First Vista Update Not Going Well

Dennis Faas's picture

Plans for the first major update to Windows Vista are experiencing hiccups. A mini-update had to be withdrawn after causing PCs to endlessly reboot, while Microsoft has had to warn that several popular programs will no longer work once the major update is complete.

Service Pack 1, the first major revision of the Vista system, is expected to be available to customers next month. It's an important step as many users, particularly those in businesses, wait for the first such update before upgrading to a new operating system (in this case, from Windows XP).

The problem came with an automatic update sent out on 12 February. It included two files which helped get computers ready for Service Pack 1. Unfortunately, some users found the installation process froze up and, if they rebooted their machines, went into a loop of constant reboots.

Microsoft withdrew the update from circulation, but hasn't yet produced a solution for affected customers. Some users say they've found an answer by booting directly from the Vista installation DVD and selecting the 'Restore from a previous restore point' option.

Though Microsoft says few people are affected, one thread about the problem on a newsgroup attracted 35,000 views. And it's thought the problem also existed in early test versions of Service Pack 1 as far back as December. (Source:

Meanwhile, the company has published a list of programs which will no longer work after Service Pack 1 is installed. They include security programs such as Trend Micro Internet Security 2008 and the digital reader feature for the New York Times. Microsoft says customers should visit the websites of the relevant software firms to see if they offer updates. (Source:

Problems such as these do little to help the perception that Vista has serious compatibility issues. It's vital that Microsoft gets their act together for Service Pack 1; if it's still causing problems after that, many users may put off upgrading to Vista for as long as possible.

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