The PC World Test Center staff has discovered two bugs involving Windows XP's Service Pack 2. One can reduce the write speed of many dual-layer DVD drives. The other can decrease the battery life on some Acer laptops by an hour.
Staffers were testing dual-layer DVD drives when they found that InCD4 DVD-burning software, by Nero AG (formerly Ahead Software AG), performed up to 40 percent slower than competing applications (such as Roxio's Drag-to-Disc) on systems running SP2. InCD4 ships with many drives, including those from Lite-On, Plextor, and Sony.
Nero developers say that the glitch is due to a cache problem in SP2 and affects InCD prior to release 220.127.116.11. To check your version, open the program and select About. If your app is affected, get the InCD Update-Package 3. The fix bypasses SP2's cache management problem.
Microsoft is working on a hotfix that wasn't yet available at press time.
The test center staff ran across another SP2-related problem while testing Acer Travelmate 3200 notebooks. The systems running XP SP1 provided up to nearly 4 hours of battery life, while laptops with SP2 ran about an hour less. (The lab didn't encounter this issue on models from other manufacturers.)
After swapping laptops and batteries, checking Acer's power-management settings, and reloading SP2, the only common element our lab analysts could find was that the notebooks with SP2 were those with shorter battery life.
In Acer's own, different tests, the company's results didn't match PC World's findings. Microsoft says it has heard nothing about battery problems under SP2. SOURCE