Which XP-Pro version for stability?

Need some advice for a neighbor. He wants to dump XP HomeED and go with XP-Pro.
Which is the prefered version. I see a lot of XP-Pro SP-1 here on the forum.
His choices from Newegg are:
Microsoft Windows XP Professional With Service Pack 2 -OEM - $143.00.
Microsoft Windows XP Pro w/SP2 Upgrade Version (Academic) -Retail $82.00
He’s not sure of the difference.
I told him I saw mostly SP-1 being used here. Is there a problem with SP-2?
Anyone with any advise for the most stable version and which service pack, please help.
Also is there a consensus on the preference for “pro” over H-Ed other than maybe the bloat of the home ed.?
Thanks very much,

The difference has little to do with stability. Pro has more networking features and options, thats about all.

True stability - go with win2000

I think the upgrade version requires a previous version of Windows for it to be installed. As for the versions there is really no difference between Home and Pro. The main difference is if you wish to share files across your LAN network and be able to set up and fine tune security permissions. But note, home edition still allows sharing of files but you can’t change permissions like disable writing, listing folder, etc.

  • just an opinion, but I find XP just the same as 2000, except XP has a much much faster boot time and a nicer theme to go! :slight_smile:

The difference has little to do with stability. Pro has more networking features and options, thats about all.

  • just an opinion, but I find XP just the same as 2000, except XP has a much much faster boot time and a nicer theme to go!

Couldnt agree more.

On the other hand, the more services / applications you have running the higher possibility for unstability too (which leaves 2000 > XP). In general they’re pretty much on pair even though I prefer 2000’s cleanliness. As for the top poster you’re comparing two different things, the upgrade version is only (well, officially) for upgrade i.e you have to have an OS installed before running it while the other one is stand alone. However there are workarounds…

Thanks for the input, everyone.
I understand the difference and will pass the info along. I’m sure my neighbor will understand since computers have been a hobbie of his since the “DOS days” …as he puts it.

One thing that didnt get mentioned in the replies is if there is a preference of SP-1 or SP-2. Some references appear to claim that SP-2 was “buggy” (?)
As for the bloat comment I made …I thought that Pro vs. might not contain or give more options to choose what software to install rather than everything the Home-Ed. seems to do when pre installed.
Thanks very much for the help.

Yo Jonn-

I am an advocate for the “Home” version with SP-2-


Have XP-Pro - got error after error using it - buggy with even ATI powered graphics cards-

Switched to XP-Home - added SP-2 when available last Fall - no problems or worries - and it is the most widely used OS in the world - so well supported, etc-

Just my $.02


Your $.02 is flawed because like everyone else has said XP home and XP pro are exactly the same system, all be a few advanced networking features

Yo slayerking-

No sir - your $.02 is flawed - here’s what Microsoft says is different between the XP Home and XP Pro - abd it is a VERY long way from “exactly” the same…

Windows XP Home Edition vs. Professional Edition: What’s the difference?
Updated for the RTM release of Windows XP

With the inclusion of a new consumer-oriented version of Windows XP, there has been some confusion surrounding the differences between this product, Windows XP Home Edition, and its more upscale sibling, Windows XP Professional Edition. During a visit to Redmond in February where Windows XP Beta 2 and the new Whistler (“Luna”) user interface was first unveiled, and in various meetings since then, I’ve been able to discuss this new Windows version with Microsoft executives and product managers. Beyond the obvious–Microsoft is targeting Home Edition at consumers and Professional at business users and power users–Group Vice President Jim Allchin said that the company was working hard to further differentiate the products. “With XP, the home version is what it is,” Allchin said. “But where we’re going, we’ve named them appropriately. In the future, this will make more sense. We will do more value add in Pro in the future.”

“Divide them into managed and unmanaged environments,” added John Frederiksen, the General Manager of the PC Experience Solution Group, noting that some smaller businesses would probably install Home Edition regardless of the target marketing. “Some small businesses have administrators, some don’t. Home Edition is not a managed OS. It’s optimized for that consumer market. A lot of the OEM PCs marketed to consumers are bought by small businesses. In terms of naming, we wanted to continue the Professional name. For the consumer product, we tested the name Windows Me again, the year names, like Windows 2002, and a lot of other stuff. But Home Edition tested the best. The feedback said that Home Edition suggested it was customized for the home, which it was. We feel like the name reflects its purpose.”

