Details on Windows Vista SP2 emerge

Microsoft has begun to release some details on the enhancements that they intend to bring with Windows Vista Service Pack 2. As we reported on Neowin last week, Microsoft has released an early beta build of Vista SP2 to testers weighing in at around 290MB.

The reason why the file size is so much smaller then SP1 is that SP2 will require SP1 to be installed before upgrading and this is something Microsoft intends to carry through to the final product. This is a departure from Microsoft's past service pack philosophy that was used in Windows XP and Windows 2000, where each new package included all of the fixes from the previous versions.

Starting October 29, SP2 will be available to customers of the Technology Adoption Program. Microsoft intends a public release in the first half of 2009. After feedback from the beta program has come in, they state that they will use that data to better set a schedule for the final release.

What hasn't been talked about much is that Windows Vista SP2 will also be Windows Server 2008 SP2, embodied in a single service pack which Microsoft said, on their Springboard Series blog, "continues the single serviceability model established with the Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 RTM release. This approach helps reduce the testing and deployment complexity for our customers."

Windows Server 2008 RTM (release to manufacturing) is labeled as "Service Pack 1" in the about dialog, so when Microsoft releases SP2 it will actually be the first true service pack for that operating system.

In addition to building on top of all of the fixes and enhancements included in Windows Vista SP1 and in Windows Server 2008 RTM, Service Pack 2 will feature:

  • Support for VIA 64-bit CPUs
  • Support for Bluetooth 2.1.
  • Support for ICCD/CCID smart cards.
  • Support for native Blu-Ray media recording.
  • Windows Connect Now (WCN), a new tool to assist in connecting to Wi-Fi networks.
  • ex-FAT file system, supporting UTC timestamps to ensure correct file synchronization across time zones.
  • Windows Search 4.0 integration.
  • Improved support for resuming with active Wi-Fi connections.

Microsoft plans to retain full backwards compatibility on Windows Vista SP2 with applications that run on Windows Vista and Windows Vista SP1 and are written using public APIs. They recommend that companies who intend on adopting Windows Vista SP1, plan to deploy SP2 when it becomes available.

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[jk]
oh wait since sp2 will be released

that mean 7 would sucks more ... waiting for 7 sp2
[/jk]

lol

Looks good IMHO. The WiFi stuff could be interesting. Given I have two desktops only the whole slip streaming thing doesn't bother me. I'm happy to leave windows update going.

im pretty excited for this
vista runs like a dream on my desktop
my laptop though which is new..takes forever to boot and somet hings like file transfers can reduce it to a crawl
if they are focusing on performance then im happy

"Improved support for resuming with active Wi-Fi connections"

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
I hope this one fixes a little glitch I see all the time with my laptop. If I put it to sleep, while on a wi-fi
connection, wake it up later, on a different wi-fi network, or subnet, it TAKES FOREVER, (if at all) to
notice the change, and link up to the new network. A lot of times, it only shows "local connection only".
I've found if I turn off the wi-fi card BEFORE I put it to sleep, then wake it up, turn wi-fi back on, it
works perfectly. I thought it might be some tweaks I did, but I have a barebones install on another
drive that does the same thing.

Wow, a lot of wining and complaining about nothing. So, big woop that you have to load SP1 before SP2. Everyone should have SP1 loaded for Vista anyway. And there is nothing wrong with 3rd party tools to slipstream Vista. If it is to difficult for you to slipstream, then dont and install everything manually.

Unfortunately there ARE problems with 3rd party utilities. If MS wanted you to slipstream SP1, they would've made the tools to do it. Let's hope they "fix" that in SP2

I can see why building slipstreamed discs are a good idea for system builders who have to install it over and over but really, what's the big deal?

How often do people re-install your OS?

virtorio said,
I can see why building slipstreamed discs are a good idea for system builders who have to install it over and over but really, what's the big deal?

How often do people re-install your OS?

Every 3 to 6 months so it stays fresh on my home systems. For my work systems I rebuild about every 2 months unless there are no major changes.

