When Microsoft Released Service Pack 1 for Vista to Windows Update on March 18th, I upgraded immediately. The process took a while to download since the servers were being hit hard by the large amount people trying to get a hold of the update file. After the download it took about one and a half hour to completely install. It required a few clicks of the “next” button to begin the installation. The computer will be unusable during the process. After it was complete, I was disappointed to find that it was now taking over 5 minutes to start up my machine. It normally took about 2 minutes. In addition there were absolutely no recognizable visual changes. After a few days of use, the performance of my machine drastically changed. Since the upgrade had deleted Vista’s pefetching, caching, and indexing databases, they had to be rebuilt. Today my machine starts up at least 30 seconds faster than it did before SP1. Shut Down, reboot, and suspend speeds have also improved greatly. Launching applications such as Phtotoshop CS3 has become much faster. The best part is that my system hasn’t crashed even once since upgrading. Previously I usually sat staring at blue screens at least a couple of times each week.
Beginning next month, Service Pack 1 will automatically be installed onto your system if you have Auto Updating enabled. However if you want to go ahead and get it now, just launch Windows Update from Vista’s Control Panel and click on check for updates. If it doesn’t appear make sure you have all the critical updates installed. Once you hit install it will close all your programs and then begin the process. The duration it will take to complete will vary depending on the performance of your machine. I was lucky not to run into any major issues whatsoever, however some have complained about major fatal errors. Despite those complains, the majority of those who have upgraded have done so successfully.
Links: Windows Vista Blog