back to article Windows 7 SP1 'beta' leaks, hits torrents

A beta version of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 has apparently leaked onto the torrent networks, if you're exceptionally brave and fancy installing a knock-off version of a major OS update. The intrepid can take some slight reassurance from the information that it can be uninstalled, so your Windows …


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  1. CADmonkey

    Guess I'm waiting for Sp2 then... hopefully turn Windows 7/64 into a workstation-class OS from being a resource hungry unstable consumer's toy. Restrictive workflows, excessive interactions, laughable file management tools, bizarre scattered array of disguised buttons, icons, links, menus, etc..

    Today it wouldn't stop crashing the Picture Viewer whilst I was browsing JPEGs I'd just created in MsPaint.

    The rest of the time it hangs Autocad about every 20 minutes, 4GB ram notwithstanding. Admittedly, Vista64 was worse.

    OTOH, my 'crappy' archaic XP64 desktop eats it all up, day in, day out.

    1. Uk_Gadget

      7/64 Unstable?

      Been running it on two production systems here at work since release... No crashes here..

      1. Arctic fox
        Thumb Up

        Same here

        Got W7 running on three different pcs at our place. No crashes, no freezing, no problems. I cannot help noticing that XP fans do not say a word about what that os was like right out of the box. Before SP2 and a shitload of patches. The release version of XP was an unstable, superbuggy and incredibly unsecure pile of youknowwhat.

    2. Rob

      Bad luck by the sounds of it...

      ... my Win7 64bit has been rock solid, far superior to when I was running Vista on it and I dive in and out of photoshop, premiere, aftereffects and various others of a similiar ilke.

      Was it a clean install or an upgrade? I've always been an advocate of a clean install.

      1. CADmonkey

        Clean installs all the way

        Clean installation on <1yr old Thinkpad w700.

        It came with Vista business 64. Acad crashed and crashed.

        On went XP64. It never complained and neither did I. Solid as a rock.

        In a moment of Cheap Upgrade-induced weakness, on went Windows 7...oh dear. Less productive, less stable, and a royal pain in the arse in many, many respects. Cerainly no improvement for one who favours the Keyboard over the Mouse whenever possible.

        f it was stable, I could live with the rest....Just. Hard to think of any of this as an 'upgrade' though.

        Autodesk & Lenovo* could easily be just as much to blame. Or Nvidia's Quadro. The frontline of the battle between Direct3d & OpenGL is currently being waged across my desktop, it seems.

        *-Lenovo haven't released an official Nvidia driver since December. Can't install anything else.

        1. Rune Moberg

          Old nVidia drivers can be fun

          Your story reminds me of a former colleague. 18 months ago he complained about his Dell laptop that would not play DVDs. He was about to reinstall Vista... I happened to know the solution, because I had experienced the same problem with my desktop (running Win2003 Server).

          The culprit was the nVidia driver at the time. Unfortunately Dell were slow to release drivers, so he had to download from which provides fixed .inf files for nVidia's drivers.

          Problem solved and my colleague was spared a timeconsuming OS reinstall (that would not have helped one iota).

          Quite frankly... It is rarely the OS these days. Driver issues are very common. In addition: antivirus software causes way more problems than they solve.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          AutoCAD, Nvidia and Windows 7 64...

          I beta tested both AutoCAD 2010 and 2011 32 and 64 bit on Windows 7 64 and can honestly say that I experienced no problems, and still don't. TBH, ACAD was fine on Vista 64 too. Have you posted the issues and crash report on the Autodesk user forums or AUGI? Both are normally excellent resources. Windows 7, IME, has been an excellent upgrade to XP. It certainly feels zippier than XP did on my ageing Vostro 1700.

    3. Bear Features

      here we go again

      It crashes for you so therefore it is for everyone else.

    4. Peter Kay

      Fine here

      Fine both on my main desktop at home and at work. Probably a bit better at home, at work my productivity has definitely improved - there's some quite neat touches in 7.

      The only issues I've had was with using the crap bundled drivers, after replacing the SATA and display drivers my problems disappeared.

      I didn't have a problem with Vista (SP1 or later) either, although it is a memory hog.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. frymaster

      something's wrong

      my first instinct would be to run a memory test

      other than that, not much I can suggest definitively from your description, except be careful about what you install (especially codec packs)

      1. CADmonkey

        @ all-a-y'all

        Advice being the cheapest commodity in the universe, I thank you all for your generosity.

