back to article MS bundles Vista SP1 and Server 2008 out the door

Microsoft this morning released Service Pack 1 for Vista and Windows Server 2008 to manufacturers. SP1 is a bundle of fixes including extra hardware drivers. The software is released to computer manufacturers today and "will start being available to customers in March". SP1 changes aspects of Microsoft's controversial Windows …


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  1. N

    and also

    fixes all known problems, just like every other service pack...

    All pigs well fed and ready for take off!

  2. Tim Spence

    Free Vista

    As much as I hate the idea of severely limiting an operating system if it decides that it's pirated, I can't help but feel that Microsoft's attempt at being all nice and cuddly, and changing Vista so it just whinges at you is not a good idea on their part.

    If you can put up with dialogs coming up every now and again suggesting that your copy is pirated, then you have a completely free copy of Vista for very little hassle.

  3. Svein Skogen
    Gates Horns

    And additionally

    Adds all the -LIVE scams into "Windows Update" as "optional opgrades". How long until they are mandatory to install other updates?

    Their list so far is:

    -"Toolbar installation and Upgrades : Windows Live Toolbar"

    -"Writer installation and Upgrades : Windows Live Writer"

    -"Photo Gallery installation and Upgrades : Windows Live Photo Gallery"

    -"Mail Installation and Upgrades : Windows Live Mail"

    Adding these three pitfalls under separate categories (all with class optional) to the Windows Update (not sure if this is added outside of Vista, but it wouldn't surprise me), must be a signal that Microsoft finds their services unused (compared to Googles competition), and wants their stranglehold better embedded in the users computers. I don't even want to think about all the hassle uninstalling one of these will be.

    Given that Microsoft has already gotten plenty of flak for their abuse of one monopoly to get another, I really can't guess what kind of flak THIS move will receive.

    And it shows, that Windows Update is in Microsofts opinion, simply another marketing channel.


  4. Greg

    Will it fix the bugs?

    I'm opening a book on that one.

  5. John
    IT Angle


    I run Vista Ultimate at home and frankly, hate it. It has some cool eye candy and such, but it is very quirky. Things that I hope they fix with this SP:

    Inability to log off users. I can't log a user off, I can switch just fine, but if I want to log off a session, the only way to kill it is to reboot. Very annoying.

    Updates that won't install unless you are powering down: WTF? Seems that I always have a nagging update or two that ONLY install on system shutdown. Very annoying.

    Mystery of the vanishing printer. My HP laser printer sometimes just dissappears... Then it has to be re-installed from scratch. Very annoying.

    Fleas: My dog has fleas, and I am pretty sure Vista is responsible. Hopefully this service pack will take care of that too.

  6. Johnny FireBlade

    Might give Vista a go, then

    Not on my main machine, obv. Got an ageing Vaio kicking around not doing much, so I think I'll introduce the Vista compatibility tool to it this evening and see what it comes up with. The last time I ran it was on an HP laptop when it told me that if I upgraded to Vista, a host of hardware would stop functioning, including the (uber cool) biometric scanner. Been waiting for SP1 before I even tried Vista (previous MS experience taught me that one), so it'll be interesting to see what happens.

  7. David

    Fixes the intermittent internet connection bug with Vista Ultimate i had

    I have had a love hate relationship with Vista, i liked the eye candy and the search facility etc but for months been trying tor resolve an intermittent net connection, gone through all the online fixes and info with no effect

    I went through the tedious process that MS has setup to install SP1 RC1 from their website and after a few reboots later i now have been rock steady for 4 days (Prior to this the net went down on average 1-2 times per day)

    havent found any other issues yet, but i am sure they are in there lurking ;)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    They're keeping quite on the XP SP3 details

  9. Matt W
    Gates Horns

    I can only hope

    That they'll make Vista work with WPA now. Longest running issue ever.

  10. Morely Dotes
    Jobs Horns

    @ Tim Spence

    The problem, Tim, is that WGA has a habit of deciding that perfectly-legitimate installs are "pirated," and Microsoft has wisely decided that they can afford to risk a little piracy, more than they can afford to risk a class-action lawsuit for "sale of merchandise unsuitable for purpose" if their pet WGA happens to shut down the wrong organisation's business-critical systems.

    Of course, there's a counter-argument (that no one in his right mind runs business-critical systems on Microsoft OSes), but it's bloody unlikely that MS' lawyers would want to advance that in their defense.

    See and for more background.

