Is it Safe to Just Ignore Windows' Service Packs?

Don Dalton installed Vista's SP1 update, encountered "a multitude of problems," and uninstalled it. Can he safely go on indefinitely without it?

Windows service packs can be the stuff of nightmares. Do you let Microsoft do a major, remote-control overhaul of your operating system that might break something that was working just fine? Or do you ignore a service pack that plugs some serious security holes and is more likely to fix something that's already broken than to break something new?

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