        I'm no fanboi of Xp. Nor am I generalising my experience beyond what any self-respecting 'power' user should expect (IMO). I would love 7 to give me what I want. But guess what....I am having problems with all this bleeding-edge tech not playing nicely together.

        Lenovo can't help

        Autodesk can't help

        Nvidia can't help

        Microsoft can't help

        I admit I didn't try PC World

        So I'm left with the Wild West Show that are the Message Boards of these hollowed tubes. See first sentence.

        Meanwhile, I have a job to do. But even if Win7 was as stable for me as it is for others, I really struggle to see what I'm missing out on. Aero? USB3? Readyboost? And I haven't even mentioned the fun and games I've had trying to perform filename searches without having to stop for a rest. (fuck that advanced query syntax for a game of soldiers - I don't want a crib sheet stuck up next to my monitor).

        Maybe I'm holding it wrong? Who am I to say that I NEED to open 20+ PDFs or JPGs or DWGs in one go? Or track documents by mid-name strings? Or keep 5 or 6 explorer windows open and floating around all day? All of this is either impossible or more complicated in Win7. Was XP so shit it let me develop these crooked workflows?

    6. Anonymous Coward

      Not likely to help in your case

      The real culprit are probably nVidia drivers. Don't trust my word, check yourself - set your system to produce bigger core dumps and then analyse them.

      I haven't experienced a crash for a very long time (using Win 7/64-bit since it was released). I do use ATi though.

      OTOH I have been deeply disappointed with Win 7. Though being an improvement (definitely over Vista), the number of customisations you have to do in order to be able to do actual work, is laughably high:

      * control panel, anyone? Like ordered list?

      * WTF are libraries you can't use with your Linux fileserver? There is no MS Search for Linux...

      * My Documents/user data on different drive? Umm.. no

      * That sorry excuse for backup, even they admit has been designed only for up to 200 GB datasets?

      * Multithreaded writes while copying into SINGLE HDD which dramatically slow down things?).

      And I could drone on and on...

      Unfortunately, Win 7 is a lousy OS. The only problem is that there are no other OSs compatible with applications I use :-(

    7. jason 7


      Who on earth built your Windows 7 PC?

      I'm intrigued to know because if they cant build a stable 7 machine then they must have some bizarre way of building PCs.

      Or they just dont have a clue and shouldnt be in IT.

      I've now built over 25 W7 machines on several different hardware platforms and all have been 100% smooth installs with zero hardware or software issues since October.

      Why do some folks find it so hard?

    8. 20legend

      sounds like...

      .. problems with your install, rather than the OS TBH. Have experienced no problems other than a very occasional, slight fickleness with the odd grabbed .flv file.

      Win 7 is not copiously more resource hungry than XP - but is much less so than Vista.

      It is not unstable, and your struggle to be able to fathom out how to drive it is hardly microsoft's fault.

  2. John Sanders

    Are there...

    New anti-piracy measures to be found on the SP1?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    version number

    The version number got only a minor bump for compatibility reasons. A lot of software checks the major version number and if it isn't in its allowed list, it won't install, regardless of how compatible it may be with the new OS.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Yeah, that and...

      ...the fact that it's basically Vista, but fixed. Not going to be a lot of compatibility issues there. ;-)

    2. FoolD

      Call a spade a spade

      ROFL - riiiiiiiiiiiiiight ;-)

      The reason Win7 is so 'compatible' with Vista might be that, fundamentally, not much changed...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ AC: version number

    Exactly how many times do you have to say it before people realise that. LOTS of software checks the version number and won't install if it doesn't like what it sees. Compatability is the word, why would MS go to the effort of naming in Windows 7 and not increment the version number of the build?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What do they do all day?

    If SP1 is largely previous hotfixes, what *have* the Windows developers been doing every day since W7 came out? WinXP SP2 at least justified their wages. Win7 SP1 appears to be the equivalent of ITV3 showing non-stop "The Two Ronnies" all over Christmas.

    1. Dale 3

      @What do they do all day?

      Er, hotfixes, perhaps?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: @What do they do all day?

        I doubt it's hotfixes.

        I suspect they wait for their keepers to throw a few bananas into the enclosure.

    2. The Original Steve


      ... Making and testing the updates maybe?

      And the rest are probably working on the next version of the OS. (If MS's 3 year release cycle is anything to go by)

    3. Test Man

      You haven't a clue, have you?