  11. Chris C

    re: Free Vista

    Maybe they decided it's better to "free" Vista, as you put it, than lose customers. I imagine not too many of the corporate users were happy when WGA decided their copies of Vista were "pirated" (even though they weren't) and shut itself down. People don't really like it when something they paid for stops working, and they usually tend to avoid it in the future.

    While I don't run Vista, I'm curious to know if SP1 fixes The Long Goodbye.

  12. Morely Dotes

    @ John

    "Mystery of the vanishing printer. My HP laser printer sometimes just dissappears... Then it has to be re-installed from scratch. Very annoying."

    John, that's not a Vista issue. It's the reason we stopped buying HP printers at $DAY_JOB (well, that and the complete dog's breakfast they've made of "customer support"). I am only guessing, but I think HP has outsourced their driver development team to SE Asia, and as a result, the drivers are now, to be a bit charitable, shite.

    When you change to another brand of printer, you'll find the problem vanishes.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Damages are done

    I wouldnt touch Vista again until 90% of the people I work with telling me its working and works, in the meantime, all our customers are XP only, many moved over to OSX already, small number to Ubuntu,I think the rest will stay XP until either Win7 is out and working,, or simply Linux all the way , in the meantime, I am planning my retirement, dont think I can cope with another one like Vista next year.

  14. J


    False alarms aside...

    Piracy has always served MS well, and they know it. So I suppose they committed a blunder with the new "zero tolerance" measures, and are backing down before damage is done (fortunately for them in this case, Vista's uptake has been slow).

  15. Colin Jackson
    Thumb Down


    Good luck testing the SP. I'd give it a go, but I can't for the life of me get Windows Update to work on my brand new laptop.

  16. MordEth

    @ Morely Dotes

    I seriously doubt that HP has invented self-uninstalling printers. That Windows would uninstall the printer is hardly the printer's fault. I can't comment on HP's customer support, but based on my experience with supporting their printers for business use, I've had nothing but positive experience with them. Thankfully, though, I don't currently have to support Vista; most people seem to realize it's a train wreck.

    Do you seriously believe that the drivers do some sort of Mission: Impossible self-destruct?

  17. Kevin Kitchen

    Vista Issues

    I have a relatively good computer running Vista (what else would run it correctly) and I am having very little issues.

    OK, it feels like I am testing a Release Candidate of Wind-blows, but the only issues I am having are:

    * The mouse pointer is not right in the head (the actual click location is near the arrow head, but I am never sure where)

    * Philips Dect/Skype phone drivers don't work. I rang Philips support and they where useless.

    * I keep on getting an annoying message saying that a program has stopped working, but if I press cancel every thing goes back to normal.

    Dang, where's my XP CD.

  18. jonathan

    degrading boot performance

    wonder if this sp will fix the degrading boot/ shut down performance?

  19. Chris Williams
    Thumb Down

    Free Vista?

    > you have a completely free copy of Vista for very little hassle

    In my experience, it's impossible to have Vista -- free or not -- without a considerable amount of hassle.

  20. Michael


    I use vista in work and at home for gaming and I think its the most stable microsoft OS yet, it has not blue screened on me once :)

    In work I run 32bit and at home i run 64bit I dont have any driver issues with either :)

    Games work fine and DX10 is nice ok not that much of an improvement over dx9 but still well worth it :)

    Also new operating systems have bugs its just the way it is :)

  21. Steven Foster


    Sadly Michael, you are the minority. Most people I know have had very negative experiences with Vista, and It's something I recommend my less tech savvy friends avoid at all costs.

    I actually legally own Vista Ultimate (What Was I thinking?) and it is currently gathering dust in a box somewhere after giving me an agonising 6 months of problems and hassle.

    Maybe this SP will fix some of the issues that made me revert to XP (Mainly drivers/Video Codec problems) but like someone else said, until the majority of people can sing the same praise as you do, that disc will be staying away from my computer.

  22. Iain Gilbert


    I'm the same. Vista 64 HP for me and not a single problem I can blame on MS, I can blame a few on Belkin for their cr*ppy drivers (actually come to think of it their crappy network cards and routers as well) but they're the only issue I've had.

    I did however build the system specifically for vista 64 (it's only cost me about £350 so far, without the monitor, for parts and about £60 for the OEM copy of windows) with 3gb of ram. My only major complaint it the shutdown/start up speeds, which are dire but Vista seems to multitask far better than XP allowing firefox to work responsively even while another program tries to use 100% of the processor and ram.

    When I first built the system I did however have pretty poor performance with an on-board gpu and 1gb of ram, but a £30 graphics card and about the same for an extra 2gb of ram solved the problem. I was working at PCWorld over the Christmas and I pity the poor folks who bought Vista machines with stupidly lacking amounts of memory (512mb anyone?).

