Win XP: thumbs up; SP1: thumbs down, down, down …

Windows XP: I like it alright. Actually, I like it better than any previous versions. It’s more stable than any of the three other platforms this monitor I’m using now worked for.

What I don’t like is SP1. Yes, Service Pack 1 for WIN XP. I built this computer, and had a time of it, getting the OS to install all the way. So, then I went and downloaded, SP1 (express), like a good person would.

I installed that on the laptop back when it first came out. I didn’t even consider some of my laptop problems could have been due to SP1. Well indeed, if and when I get that machine back, I’ll wipe it clean and put the original stuff back on with that restore disk the manufacturer gives one with a ready made computer. And then I’ll add the updates I need, and sit back and wait until something better happens with the Service Pack situation, before installing SP1 ever again.

This new computer I talked about in the last entry, it was working alright, but had some bugs. And some major annoying things were happening. First off “Fast Switching” did NOTHING. And I couldn’t get to the properties of my internet dialup connections, except through the round about ways with my ISP’s software. So then I decided I had to download their NEW software, as it was the only way to get that blocker of a certain annoying online window. They “gave” us the first run of it, and then made us come back for the “final” version, and get the new interface for dialing up. That was the only way to get the final version of “PuB”. I sure didn’t like the new dialup stuff though. I had problems galore. Galore!

So I took it out, and put the old stuff back on. I would have done the network connections route, but like I said above, I couldn’t edit any properties of existing connections. AND I couldn’t create new ones with the Wizard for that. I could create a new one with the ICW, an older wizard, but then I couldn’t edit the connection anyway afterwards, which one has to do to get all the properties correct.

I looked all over the internet for solutions, and only came to the conclusion of what I ended up doing, since I found something about the Network Connections problem that was too familiar. It actually sounded like stuff I’d read earlier in the week about Fast Switching Users problems. Hmmm. The connection was SP1.

So I reformatted and re-installed XP. Took a long time though, as the dumb OS, once again, wouldn’t install the first time, or the second or the third. I used every possible trick and still I couldn’t get it to come on in normal mode. Safe Mode worked sometimes, but then if I booted up to the normal mode, I’d hear sounds, but see nothing once the splash screen finished. So, on and on, removing cards, putting things in different places, installing again, Upgrading, and then, voila, suddenly the desktop appeared! Hallelujah!

My plan then was to download the full version of SP1 so that I could RE-INSTALL it if it came to that, and so that I’d have a nice hard copy of it to put on the laptop too, and re-do as many times as I needed to.

While THAT horrendous 133MB file was downloading, second try [first try was overnight. HA. Didn’t work, some weird error.] I did some super slow surfing for info. I read this and that and came to the same conclusions about SP1 as I have about vaccinations for people. Don’t need all of them. Just one here or there IF NEED BE! So I found that little bandage that’s 30KB to take care of the glaring hole in the system. And downloaded the prior hotfixes. Good to go.

Everything is working nicely, fast, and the FAST SWITCHING works and the Network Connections Wizard works, and I can use all the connections how I want to.

In fact, I am using that all instead of my ISP software. I didn’t install any of it. What a joy, faster online stuff. Really.

Now I just have to find how to edit the registry to create log on and log off of the internet sounds. I get dumped off on occasion, and would like to know via a sound, instead of wonder why my connection seems to have gone slow or dead, if you know what I mean.

I have the info on how to create the right stuff about sounds in the registry, but exactly how to make it work? Don’t know what to call the Key, it’s not an .exe program that I can easily find, so what is that internet connection? And can that info be part of RAS Phonebook? Seems like maybe, but how to do it now, is a mystery to me. I’ll keep on searching until I find the answer.

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