March 4, 2005  


Windows XP Service Pack 2 to be Installed on All Centrally-Managed Windows Computers

By Andrea Chan

Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) will be installed on all centrally-managed Windows computers within the next few months. SP2 has several security enhancements that will benefit SLAC Windows machines. Most noticeable to users are the security enhancements to the built-in Windows Firewall and to Internet Explorer. Some users have already installed SP2 on their home computers. In an enterprise environment, however, it is more complicated.

The strategy is to deploy SP2 to centrally-managed Windows computers with the built-in Windows Firewall configured to protect the computer as much as possible, while allowing central management (e.g., for scans, automatic patching and software upgrades) and allowing users flexibility in adjusting the firewall settings for their software as needed for their jobs.

Currently we are in the phase of testing SP2 with this configuration. If you would like to be a tester, please contact your local administrator. Within the next few weeks, SP2 will be rolled out to a pilot group (SCS), and if all goes well then the roll out of SP2 to the rest of SLAC will begin during the month of March 2005.

There are several steps required for your local administrators to prepare your computer for the SP2 rollout:
1) Ensure that your C drive has sufficient free space.
2) Upgrade BIOS and drivers as necessary.
3) Upgrade OpenAFS/AFS client for Windows to 1.3.72 or above (read carefully the un-install steps at
4) Scan for spyware (involves several steps, more details from your local admin later).
5) Un-install any existing third party firewalls (e.g., BlackIce, Zone Alarm) just before the rollout of SP2.

Your local administrators will provide you with details on the preparations needed, the testing and the schedule. Please refer your questions to them.

For a list of local administrators, see:

For more information on Windows XP SP2 resources and project documentation, see:



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Last update Wednesday March 02, 2005 by Emily Ball