It seems quite a few people (at least here) often format their machines. I myself do sometimes, but only if something goes horribly wrong. However, I just have a Ghost image on a portable HDD to restore back to and when a new SP is released I can just make a new image after I installed the SP or simply just install the SP after restoring the image (I know some people find it a pain, but it doesn't bother me that much).

Gotenks98 said,

Every 3 to 6 months so it stays fresh on my home systems. For my work systems I rebuild about every 2 months unless there are no major changes.


My God!

I was thinking, the reason behind SP2 not including SP1 is that it's the same installer for Server and Vista. Since server is already SP1. My guess is that an eventually SP3 would include both SP2 and SP3 bits.

Windows XP SP3 required SP1 or SP2 to already be installed before it would install. SP3 refuses to install on an RTM build of XP.

Having Vista SP2 require Vista SP1 isn't a big deal.

Yes, but you can easily slipstream SP3 to an XP RTM install disc (neither SP1, nor SP2 required), and do that in less than 5 minutes without any 3rd party crap. You cannot do that with Vista, can you?

Windows XP SP3 required SP1 or SP2 to already be installed before it would install. SP3 refuses to install on an RTM build of XP.

Wrong, Windows XP SP3 does not require any previous service pack to be installed.

TRC said,
Wrong, Windows XP SP3 does not require any previous service pack to be installed.

WRONG! It requires a minimum of SP1 to install. Check your facts before you post!

TRC said,
Maybe you should do the same.
I've installed it on quite a few fresh installs of XP; it does not require SP1 to be installed first.

As have I, and it most certainly did NOT install on those systems. So all I can say is they must've changed the installer/requirements.
I know it won't slipstream into RTM media either!

Edit : Wikipedia says one thing, MS says another. Very confusing
Although service packs have, until now, been cumulative, installing SP3 on an existing installation of Windows XP requires that the computer must at least be running with Service Pack 1 installed. However, it is possible to slipstream SP3 into the Windows XP setup files at any service pack level—including the original RTM version—without any errors or issues. Slipstreaming SP3 into Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is not supported.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP#Service_Pack_3
Source from MS : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/cc164204.aspx

And finally:
Note You must have either Windows XP Service Pack 1a or Windows XP Service Pack 2 installed in order to install Windows XP Service Pack 3.
Source: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389/

I don't know how you did it, but I downloaded it on release as well and it does not install on RTM installations or media. Microsoft does NOT say it works in RTM XP. The download page simply states the actual O/S it applies to.
Anyway, enough with this discussion, it's for Vista, not XP!

I have slipstreamed it into my RTM disc with no problem at all. Using it right now. From the day I got it on release day it has worked fine without installing SP1 first. The system requirements are right there in my previous post, even Microsoft says it works on rtm XP.

Raa said
I know it won't slipstream into RTM media either!

and then Raa quoted
However, it is possible to slipstream SP3 into the Windows XP setup files at any service pack level including the original RTM version

Thank you.

The Richfielder said,
Thank you. :)

It's bizarre isn't it? Wiki says one thing, MS says another. It didn't work for me, using either method, so >shrugs< I can't see what the go is there.

It would be good to see some better (less buggy) Wi-Fi support. IMO, the Wi-Fi and networking support was a step backward in Vista. There are now extra screens to get through that don't add anything but annoyance in order to simply disable and re-enable your connection. Generally that is ALL that is needed for a bugged WiFi or even LAN connection to get working again. Windows XP had a "Repair" feature accessible through the task-tray that did this beautifully. Now, Vista has this "Diagnose and Repair" that doesn't do ****.

Do you suppose Windows will connect to Wireless networks quicker when resuming from sleep? Am I misinterpreting this?