    I guess I'm just lucky, but I have noticed while helping other people with Vista that it really doesn't like upgrading from XP (wipe and install is the best bet), it needs a good chunk of memory and seems to work better in 64bit edition than 32 (if you can get the drivers of course).

  23. Rob Lightbody

    No problems with Vista

    I have no problems with Vista, and nobody I know has any problems with Vista.

    so there.

  24. Wyrmhole

    Re: Free Vista

    And you thought Vista wasn't "free" before SP1?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Steve, Iain, Rob

    So you're the 3 people that 'they' talk about who haven't had any problems with Vista !! I can only think that you're not trying hard enough ;-)

    I run Vista 64 (on a purpose built rig, all latest h/w, etc) and have had a multitude of problems, not all Vista's fault admittedly though. However, I will persist as I am a sucker for punishment and I'm sure it will be stable one goes on

  26. Anonymous Coward

    @Rob Lightbody

    So you don't know many people then Rob.

    Or at the least know people with differing Machine configurations.

  27. Chika

    Windows ME, the second coming?

    I've often said that I wouldn't touch Vista until SP1 at the earliest. However, I'm still a little cautious given the amount of hysteria about some of the features (a feature, as everyone beyond a certain age knows, is a bug with seniority), plus I still have to see any evidence of any real benefit over XP SP2 (we'll leave SP3 alone for now as I have a completely different, yet strangely related set of doubts about that one!)

    The thing is that I have heard a rumour, as yet uncorroborated, of a new desktop OS in the works. If this turns out to be true, then what we effectively have with Vista is the NT platform's version of one of Microsoft's biggest mistakes - Windows 98 Third Edition, aka Millenium Edition, aka Windows ME. Company paranoia and greed get in the way of good programming practice, with the result being a giant pain in the derriere. Not that M$ is renowned for good programming practice, but there you go!

    For the moment, I get everything I want from the systems I run, and I shall not let M$ force me into anything, least of all "upgrading" to an OS that I don't trust.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Vista is the worst since Win95

    Vista is a lot worse than XP and even 2k in my experience. No MS OS has been as bad since 95 (I avoided ME).

    I used to get the odd bluescreen in 2k with poor graphics drivers but I run a Vista system with ALL certified drivers and it bluescreens every few days.

    The thing that amazed me most is that it can't copy more than 16384 files to as USB drive or SMB share! Unbelievable. If you were testing an operating system wouldn't you think of copying a large number of files? Isn't this the most basic of things an OS does? I haven't checked yet to see if it is fixed in SP1 but the hotfix for this wasn't even a 'definate' for it. (The error message was great too - it claimed to be out of memory with 4GB on a 64 bit version).

    This experience has definately swayed me toward Linux only - it nearly does everything I need. Sadly my job depends on the other remainer - well at least XP SP3 is coming.

  29. Jason Sullivan

    Yet another with no issues

    Add me to the list of people who haven't had any problems with Vista. Running Home Premium and built the machine from scratch myself, the only issues I've had can be directly related to issues outside of MS control (ie: heat-my bad for not cleaning out the lint and cat hair in my heat sinks for six months, stupid of me, really).

    I always thought XP was stable, but Vista showed me a whole new level of solid. These days I reboot on a bi-weekly basis, and that's just out of habit, really.

    Then again, I seemed to avoid most of the complaints people had with Windows ME (had one system that ran regularly for about five years with it, still use it from time to time for DVR functions, though far less than I used to now that I got a decent one from my satellite provider).

    I also do field tech support and the people who complain about Vista vs those who praise it are, by far, in the minority. The biggest complaint I hear is about the user control pop-ups (are you sure you want to do this? really really sure?).

    Feel free to continue trying to slam Vista into 4 year old tech and complain about it not working, though. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy my God Rays while I blast N. Koreans and alien monstrosities.

  30. Duncan Barr


    Im the same too- Ive just upgraded 2 gaming PCs from Vista 32 to Vista 64 and have had no issues with either.

    Pretty much anything I throw at it be it games or work sticks.

    As I work in the industry I have been testing 64bit Vista (to some degree alongside Server 2008) at work, and pleasingly all but applications steeped in 16bit code work on a fairly modest spec.

    The more I see of this the more I like it, and without all the bells and whistles Vista 64 is imo potentially MS's first serious Business OS since NT 3.51/4.

    Just a shame MS didnt have the balls to draw a line under 32bit with XP- and release Vista as 64bit only.

