Vista SP1

When Microsoft announced that Vista SP1 had completed earlier this week I was a little bit excited. The disappointment came when I read that it wouldn’t be ready for public consumption until the middle of March due to issues select users have with drivers.

Microsoft didn’t give any information as to what the build number was of the final version, which hindered the spread of the Service Pack through back channels such as the BitTorrent network. There was some rumored build numbers, but a quick screenshot by Paul Thurrott who got Vista SP1 RTM confirms what the build number really is: 6001.18000! That’s the same build that was released weeks ago to a private group of testers, and was branded as Vista SP1 RC Refresh 2.

Various methods of acquiring this build have been all over the Internet for weeks, including a way to get it through Windows Update. Standalone installers are also blanketing the file sharing sites (*cough* Pirate Bay *cough*) over the last few days, and can be found by searching for Vista SP1 6001.18000. The English-only download weighs in at about 434MB.

Paul’s screenshot, as seen above, was taken from this Windows Registry location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

You can pull up that Registry location to see what version of Vista or Vista SP1 you’re currently running. Here are the important things that you’ll want to verify:

BuildGUID: 28f47544-6618-4bc4-a11e-ed7d7d66e144
BuildLab: 6001.longhorn_rtm.080118-1840
BuildLabEx: 6001.18000.x86fre.longhorn_rtm.080118-1840
CSDBuildNumber: 1616
CSDVersion: Service Pack 1
CurrentBuild: 6001

Anyone running illegal copies of Vista may want to think twice before installing SP1. Microsoft has patched the OEM BIOS crack, and after reading through some of the comments on the Torrent sites I see that a lot of people with the crack are being forced to activate their machine.

Now we’ll have to wait and see whether Microsoft decides to officially release Vista SP1 any sooner since it’s already available through other not-so-official methods.