 2000 Professional.

So far, the release of Service Pack 2 has been problematic at best. Horror stories about it causing applications to fail, or work differently, have been confirmed by two lists that emerged from Microsoft:

  1. Programs that stop working after SP2 has been installed.
  2. Programs that behave differently after SP2 has been installed.

Needless to say, I am a little uneasy about installing these packs. All the systems I have run on the same local network, so it makes it easy to transfer files from machine to machine. It seems, therefore, that a sensible solution would be for me to do a clean install of most (or all) of the machines. I have always found that Windows has a half life of less than a year, so a few of the machines are due for their yearly service anyway. Doing this may bring an added bonus. When re-installing my main computer, I will do it in this order:

  1. Install Windows XP Professional.
  2. Install Service Pack 2.
  3. Install latest drivers for video and sound cards.
  4. Install Doom 3.
  5. “Test” last program vigorously.
  6. Install other things...

I am hoping that with such a minimum install, I may be able to get Doom 3 to run for long enough for me to actually play it. I can then incrementally add other things. I'm in the middle of two development jobs at the moment, so this little project will have to go on the back burner for a few weeks. I'll let you know how it goes in a future entry.


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    You're not going to give up on Doom 3 are ya?

    I think in the end the real problem lies with your soundcard. A couple years ago I had to give up on SoundBlaster and went with Turtle Beach and haven't had a problem since.

    Posted by Stephen Collins on Aug 17, 2004.

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    Doom 3 is the single most important purchase I have made in my entire computing life, after the original Doom itself. No, I will not be giving up on it. I would rather piss away great sweaty wads of cash on a new PC, than give up on Doom 3.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Aug 17, 2004.

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    I understand. I've been playing it every night since it came out and I hope your problem is eventually resolved.

    The problem I used to have was that apparently in a game that used OpenGL, with a VIA motherboard and a SoundBlaster card, i would crash ALL the time. And even though it didnt seem like an error you would get because of a sound card, after changing it, the errors stopped.

    Posted by Stephen Collins on Aug 17, 2004.

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    I tried disabling the soundcard before, but it didn't seem to make any difference. Everyone tells me my big problem is running XP Pro, and I might revert to XP Home just to see if it'll make a difference.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Aug 17, 2004.

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    I'm seriously thinking about dumping Windows for Linux, and running a Windows emulator. Anyone had any experience with this?

    Posted by entertainment news on Aug 17, 2004.

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    Having installed SP2 betas and RC's, and not the final, I have not experienced any problems at all on the three machines I got it on. I do not use XP Home, which is crap. All are XP Professional.

    As far as the order, it should be:

    * Install Windows XP Professional.
    * Install latest drivers for video and sound cards.
    * Install your MS applications (Office, VS.NET, etc)
    * Install Service Pack 2.
    * Run Windows Update.
    * Then install everything else you want.

    As far as games, well, I do not care about them, so can't tell :-)

    Posted by David on Aug 18, 2004.

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    "As far as games, well, I do not care about them, so can't tell"

    You're no fun, David!

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Aug 18, 2004.

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    I'm saving my money for Half-Life 2. Don't get me wrong, I'll squander my money on Doom 3 eventually, but I'm more into the "thinking" games. Or, the thinking/puzzle/shooter games.

    Doom 3 looks to be the same run of the mill mindless shooter wrapped in a beautiful shell.

    Posted by kartooner on Aug 18, 2004.

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    "Doom 3 looks to be the same run of the mill mindless shooter wrapped in a beautiful shell."

    Absolutely fucking right, mate! I have no strategy playing skills whatsoever; however, I can play a MEAN game of Doom. I also like playing Descent, so you can probably tell where I'm coming from.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Aug 18, 2004.

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    Ah yes, Descent. Those were the retro-spaceshooter-FPS days.

    Posted by kartooner on Aug 18, 2004.

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    Well I've been running Doom 3 fine until SP2.

    Now it seems to crash at certain points with that odd flicker that suggests a gfx card issue.

    Like i said; used to work fine...

    Funnily enough most of my DivX films crash WMP now too. How weird.

    Anyway, I'll be dragging SP2 (Stupid, Paranoid, too!) That must be what it stands for; bloody firewall. To the trash! Almost as bad as 1a. (What, now I have to install Java manually?).

    Posted by Sammy on Aug 21, 2004.

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    I've had no problems with SP2 so far on my office machine, but I'm not so assured as to put it on all the machines in the lab quite yet.

    Posted by emagius on Aug 29, 2004.

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    I am having issues with Doom 3 since I installed it. SP2 was installed before Doom 3 was loaded. I have not noticed any other issues with other software (except the darn MS Firewall--SUCKS)

    Intel Pentium 4-Prescot 2.8E
    2 x 120 GB Maxtor HDD
    1024 MB of memory
    ATI 9800 PRO 256 MB
    MSI 865PE Mobo
    ...onboard sound- should i try a sound card; possibly SoundBlaster Audigy Series
    NEC DVD+/-R/RW
    new ULTRA X Connect 500 Watt Power Supply
    not overclocked...

    any suggestions

    Posted by Oracle on Sep 02, 2004.

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    i figured out what the deal was for all you ATI video card users.......
    update to Catalyst 4.8. It cleared all my problems with Doom 3.

    Posted by Oracle on Sep 04, 2004.