Against my better judgement I decided to installed Windows Vista SP1 RC1 on my VMware Fusion instance of Vista Ultimate. I say against my better judgement because I might have to uninstall before installing the final release as has been the case with earlier betas and release candidates from Microsoft. Also, according the Microsoft there are additional steps with the Release Candidate that won’t be in the final release so it will take longer.
I decide to go with the getting the update through Windows Update. But before I do I take a snapshot of my Vista virtual machine and for added safety make a copy of the vm file. I also turned off my virus scanner’s real-time protection. Then I downloaded and installed the file to modify the registry so it pulls RC1 through Windows Update. The first update I get is a 549KB update called “Update for Windows Vista (KB935509) – v1.008” which is described as:
Install this update to enable future updates to install more efficiently on Windows Vista. This update is required before Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) can be installed. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. Once you have installed this item, it cannot be removed.
This required a reboot. The next update had the exact same description but it was 4MB and was called “Update for Windows Vista (KB938371) – v1.024”. It also required a reboot.
Then there was yet another update with the same description. This one was 4.1MB and is called “Update for Windows Vista (KB937287) – Build 6001.17052 (x86)”. This one did not force a reboot bit I did a manual reboot before continuing just to be safe. The next update was what I’d been waiting for – “Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Release Candidate 1 – Build 6001.17052 (x86)” and the download size was listed a 51-539MB. The description was:
Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) Beta is an update to Windows Vista that addresses key feedback from our customers. Windows Vista SP1 Beta addresses specific reliability and performance issues, supports new types of hardware and adds support for several emerging standards. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.
The actual download size was 77.9MB, according to Windows Update. The download took about an hour and the actual install took a little under an hour. After the first reboot the install continued in three phases. I walked away but based upon the chimes I heard there was at least one reboot in there and then a reboot when it was all done.
While taking a couple hours from start to finish the update was problem free and moved right along. Microsoft will release the prep files through the normal Windows Update process prior to the release of SP1 so the first three patches should be eliminated or already in place by the final release. Since this is a Release Candidate the Service Pack itself is unlikely to change much so expect about an hour in addition to the download time.
This post is being done on Windows Vista so the update is working until this point. My Windows Vista usage is limited, no games, limited peripherals and little added software, so I don’t expect any problems. If I really needed my Windows Vista install I would have waited for the final release since SP1 doesn’t have anything I’m eagerly waiting for. But it’s installed and we’ll see how it goes.