back to article Latest Vista SP1 tweak open to everyone with a week to spare

Microsoft is now letting the common rabble get its mitts on the latest beta build of Windows Vista Service Pack 1. While the company released the tweak on January 9, it originally restricted the download to approximately 15,000 steely-nerved beta testers. Two days later, the company was feeling more adventurous. Microsoft posted …

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Paris Hilton

Who's hardest

I used to think that as a Linux user I was pretty hard, now I see that you have to be really hard to use windows - either that or go mad quickly

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I'll never understand vista haters...

OK. so the biggest gripe about Microsoft is that they don't release patches as fast as linux people do, cause they wait for a certain day for a release day. Another issue is that they don't listen to bugs immediately and send out a new fix.

So now they send out a SP1 because they have it, and all the linux guys start ranting because they released a patch early and expect you to report bugs so they can fix it for other people...I'm kinda curious what would have happened if they'd called it a release candidate, would that have appeased everyone?

Seriously people, did Microsoft punch you in the testicles or something as children? Maybe vista runs a little slower than XP, but you know what else it does? It's more stable, I think I've had to restart it cause it's hung itself twice in the last 5 months. I think I was lucky to go 2 weeks with a record like that. When a program crashes (yes it does happen, but you should see how badly I treat these things), you can shut it down and start it up again, no problem.

Hands up everyone who tried vista the week it was released and decided it was crap and never touched it again, yeah, you know who you are. I've had people ask me why their stuff isn't working, I ask them when they last updated...they say June...and then I laugh. Would you run Ubuntu without updates? hell no, so why is it so bad that Vista needs them too.

I run VIsta because I don't care that other things are X more protected against things. I run Vista because I want everything I have to run perfectly. And so far I've had 3 things not work. Tribes 2, and I'm not positive I installed perfectly in the first place. My favourite IDE didn't work properly when compiling .c files, worked just fine if I called them .cpp though, might have been because they haven't released an update in 3 years. Finally, I had to mess around with some properties to get Nintendo DS compiler to work with the library I use because they haven't updated it yet to the base library that does work with Vista.

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Tom
Silver badge

They call this a RC

And yet you have to stand on your head and whistle Dixie to get it to install? Can't wait until I see Joe 6pack with this...

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Anonymous Coward

RC Refresh (sounds like a citrus soda, dunnit?)

No!

Sounds more like a new brand of moist toilet paper.

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No command line...

"Now if they could only make Ubuntu as useable as Windows (i.e. no command line stuff at all, unless you really, really want to) then 'they' could be on to a winner."

One word. Registry.

A longer sentence.... Doing some fixes and tweaks under Windows won't involve the command line, but involves doing equally cryptic stuff involving the registry and the like. Just saying...

And I have to pitch in with the others saying it's daft for a service pack to need 3 reboots to install 8-).

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Bronze badge
Stop

Not ready for prime time

nor any business need that I can see. I've had Vista for two days now. I'm in a government office and the Boss wants us support dweebs to get a handle on Vista before it gets deployed sometime in the future.

None of our infrastructure seems ready for this. Group policy settings that made sure Win2K and XP systems checked our approved server for "Windows Updates" means Vista boxes can't get updates from MS. It gives me nothing but DNS errors. Same for trying to "authenticate" the site-licensed OS. Security settings of antivirus and spyware enterprise solutions fail as well and require upgrading the entire business just to support even a single Vista box.

Fortunately the Microsoft SMS stuff seems to work okay. Tho msi packages created and tested on w2K and XP fail 2/3 of the time.

Plus, even with everything (widgets, transparencies, UAC) turned off, I still lose over a third of my RAM even while having no apps open or in the background, and no non-Vista processes running.

So even if we have our entire software infrastructure (security, installation packages, AV, updates, firewall configuration, technician training) done to support Vista, what do we gain? Not speed, since there's the 30-34% RAM hit. Not security, since we control that pretty well through group policy, on site controlled servers for updates, reasonably effective managed enterprise AV and a nice set of dedicated Unix based firewalls already. Plus the need for machines to contact MS to "verify" that they're still "genuine". Ease of use? Nothing looks easier than XP, plus has a learning curve. Multimedia and DX10 isn't a concern for work related use. Cost savings? HA! Cost of new license, user and tech training, new applications since stuff that worked in W2K and XP doesn't always work in Vista, cost in administrators' time to reconfigure and test enterprise control and security settings, and then having SMS guys rework all the packaging for the apps that will still work on Vista.

Why did I volunteer to install it, you may ask...so when i tell people the truth of Vista they can't say I didn't use it, or try to use it. They can't truthfully claim I'm just a M$ Hater and going off blog propaganda.

