Why did I need to download Service pack for Vista?

I’ve been getting nag messages from Windows Vista to download critical updates. So, I spent tonight downloading the updates, installing them, and then restarting my computer to allow yet another installation

Am I getting anything out of this Windows Vista service pack?

This is GQ, please don’t turn this into a bash Windows Vista thread. I know the cool kids hate Vista.

Its just a pack of updates

Windows requires regular security updates, which I think make up the bulk of the critical updates. It’s really not a good idea to leave these kind of updates on the back burner for very long. Bug patches and fixes are included in that too, making new software compatible etc.

The service pack updates may be required for some programs that you may want to run.

All computer operating systems require periodic updates (yes, Apple does, too, though they pretend otherwise). It’s impossible to create a system used by millions of users and not find bugs and security holes. So updates are part of regular maintenance.

You should always install any critical updates. Not doing so it like not changing the oil on your car. Maybe it will work OK for you, but eventually, you will have problems.

This has been my experience. It may take awhile, but sooner or later you’ll start seeing more and more programs that require SP-2 for installation. Believe me when I say that they mean it.

Has there been any significant hate on Vista SP2 like there was for XP SP2?

I don’t believe there has been any problem with SP2. SP3, however, has caused a lot of problems and complaints. Detailed instructions on installing the SP3 update appear in the microsoft newsgroup discussions. To be on the safe side, I ordered a CD of this update from Microsoft and installed it in Safe Mode. I got a screen warning that I was trying to install it in Safe Mode, which, it said, I could not do. I could see no reason why not. I did not have to be connected to the internet. I had the CD. So I continued anyway with no problems. I believe the CD, including postage, was $15, but I thought it was better to invest $15 than many hours trying to safely install it otherwise.

I can’t believe this wasn’t specifically said, but the reason to install updates is that you become much more vulnerable to viruses without them. Without updates, viruses will be able to install themselves without you noticing. (Normally, you have to do so something stupid to get them.)

Btw, the reason you can’t (or are not supposed to) install software in Safe Mode is that safe mode disables services that are necessary to carry out installations. (I suppose it’d be smart if there were more levels of safe-mode, including one where those services are enabled.)

This is in reference to XP, not Vista, I believe.

I actually just upgraded my laptop to SP2 (I haven’t updated my desktop yet). One complaint, which happened to me, is that the sound will be turned off and needs to be turned back on through the control panel (it was set to “exclusive use”).

Windows XP SP2 was a MAJOR upgrade and essentially a new operating system even though the user interface stayed mostly the same so many users didn’t notice the significance. Most of the changes were under the hood so to speak. I didn’t hear many people complain about it much unless they were mildly annoyed by small quirks and settings. It is why XP is still so popular and will remain around for a long time.

Microsoft didn’t make any money off of that and they learned from it. Windows 7 is basically a large service pack for Windows Vista as well but they are charging for it now mainly for corrections in the user interface. Vista itself still has to be supported for a long time though so Microsoft has to release updates for it.

You should always install service packs. They were developed and tested for a reason.

Um, no. Windows 7 is not a large service pack.

Also, while XP SP2 added a number of features, more than most service packs, it was by no means “essentially a new OS.”

That may be so, but I’ve been under the impression that if you have downloaded something and saved it on your puter, you can later install it in safe mode. Moreover, SP3 on my XP installed just fine from the CD in safe mode.

SP3 for XP was the major update, not SP2. SP3 essentially included every update issued for XP since its inception. I believe the reason why there have been problems downloading it is because of its huge size.

To my immense chagrin I stupidly gave Windows permission this morning to install it. My reward was to have all sounds on my machine become inaudible, despite my Device Manager cheerfully insisting that all was hunky dory with the sound card. Spent 3 hours this afternoon installing several sound card drivers, none of which remedied the problem.

They do [pretend that Mac OSX does not require periodic updates]? Cite?

Mac commercials like this one make it sound like Macs don’t have the problems of viruses or other security concerns that PCs suffer from. Which is becoming less and less true as Macs gain more market share.

True on both counts. But that does not support the claim that Apple pretends that Mac OSX does not require regular updates - which would be a rather hard pretense for them to maintain, as they do in fact release regular updates to it.


I’ve broken the link in razibur’s post. I’m not sure where they lead, and they could be perfectly legit, but it’s probably safer to get the update from Microsoft, as opposed to… where ever the hell those links go.

What is that, Dutch or something?


Looks like Indonesian to this uneducated eye.