My primary computer at work is running Windows XP. It is a workhorse machine. If it goes down, my billable hrs drop instantly and my workflow is horribly interrupted.
I need to make certain decisions to make sure that this machine keeps running at optimal levels at all times.
Today, I was prompted to install Windows XP SP3 (Service Pack 3). I declined.
Why did I decline this particular Windows update?
The first and foremost reason that I declined this update is because about 2 weeks ago a client called me. He asked me if I was able to help him get his computer working (I’m not a computer tech, I’m web developer, so people think that I am a computer tech sometimes… common mistake I guess).
I really didn’t have any insight, and considering that he lives about 1 hr away, there really is nothing I could do. When a computer doesn’t start, there could be any myriad of problems, none of which can be solved over the phone by a busy web developer in a short amount of time.
But, I figured I’d at least give it a quick run, seeing if maybe I could help him out, planning to quickly tell him to find a local computer tech if it sounded like I was going to get nowhere.
I first asked “Did you do anything recently install anything new on your computer?”.
“Yes, I installed that new Service Pack 3 update this morning… and when I re-started my computer it wouldn’t start!”, is what he said.
I knew right away I wasn’t going to be able to help him. But, I still asked “When you boot your computer, does anything show on the screen at all? Does it prompt to go into safe mode or anything?”
“Nope, I just get a black screen, nothing…” he said.
And that was about the point where I proceeded to explain that I wouldn’t be able to provide him with an effective solution to his problem over the phone. I explained that he should get in contact with a computer tech to see what they can figure out.
Now, back to my decline of Service Pack 3…
So yeah, that is the first thing that popped into my head when I got prompted for Service Pack 3 for Windows XP.
Then, when I clicked the Windows Update icon I got a prompt that says “Back up all files… blah blah blah”…
The first thing I told myself was “I don’t need to go through with this… my machine works fine and is up to date other than SP3″.
And I hit cancel.
I don’t need any troubles from a Windows Update, especially when it has a bit of a bad reputation on the internet:
“My external disks are having trouble starting up, which results in Windows not starting up,” complained user Michael Faklis, in a post Wednesday. “After three attempts [to install XP SP3] with different configurations each time, System Restore was the only way to get me out of deep s**t,” said ‘Doug W’.
Another user said the service pack prevented him from starting his computer. “I downloaded and installed Windows XP Service Pack 3 Network Installation Package for IT Professionals,” wrote ‘Paul’. “Now I can’t get the computer to boot.”
It’s actually pretty easy to find more comments like these.
Maybe another day
I still might consider eventually running the Windows XP Service Pack 3 update, but it’ll need to be a day when I have time to do a complete Windows backup (not just my files) and then also have extra time to kill just in case the update fails or crashes my computer.