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Right click My Computer and select properties to see your current version. It should say either Version 2002 (no service pack), SP1, or SP2. If you have anything but SP2, go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com and keep going through it until it says you have no more critical updates to install (you should probably do this anyway even if you do have SP2).
1 - How can I tell what (if any) service pack is installed?
start > right click on my computer > click propeties > at the top it will Say Windows XP Pro (or home) SP1 or SP2
2 - Which is the service pack that should be avoided as it is full of security holes on the Internet?
3 - Which is the best service pack to find and install to overcome this? Dont understand the wuestion
4 - There's no reference to Windows Firewall in the control panel, but it DOES appear as a function of my internet dial-up connection. Does the firewall exist? Where is it - and is it any good? download a free one off the net. Yet Windows does have one it only prevents info comming in not being sent out.