Vista SP1: Disservice Pack?

After I installed SP1, Steam mysteriously stopped working. I was forced to uninstall Steam, reinstall Steam, and then, to make things even more fun, reinstall all the games that use Steam.

The haters comprised about 30% of the responses. That’s not good, and more than one reader wrote in to say how glad he or she was to have made a “disc image” backup of his/her system (I likeNorton Ghost) before installing SP1. But the majority of the responses amounted to “meh” with the occasional qualifier.

“I haven’t noticed any major change but things do seem snappier. The best part is it didn't screw anything else up!”

I installed SP1 for Vista 64-bit Ultimate and for Vista 32-bit Business. I didn’t really see a big difference in the 64-bit Ultimate edition (which I use for gaming). The time it takes to exit a game and begin doing anything else (RAM dumping/swapping) seems to be worse. The file transferring however does seem to be better when uncompressing files and/or copying from drive to drive. On the Business Edition side, I have noticed an improvement with Microsoft Office applications when launching the applications and I have noticed better peripheral recognition and driver support.

I’ve been running SP1 since I saw your post on, and to be honest I haven’t noticed squat. SP1 has not corrected my dreadful shutdowns.

I just updated to Vista SP1 a couple days ago. I haven’t noticed any differences in games like frames per second. The installation procedure went smooth and well. One good thing I noticed is after the installation completed I found that I had 10 additional gigs of hard drive space that I didn’t have before the installation.

I don’t really see any difference. It’s like there is no patch at all. I read that it makes the copy/paste function faster, but since I don’t do that regularly I haven’t noticed.

Unfortunately, SP1 didn’t make much of a positive impression beyond the seamless installation. I had expected more out of a 400+ MB download, and sadly didn’t notice any frame rate boosts, though I did note better file transfer rates. Thankfully, SP1 didn’t manage to break anything, which when considering Microsoft’s track record, probably made this service pack a must download.

I must agree with the last response, in that a smooth SP1 installation despite no noticeable performance improvements is still a good thing, as you get all the security updates and bug fixes but don’t pay for them in your frame rates. But it’s not comforting that a third of our readers have gotten Yosemite Sam-angry as a result of the installation process or the subsequent performance of Windows Vista.

I haven’t had any problem installing Windows Vista on any of the machines I’ve fed it to, including a Dell XPS M1730 laptop, and I’ve noted about a 5 to 8 percent increase in frame rates with a few games and no difference in most others.

That’s disappointing. Not in itself, but because Microsoft really needed to acknowledge the dissatisfaction people are experiencing with Windows Vista and respond to it with something more than a cocktail of additional drivers, languages, and security patches.

Oh well. What could we have expected when even Bill Gates himself seems to regard Windows Vista with the same kind ofdismay and palpable regretas one would a child in prison on charges of solicitation?

May 7, 2008