Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade with SP2
|Price:||$99.99 + $4.33 shipping|
- Eligibility for upgrade consists of current users of Windows 98/Windows 98 SE and Windows ME only
- Create and enjoy home movies with the built-in Video support
- Share your video project with the easy E-mail attachment & mass-mailing features
- Go Mobile with the ability to Communicate anytime, anywhere
- Discover and Download online music, with the easy-to-use Internet features
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Windows XP Home makes it easy to use your Computer for those Personal projects you enjoy. Service Packs round up the bug fixes and product updates you need for operating more smoothly. This Service Pack bridges the gaps between the original software and user requests more fully, responding to customer wishes and making XP even better.
With Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2, you get safer browsing and communication, powerful security tools, and improved experiences. Packed with multimedia features, Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2 aims to unlock the full potential of your personal computer. It also looks great, with rounded window corners, larger and more detailed icons, and a clean-look desktop.
The Security Center lets you check the status of your essential security settings.
The best thing about Windows XP is that, because it belongs to the Windows NT/2000 product family, it's designed from the ground up for reliability, security, and networking. XP Home users will soon see the benefits of this. The dreaded Windows crash-and-reboot cycle really is much less common with XP, and, provided the hardware is up to scratch, XP's performance is better, too. The downside is that using a different code base can make compatibility with old applications less assured. Business applications normally run fine, but older games, MIDI software, and system utilities may well cause problems.
Windows XP is more customizable than previous versions, including its visual themes that let you change the whole appearance of Windows in an instant. Fast User Switching is a neat feature for computers used by more than one person--it lets another user log on without killing the previous user's session, and when you switch back, running applications and open documents are as you left them. This is impressive, but what really counts is that XP understands how to deal with multiple users. Each user has their own special folders, such as My Documents, which cannot be seen by other users. And for those with more than one computer, the network setup wizard simplifies setting up a network.
|Windows XP Home has many strong multimedia features. New Media Player lets you copy music from CD to hard disk, create your own playlist, and write your own music CDs if you have a CD writer. You can also play back DVD-Video (but only if a hardware or software DVD decoder is already installed) and play MP3 audio files and MPEG videos (but sadly not the popular RealMedia formats). Admittedly, Media Player does nothing that you cannot also do with free alternatives, but it is slick and nicely integrated. There is also Windows Movie Maker, a basic tool for capturing and editing videos that's fun to use, although too limited for serious work.|| |
For Web browsing, XP Home comes with Internet Explorer 6.0 and MSN Explorer. The most significant new feature for Internet users is the built-in firewall. A firewall protects against one of the most disturbing security risks, in which other users unknown to you might connect to your computer while it is online, reading private files or causing other damage. XP's built-in firewall is a simple affair, but it does prevent most types of unauthorized connections.
Service Pack 2 allows users to instruct Internet Explorer how to handle downloads from a specific publisher
The XP user interface is not a radical departure from earlier versions of Windows, but there are a number of small changes that together add up to a significant improvement. For example, you can add and remove shortcuts from the Start menu by right-clicking on the icon and selecting Pin or Unpin from the pop-up menu. Windows online help is integrated into a Help and Support Center that works like an internal Web site, with searchable help, tutorials, and walkthroughs. Laptop or other flat-screen users can set Windows to use ClearType for screen fonts, for a more readable display.
There are, of course, some pitfalls. Windows XP Home is demanding on hardware, and it would be a mistake to install it on less than Microsoft's recommended minimum. Business users note: unlike Windows 98 or Me, XP Home Edition cannot join a Windows server domain, so the networking is peer-to-peer only--see Windows XP Professional Edition for this functionality. There is also no multiprocessor support, and a mildly annoying anti-piracy measure requires you to obtain a code from Microsoft for full installation and any future system changes. But don't let that put you off: this is Microsoft's best Windows yet.
