Vista SP1

It almost seemed as though a public pre-release version of Vista SP1 was never going to come, but Microsoft has finally decided to let the entire world join in on the joy of improved stability and performance! Today they officially posted the first, and probably last, Release Candidate of Vista SP1.

As I’m writing this I have the Vista SP1 RC installation purring along in the background. They warn users that the installation process can take upwards of an hour or more, so be sure to set aside plenty of time. I don’t expect it to take nearly that long on my machine since I have made sure to keep it well updated, and after just 10 minutes the progress bar indicates that it is about 75% done.

For those of you running Vista illegally using an OEM BIOS hack, there might still be hope for you to try out Vista SP1 RC. Microsoft announced last week that they will be patching those activation workarounds in Vista SP1, but from what I’ve read that won’t be implemented until the final release of Vista SP1. That makes sense if you think about it…they wouldn’t want to have Vista SP1 hacked before it’s even shipped!

Alright, lets move on to the juicy details…

–Download Vista SP1 RC–

Tip: Microsoft recommends that you activate Vista before installing Service Pack 1, otherwise you may find yourself unable to remove Vista SP1 later on.

There are a few different ways that you can download the Release Candidate of Vista SP1. The recommended way, because it requires the smallest download, is through Windows Update:

  1. Download the self extracting executable and extract its contents to a folder on your computer. Run the script on an elevated prompt.
    • To run the script on elevated prompt, after you download the script, right click on the file and select “Run as administrator” option.
    • The script sets a registry key on your system. The registry key is required for WU server to recognize your machine as a valid target for Vista SP1.
  2. Install all pending “Important” updates and reboot. You may have to do this several times to get fully up to date.
    • At some point Update for Windows (KB935509) will be in this list. This is the first pre-requisite install. Reboot your machine when prompted.
    • If you reboot and rescan right away, at times you may not see all updates right away. Wait 10 minutes and scan again.
  3. Install Update for Windows (KB937287) and Update for Windows (KB938371) as they are offered sequentially
    • The first package that will be offered is Update for Windows (KB937287) and it does not require a reboot. You may need to wait 10 minutes and re-scan again if it does not show up right after reboot.
  4. Install Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (KB936330).
    • This process will typically take from 30 minutes to 1 hour but may take longer on some systems.

Alternatively, if you have multiple computers to update it might be easier to just download the entire Vista SP1 update. Using the Windows Update instructions above will result in a smaller overall download, but I always prefer the standalone installers to get the task done:

When picking the latter install option you’re given the choice to automatically restart the computer when needed, which is much more convenient since you can begin the installation and walk away from your computer. On the flipside you’ll have to download the 400MB+ setup before being able to use it.

–Uninstall Vista SP1–

As I mentioned last week, when the final version of Vista SP1 is released you’ll be required to uninstall Vista SP1 RC from your system. Similarly, if you’ve installed any earlier build of Vista SP1 you’ll need to remove it before installing this updated version. Here is how you to uninstall Vista SP1 at anytime:

  1. Click on the Start Menu and go to Control Panel
  2. Double click on Programs and Features
  3. On the left side menu, select View Installed Updates
  4. Under the list of Microsoft Windows, select Service Pack for Windows (KB936330)
  5. On the top menu, click on Uninstall

[via WinBeta]