[VISTA] Windows Vista SP1 Released to Windows Update


FS Owner
Today, you can now download Windows Vista SP1 via Windows Update. For those of you eager to receive the benefits of Windows Vista SP1, you can now do so. We've seen quite a bit of questions in our comments so we want to communicate as much as possible surrounding Windows Vista SP1 and today's release to Windows Update as we can. For those of you happy to wait, sit tight because SP1 will start downloading to PCs automatically beginning in mid-April (remember, this happens only if you have your Windows Update configured to automatically download updates and SP1 will automatically download but not automatically install). But if you want to get the benefit of a year's worth of improvements right now, go check Windows Update today (hit the Start Menu, All Programs, and select Windows Update).
If in running Windows Update you do not see Windows Vista SP1 listed, there are a number of good reasons for this (eight, in fact -- see the whole list). Below are a few of the most common reasons why you might not see SP1 on Windows Update:

  • You have not yet installed all the prerequisite packages you need for Windows Vista SP1. To install them, visit the Windows Update control panel and click on "check for updates."
  • You have a pre-release version of SP1 and need to uninstall it before installing SP1
  • You already have it. To determine if you already have SP1 installed, Open the Start Menu, right click on Computer and left click on Properties.
  • We released SP1 in these 5 languages: English, French, Spanish, German, and Japanese. If you have any other language installed, SP1 will not yet be offered to you. (You might not even know if you have an additional language installed -- check the Regional and Language Options control panel to see which languages you have installed.)
  • Back in February we announced that we'd be using Windows Update to help make the update as seamless as possible for our users. Windows Update will detect drivers that we know may be problematic when updating to SP1 and will not offer the service pack until an update has been installed.
I've received a lot of requests for more detail about the driver situation this last month, so I want to share some more information here. We spent the last couple of months looking closely at reports of driver problems on pre-release builds and, to be safe, we held the public availability until March.
We've completed our analysis and are happy to report that many of these issues were fixed between the release candidate (RC) and the final version. We identified a small number of device drivers that may be problematic after an update from Windows Vista to Windows Vista SP1. Check out the list here; we'll keep it updated with any additional drivers that we identify. As a result, we spent the past month or so working with our partners on driver updates for these issues. Of these drivers, most already have updated versions on Windows Update and are available for download now as optional updates. In a few weeks we'll start to deliver these updated drivers to PCs automatically via Windows Update.
We're working with the providers of the remaining devices to get updated versions of the drivers to our customers as well. In the meantime, Windows Update will recognize PCs with drivers that may be problematic and postpone offering SP1 to those PCs until it has installed corrected drivers or other applicable updates. Either way, Windows Update works to detect whether or not your system is ready for SP1 and not offer it to you until the time is right.
Those of you who find that SP1 isn't offered over Windows Update even after updating all your drivers, but would still like to download it can access our "standalone installer" from the Microsoft Download Center here. Windows Update will help ensure a better experience, so if you do choose to visit the Microsoft Download Center make sure that you read these KBs before installing.
Looking forward, we're also getting ready to begin releasing the second wave of SP1 languages in April. These are the other 31 languages that we haven't released yet.
Some users encountered an issue last month when installing the Servicing Stack Update (KB937287). We've investigated this carefully and learned that it occurs only in certain rare situations. Specifically, this happens because the update needs to be completely installed before a restart occurs, but something caused a reboot during the install. While the update was carefully designed to avoid many of the common reasons for an inadvertent restart during installation, this issue was caused by some that were not caught. By temporarily suspending automatic distribution, and in making a small change on our Windows Update server, we believe we've largely eliminated this problem (our support call volume reflects this). We did find one aspect of the problem that was exacerbated when the update was installed using automatic updates. For this issue, we're planning to release an additional update before we resume automatic distribution of the Servicing Stack Update.
So what does this mean exactly? For those who've already installed the Servicing Stack Update or are waiting to install SP1 until Windows Update offers it to you automatically, you do not need to do anything at all. But if you want to install SP1 manually and haven't yet installed the Servicing Stack Update, you'll find it on Windows Update when you visit.
I know this post sounds like a lot of guidance, but we would rather over-communicate to reduce any surprises.
In sum, we are extremely pleased with Windows Vista SP1 and the benefits it offers our customers, and we look forward to hearing about your experience.