      XP SP2 was the only service pack that added a ton of new features. It was needed because XP was a mess security-wise before that. No other version of Windows before or since has had such a big changing service pack, as service packs typically aren't meant to introduce major new features in Windows.

    4. Anonymous Coward


      What's the URL for ITV3? And can I get it from the US?

    5. JC 2

      @ What do they do all day?

      History already told us, they're working on Win8 so people have to buy another license.

  6. Neil Spellings


    Can't believe people base still base their judgements on "how much has changed" based on a single build version string. Very short sited commentards!

    1. FoolD


      maybe they can just see past a bit of eye candy and a few sticky plasters tacked over the worst of the Vista codebase and understand that those changes don't make Win7 significantly different.

      Its not necessarily a bad thing - Win2000 to XP was only a minor version change too, but still a big step forward in moving the NT codebase forward.

  7. Johnny Canuck

    Win 7

    I was triple-booting XP-Win 7-Linux up until 2 weeks ago. For some reason a Win 7 update made me unable to boot XP, This was the third time this happened to me. I noticed at least 1 file in my XP partition had the Win 7 update time/date stamp so I blame the Win 7 update (why did the win 7 update mess with my XP partition?). So now I'm dual-booting Linux Mint and Win 7, no XP at all. Other than the trashing of my XP install Win 7 has been pretty well behaved.

    1. AndyC

      So THAT's what happened!!!

      I had the same thing happen to my XP partition a few months ago. I'm looking to get it reinstalled (along with 7 and Fedora 13) in a few weeks.

      I too ask the question, why did 7 mess about with my XP install?

  8. gimbal

    Oh, "Commercially Stable." Like Vista was?


    Me, I'm still being stubborn before lending any further support to Microsoft's continually quizzical approach to quality assurance, in their operating systems - the said things being, are they not, namely the mainstay of the Microsoft product base? Or is Microsoft really there to sell stock shares? I mean, really?

    If they're going to try to pull the carpet over the eyes of the corporations, by simply re-branding Vista 1.1 as "Windows 7", I can see their shrewd attempt at marketing, in that, but I must question the ethics of their approach, for their charging for it, as if it was a "new" operating system, rather than just another blasted upgrade.

    I'm sure they're armed to the teeth with ways to dissemble about the matter. Isn't that what Microsoft School is for?

  9. David McMahon

    Will it...


  10. Anonymous Coward

    No NTBackup stiil I see

    Wake me up when they put it back in.

  11. Simon Brown

    win 7 is ok

    as with Vista before it and XP before that, I turn off all the screen "effects" and set it for "best performance". By and large it performs well. I find it faster than XP on the same hardware. I find it more stable than Vista (and faster) on the same hardware. It does a job. I only ever want an operating system to be stable and run the programs I launch, is that too much to ask for?

    The one feature I do take advantage of is Connectify - an open source Wi-fi hotspot creator that takes advantage of some Win7 features that were never fully developed by Microsoft. Setting up ICS is a total pain in the arse and Connectify does it beautifully - so handy for sharing 3G connections :)

  12. Anonymous Coward

    As far as version of windows go...

    7 is by far the best, to date, and I've used just about every version (all the way back to Windows 2.0).

    I love my Linux boxes, but at work I have to run Windows, because of the corporate standard. Fortunately, I'm able to be on the test team for 7, and aside from our administrators getting a little trigger happy with the GPO's, it rocks for something that comes out of Redmond.

    But, it is a MS product after all, I've had it for about 3 months now and I've actually had to work fairly hard to get it to blue screen, so props to MS for making it much more stable. Can't say I'm a big fan of the new MS Office though... Keeping the same UI for years and years and then they go and change it... it's not what I'd call intuitive. For noobs, maybe... But for those of us who've been in the trenches since word star or word perfect, hell, even apple works and mac works, a consistent interface is a nice thing to have.

    Now, if they could just nail down some of the more obvious security holes, then they might have the foundation for a really good OS. Until then, I'll stick with Linux as my preference for home. And as I've said before, if Adobe ever comes out with a *nix version of Photoshop, then I'd have no need for Microsoft products at all... At home at least...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns

      RE: As far as version of windows go...

      "Now, if they could just nail down some of the more obvious security holes, then they might have the foundation for a really good OS."

      Yep. A foundation maybe. Not for a good OS though.

      They still haven't taken the courage to say "let's throw out all the unnecessary crap".

