Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Before you download Windows Vista SP1

Thinking about installing Windows Vista SP1? I am. It doesn't offer new features or (necessarily) better performance, but it does fix stuff in a neater package. I'm going to back up my data and restore a disk image from my fresh Vista installation, then install SP1.

Anyway, Microsoft strongly recommends using Windows Update instead of the Microsoft Download Center to download and install Windows Vista SP1 on single PCs. You can get the standalone install from the Download Center, and if you are rolling out SP1 to 50 computers, it kinda makes sense.

However, for most of us, using Windows Update sounds like a good idea to me. Here's why:
  • The download size from Windows Update of Windows Vista SP1 for x86 is 65 MB (compared to 450 MB from the Microsoft Download Center).
  • The download size from Windows Update of Windows Vista SP1 for x64 is 125 MB (compared to 745 MB from the Microsoft Download Center).
  • Windows Update will recognize PCs with known problematic drivers and postpone downloading Windows Vista SP1 until the PC has updated drivers or other applicable updates.
Be sure to uninstall any prior versions of SP1 first.

If something quits working, try uninstalling and reinstalling the driver.

If you choose to install Windows Vista SP1 via the standalone installer, first visit Windows Update and install all optional drivers (see Knowledge Base 948187 and 948343).

And, as always, back things up (you should be doing so anyway).


  1. When I installed SP1 (via MS Update), my speakers stopped working. I had to download the audio driver again. Everything is working fine now but that was pretty annoying. Why does stuff like that happen?

  2. The usual cause of stuff like that is Windows' built-in attempts to support hardware. When Vista tries but fails to recognize hardware, you install drivers to fix it. Then, when you get a major update to Windows, it stops on your driver and you have to reinstall the driver again. :-)

  3. I thought you hated Vista...
    Sorry Sam couldn't come out and play today. I'll send him over for a playdate tomorrow if he is available. :)

  4. You are a little ocd with the tweet updates!