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