      Apple did it (Motorola -> Intel AND OS6,7 etc to OSX). Now, you might not like Apple but they had the balls to realise things needed revamped and they did it.

      First thing MS need to lose is the preposterous notion of a registry. Just have a folder where each application can save settings. Then you don't need to load such a huge file at start-up (and it can't get corrupted either!)

      In NT they nicked a load of things from Posix. Why didn't they take the sensible parts of Unix and use them to replace the house of cards they've been building all these years?

  13. John White

    @Bear Features

    You know, that's exactly how I feel when Windows users wine that 'linux doesn't work for me therefore it's junk/toy/unusable' when I've been using it for 13 years.

    You imply it's his problem not Windows so go away and hide for being incompetent. Try swapping Linux for Windows in his comment and the forums get a different reaction.

    OK, we'll apply the Linux test to this Windows version - it's a fail, unusable, an apology for an OS written by a bunch of incompetent programmers....

    1. Bill Gould
      Gates Halo


      ...drivers are generally written by incompetent programmers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: @Bear Features

      "OK, we'll apply the Linux test to this Windows version - it's a fail, unusable, an apology for an OS written by a bunch of incompetent programmers...."

      ...and that differs from every other version of Windows in what way?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Late to the party, but here goes

    Windows 7 like Vista is unrepairable. Make sure you have all you backups in good order and licenses ready for reinstalling. I make my money via fixing windows issues for home and small business users. Windows Vista and 7 removed the repair install option. You'll find all sorts of references to a repair install, being an upgrade install on the net. This is not the same, as it required windows to be working in the first place! Even then its just as likely to report that it can't complete....

    Under the hood Win7/Vista is a complete dogs breakfast. Its as if MS have distilled the essence of all the crud in their perevious products, and thrown out the good stuff.

    I know MS is just about selling more software, but astonighing how they're screwing the average punter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      My Vista install became corrupted so I booted up with the DVD in and selected Repair Install. It worked.

      I also like how so many people are complaining about "under the hood" and the codebase without having seen it at all.

      Oh, and speeling.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Drivers can easily lead to Win7 issues

    Since MS changed the driver model and introduces 64 bit OSes it is easy to encounter problems related to bad drivers (and it looks driver writers are getting worse and worse). I installed Win 7 Ultimate on a Intel D955XBK motherboard and the only issue I found was traced down to the onboard audio driver. sometimes it can get stuck and applications using audio couuld hang.

    Before blaming the OS for crashing, it's better to pinpoint the exact cause.

  16. The BigYin

    Can Win7sp1 mount a .iso natively?

    No? So basic functionality is still missing.


    1. Bill Gould

      And waste more money...

      ...on another pointless lawsuit? If there's a 3rd party already making a living doing it, MS can't add it without buying said companies or licensing the same tech you install.

      I'd love them (MS) to integrate a ton of features and put these piss-ant little companies out of business. But then along come the money grubbing sue-monkeys and mounting an ISO end up costing MS 350 million bucks before fees, etc. All from companies that haven't even made 20 million on their own.

      1. The BigYin

        Simple answer...

        ...have more than one Windows vendor. MS do the kernel etc; other vendors can spin their own distro. Problem solved. Might even start to see some innovation in the Windows arena!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Excellent. Thank god they're keeping the things that great HCI expert introduced.

    It's a pity to see you'll once again be able to open two browser windows without moving directory, so you can do it while the mouse is in the same place, and don't have to move backwards and forwards across the screen, moving to some arbitrary folder before you can open another explorer window; but I can see how for people who do nothing but powerpoint demos to show upper management what it will look like, explorer doesn't need to be opened twice. Besides, it's important to save the computer a bit of time by holding up the user.

    Also a pity to have back is to be able to explore from a folder which opens a new window, as I concede if all you do is look at ppts all day, this won't be that much of an improvement, as having two windows open is unnecessary. Why would you need to compare folders?

    A pity to see Quicklaunch back. Why have single clicks when right click, move up, click again will do to open a brand new IE session, why help older people when you can screw them with horrendous click combinations? They should do powerpoint presentations though shouldn't they? Besides, there's nothing like having two pages of text you're trying to compare open in two panes that cover each other, it improves short term memory. It's science!

    Another pity is the restoration of the ability to see "explore" open a treeview, and "open" not open a treeview, instead of both menu items doing the same thing. Why do this for people? This is unnecessary; And besides, Explore's so good, we should have two menu items with different names doing the same thing, well who wouldn't if what it does is so good eh?

