Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Running with Vista Service Pack 1

A couple of days ago Microsoft made the Vista Service Pack (SP1) available to us Regular Folk, and of course I rushed right out and grabbed myself a copy and installed it on a laptop running Vista Home Premium.
I feel it my Duty to trail-blaze for you, Dear Reader. And of course.. I wanted it, too. Which helps in situations like these.

Why might you want it: I have described what a Service Pack is here before, and what it does, and does not do (or, add). What it will do is rectify quite a few of Vista’s bugz and glitchz and give you a more stable and reliable operating system. It will (modestly) improve your machine’s performance (“speed”) in some areas, which you may or may not notice.. but it’s nice to have anyway. And for laptop owners, SP1 has resolved the “wake”/Hibernation issues completely.. at least, on my machine it did. And, it “rolls up” security Updates into one package.
What it will not do is perform a miracle. And it doesn’t give you any new toys.. or add any new “features” or abilities.
It simply makes Vista smoother, peppier, and more secure. All “good things”, right? Right.

Installing SP1: Vista Service Pack 1 is available on the Microsoft Website. You must go there and click on the “Download” button ( the download link is here). The download is 434.5 MB’s and on my High-Speed DSL took just over 20 minutes to download (*Your mileage may vary). You can either Run the download directly, or Save it as a file– and, as I always do with large downloads, I recommend doing the latter. Double-click the download to launch the Install wizard.
The installation is automated and you do not need to stand by while it’s happening. Launch it and then go and do something else (constructive) for a while. In fact, you are specifically told not to touch anything during the install.. as it needs to reboot your machine (twice) during the process. Do not be alarmed if your computer turns off (twice).. it’s supposed to.
The Service Pack is large (6 GB’s) and does a lot of work. Microsoft advises that it takes almost an hour to complete, but mine didn’t take near so long– completing in under 40 minutes (*Your mileage may vary).

Conclusions: So far — and admittedly this has only been a few days now — I am very happy with the improvements to my machine (*Your mileage may vary). The whole process is much improved over what I experienced with the Beta-builds, and the results are better.
I am particularly pleased with the wake-from-low-powerstate fix.

Tip of the day: Go ahead and get the Vista SP1.. now that it’s finally available to us.

[Important update: Microsoft has made available a toll-free telephone support number just for folks who are having trouble installing Vista Serice Pack 1, or experiencing compatibility issues after installing it. This number will be ‘open’ until mid-March of 2009. Listen carefully to the menu choices, and be sure to emphasize “Vista Service Pack 1”. (General Vista support is not free.) The number is 1-866-234-6020.]

Today’s free link: If you enjoy reading Tech–for Everyone and appreciate the tips and free software links.. and such, you will also appreciate a direct competitor of mine’s Website. Bill Mullins’ Tech Thoughts is a daily read of mine, and the man knows what he’s talking about. (I can say that because he and I agree on most things…)

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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March 22, 2008 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, PC, security, tech, Vista, Windows | , , ,


  1. Hey Paul,

    Thanks for the link. Very thoughful. Great article on SP1.

    One of my Internet buddies (a Professor who teaches Computer Science down south) had a problem with the “wake”/Hibernation issue, he’ll be pleased to see it’s been fixed.




    Comment by billmullins | March 22, 2008 | Reply

  2. Bill–
    At my humble little repair shop, the failure to wake properly/slow waking of laptop computers is the main complaint about Vista these days (it used to be device non-compatibilty issues, which has faded as the drivers were written).
    IMHO, Service Pack 1 should go a long way towards quieting the Vista critics.

    Thank you very much for the Comment, and I look forward towards your next posting. Keep ’em coming!


    Comment by techpaul | March 23, 2008 | Reply

  3. “What it will not do is perform a miracle. ”

    I dunno: I don’t consider good design to be a miracle, and uncrippling features that worked fine in previous operating systems (XP) should have been a priority.


    Comment by Bad | March 23, 2008 | Reply

  4. Any way to add direct cable connection to vista?


    Comment by capdiamont | March 24, 2008 | Reply

  5. […] 24, 2008): For a report on a blogger’s experience in installing SP1, and his recommendations, check out his post on Tech For Everyone. […]


    Pingback by Vista SP1 Finally Here « Legal Technology Blog | March 24, 2008 | Reply

  6. capdiamont–
    Not sure exactly what you’re asking.
    If by “direct cable” you mean your television signal, you can add a graphics card that is capable, or a specialty “tv tuner” card. Perhaps the best-known of these types of expansion cards is ATI’s All-in-Wonder. These cards have coax ports.
    My article on installing expansion cards is here:


    Comment by techpaul | March 24, 2008 | Reply

  7. XP had what was called direct cable connection. Basically you could do IP over serial cables. While doing serial cables is easy enough, I haven’t been able to do direct cable connection. I need it to talk to newer phone systems and their voice mail.


    Comment by capdiamont | March 24, 2008 | Reply

  8. I would look to adding a HPNA adapter, as Microsoft KB 930086 points out that DCC is not supported in Vista. (Old, being phased out.)
    And, contacting the phone system manufacturer’s support for a recommendation of which one/type wouldn’t hurt…


    Comment by techpaul | March 24, 2008 | Reply

  9. How would a HPNA adapter help? I have to connect to a 9 pin serial port on those systems.


    Comment by capdiamont | March 24, 2008 | Reply

  10. capdiamont–
    I hope that you will forgive my inability to specifically answer your telephone-to-Vista DCC issue.
    My only suggestions are:
    1) some kind of adapter (RS 232 [Serial] > USB?) between the Vista machine and your device. I have seen several solutions for using RF (wireless) as your “bridge” (Serial > Wireless/Wireless > Vista). The ideal is Ethernet. Will a RS 232>RJ-45 adapter work?
    2) Search the phone co’s Support/FAQ Webpages and/or talk to a tech a the phone’s maker. I am sure you are not the only user of their product who wants to connect with a Vista machine, and if there’s a way, they’ll tell you.

    To the best of my knowledge, there is no way to config Vista for DCC… except over Ethernet, or USB.


    Comment by techpaul | March 24, 2008 | Reply

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