Firstly - thanks for advice on cleaning out Lycos sidebar & Adware! Next problem...

Since installing SP2 I cannot download anything. This is now getting worrying because of course Symantec is continually reminding me about updating virus definitions but this never works. Also, cannot download Microsoft Windows updates.
When I try to download the regular graphic comes up (the "flying file") but progress bar does not action. When trying to download Symantec updates it recognises the updates I need, starts to download that stops. I have followed the Symantec advise page on this with no luck.

Just when Microsoft start to look good with 2 stable OS in a row, they release SP2 =/

Try turning off the windows firewall and any third party firewalls you have. The new SP2 security features automaticly set themselves to stupid settings sometimes and its just a matter of freeing it all up I'm afraid

I figured it was a new setting that was blocking this. I'm not using the SP2 firewall (it keeps reminding me of this...) so I'm using Symantec - but then Symantec doesn't allow me to download its own updates! (getting a bit dangerous...)
Is there somewhere I can navigate to so I can alter these SP2 settings to allow downloads?

If you have third party software running already for virus protection and firewall just remove SP2. I had the same problem and I removed the darn thing and everything went back to normal. SP2 takes over your third party software and screws it up. Now I still get updates from Microsoft but I avoid SP2.

I think my frustration level is now at the point where SP2 has to go - not just downloading problems but also slow IE, slow everything and numerous corrupt IE results (google is a nightmare).
Care to tell me how to safely ditch SP2?

Very easy and painless just go to control panel and select Add/remove Programs.. Scroll down the list and you will find it there..

Is it totally safe to delete it?

nothings 100% but i have removed it a couple of times when it first came out .