Over the years that I use Windows Operating System, I have yet to fail to successfully upgrade the service pack of Windows. Because each service pack of Windows need to undergo stringent testing and quality assurance before its official release, there is high probability that the Service Pack upgrade will be successful as long as one’s hardware is not too obscure or using too much legacy hardware components. The success rate will even be higher if it is a recent hardware purchase from reputable computer vendor like Acer. But through my experience installing Vista SP1, I realize that this is no longer the case anymore. With the recent update of Windows XP from SP1 to SP3, everything went smoothly after downloading and running SP3 upgrade executable. The same cannot be said for Windows Vista. It is undeniably that why Vista faces more compatibility and upgrade issue is because it is a lot more complex and sophisticated than Windows XP. Vista is more robust and reliable than Windows XP and I experience less blue screen of death. However, Vista is yet a beast that fully tamed and it shows in the recent SP1 upgrade. Rather than unjustly claims that SP1 fails to live up its expectation, I restrict that to my own observation of upgrading to SP1.
Upgrading to SP1
More information on Vista SP1 can be found on
To go to download page for Vista SP1 file, click on the following image,
I purchased my notebook a year and a half ago. It is the defunct Aspire 5580 model that equipped with 2GB ram. As Vista installation takes longer than XP, I did not reinstall Vista until it is time for SP1. SP1 is what Windows Vista should have been all along . It is fast, reliable and built with more usabilities. You will get all these goodies of SP1 provided that one manage to install SP1 in the first place.
So what I did was quite involving and painstaking. I actually reinstalled Windows Vista from scratch and has to reinstall all applications. But doing this way at least increases the chance of successful SP1 installation and that was what I thought initially.
As usual, I prefer to download and upgrade from the service pack file rather than upgrade online. So I downloaded a 550mb SP1 file, and proceeded with the installation thinking that SP1 will just be a smooth installation. After a series of reboot and long waiting time (recalling that it had taken more than 45mins), the Windows desktop finally show up along albeit with a ‘demoralizing’ dialog that says Windows Vista SP1 installation has failed and then started to rollback all changes. All the suggestions offered by the dialog were non-conclusive and probably wasted the user more time than help.
I almost called it a day until I saw this article that highlights many ways of why Vista SP1 upgrade will fail.
It summarizes into the following possibilities:
You are already running Vista SP1. Vista SP1 is not yet available in the language of your installation. Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool has been used to block the delivery of Vista SP1. You’ve already tried to install Vista SP1, and the installation failed.
- You have an incompatible device driver installed.
You currently have a prerelease version of Vista SP1 installed. You have used the third-party program to configure your system.
- You have not installed all the prerequisite updates.
I have strike off the unlikely choices and end up with two choices. Needless to say, there is nothing much one can do in choice #5 if the vendor site doesn’t offer any driver upgrade as notebook vendors have focused their attention into their new products, so I am left with choice #8, and there is nothing to lose in trying.
So to implement choice 8 means that once have to upgrade ALL patches (security or update) online automatically.
Go to <Control Panel> => System & Maintenance => Windows Update.
Do not selective choose what to update. Just update everything suggested as one does not know which patch and security update might be required for SP1 installation.
After a series of reboot, I returned to the same Window Update screen and to my surprise, it shown SP1 update choice now. So I proceeded with the installation as usual, and after more than 45mins, my patience and persistence finally paid off. I have finally installed Windows Vista SP1 ! This is confirmed by the System screen in Control Panel.
Windows Vista SP1 feels faster and snappier. USB external hard-disk that use to suddenly stop during file copy becomes usable again. Instant Search search faster now. The famous problematic Copy and Moving operation become as fast as XP if not faster.
Recipe in Successful installation of Windows Vista SP1
- Use automated Windows Update for upgrade first, and if this fail, then resort to 550mb size SP1 file.
- Upon new installation of Windows Vista, immediate enable Windows Update and allow Vista to automatically download and update ALL PATCHES the operating System (Yes, update whatever it is shown in the list). Note at this point, SP1 option will not appear until all relevant patches are installed. As what is the relevant patch is not known, hence it is safer to install all updates.
So for those who fail to install Windows Vista SP1 and in the state of despair, why not give the suggestion a try .
Turning off annoying User Account Control (UAC)
Will you be annoy when someone keep asking you to confirm operation when running task ? If you are then you opt to disable the UAC. Here’s how.
click on the last option to show the subsequent UAC screen.
Turning off FireWall in Windows Defender
A confirmation message will keep popping up whenever a application try to access the internet. This will sometimes cause a application to appear hang.
Go to <Control Panel> => Windows FireWall, Change Settings