Time to Install Service Packs!

    December 13, 2007

I just spent the entire day distracted by Windows Vista Service Pack 1, namely not getting any real work done while my computer was busy installing it. You should install SP1, too, just be aware of the time it might take.

To install it right now, go to this Microsoft.com download page and download the file offered. Save that file to your computer (don’t just try to open it) and right-click on the file and click “Run as Administrator”. After running through the file, SP1 will install automatically through Automatic Updates over the next few days.

If you don’t want to wait, or if your computer doesn’t install updates automatically, go to Windows Update and check for new updates, and then install them. After two or three updates, which prepare your computer for SP1 and help make sure the update does not fail, you will be offered Service Pack 1. Install it.

Make sure you have a good amount of free space to install it. I saw at least a gigabyte of previously free space dissapear after installing SP1, and I’d recommend having at least 3 or 4 gigs free before even attempting it. If you run into problems, check if the BITS service is running.

After installing SP1, everything seems fine. One difference I noted: A bug that caused my PC to crash and die after random uses of the scroll area on my trackpad appears to be gone. As previous articles have indicated, the No GUI Boot screen has changed, and the new version looks nice. Windows Sidebar appears to be using far less resources when not on screen. In Task Manager, there are two Task Scheduler Engines, one for the user and one for the system, though that may not be new.

You should also install Microsoft Office Service Pack 1, available now in Microsoft Update, or through the links on this page. Also, you can get Windows XP Service Pack 3 from Microsoft by following this link.