Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Vista SP1 – DANGER Will Robinson – Danger

Well, Vista has finally accumulated enough patches to warrant Service Pack 1. (SP1).

According to Microsoft SP1 will do all sorts of great and wonderful things such as “supporting new types of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards. ” I hope the new standards aren’t DRM related….

However, as you read the Microsoft release, one of the first things you see is a Service Pack Blocker tool. Why would we even consider blocking a service pack that is supposed to do all sorts of wonderful things??

Well, there have been a number of reports of problems with SP1 and it appears that some drivers may conflict with the Service Pack resulting in MS not allowing you to install SP1. To add insult to injury, if you are blocked from getting SP1, you now have to figure out exactly which driver or drivers is causing the problem. Microsoft is leaving that for you to figure out for now.

I suspect that there will be some people and small companies that will not realize that they have been blocked from SP1. In those cases, they will probably fail to get future security related updates which will have the hackers salivating. If you are running Vista, you should be aware of whether or not SP1 installed. To see if you have SP1 for Vista installed, Click on START, right click on COMPUTER, and left click on PROPERTIES. That should tell you if SP1 installed. If it hasn’t installed then you want to consider:

  1. Perhaps you don’t have auto updates enabled. If this is the case, try to enable the auto update function for windows or go to INTERNET EXPLORER, TOOLS, WINDOWS UPDATE.
  2. If you find that SP1 is being withheld you can ignore the situation in which case you will eventually be hacked because of a lack of security updates or you can try to identify which drivers or other factors are blocking you from getting SP1. You can check out the list here or call in a consultant. (We are available for remote support or direct support if you are in the Philadelphia, Pa area.)
  3. There is a way to override the blocking of SP1 but we won’t go into that here. Those people who can do this safely will know how to to it. This is another “penny in the fusebox” type of thing.

As for issues with SP1, here is a small sampling

  • Information Week – An article about Penn and it’s experience with SP1.
  • ZDNet – Problems with Symantecs corporate antivirus
  • CRN running Vista SP1 with the Aero interface causes pointers for certain types of wireless and optical mice to malfunction, despite these devices having been certified by Microsoft as ‘Vista Compatible’. “ Great – we don’t need no steenking mice anyway

There is a free support site for update issues. However, be sure you navigate through properly so you remain in a free support area. You can find the support site here.

Also, please remember that when you hire a consultant to fix this mess, consultants were not put on earth to subsidize Microsoft and other Software manufacturer’s mistakes.

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