Microsoft: scan for spyware before downloading SP2

Installed spyware can lead to computer freezes

Microsoft last week warned Windows XP users to scour their systems for spyware before downloading Service Pack 2.

An Associated Press report quoted Microsoft executives saying some spyware could cause computers to freeze upon installation. Spyware, which typically attaches to downloaded software such as file-sharing programs, tracks behavior, triggers popup ads and can otherwise cause computer problems. Programs such as Ad-Aware and SpySweeper can clean computers of the nuisance.

Microsoft recommends users clean their PCs of spyware and back up their data before turning on the auto update feature that downloads SP2. Microsoft said several million businesses have downloaded the product.

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