Man...there's a lot of horse hokey going around in here!
Here's a couple tips about SP2
1. Watch out for the bandwagons.
2. You should ALWAYS
backup your important files before doing a major update. It doesn't matter what OS you're using. Backing up your important files is just intelligent.
3. If you have old hardware/software, you should know that the day will come when it is no longer compatable.
4. In the little hack-job/dell-crap world, genuine SP2 horror stories are relatively
common. In the "real" world, the number of systems and end-user computers who have upgraded to SP2 with success, FAR outweighs the number that have failed.
5. There is no test for new software like a public-release test.
6. Paranoia is good. Letting your paranoia control you is bad.
7. "When in doubt...read the fk'n manual." MS offers tons of information about SP2 on their website, not to mention the wealth of knowledge found on the web. If you're concerned about your graphics card or mobo or whatever, spend a little time figuring things out. Call/Write the manufacturer and ask them if the hardware you have works with SP2. In most cases, the response will be "yes," or "Yes, with this update." In other cases, you'll get "We have a patch for our hardware for SP2." In rare cases, you'll get "The hardware is not compatable." At which point you'll know what to expect...so you won't have to flip out or dive-in and get scr3wed. Looking before you leap has always been good thinking.
8. If you don't know what you're doing...figure out what you're doing.
9. It's not Microsoft's fault if you didn't do a backup and SP2 messed something up.
10. It's not Microsoft's fault if your machine is too out of date for SP2.
11. It's not Microsoft's fault if the manufacturer of your hardware never got around to keeping tabs with Microsoft's development crew, as it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to make sure that the manufacturer is up to date, not the other way around.
12. It's not Microsoft's fault if you're an idiot.
13. SP2 has an effective but tad-annoying antivirus feature. If you already use an AV program, you can turn off SP2's AV easily.
14. SP2 has a great firewall feature.
15. SP2 fixes many of the security holes people have been complaining about in SP1. Want them fixed? Gotta upgrade. It's not a new concept.
16. If you don't upgrade to SP2, you won't be able to upgrade much longer.
17. Many of the problems SP2 brings up, are fixable.
18. If you have problems with SP2, ask for help. Don't just run away or get runover by a bandwagon.
19. Microsoft runs 85%+ of the world's PCs. If it is true that SP2 is as devistating and terrible as everyone makes it out to be, and it "kills every machine that runs it", Why would Microsoft release and enforce an update that would kill off their entire user market?
20. If personal experience speaks anything to you, I've installed SP2 successfully and happily on over 30 machines at work, and all of my machines at home.
Just a few reasons to try SP2 and move on...
If you're not in the middle of some mission-critical project, and you've backed-up your important files...update to SP2. If you run into problems, we can help. If you find a so called "fatal" problem, you can reinstall to SP1. your world isn't going to shatter, and SP2 isn't the nuclear bomb people make it out to be.