If it wasn't for DX10 and gaming, Vista would be absolutely USELESS. Even then, I am seriously doubting I'll install it on my game machine anytime soon. Deploying Vista in a preexisting corporate environment, dangerous. Almost criminally so. Government agencies should be discouraged legally from using it.

In 26 days this Vista install will fail because I can't even activate it in a proper (and I use that term very loosely) secured business environment. Nor can I experiment with the service packs (or even download the previous SP!) because of Vista's demand for a completely separate setup in the background.

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Alert

Bill Gates may not design the low level stuff ...

... but he is surely the person who needs very very forcefully INSTRUCT those who do that they must once and for all stop updates from rebooting users machines when already told they are not welcome to reboot until specifically instructed.

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Alert

Hour long wait before proceding...

The need for an hour wait is quite simple, Watson. It takes that long to boot the bloated bloody Vista OS.

Now you know...

LOL

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Thumb Up

Installing SP1 ...

Much has been griped about here regarding the installation of SP1 and I wanted to share a little rationale for the 3-reboot dance.

A couple of words to the wise - don't underestimate the depth and breadth of the fixes implemented in SP1. As C commented on above, the full installation pack is in the order of 450MB. But what he didn't note was that this full installer includes the localized binaries for some 20+ languages and some of those asian languages really eat up space. If you're just updating your westernized instance of Vista (e.g. US, UK, FR, DE, etc), your machine will only actually need around 95MB of binaries.

Here's (roughly) why Vista needs three reboots:

1) Copy updates to the File & Network IO stacks that solve several reliability & perf issues.

2) Reboot #1 to ensure those updates complete. Reboot since you can't "stop" the file system mid-operation (on practically any OS let alone Windows).

3) Now copy the new kernel and system updates that fix issues relating to hard-core stuff like CPU scheduling, memory management, various HW, ACPI, etc.

4) Reboot #2 because you can't restart your kernel without rebooting the machine (on any OS, let alone Windows)

5) Run post-patch updates, fixing up configuration & registry, run diagnostics and installation validation to ensure that everything went okay.

6) Reboot #3 so that the OS starts up in post-update goodness, running the latest binaries, accessing the correspondingly scrubbed & updated configuration and data.

Could this all have been done with fewer reboots? Perhaps, but in order to do so, you'd be locked out of your machine anyway to make sure that the updater could patch whatever it needed being interrupted by the apps that you happen to be using at that moment. So it doesn't really matter how many reboots you need for a major SP installation, of any OS, it's best to start it off and go grab a coffee or lunch and then come back to your updated machine.

Having done the install-uninstall-reinstall dance with 14 successive builds of SP1 now with not one crash or issue, I can certainly attest to the quality of this release (except on my old machine at home which ended up being motherboard issues). Of course, YMMV depending on the apps that you're using and the hardware you've installed, but the thousands of others I know who've installed SP1 and are loving it gives me confidence that your experience will most likely be a positive one.

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@Rick Brasche

Finally a wise word from someone who went through the same train of thought than our IT dept here.

If you leave emotions and harsh feelings aside, and just rationally analayze what you could do with Vista

that you really couldn't get done with XP (in a professional environment) and then subsequently sum up the

resources required to roll this out on a large scale, it simply isn't worth the bother.

No yelling, no bashing, no Linux motivated anti M$ propaganda:

Just plain and simply not worth the bother.

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Flame

I am a Vista basher

"For everyone thats bashing vista (for whatever reason) why oh why don't you evaluate it before you write it off? a lot of guys here are IT pro's, yet throwing away a lot of good features by not even bothering to evaluate it"

That was a quote from stalker.

Now, i am an IT guy. I've been in two different companies since Vista was released. Both companies evaluated Vista and both said "no way". I'm not just bashing Vista because it's popular, i'm bashing Vista because in a secure proffesional environment it just isn't useable. The two companies i cannot name, but i can say that one was a top level University and the other is a large government run organisation. Both are wiping any new computer they buy because both realise that it is unrealistic to run this dog turd of an OS.

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Gates Halo

MS on the open source road?

From the WINSTA fanboy next door. when asked whether he installed said service pack: "I did. Did you? No? Well don't. It's not working, and impossible to remove cleanly, fucked up my system completely."

And he's got pre-release versions of VISTA installed for almost 2 years now. He also owns (and proudly wears) Windows T-shirts and cap. He used to say that VISTA is the best thing ever... till now.

We all knew that MS actually sells beta versions of all their stuff, now they're releasing pre-alpha stuff. Maybe the first step towards open source?

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