Hi Dave. I have a weird question for you: as I walked past my company’s tech support desk, I overheard two really geeky guys laughing and referring to April 12 as “Update-Crash Day for Windows Users”. What’s up with that? Is it some spyware that’s set to fire up, or what? I run Windows at home and am anxious as all get out about it!
First, the good news. It’s not spyware, it’s not a virus, and it has nothing to do with the game Doom or any renaissance painters. However, there is something big happening in the world of Windows XP on the 12th of April: Windows XP Service Pack 2 will automatically be downloaded to all computers that use the Automatic Update feature. Prior to this event, Microsoft had a blocking feature that made it possible for some companies to block employees from automatically updating to SP2.
Why are they turning off the block? I am not really sure, actually. If things go smoothly (and they should. I installed SP2 without a glitch using the techniques outlined in How can I safely upgrade to XP SP2?) then it won’t be a big deal, but if tens of thousands of computers are going to update all at the same time, well, it could be a digital catastrophe for some firms!
What’s more concerning is that people in these companies will automatically have their Windows XP update to Service Pack 2, and then be darn surprised when they find that some of their software no longer works. In fact, Microsoft has published a list of programs that crash in SP2, including:
- AOL Toolbar
- Photoshop CS 8.0
- eTrust EZ Armor
- Live Motion
- NBA Live 2000
- Norton AntiVirus
- Norton SystemWorks
- Virtual PC
- WordPerfect Office
Quite a list! If your company is affected by this change in Microsoft’s update system, please do pop back on the 13th and let us know how it all went.