Windows XP Service Pack 2 Features
|Internet Explorer Pop-up Blocker||Makes browsing the Internet more enjoyable by enabling you to reduce unwanted ads and content.|
|Internet Explorer download monitoring||Warns you about potentially harmful downloads and gives you the option to block files that could be malicious.|
|Internet Explorer Information Bar||Provides better information about events that are happening as you browse the Web, so it’s easier to know what’s going on and address potential security issues.|
|Windows Security Center||Allows you to easily view your security status and manage key security settings in one convenient place.|
|Windows Firewall update||Automatically turned on by default, this improved firewall helps protect Windows XP from viruses, worms, and other security threats that can spread over the Internet.|
|Improved wireless support||Dramatically improves and simplifies the process of discovering and connecting to wireless networks.|
|Bluetooth technologies||Enables you to easily connect to the latest Bluetooth-enabled hardware devices such as keyboards, cell phones, and PDAs.|
|Windows Media Player 9 Series||Makes it easy to enjoy music, video, and broadband content with enhanced security.|
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I had Windows 2000 on the laptop. You cannot upgrade from W2K, but you wouldn't want to. A clean install is MUCH better. Do not choose the upgrade option during setup.
I used the Windows XP Upgrade disk to prepare my entire HDD. It allowed me to partition the drive my way and do NTFS formatting. I did not need Windows 98 to be on the machine to do this, but at one point in the process, I was asked to insert a VALID Windows 98 OR Windows 2000 Professional disk. I used the valid Windows 98 disk; it was recognized and the installation went very smoothly. (I do not have a valid W2K disk, so I didn't try that.)
So I did a completely clean install, not an upgrade on top of my old OS.
The online activation and updating to Service Pack 3 also went without a hitch.
Note that XP had many of the basic drivers my laptop needed, and I already had the XP drivers disk that came with the machine so many years ago. Just make sure ahead of time you can get your drivers for less common network cards, graphics processors, and audio chips.
(One other thing, don't "force" any kind of Intel drivers onto this XP Service Pack 2, as the correct chipset drivers are included. You would end up going backwards and causing trouble.)
As I found out, you cannot UPGRADE directly from Windows 2000 Professional; however, if your W2K cd is valid, according to the clean install directions I explained above, you can proceed even if you do not have Win98. Just note I didn't have a valid W2K disk to try it myself.
I am very happy with this upgrade. I took an old, 2003 laptop with 768of RAM, installed XP, and now have a very useful machine (using a Pentium M 1.4GHz processor). Note that I am running the 2009 version of Norton Internet Security with no problem. I am also running Office 2007 Student Edition with, again, no problem.
In short, I've just given new life to my old Win2K laptop, and I'm very happy with the performance.
Hope all this helps anybody else in a similar situation!
Installation was a breeze. I recommend you back up important file on the intended system drive (or partition), reformat it with NTSF and do a clean install. The upgrade set up will ask you what you want during the upgrade process. This give you a clean slate and won't carry over problems from the old system. Remember to have the previous system CD ready though to qualify for the upgrade. After that, XP upgrade will handle the rest. Activation on line is easy. With all the complaints flowing around on the internet I thought I have to surrender personal info. Not the case. All I had to do was hit the activation button. It was done before I knew it.
XP is definitely better than previous versions. I had USB device problems and virus/spyware programs interfering issues causing frequent blue screen of death. Not anymore. XP handles them beautifully. Plug in a wireless mouse, beep, it works. USB micro drives? Beep, it finds and installs the driver in a few nanoseconds. Hotswap devices (I have only one USB port)? No problem. It manages virus and spyware/adware scanners transparently and efficiently. Nobody is tumbling over nobody like when it was in 98 SE. All those previous issues all of sudden just GONE! I no longer worry when I have to add new software or hardware. The machine just handles them silently and smoothly.
Like all system building, high tech or otherwise, steep climb and rocky road precede smoothing sailing. Windows has reached that goal finally. Thank you folks at Microsoft for keep hacking at it. Good job.