CNET News.com has a writeup for the bug in Windows XP Service Pack 2 that causes issues with battery life and USB 2.0 devices. More and more information is coming out. It turns out it that Microsoft knew about the bug going back to the middle of 2005, and had issued a Knowledge Base article about it, but it was relatively unknown.
Microsoft has confirmed the existence of a flaw in its USB 2.0 drivers for Windows XP Service Pack 2 that can cause a notebook to consume power at a faster-than-expected rate when using a peripheral device.
The issue, first uncovered by Tom’s Hardware two weeks ago, appears to affect certain Intel-based notebooks running Windows XP Service Pack 2. When a peripheral device was connected to a USB (universal serial bus) 2.0 port, the notebook’s battery life plunged at a greater rate than would normally be expected from the use of a peripheral such as a mouse or storage key.
How bad the issue affected a particular notebook depends upon how USB 2.0 was implemented – some notebook vendors had few problems, others had severe problems.