    A complete tragedy to see an up button in explorer. It'll will only confuse powerpoint presenters! No-one ever has to navigate up a directory hierarchy, surely they can just go back, especially when you can only see the folder you're in until you click it, and hope it's up. I have no idea why they're bringing it back. I can't ever foresee a time when back wasn't up, or where back went to a folder called the same as the one above it.

    Another pity is the totally unnecessary ability to switch off that stupid address bar thing at the top of explorer, the one that only shows you the name of the folder until you click it, so you can lose track of which of the two bin/debug folders you're in, because it just looks so good against the new curtains. It's just so cute isn't it, shrinking down the things unless you need them. Noone would ever need to see the exact folder they're in at the same time as they're in it would they? Also, if they want to go up, I feel it's important they've got to click there, and then find the folder that actually is up, whereever it may be in the screen. It's important the next folder up in the hierarchy is achieved by clicking in a different place every time. It so improves mouse hand co-ordination, while you're working.

    Also, why are they having the treeview following your clicks, instead of just staying closed at "computer", and why have multiple folders selectable. All your powerpoint slides are in recent files in powerpoint FOR F*CKING CHRIST'S SAKE, so you'll never need to do this. Besides, being able to see just the top folder's just so much more elegant, don't you think?

    Why would anyone need to see the clock ticking somewhere other than just above the bottom right part of the screen, as well as the start button menus being hierarchical again, so you can move things about, instead of some stupid open over the top design, where you can't see what was underneath. Why would anyone NOT want to hide things in such a way that they can't get them back without closing the window they also need to see. What pendants!

    Bearing in mind you can have multiple panes open in windows, I'm so glad there's no facility to have multi-url shortcuts to service them as such..

    And why would anyone want to be able to close ten panes quickly? It's such a stupid HCI requirement. Thank god the woman at microsoft is forcing people to continue to look at the screen when they do multiple closes. Good to see all those things retained that means you just can't go click, click, click without moving the mouse to close multiple panes, instead of the close pane "cross" moving all over the place like some space invader game, depending on what's open, and what it is that's been left open or jumped to when you've closed the last thing. You should be just presenting ppt's all day to senior management if you think this would help, why would you have two files open in the same program. How silly of you!

    Good also you still have to re-use properties windows so when you're comparing files with the same name, for dates and sizes, you can't see them both, as this improves short term memory while you work.

    And thank god that when I want to delete something, or copy something, it doesn't just start, and instead goes and looks at everything first, and when you start a copy, it just doesn't do it, so that when you come back in the morning, it's not sitting there with a dialog open which you didn't see because it popped up after you'd left, saying "setup.exe is read only" do you want to copy readonly, repeat for the next 273,234 files? You might have made a mistake, and it's important to put your project back 14 hours to check if you really wanted to copy or delete readonly files.

    Delete without checking and copy everything without asking me again? What stupid f*cker would ever need that?

    Thank god I'm not getting my network icons back, which just tell me which adapters are active, and what IP settings they have, instead I prefer the new ridiculous cartoon showing me what it thinks the topology of my house is. I love having to actively learn yet another look and feel before I can figure out where it is.

    And thank god you can't get rid of the menu bar, which for women whose biology is evolved from looking at multicoloured berries is perhaps great, but for every autistic man who built microsoft, sun and oracle from the ground up on the strength of their own intellects and male focussed directness, is some kind of horrific task of the order of finding the multicoloured particular washing powder, their wives' tasked them to locate in Tesco's cleaning aisle. Thank god you can still not now just click a setting, and all the pictures disappear, and the words come back. Men are bastards.

    I think it's really important that when you are looking at your processes in task manager we now have a button instead of a check box to view all processes, and when you click that button, it closes the window, and opens another one, with a check box. I'm so glad they did that, it gives your eyes practice at re-adjusting. It's so good, I hear the USAF Raptor replacement's going to have changing icons on their HUDs based on the mood of the designer, and the time of day.

    Thank god they're going to keep all the stuff and the really really groundbreaking features that that woman introduced, that are different to XP.

    Dear Bill, please do not put the people who built the company, back in charge of the products.I love it when these people come in from their masters course in business, and redesign the HCI for developers. I really do.

    While we're on. I really like the animated stuff the recent HCI expert did for google. I particularly like Google Fade, which doesn't appear until you've tried to guess where it is, or when you're trying to type a difficult word. There's nothing like a distraction test as you're typing. It improves the mind.

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