March 21, 2008

Vista SP1

I haven't run Windows Update since I finished setting up this computer at the beginning of November. Now I hear tell that Microsoft has released Service Pack 1 for Vista, a few days ago.

Horror stories about it are already creeping out. I've heard of people who installed it and can no longer boot their computers at all. So I've been pretty hesitant to muck with it.

Now, it seems, I may not have to worry about that. I just checked Windows Update and SP1 wasn't offered to me at all.

There are a bunch of accumulated patches since November that I haven't installed, and maybe if I were to let those all install then Windows Update might let me see SP1. But maybe not. Seems that a lot of people will never be permitted to install SP1 through Windows Update, because their Vista computers have old drivers that are incompatible, and the drivers themselves are not being maintained.

I wonder if that's what my issue is? I'm not sure there's any easy way for me to find out. The impression I get is that the only way to determine why you're being excluded is to manually check each of a long list of reasons Microsoft provides for why SP1 might not be offered to you.

Since Windows Update is already making that decision algorithmically, couldn't Microsoft provide a tool that told you why you were out in the cold?

Another of the reasons why SP1 won't be offered to you is if you have installed an obscure language pack. I think I might have Chinese installed, and that's one of the obscure, little known and little used languages that SP1 doesn't support.

Seems there's going to be another version of SP1 becoming available in another month or so, which might have a bit more comprehensive support. Better be; they're planning to push it out with Automatic Update at that time. (Automatic Update is a tool of the devil. One of the first things I did was to disable it.)

Maybe I'm becoming gunshy as I get older, but I'm not totally certain I want to install any patches. "Don't fix what ain't broke", they say, and right now this system works pretty well.

UPDATE: I just confirmed it: I do have Chinese installed. I don't have the slightest idea how or when that happened. It sure as hell isn't anything I'd ever need or use.

That's been causing me problems, actually. Sometimes when I'm using Frontpage I mistype something and suddenly I find myself using chinese entry, and the HTML being created has all kinds of weird spans around it. The only way to make that stop I've found is to quit FrontPage and restart it. Probably there's a hotkey combination I hit by accident that would get me into that mode, and likely another that would get me out. But I can't tell; it's FrontPage 2002 and its help files use a format that requires a package called "WinHLP32" which Microsoft decided to leave out of Vista. You can manually install it, but again I don't want to mess with it.

Anyway, I just got rid of that entry in the Control Panel "Regional and Language Options" tool, so that should be good enough. ...unless hitting that hotkey combination in FrontPage helpfully reinstalls it again...

UPDATE: And with it gone, Windows Update still doesn't offer me SP1. Maybe if I let it install all the existing patches I don't yet have, that would do it, but I'm not really eager to find out.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 06:19 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1

Man, the more I read and hear about Vista, the more I want to put XP on my new machine.

C.T.

Posted by: cxt217 at March 21, 2008 08:35 PM (cJnH4)

2 Microsoft has really botched the release process on this one. It's difficult to believe that the world's premiere marketing company could do such an awesomely bad job of marketing their bread-and-butter product.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 21, 2008 09:12 PM (+rSRq)

3 Wow, I feel "blessed". SP1 shows up in my Windows Update. Problem is, I've had to deal with XP service packs before and I really don't want to do them on non-fresh installs. I'ma take a pass for now.

Posted by: gaiaswill at March 22, 2008 06:52 AM (gctoU)

4 I think I know why I can't see it. There are two previous patches you have to have installed, and I'm missing one of them. It's one of the list I've been putting off.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 22, 2008 07:15 AM (+rSRq)

5 It's showing up for me on my Vista32 notebook, but not on my Vista64 desktop.  Not that I'm in any hurry to install it.  I'll give it another couple of weeks at least.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 22, 2008 08:20 AM (PiXy!)

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