Thursday, February 21, 2008

Windows Vista Service Pack 1

No problems.

Unlike the service packs for Windows XP, Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) is an AUTOMATIC install. That means if you have Windows Update set to perform updates automatically, SP1 will be installed whether you choose it or not. That almost happened to me today, but I was able to delay it until I could do a disk-image backup. See a previous post "RAID Backup" about that process.

Then I allowed the update to proceed. This computer is a medium-high-end system with dual 2.7 GHz processors, RAID 1 SATA disks, 4 Gb of memory, and Vista Ultimate 64-bit. The update took 27 minutes, from start until I was logged on again. It rebooted once during the install.

I have so far discovered no problems at all. I've tried lots of applications, including IE, Word, WordPerfect, Windows Media Center, anti-virus, graphics editors, and many more. SP1 has been running for only a few hours, but so far so good.

Here are some possible improvements:
  • Microsoft says it's a little faster, and it does seem a little more lively, though this computer was pretty quick before, and
  • Before the update, memory usage tended to build up throughout the day until it reached 55 or 60%. Now it seems to sit at about 35%, going up or down slightly as applications are opened and closed.
That's all I have noticed, and those are just perceptions, not measurements. Here are some annoying Vista "features" that have NOT improved:
  • The select zone that extends all the way across the main window of Windows Explorer instead of being limited to the file name,
  • Windows Calendar reminders still don't work if Windows Calendar is closed, even though I have selected the option that should make reminders work,
  • Windows Task Manager still asks for permission to continue, when I ask it to display all running processes, even though I'm logged on as Administrator, and
  • All of the other Vista annoyances.
After the update was completed, a popup asked whether or not I would like to contribute to the "Windows Customer Experience." This was a click YES or NO, with a "read more" link. I clicked on "read more" and was taken to a very obtuse page about personal information and Microsoft's use thereof; that page had nothing to say about Windows Customer Experience. I opted out, of course. Why contribute when they won't even tell us what it's about?

Nevertheless, bottom line, SP1 works fine here, or at least as well as Vista worked before. I'll install it on another computer without a qualm. On the other hand, if I were managing an enterprise network I'd do a lot more investigation before installing.

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