    So I guess that makes 4 of us without issues!

  31. Anonymous Coward

    HP Printers

    Yes, I know this is off-topic, but my HP printer has vanished on occasion too. And I'm running XP. It's one of the new-ish Home/Office printer/scanner devices.

    The Enterprise printer drivers (eg 8250's) seem to be ok, but the home/office ones are bloody awful.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    SP2, anybody?

    I got my kids a new PC ~3 months ago, with Vista Home Edition. They loved the eye candy, and had no problems with what they were running (basically MSN Messenger, Firefox, Thunderbird, WMP, iTunes). I was the only admin, UAC and updates were turned on, and they didn't have my password.

    Everything was perfect... for *3 weeks*. non-admin accounts couldn't log on. Nothing useful in the logs, completely pointless error message with no more info at MS. The only suspicious thing that had happened prior to this was that WMP had updated itself. I discovered that I could no longer update as admin; I was completely locked out. I tried various roll-backs; nothing worked. I wasted hours on Google, and eventually rang up PC World to get an upgrade to XP. Why on earth would I want to re-install Vista if it just self-destructed after 3 weeks? PC World didn't see it that way, despite a lot of shouting. They would upgrade for me, if I paid for XP, but I wasn't going to do that. They reckon I'm only covered for hardware problems.

    I waited a month, accepted the inevitable, and re-installed (I've been re-installing Windows since 3.1 with its 20-odd floppy disks, so I've got lots of experience). It's been running Ok for a couple of weeks now, but I bet that doesn't carry on. Will SP1 fix it? I doubt it.

    And what about not getting a DVD to re-install? WTF?! Do they seriously think that Vista isn't going to trash its own recovery partition?! MS has managed the impossible, though - it's made Linux look professional.

  33. James Whale
    Thumb Up

    Vista's not so bad

    It's a bit quirky and bloated and sometimes loses my network adapter, but on the whole, it's stable. MS/Vista bashing is quite fashionable though isn't it?

  34. Dustin

    Add me to the list of satisfied Vista users

    At first I wasn't happy because I had various service related errors and the occasional blue screen of death. Reading around the web, I was under the impression that this was due to the memory caching services. In a way it was as when I disabled them my system stability increased. Then I ran some memory tests. My memory was erroring like crazy, it was some high end Geil. I replaced it with a pair of Corsair XMS sticks.................and all was well. The exact same system (with bad memory) running XP 64 did not exibit the same high rate of failures and instabilities. I'm guessing the Kernel memory manager is a little more picky in Vista.

    So, with properly functioning memory, Vista works fine (for me). Even with all of my boutique Audio hardware and System crushing Audio applications. If Vista is unstable for you, I suggest doing a very deep level hardware inspection. Use various memory tests from a bootable media, run spinrite on your HDs, flash a bios here and there, something.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does It Still...

    ...Do that thing where all the icons on the desktop disappear, and then slowly get redrawn?

    Like every version of Windows from the start? Did they ever notice this, do you think?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Add me to the list of satisfied users



    So, with properly functioning memory, Vista works fine (for me). Even with all of my boutique Audio hardware and System crushing Audio applications. If Vista is unstable for you, I suggest doing a very deep level hardware inspection. Use various memory tests from a bootable media, run spinrite on your HDs, flash a bios here and there, something.


    Err, no. People aren't talking about BSOD-type problems here. If update doesn't work, or only administrators can log on, then you haven't got a hardware problem; you've got an OS problem.

    I had those problems. Without counting, it seems to me that about half the people here have problems with Vista. In my book, that means it doesn't work. I've got 8 computers, and my kids have 2. Between them we run 1 x Vista, 1 x XP, 4 x Win2K,

    5 x Solaris, and 7 x various Linux, with some of the windows and Linux instances virtualised on Xen. Most of the Solaris and one of the Linux instances are now dead, but I've only had real trouble with one OS instance. Vista. It's a waste of space. Yes, you have to be an amateur sysadmin to run some of the other stuff, and it's nowhere near user-friendly, but at least it does what the box says.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    HP Printers

    Yes, I know this is off-topic, but my HP printer has vanished on occasion too. And I'm running XP. It's one of the new-ish Home/Office printer/scanner devices.

    The Enterprise printer drivers (eg 8250's) seem to be ok, but the home/office ones are bloody awful.

  38. Gerald Wilson

    OS stability

    The fact that there are stll so many bad stories about people's bad Vista experiences is itself a bad sign of badness.