Improved support for resuming with active Wi-Fi connections.

well it is best to install the latest service pack before doing anything else so it guarantess you won't have problems later but having it integrated saves you the time to download it and the size is not 300+MB it is under 100mb on windows update, the full one includes all the languages n such thats why it is so big, the built in burning app in windows is crappy so the native blue ray support isint very useful unless you use it and the windows search 4 is handy.

it is about ~100mb in WU

because you are required to install all important and recomanded updates before proceeding

Skynetfuture said,
because you are required to install all important and recomanded updates before proceeding

Not true. Only on systems with certain drivers are you required to install 1-2 pre-SP1 updates to avoid issues after installing SP1.

and is a return to the way that Windows NT service packs were released.

Somebody really needs to check their facts here. I know for certain that NT 4.0 SP6a includes all previous fixes, and so does NT 3.51 SP5.

"Windows NT 3.51 Workstation and Server U.S. Service Pack 5 is a cumulative build of all fixes to Windows NT Workstation"

From what I remember, some of them were cumulative (like 6) and some of them you had to install the previous ones. I think 3 was a cumulative pack as well. So you could go to 5 by installing NT + 3 + 4 + 5, but you couldn't just install 5. It's been 10 years so my memory may be a bit fuzzy :P

I've removed that line from the article because I now can't find where it was I got the information that they were not cumulative. Like I said, I think its been nearly 10 years since I did anything with Windows NT. I just remember having to download the service packs over a dial up connection :P

I looked up all of the NT 4.0 service packs and they all say the same thing:
"Service Pack releases are cumulative: they contain all previous fixes and any new fixes made to the system."

Now, NT service packs could not be slipstreamed however. Perhaps that's what the author was thinking of.

NT Service packs could not be integrated, but they were cumulative. You could install NT gold and drop SP6a on top. HOWEVER, the problem with NT arose that if you installed the option pack, IE5, or other components that overwrite the system files, you needed to reinstall SP6a, as there was no System File Protection in NT4. That was introduced in 2000, hence the reason why it was much more stable from then on.

that semes stupied and sucks .... sps usually contain everything from before .

anywho i dont care i will integrate it myself so no worries

Taomyn:

You can NOT slipstream Vista - sure there are third party tools that work somewhat but thanks to Microsoft you can NOT slipstream Vista as you easily could with XP. You'll have to download an already slipstreamed version of the OS via ISO from Microsoft or purchase it.

If you have the already slipstreamed SP1 ISO then you'll simply have to install it, then after a regular install apply vistasp2.exe (fake name) and as someone stated 2-3 hours later you'll be up and running with the latest.

Then when or if SP3 comes out you'll have to do it all over again, either by using that Vista SP1 Slipstreamed ISO then to SP2 with exe then to SP3 with exe OR download from Microsoft the already slipstreamed SP1/SP2 ISO slipstreamed then use the SP3 exe so then your install to be updated would be a good 4-5 hours later...

So when it's all said and done you best find your best imaging program and keep an already installed version ready to go to save yourself 8 hours when SP4 comes out... LOL

I just can't understand why they don't come out with an image instead of an install CD/DVD and then you could install Linux or even Windows in less than 4-8 minutes and have it discover all your hardware upon first reboot and ask for driver media if needed and this would end all the wasted hours of putting an OS down...

StarLion said,
What's with the vendetta against 3rd party tools? Just run vLite and be done with it:
http://www.labnol.org/software/tutorials/s...ntegrated/2750/

Because they come back to bite you in the butt later on when they take out something or change something. I know for a good while nlite would totally screw up a sysprep install because it would break the digital signatures on the files. Its not worth risking doing all that work over again later.

To those groaning about slipstreaming:

You will be able to slipstream SP2 onto a Vista SP1 DVD, if you have one. You won't have to use third-party tools to do the slipstreaming (though you may still need some for imaging/burning of course).
You will not be able to slipstream SP2 onto a Vista RTM DVD.
This is according to MS at the end of the SP1 beta.

By the time this comes out, virtually all Vista machines will have SP1 already, so updating straight to SP2 will not be a problem. New installs may be annoying if you are still using a Vista RTM DVD to install. In that case, you should look into just ordering a Vista SP1/SP2 DVD (media only) if you want to save time (assuming you don't already have access to one), shouldn't cost very much.

