Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Support from Microsoft for SP2 has ended. SP3 has critical security patches that need to be installed on your computer.
I have a home-built system running Win XP Home. I have the retail XP disc with SP2. I'm wired to DSL and use Google Chrome. I've reinstalled the OS many times, but not in the last year or so. Can I still do it and get it all the updates? I'm confused about the end of support issue. On the Windows site, I read that "support ended on July 13, 2010. To continue to support, install SP3." Has support ended or not?
In this excerpt from Answercast #15, I look at the end of support for XP with Service Pack 2 and look at continuing support for SP3.
Well, actually, I believe that was pretty clear. Support has ended for SP2. Actually, as you point out, it ended quite a while ago.
My strong recommendation is that you install SP3 to take advantage of not only everything that SP3 fixes, but also the extended support that's offered for SP3. I don't have the date in front of me, but I know it's still going out for a little ways.
Now, having said that, when you install XP with SP2, you will most likely not get individual updates. But you should be offered SP3.
After you install using your XP with SP2 disc, you should be able to almost immediately install SP3. From there, carry on with whatever updates Microsoft offers for XP SP3 users.
Realize that the support that they are talking about here isn't customer support; it's not technical support. The only support that's currently being offered for Windows XP SP3 are critical security vulnerabilities: fixes for critical security vulnerabilities. That's one of the reasons I strongly recommend that you move yourself to SP3.
If you do install periodically, it might be worth creating a slipstream disc. I do have an article on that:"How do I create a Windows XP SP3 slipstream disc?"
Regardless, even if you don't, install from that SP2 disc. Then, when you go to Windows Update, automatically install SP3 and from there, you will be at the currently supported level.