Windows Vista SP1 – First Impressions

I’ve been using SP1 for the past couple of hours. My first impressions are as follows:

  • The install of the service pack took just over an hour and required a few reboots. But it seemed to go smoothly. I was using the standalone installer rather than the Windows Update version (which Microsoft says that you shouldn’t use to update a single machine, but it worked fine for me so I’m not sure what that’s all about) so I am not sure if that makes a difference. 
  • Copying Files is MUCH faster now. I did a test before installing the update and with SP1 it’s about 50% faster. 
  • The startup and shutdown of my VM is MUCH slower now. Googling the web seems to indicate that this will disappear over time. 
  • The OS “feels” a bit snappier. I’ve traced that to some sort of improvement in the disk I/O subsystems.
  • It’s still a memory hog. I’d still recommend 2GB or more to anyone who wants to run Vista. 
  • There’s less “Cancel or Allow” nonsense from User Account Controls. Thank god!

Keep in mind are that I really didn’t have many problems with Vista, but there were a ton of things that annoyed me, so I’ll have to use this for a few days to really get an idea of how different it is.

So, would I recommend installing this? Yes, but I’d wait a week or so. That way you can see the first bugs appear and the workarounds to those bugs will be widely available by using Google. From where I stand, it’s a decent upgrade but it’s not the earth shattering one that people may have been expecting. In short, it didn’t suck. And that may be enough to have Vista be seen in a different light.  

Update: A reader left a comment stating that SP1 wouldn’t install because of his sound card driver. This is a good thing because drivers have been the cause of a lot of Vista related issues. So they’ve designed Windows Update and SP1 to hunt down these drivers as stated in this quote:

“Windows Update will recognize PCs with drivers that may be problematic and postpone offering SP1 to those PCs until it has installed corrected drivers or other applicable updates.  Either way, Windows Update works to detect whether or not your system is ready for SP1 and not offer it to you until the time is right.”

This is from this blog entry. If you run into this situation, you should hold off installing SP1 until you update the drivers in question and SP1 likes the drivers you install. That’s one of the reasons why I suggested that you might want to hold off for a few days before diving in. 

3 Responses to “Windows Vista SP1 – First Impressions”

  1. For any admins out there, slight change in RDP with SP1 … mstsc /console to connect to the console of the server via a terminal services session is now mstsc /admin …. and it may drive you a little crazy trying to figure that out 🙂

  2. Thanks for that tip!

  3. Hi again, I have disabled the conexant sound card via the device manager and it solved the issue, now Windows Update offers me the SP1 and I already intalled it, after that I re-enabled the sound card and every thing is runnig OK, thank

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