Windows XP Home Edition Overview
Windows XP Home Edition includes a number of enhancements over Windows 2000 Professional. These include:

Improved software (application) and hardware compatibility
Simplified security
Simplified log-on featuring new “welcome” screen
Fast user switching
A new user interface featuring context-sensitive, task-oriented Web views
Enhanced support for digital media (movies, pictures, music)
DirectX 8.1 multimedia libraries for gaming
Professional Edition: Superset of Home Edition
At its most basic level, XP Professional is a business- and power-user oriented superset of Home Edition. Because this orientation, it includes features that wouldn’t be appropriate, or would be too complex, for the typical home user. The most obvious difference is security, which is vastly simplified in Home Edition. Each interactive user in XP Home is assumed to be a member of the Owners local group, which is the Windows XP equivalent of the Windows 2000 Administrator account: This means that anyone who logs on to a Home Edition machine has full control. Likewise, the Backup Operators, Power Users, and Replicator groups from Windows 2000/XP Pro are missing from Home Edition, and a new group, called Restricted Users, is added. Hidden administrative shares (C$, etc.) are also unavailable in Home Edition.
“Professional Edition is a strict superset of Home Edition,” confirmed Chris Jones, Vice President of the Windows Client Group. “Everything you can do in Home Edition, you can do in Pro. So we do think there are home users who will buy Pro.” Jones’ distinction is a good one: With Windows XP, the Professional Edition is finally a superset of all the desktop clients that came before (Windows Me and Windows 2000 Professional) as well as of its new sibling. So when discussing the differences between the editions, it’s best to simply describe those features in Pro that you can’t get in Home Edition.

Pro features that aren’t in Home Edition
The following features are not present in Windows XP Home Edition.

