The final version of Vista SP1 focuses on under-the-hood improvements to reliability, security, and performance, with very few changes made to the interface or Vista's features.

Installation

Installation of Vista SP1 was straightforward and took a little over an hour. Our PC rebooted multiple times and required no action on our part. At various points during installation, you'll be told that you're at Stage 1, Stage 2 or Stage 3 of a three-stage process, and you'll be told the percent of that stage that still remains.

In our installation, however, we found that we were given misleading information - for example, after we were told Stage 3 was complete, we received a message telling me that Stage 3 was 0 percent complete. Still, given that you don't need to take any action on them, these misleading messages are no more than minor irritants.

One more minor irritant may happen when the installation is complete and you log in. You may be greeted, as we were, by a warning that there are "Multiple Security Problems with your Computer", even though we had no such problems before the SP1 install.

Click the Security Center icon, and you'll be able to find out the source of the security problems. In my case, SP1 had shut off Windows Defender and User Account Control (no great loss, of course). From the Security Center, you can turn Windows Defender and User Account Control back on, if you'd like.

Right after installation, you may notice that your PC appears more sluggish than it had previously. That's because when you install SP1, all of your SuperFetch data - which is used to speed up your PC - is cleared from your system. Over time, though, as you use SP1, your system will speed up as it begins to re-gather SuperFetch data.

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See also:

Windows Vista: the definitive review

Windows Vista SP1 Release Candidate review

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