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Why SP1 may not be available for you and how to get it


Staff member
Hello everyone,

If the final Vista SP1 did not show up for you in your Windows Update in the Control Panel (Classic View), then this may help explain why and how to get it to.

Why you may not have SP1 in Windows Update:
Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is not available for installation from Windows Update and is not offered by Automatic Updates

Note   Note
What 32-bit or 64-bit Vista do I have?
  • Open the Control Panel (Classic View) and click the System icon, or right click Computer in the Start Menu and click on Properties. You will see the bit version under the System type section.

SP1 Release Notes:

Hope this helps,
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Power User
Re: Why SP1 may not be available for you

Thanks, Brink. Its good to have that in one place. The frustrating thing for me is that none of that applies to my laptop at all (Home Premium) but it still does not show up in Windows Update. Grr. On my desktop i realized i had allowed the language packs (all of them) to be installed back in the fall and i'm in the process of uninstalling them before i expect to see SP1 there (Vista Ultimate). Oh well, i guess i'll keep clicking "check for updates" periodically...
I read this KB bulletin a hundred times and I still cannot figure out why Win Updates does not offer SP1 when I check of updates. I mean I went through it with a fine tooth combe and didn't see any reason why it isn't offered (got new bios, new drivers, new evryting just to meet the requirements... still nothing).

I wish MS Update could give out a small diagnotic message indicating why it isn't being offered when it runs. I guess it would be too much to ask MS to do that for major releases like SP!


Staff member
Hi Samboread,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

Have you already tried installing the 32 bit (x86) standalone download to see if it will work for you?

I believe all my drivers are up to date. I do however, have an unofficial driver for my nVidia GeForce 8700M GT from LaptopVideo2Go. Would using an unofficial driver prevent SP1 from being available via the automatic updater?

Do all my hardware drivers need to be up-to-date to get the service pack, or just the critical ones like video, sound, etc.?

Is it best to use the updated drivers provided by Windows Update, or to download from the original manufacturer's site? I've read horror stories about some bad drivers being downloaded through the MS updater.
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Staff member
Hi OmegaWolf,

Having unsigned or unofficial drivers could prevent the SP1 from showing up in Windows Update. While you should always have the latest driver version, I believe that as long as it's not to out of date and is signed, then it should be fine. You might try the standalone version of the SP1 to see if it will install for you. There have been a lot less problems reported with using that version than through Windows Update.

I always found it best to get the drivers from the original manufacturer's site for the correct and latest versions.

Hope this helps,
Get this for serously messed up.

Operating with:
ASUS M2N-E Sli board with Nvidia chipset + Drivers
AMD Black edition 3.2G dual core 64Bit processor
3BG Ram
BFG 8800GTX OC Graphics
Vista Ultimate X64
500GB WD Hard Drive
Plus more info if you need it.

I have been pulling my hair out with Vista and I'm starting to wish I didnt waste my cash on it.

I have updated vista with every update I can possibly do, those that have failed I have downloaded individually and each time Vista tells me the update does not apply to my machine. Fair enough I suppose.

Now, I'm trying to install SP1 through win update, every time I try, it gets all the way to the end stage 1 and 2 complete fully, stage 3 reads 100% complete and then it decides what SP1 didnt install correctly and therefore it reverts the entire system back to how it was with no explaination what so ever. No error messages no nothing.

Anyone had this happen to them?

I have used both Win update and Standalone SP1 updates.
Well, I disabled UAC and the update did something different, around 46% of part 3 it restarted the machine in to DOS and then did a File check, then it carried on to 100% of part 3 and said exactly the same thing as before.
" Service pack did not install. Reverting changes. Do not turn off your computer"

Nothing works!
I'm really begining to wish I'd never bought it
I forgot to mention that the only 2 programs I have on the machine is Norton 360 and Call of duty 4, I didn't install anything else after the last time I re-installed Vista.

2 Programs and even call of duty 4 does not work properly!
Strip the computer down to barebones. One stick of ram, one CPU/HSF, video card, hard drive, DVD-ROM. Remove all other adapters and disable everything onboard you don't need.
right ok, sop let me get this stright, Microsoft cannot make an operating system that works, even after all these years, they cannot make a service pack that works. Its their software fighting against their software.

I have wasted 6 days of my life trying to fox my pc so I can actually use it without crashing and now I have to take everything out just to install a service pack.

I don't think you realise just how angry I am at my Vista machine, If I take anything out i can pretty much gaurentee its not going to work nothing else has!

I apologise for my negative attitude but at the end of the day, this should be down to Microsoft to fix not the user.

All that said, I'll try it when I finally calm down!


Vista Guru
No, sorry, but you have it *completely* wrong.

SP1 has issues with poorly written ***drivers*** and software. It is not the OSs fault - Vista was in development for well over 2 years - blame your driver and software developers.

Blaming M$ and Vista and SP1 is a poor attempt at scapegoating. Don't fall into that trap. I have installed Vista around 40 times now on many different machines from sub standard machines to my current beast to iMacs under parallels and Boot Camp - and the only time I have issues with SP1 was because of a stupid driver installed on my machine that was preventing SP1s installation.

Now you have it right.
I will not argue with you, not because you're right, but because I don't see how arguing will solve my issues with vista.
Incidently, all my drivers are signed by Microsoft, so if its poorly written drivers then its Microsofts fault.

I have wasted 6 days trying to get this thing installed. The only reason I want SP1 is to hopefully make this system more stable because as it stands, its constantly crashing. I was hoping that SP1 would solve most of my crash issues but as you well know SP1 will not install on this machine..... I have to uninstall everything now and try again, I can seee this ending up with me removing my hard drive, taking it apart nd writing the data blocks myself!


Vista Pro
I tell ya what I'll buy your copy of Vista Ultimate 64bit for a $100 then you can go and buy a copy of XP I'd give ya mine but I've already givin' it away :p