Power user
Remote Desktop - All versions of Windows XP–including Home Edition–support Remote Assistance, which is an assisted support technology that allows a help desk or system administrator to remotely connect to a client desktop for troubleshooting purposes. But Only Pro supports the new Remote Desktop feature, which is a single-session version of Terminal Services with two obvious uses: Mobile professionals who need to remotely access their corporate desktop, and remote administration of clients on a network. You can access a Windows XP Remote Desktop from any OS that supports a Terminal Services client (such as Windows 98 and, interestingly XP Home). XP Home can act as the client in a Remote Desktop session; only Pro can be the server.
Multi-processor support - Windows XP Pro supports up to two microprocessors, while Home Edition supports only one.
Automated System Recovery (ASR) - In a somewhat controversial move, Microsoft has removed the Backup utility from the default Windows XP Home Edition, though it is available as an optional installation if you can find it on the CD-ROM (hint: it’s in the /valueadd folder). The reason for this the integration of Microsoft’s new Automated System Recovery (ASR) tool into Backup. In Pro, ASR will help recover a system from a catastrophic error, such as one that renders the system unbootable. ASR-enabled backups are triggerable from XP Setup, allowing you to return your system to its previous state, even if the hard drive dies and has to be replaced. Unlike consumer-oriented features such as System Restore, ASR is not automatic: It must manually be enabled from within the Backup utility in Windows XP Pro. In any event, while there is a Backup utility available for Home Edition, you cannot use ASR, even though mentions of this feature still exist in the UI. Confusing? Yes. But it’s better than no Backup at all, which was the original plan.
Dynamic Disk Support - Windows XP Professional (like its Windows 2000 equivalent) supports dynamic disks, but Home Edition does not (instead, HE supports only the standard Simple Disk type). Dynamic disks are not usable with any OS other than Windows 2000 or Windows XP Pro, and they cannot be used on portable computers. Likewise, Home Edition does not include the Logical Disk Manager.
Fax - Home Edition has no integrated fax functionality out of the box, though it is an option you can install from the XP Home CD.
Internet Information Services/Personal Web Server - Home Edition does not include the IIS Web server 5.1 software found in Pro.
Encrypting File System - Windows XP Professional supports the Encrypting File System (EFS), which allows you encrypt individual files or folders for local security (EFS is not enabled over a network). EFS-protected files and folders allows users to protect sensitive documents from other users.
File-level access control - Any user with Administrator privileges can limit access to certain network resources, such as servers, directories, and files, using access control lists. Only Windows XP Professional supports file-level access control, mostly because this feature is typically implemented through Group Policy Objects, which are also not available in Home Edition.
“C2” certification - Microsoft will attempt to have Windows XP Professional certified with the “C2” security designation, a largely irrelevant status, but one which will not be afforded to Home Edition.
Domain membership - Home Edition cannot be used to logon to an Active Directory domain. For obvious reasons, the Domain Wizard is also missing in Home Edition.
Group Policy - Since Home Edition cannot be used to logon to an Active Directory domain, Group Policy–whereby applications, network resources, and operating systems are administered for domain users–is not supported either.
IntelliMirror - Microsoft lumps a wide range of semi-related change and configuration management technologies under the IntelliMirror umbrella, and none of these features are supported in the consumer oriented Home Edition. IntelliMirror capabilities include user data management; centrally-managed software installation, repair, updating, and removal; user settings management; and Remote Installation Services (RIS), which allows administrators to remotely install the OS on client systems.
Roaming profiles - This feature allows users to logon to any computer in an Active Directory network and automatically receive their customized settings. It is not available in Home Edition, which cannot logon to an Active Directory domain.
Corporate deployment
Multi-language support - Only Windows XP Professional will ship in a Multi-Language version or support multiple languages in a single install.
Sysprep support - Windows XP Pro will support the System Preparation (Sysprep) utility, while Home Edition will not.
RIS support - See the IntelliMirror heading in the previous section; Home Edition does not support RIS deployments.
64-bit Edition
Microsoft is shipping a 64-bit version of Windows XP for Intel Itanium systems that mirrors the Professional Edition feature-set.
Networking features
The following networking features are not included in Home Edition:
The user interface for IPSecurity (IPSec)
Simple TCP/IP services
SAP Agent
Client Service for NetWare
Network Monitor
Multiple Roaming feature
User interface features
Windows XP Home Edition has some different default settings that affect the user interface. For example, Guest logon is on by default in Home, but off in Pro. The Address bar in Explorer windows is on in Pro by default, but off in Home. During the beta period, Microsoft had intended to use a business-oriented shell theme (“Professional”) by default in Pro and the “Luna” consumer theme in Home Edition. But feedback from corporate users suggested that everyone liked the consumer-oriented Luna theme better, and development of the Professional theme was cancelled. Other user interface features that are present in Pro but not Home include:
Client-side caching
Administrative Tools option on the Start menu (a subset of the Admin tools are still present in Home, however).


The upgrade disc CAN do a clean install on an empty hard drive. You simply will be prompted to insert a 98/me/2000/etc full cd at some point during the installation to verify you qualify to upgrade (ie you own a previous version).

I’m running PRo/sp2 without issue. Just don’t install/upgrade it ontop of another Windows like they want. That will be a whole 'nother mess. Have your old windows cd handy, and do a clean install.

Maybe next time before you post something you should try reading and understanding what things are and mean.

What slayerking is trying to say nicely(in his special way), is what I said originally, its power-packed for networking features, thats all, otherwise its the same old soup. And trust me after my MCSE those features are thick gravy, not just soup :wink:

That being said, I think we can conclude this portion of the discussion, anyone who has further points to avail is more than wlecome too!!!

Be aware that to qualify for the Student “Upgrade” version, you must actually be a current student to use it. Once you graduate / stop school, you must purchase the full version, or risk prosecution for using an illegal software.

Besides,the upgrade version is a pain on the ass, having to keep your old win98/2K cd’s / etc.

Sort of cracks me up that someone would quote the Beta2 feature list - from before they finished the Luna theme - as indicative of the differences between Pro and Home.


MS said there would be a big difference. What happened was that when they came out… they were exactly the same except for networking and the number of CPU’s supported. The hardware and software support is IDENTICAL in the finished product.

yeah it does. There’s no point in telling him though he’s a living room person, plus the thread is a year old :wink:

AHH CRAP! And I always pick on other people for doing that. DARNIT DEBRO!


I dunno … telstra must have a shocking Email service … I just received an email notification for this thread …

Never seen this provision before in any student software from MS