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Atkin admin >> Tech >> [OT Techie Question]: WIndows XP SP2
(Message started by: Secret Drinker on Today at 17:55)

Title: [OT Techie Question]: WIndows XP SP2
Post by Secret Drinker on Today at 17:55
I installed SP2 on my Windows XP system on Sunday after getting back from PoD, and it seems to work OK, but tonight something rather annoying happened.

Someone sent me an email with an embedded .jpg, and Outlook Express told me "OE removed access to the following unsafe attachments in your mail: ..."

The .jpg wasn't included as an attachment, so it seems the b*gg*r had stripped it out completely and chucked it away. I don't think this particular .jpg was anything important, but I'm concerned that if anyone sends me any .jpgs or similar attachments in future, OE will bin them without giving me a chance to decide. I always virus check attachments I receive anyway as a matter of course, before opening them, so I'm a bit annoyed at this high-handed attitude on the part of my mail client.

Does anyone know if there's a way I can stop it doing this?

Also, while I'm at it, are there any other things I should beware of in XP SP2? I know it stops scripts running and pop-up windows, etc., in IE, but you can override that.

Cheers

Paul

Title: Re: [OT Techie Question]: WIndows XP SP2
Post by Snoopy on 12.11.04 at 14:58
Ahh yes, SP2. Some good ideas in principle, but a little heavy-handed in reality.

Anyway, I'm not a user of Outlook Express personally, but I believe that you will be able to regain access to your missing attachment by opening the Options dialog from the Tools menu, clicking the Security tab, and unchecking 'do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus'.

As far as I know, if you do this, you'll be able to view the attachment in your already-received mail, as well as any new attachments that turn up. Assuming this is the case, you could potentially just disable this 'functionality' when you have an attachment you think might be useful - but as you appear to have a good vetting process for attachments anyway, you might choose just to keep it switched off!

A full list of features that SP2 provides can be found listed here (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/sp2/features.mspx) on the Microsoft website. Notice use of buzzwords such as 'easily', 'convenient', 'automatically', 'improves', 'simplifies', 'enables', and so on.

(Incidentally, everyone at work here has been blocked from installing SP2 currently, because the system admins are worried about what it might screw up!)

Title: Re: [OT Techie Question]: WIndows XP SP2
Post by Secret Drinker on 13.11.04 at 09:23

on 11/12/04 at 14:58:04, Snoopy wrote :
(Incidentally, everyone at work here has been blocked from installing SP2 currently, because the system admins are worried about what it might screw up!)


(But then the relationship between the companies concerned has always been a little strained ;-) )

Thanks Snoopy. I've done as you say and it works! (I should have RTFM, shouldn't I...)

By contrast, I had SP2 forced on me at work. It seems to work OK there so I decided to install it at home. I did have my doubts, but I have a minor problem on my home system and was told it might be fixed by SP2. It wasn't :(

In case you or anyone else can help with it, I'll describe the problem here: not long after I boot up, usually a few minutes later, and irrespective of whether I've been using the system or not in the interim, I get one of those little grey pop-up alerts saying something like "Windows Explorer has encountered a problem" and asks if I want to send a message to M$ or not. I always click on "Don't Send" as I assume it will be a waste of time. Then the icons and taskbar on the main screen disappear momentarily, and everything seems normal after that. I can live with it, but it's just a little annoying and I don't know what caused it to start happening. As far as I'm aware I'm not using Windows Explorer at the time of the message appearing (although of course I do use it a lot). So, if anyone knows what the problem might be, or I can get rid of it, I'd be grateful for any pointers.

Cheers

Paul

Title: Re: [OT Techie Question]: WIndows XP SP2
Post by Snoopy on 13.11.04 at 11:14
That one sounds a little harder to track down, unfortunately.

Windows Explorer is the backbone of the Windows experience - while it's usually associated with being a way of viewing files and folders on your machine, it's actually responsible for pretty much everything you see that's part of windows.  It displays the desktop icons, the taskbar, the system tray, and so on.

