Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and SP 2 : Download, FAQ

This post talks about Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Service Pack 2 – Download links, FAQ and installation guide.

Windows Vista Service Pack 1

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 has been finally released and made available to anxious Vista users. There are 5 possible scenarios which may be facing you:

1) You don’t see Vista SP1 being offered in your Windows Updates.

There could be several reasons for this. Microsoft has recently adopted a list of possible problems with the installation of Service Pack 1 for Vista. This includes, some drivers which will be locked after installation. It could be possible that SP1 for Vista could uninstall some drivers, but users will be able to install it again. Realtek and other sound devices are the hardware with most problems. More on this at KB948343.

2) You don’t want to install Vista SP1 now.

If you do not want to install the Vista Sp1 now, for some reason, you can set your WU to ‘Hide’ KB936330. Alternatively, you can use the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool. This Tool will block the installation of Vista SP1 till March 2009. And when you do decide to install it, its Pre Install Checklist may come handy !

3) You have successfully installed it and want to know, now what

Specifically, you may want to know how to reclaim disk space after Vista SP1 install, what major UI changes are visible, and what performance and reliability improvements to expect.

4) Do I have the updated Vista SP1 Help files?

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 stand-alone packages do not contain the updated Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Help files. So, if you have installed vista SP1 with its stand-alone installer, then it will not include the Help files. You will have to manually download & install the updated Help files. These updated Help files have been excluded from the stand-alone SP1 packages to reduce the size of the packages. More at KB937286.

Microsoft has also released its Feature-by-feature Guide to Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 . You may also want to check out Windows Vista Product Guide Revision Document and Group Policy Preference Client Side Extensions available for Windows Vista SP1.

4) You installed it but are facing issues and /or you need to uninstall Vista SP1 for some reason:

To uninstall Vista SP1, Open Control Panel > Programs >View Installed Updates > In the Microsoft Windows list, right-click Service Pack for Microsoft Windows (KB936330) > Click Uninstall > Restart. More on How to uninstall Windows Vista SP1 as a troubleshooting step at KB948537.

5) You are one frustrated guy, being unable to install Vista SP1.

If when you try to install Vista SP1, you get one the following error message/s:

Service Pack did not install. Reverting changes Installation was not successful An internal error occurred while installing the service pack

Free unlimited installation and compatibility support is available at Microsoft for Windows Vista, but only for Service Pack 1 (SP1). This support for SP1 is valid until March 18, 2009. Chat and e-mail support is available only in the United States and Canada.

Windows Vista Service Pack 2

Windows Vista SP2 supports new types of hardware and emerging standards that will grow in importance in the coming months and years. It improves the administration experience and eases certain management and support challenges. By providing these fixes integrated into a single service pack, covering client and server versions, Microsoft provides a single high-quality update that minimizes deployment and testing complexity for customers

Windows Vista SP2

Windows Vista SP2 builds on the solid foundation laid by Windows Vista SP1. The incremental improvements provided in SP2 come primarily from the feedback we have received from customers and partners.

In addition to all previously released updates, SP2 will contain changes focused on addressing reliability and performance issues, supporting new types of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards.


Emerging Hardware Support

  • SP2 contains Blue tooth 2.1 feature pack supporting the most recent specification for Blue tooth technology
  • Ability to record data on Blu-Ray media,
  • Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-Fi Configuration to Windows Vista SP2,
  • exFAT file system now supports UTC timestamps, which enables correct file synchronization across time zones.
  • SP2 provides support for new form factors, such as ICCD/CCID. new form factor support –example USB form factor as opposed to PCMCIA).
  • Support for the new VIA 64-bit CPU


  • SP2 includes all previously released security updates, and builds on the proven security benefits of Windows Vista
  • Secure Development Lifecycle process updates, where we identify the root cause of each security bulletin and improve our internal tools to eliminate code patterns that could lead to future vulnerabilities
  • Reliability
  • SP2 addresses previously released reliability updates, as well as addressing crashes, caused by Microsoft code, discovered since the launch of SP1


  • Resume performance when Wi-Fi connection is no longer available after resume from sleep
  • Inclusion of Windows Search 4 for improved indexing performance, improved relevancy in search, broader indexing scenario inclusion, as well as new Group Policy integration for Windows Search,
  • Improvements to the RSS feeds sidebar gadget to improve update performance and responsiveness,

For help you may visit our TWC Forums.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.