it just seems odd to me that a service pack was created but can only be installed while the system has nothing on it. Maybe you're right, its the drivers written by 3rd parties that cause these issues.
The next test is to play Call of Duty 4 and see if I'm still getting crashes
The problem is the service pack is laying down new drivers for everything. I had issues with XP SP2 installing in the past. Microsoft gets the drivers from the manufacturers. They test on a clean install only to sign them. If something is in conflict, they might not install. They can't test for conflicts because of all the hardware on the market. It could be security issues with Vista stopping the install properly.
Well, if that's how it's done the I think MS should tell people this information before people can attempt to install SP1 for Vista, If I had known I had to do it stright from a clean install, I could have saved days and had it in first time.
I have at least learned something , which is no bad thing
Most can do it without a clean install. I usually like to do it on a clean install to get rid of all the crap. I backup to a HP LTO-3 400GB tape drive at home.
The biggest thing to learn is not get frustrated. I run a corporate network. I have a new rack, N+1 UPS, 6 HP Proliant servers and other hardware coming in 3 weeks. Four servers have a pair of quad core Xeons. One is 64-bit SQL Server with 18GB of RAM. The servers are diskless on a 2012FC SAN. I learned to do things in a certain order.
1.) Firmware CD
2.) Latest drivers
3.) documenting all my settings in a engineering notebook.
My home workstation was down for 2 months with hardware issues. I lost my 18 drive SCSI RAID arrays around Christmas. I replaced all my hardware. Spend a lot of money doing it. Still had problems with 3Ware 9690SA SAS RAID controller. I returned it and replaced it with a LSI Logic 8708EM2. I still can't figure out why the SCSI RAID failed. None of the drives were bad. Replaced backplanes and cables. The 3Ware 9690SA used Seagate Savvio 146GB drives. One drive has a predicative failure flag =1. The 9690SA would not fail the RAID 1 array with the drive in failure mode. The 9690SA was returned. The 8708EM2 would not load this drive. I RMAed it with less than 20 hours on it. Still have not installed the returned drive.
They are, I've been looking in a few forums and there does not seem to be a fix for it what so ever. One or 2 people have gone from Dual channel RAM to single and that works but I cant see it being a hardware issue.