In fact, it's so important that if (when?) it crashes, Windows will automatically restart it with no user-intervention required.  This explains why your icons and taskbar disappear for a second - Explorer has crashed, but is then restarted automatically (and the icons re-appear)

There are three main causes of these crashes (which can be a real pain to track down):

1.  Hardware faulty.  This can include a dodgy memory chip, or some piece of little-used hardware that is doing strange things.  If you're not seeing other symptoms, this is the least likely.  If you're having any other problems (such as random system crashes, occasional failure to boot-up) it's worth trying taking out any PCI cards one by one, and also testing the memory sticks seperately (if you have more than one).

2.  Device drivers.  Nothing wrong with the hardware, but you're running a badly written or old device driver for something on the system.  This can include drivers for your motherboard, graphics card, hard disk controller, and so on.  If Windows Update lists any upgrades to drivers, it can be worth trying that.  Also check the device manager to see if you have any hardware listed with a yellow question-mark or a red exclamation-mark.

3.  Software run at startup.  Something being run at startup is trying to perform an operation that isn't working, for some reason.  This can be pretty much anything you run at startup.  Best way to check this is to disable programs run at startup (do this by going to start -> run -> msconfig, and then go to the startup tab), and see if that fixes it.  Obviously, this is a long and tedious process.

There are a couple of ways to get a clue as to the cause - try rebooting in safe mode, and see if it happens.  If not, it's almost certainly software or a device driver.  You might also be able to find some information in the system logs - make a note of the time when explorer crashes, and then go to Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Event Viewer, and check the Application and System logs for any entries that happened around the time of the crash, or anything a little before that is listed as a warning or error.

Good luck! :)

Title: Re: [OT Techie Question]: WIndows XP SP2
Post by Secret Drinker on 13.11.04 at 16:49

on 11/13/04 at 11:14:58, Snoopy wrote :
That one sounds a little harder to track down, unfortunately.

...

Good luck! :)


Snoopy, many thanks for the reply. Ooerr! It all sounds a bit daunting but I'll have a go sometime - the trouble with this sort of problem is that it's difficult to justify spending much time sorting it out, given the trivial nature of the problem in terms of inconvenience (at least, it doesn't seem to stop me continuing normally after it happens, and it only delays me by a couple of seconds). Maybe one day if I get really bored...  :-/

Cheers

Paul

Title: Re: [OT Techie Question]: WIndows XP SP2
Post by Gerry Smith on 14.11.04 at 20:47
Hi Paul - not quite sure why, but this may have something to do with automatic windows updates.  Try disabling that feature and see what happens.

I had to take SP2 off my desktop PC.  It stopped my wireless LAN from working and nothing I could do would get it back.  Works OK on my laptop though.  There are known problems running SP2 with quite a lot of software, most significantly, Norton AV corporate ed.  There is an article relating to this on the M$ knowledgebase.

Sad to have missed Pete's performance at the PoD.  Although I turned up mid afternoon I was called away and missed the main event.  Looks like I missed an excellent set.  Would have loved to hear Lady of a Day on guitar.   Very much enjoyed George's and Alan's sets.  And Naomi has a superb voice.

Gerry

Title: Re: [OT Techie Question]: WIndows XP SP2
Post by Secret Drinker on 15.11.04 at 09:19

on 11/14/04 at 20:47:41, Gerry Smith wrote :
Hi Paul - not quite sure why, but this may have something to do with automatic windows updates. Try disabling that feature and see what happens.

...

Sad to have missed Pete's performance at the PoD. Although I turned up mid afternoon I was called away and missed the main event. Looks like I missed an excellent set. Would have loved to hear Lady of a Day on guitar. Very much enjoyed George's and Alan's sets. And Naomi has a superb voice.


Hi Gerry

It's a shame we didn't see you at PoD - I didn't even know you'd been there. I hope the reason you were called away justified it (in my case even the proverbial wild horses would have had their work cut out ;-) )

As for the auto-updates, I doubt it's that - I usually avoid anything to do with letting M$ muck about with my system, once I've got it installed. But I'll check and see, in case it somehow got activated unknown to me when I installed SP2...

Cheers

Paul

Title: Re: [OT Techie Question]: WIndows XP SP2
Post by Colin Crooks on 15.11.04 at 16:53
Paul,

I had something analogous some time ago; I think it may be something to do with SP2 also applying an update to IE6.

Have you tried the following?

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;329570

kndrgds

Colin

Title: Re: [OT Techie Question]: WIndows XP SP2
Post by Colin Crooks on 15.11.04 at 16:59
Sorry, should have further down the thread

Colin :-[



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