    Potentially, anything can be made stable. I have a Mac OS 8 system in my basement which runs limited router and server software 24/7 for months on end without problem. I have a UNIX server which is rock solid. At work, the Win 2003 server is mostly ok, but then it don't do much either. The XP desktops are mostly stable, and if they suffer a hiccup, we just restart them and things are ok again until next time.

    I always come back to this question: would you let this OS run your own life-support machines in intensive-care? Linux, yes. BSD, yes. Other UNIX, yes. VMS? probably. OS X Tiger? maybe, but not yet Leopard. But I've never, never met a Windows admin who'd want to be under Windows control on life-support. Nor do I ever expect to.

    After nearly two decades of NT development, that's just pathetic.

    Sorry, but until the bad stories cease, Vista's not Fit For Purpose.

  39. Gilbert Wham


    "Do you seriously believe that the drivers do some sort of Mission: Impossible self-destruct?"

    What, _HP_ printers? Yes. Yes I do.

  40. Chris B

    HP Printers

    HP drivers under Vista are notoriously buggy. I have a Photosmart C7180 and the drivers have uninstalled themselves a couple of times now. Not to mention that you get "printer driver HPZ12 has performed an illegal operation" a dozen times whenever you print, and at random intervals every so often.

    I've had to uninstall the HP drivers and use the basic vista ones to get a stable print life. And theres no word of an update from HP themselves.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm not fan of Vista, but HP Drivers are appalling

    now a days. A mate of mine bought one of their so called professional

    home business deskjets. After an hour of trying to get it

    to appear on a reliable XP machine and the

    HP Software sitting their saying now plug your printer in

    we gave up and took the thing back and replaced it

    with a Canon Pixma printer, which worked first time.

    Good printer, Far cheaper ink, and Full Duplex too!

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's hopin'

    I do a lot of high-memory-load stuff, and as such, all my new systems are coming equipped with 8gb of RAM (and Firefox still manages to eat it all if you leave it running for about 48 hours with a few tabs open...). Initially, they were also Vista 64 equipped (because XP64 failed every trial I ever put it against)

    It worked, but it just wasn't pleasant. Gargantuan amounts of work went into converting every application that I could to 64-bit Linux, but there are a few things I wish I could have back from Vista... For instance:

    -Every time someone mails me a DOCX file, I don't have to reply whingeing about their using a format I can't read, and then TEACH them how to save in DOC

    -Seemless 32bit legacy support. (It's... Complicated under Linux)

    -Having an Office suite that I don't want to yell at constantly

    -My smug elitism at being the only Windows user on the planet who doesn't think spyware is a problem, doesn't run antivirus, and doesn't catch anything (in yearly scans). This is somewhat offset by the smug elitism of being a Linux user

    -Being able to play games occasionally.

    If SP1 fixes the overall bad feel, I'll have to build my next system as a Vista system, and VNC out to my current Linux system for all the things I like from that.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Sorry no thanks

    Well thats nice but too late and wont be surprised if there are even more problems with SP1. After having so many problems we not going to change to vista. Cant trust $$$ driven people leaving you compnay at risk. Started redeveloping out network to LINUX SUSE 10.3 , wonderfull no complaints just works. Those who dont change rdesktop to TS server. good bye we now pay less for licences. Infact will build CD boot disk with image cant get viruses. Life looks better now, stress comming down Hura!

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Vista Basher

    To those smart ppl who say give it a try beofre you bash. Ummm we did, Try uninstall a app. hmmm its not even call Add remove anymore and the list could take days to write, what happened to conform???? Get real, I bet someone install SP1 and feel sick for weeks after becuase they have to reinstall 1000s of pcs. Wise man will wait and let the suckers do the testing, I only folloing M$ view. We changing to Linux.

  45. Tim Coughlin

    Vista = Mixed results

    I picked up a copy of Vista when I decided to blow away my current install due to a nasty little virus that was running amok. Instead of using my XP copy of dubious origin, I picked up a copy of Vista Ultimate that was on sale at the local Micro Center. Since its installed, I've encountered very few problems. Any problems tended to come from my ham-handed ways of reaching for a bigger hammer in the world of software maintenance.

    That being said, back in September, I had a lab of new computers (work for a school district) that showed up with Vista Business. Figured that it would be a good test of the OS. I would have been better served to practice self dentistry than attempt to get them to play nicely in a multi-user environment. After about multiple weeks of students being able to open applications only once and problems with networking to the rest of the world, XP was reinstalled with a sigh of relief.

    So, I guess the end result is that it's a mixed bag of nuts for everyone.

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