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PCstats Q & A - Losing the SP2 Blues - PCstats Q & A - Losing the SP2 Blues
Mon, April 19 2004 | 10:23PM | PermaLink Feedback?

Our second Q & A of the week comes from John31 via the reader feedback page . Remember to try our friendly forums for help too. Have a good weekend!

Q: I installed service pack 2 for Windows XP, and now I'm starting to regret it. I'm getting constant crashes with Explorer and my media files, and the new security settings are annoying me. I know how to use anti-virus and firewall software, and I don't feel that Service Pack 2 is offering me anything that's worth the annoyance. How do I get rid of it without wiping my machine?

A: Fortunately, this procedure is not as tricky as it might have been in the past. There are two ways to remove SP2 without formatting. The first is to use the 'add/remove programs' icon in Control panel to uninstall the service pack. Now depending on how you installed SP2 in the first place, this option may or may not be present. If it is, you can do it this way but I have to say I've never tried it.

The second way is longer, but I've done it several times and I know it works. You need to perform a repair installation on your computer. This involves booting from the XP CD and running the repair install process which replaces all system files but leaves your data, programs and settings intact. You will need to download SP1 again as well as apply any patches and hotfixes you had before, but SP2 will be history.

To do a repair installation:

Boot the system from your XP CD. Choose the 'press enter to set up Windows XP now' option.

Press F8 to skip through the EULA (though if you haven't read it before, you should now. See PCstats' legal article for details as to why). Now press R to begin a repair installation.

Your system will go through the entire XP install process, but will not attempt to replace any of your existing data. It will simply reinstall the vital system files.

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