Published : September 1, 2004


Author: Bill Anderson

Program Manager: Wally Mead

Applies To: Systems Management Server 2003, Systems Management Server 2.0

Document Version: Release 1.0

Primary Reviewers: Wally Mead, Steven Kaczmarek, Anat Kerry

Technical Reviewers: Deepankar Dubey, Sathish Mohan, Scott Brimley

Managing Editor: Sandra Faucett

Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) contains major security improvements designed to provide better protection against hackers, viruses, and worms. Windows XP SP2 also improves the manageability of the security features in Windows XP and provides more and better information to help users make decisions that may potentially affect their security and privacy. Microsoft strongly urges customers with Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1-based systems to update to Windows XP SP2 as soon as possible.

Microsoft recommends the following reasons to install Windows XP SP2:

  • Help protect your computer from harmful attachments containing viruses that can spread through Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, and Windows Messenger

  • Improve your privacy when you are on the Web by applying the security settings that guard your PC to the files and content downloaded using Internet Explorer

  • Avoid potentially unsafe downloads with Internet Explorer download monitoring and the Internet Explorer Information Bar warn you about potentially harmful downloads and give you the option to block files that could be malicious

  • Reduce annoying Internet pop-ups using the Pop-Up Blocker in Internet Explorer, which makes browsing the Internet more enjoyable by helping you reduce the unwanted ads and content that pop up when you are browsing the Web.

  • Get firewall protection from startup to shutdown with Windows Firewall, which helps protect Windows XP against viruses and worms that can spread over the Internet

  • Take control of your security settings with the new Windows Security Center that allows you to easily view your security status and manage key security settings in one convenient place

  • Get the latest Windows updates easily with enhancements to Windows XP’s Automatic Updates feature

  • Help protect your e-mail address with improvements to Outlook Express that help reduce unwanted e-mail by limiting the possibility of your e-mail address being validated by potential spammers

  • Take action against crashes caused by Internet Explorer add-ons with the new Add-On Manager in Internet Explorer to easily view and control add-ons to reduce the potential for crashes and enjoy a more trouble-free browsing experience

  • Go wireless without the hassle because SP2 improves wireless support and simplifies the process of discovering and connecting to wireless networks in your home or on the road

Microsoft recommends that customers use a corporate update management solution such as SMS 2003 or Software Update Services (SUS) as a best practice approach to implement a managed rollout of Windows XP SP2. This technical paper describes the processes needed to test a small sample deployment of Windows XP SP2 using SMS.  While some procedures in this document focus specifically on SMS 2003 Advanced Clients, most procedures apply to both SMS 2003 and SMS 2.0.

note.gif  Note
Windows XP SP2 is supported by the following SMS 2.0 versions only:

  • SMS 2.0 SP4

  • SMS 2.0 SP5

This white paper assumes that you have an understanding of SMS and that you have a working knowledge of software distribution. Additionally, this article assumes that your SMS infrastructure is established or that you will establish an SMS infrastructure before you deploy Windows XP SP2.

The paper does not discuss detailed planning information that you need to consider for software distribution or the potentially significant impact that the Windows XP SP2 software deployment might have on your organization’s infrastructure using SMS. Instead, you should refer to Chapter 5 “Distributing Software” in the SMS 2003 Operations Guide for more information about software distribution.* *You should also review Appendix F, “Capacity Planning for SMS Component Servers” and associated worksheets in Scenarios and Procedures for SMS 2003: Planning and Deployment. This appendix helps you determine the level of performance you might expect from your site and will help you plan for capacity--in this case, the implications of a large software deployment. However, simple Windows XP SP2 deployment summary information was collected by Microsoft to provide you ballpark numbers that can help as you plan your Windows XP SP2 software deployment. For more information about summary results obtained using this white paper to deploy Windows XP SP2, see Simple Windows XP SP2 Deployment Summary.

For more information about configuring and using SMS 2.0, see the SMS 2.0 Administrator's Guide. For more information about SMS 2.0 security, see the SMS Security Essentials white paper.