Friday, August 22, 2008

One reason not to rush to XP SP3

I was reading an article in InfoWorld about how Vista users are rushing to get the Service Pack 1(SP) but XP users where not speeding to get the SP3. They offered that the reason is the pent up frustration with Vista. I personally use Vista Business daily and have be impressed with what it has done to the battery life of the venerable old Tecra M1 I use for home internet access, I now get about 4 hours of real runtime on the balanced power profile up from 2.5 in XP. I feel that this is a good improvement on a P4@1.4ghz, and the performance is very acceptable.

I wanted to offer a different reason that some users may not be rushing out to get the SP3 update. If you remember the bomb MS lobbed at us with SP2, you probably are appreciably cautious as the changes where quite drastic. Others may fear application compatibility, even though requirements normally read SP(level) and normally mean SP(level) and above. I may be in the minority here, but I think I did find an edge case that prevents you from wanting to upgrade to XP SP3. I have been running Nimbus MySan for testing mounting the bulk of my Media Centers' storage into a dedicated storage host. MySan lets you quickly and easily setup an ISCSI Target in you home on a XP SP2 machine (server 2003 as well). In my testing we managed to corrupt a machine that was running the MySan software (unable to access the operating system even in safe mode) when we upgraded to SP3. I need to test some more to verify that this was the cause, but our trouble started at reset after running updates, a separate install that have not been updated to SP3 have not exhibited the behavior we got from the failed machine.


  1. Did you every get anywhere with this issue? I've just attempted to install MySAN on an XP SP3 machine with no success.

  2. I have not tried again. Chicken I know, but I lost one machine and don't have the heart to do it a gain. I guess I could try to repro in a vm, but I am not sure if that is a good test case.