Raa said,
We're all waiting with "baited breath" to see if this is actually going to be true though!


Or "bated breath" even.

Anyway, will it be possible to slipstream, first SP1 then SP2 into Vista with Vlite or something?

People will complain regardless. Either the service pack nears 1GB in size or they go back to the NT days and force you to reinstall each one individually. I would imagine that slipstreaming will be possible, making the whole thing a moot point.

MrWizard81 said,
People will complain regardless. Either the service pack nears 1GB in size or they go back to the NT days and force you to reinstall each one individually. I would imagine that slipstreaming will be possible, making the whole thing a moot point.

NT didn't force you to install each one individually; I don't know where this is coming from but it's wrong.

So you'll first have to install SP1? Great, now I gotta tell clients "I'm installing service pack 1 for Windows which will take about an hour, restart the computer when it prompts, then insert this CD run vistasp2.exe and follow the instructions and wait another hour."

And no slipstreaming?!

which part of "In addition to all of the fixes and enhancements included in Windows Vista SP1 and in Windows Server 2008 RTM, Service Pack 2 will feature:" don't you understand?

Arkos Reed said,
which part of "In addition to all of the fixes and enhancements included in Windows Vista SP1 and in Windows Server 2008 RTM, Service Pack 2 will feature:" don't you understand?

This question would be best answered by you... seems you are the one who does not understand...
"The reason why the file size is so much smaller then SP1 is that SP2 will require SP1 to be installed before upgrading and this is something Microsoft intends to carry through to the final product."

I actually didn't word that very well. I was referring to the fact that SP2 will build on the stuff in SP1, not that it had it in the package. Read the second paragraph of the article ... "SP2 will require SP1 to be installed before upgrading"

Marshalus said,
I actually didn't word that very well. I was referring to the fact that SP2 will build on the stuff in SP1, not that it had it in the package. Read the second paragraph of the article ... "SP2 will require SP1 to be installed before upgrading"

I read it that way... but some people just love to jump on someone else to make themselves feel superior.

Why won't you be able to slipstream them? This will be great as we can keep a single copy and just slipstream onto the previous without having to hunt out the original version each time.

Taomyn said,
Why won't you be able to slipstream them? This will be great as we can keep a single copy and just slipstream onto the previous without having to hunt out the original version each time.


Yeah. So the VIA 64-bit CPU's are unsupported. How the heck are you suppose to install Vista onto a VIA 64-bit system if it is unsupported. You can't even get the update that adds support. The only thing I can think of is you would have to get a SP2 slipstream from Microsoft.

Shadrack said,
you would have to get a SP2 slipstream from Microsoft.

And once again, Microsoft earns their money! :(

qdave said,
there isnt anything usefull in sp2 :(

It's a service pack, not a new operating system. I'm sure there will be performance and stability improvements, as with every other service pack in history.

I hope I'm misunderstanding this. So an RTM release of Vista cannot be upgraded to SP2 without first having SP1 installed?

I'm sure they'll release an official SP2 integrated disc but this is just gives me another bad taste in my mouth regarding Vista. I refuse to install an OS (that comes preloaded with a service pack) only to be prompted upon first login to install ANOTHER service pack. We're going forward in reverse.

That's the way it used to be, and frankly seems to me to be a little more logical. And if you refuse to install it, guess what? That's fine too! Since when do OSes that come preloaded with a service pack prompt you to install the second one immediately after first login to install the second one? My goodness, how old were you when NT4 came out, nine?

How does it seem more logical?

I install Vista (SP1) and run Windows Update, it will prompt me install to install SP2, hence what I meant "prompted upon first login to install ANOTHER service pack". Maybe I should have said, the first time I run Windows Update I am prompted to download & install another 300+ MB download.

All I'm asking is the ability to easily install an OS with the latest SP slipstreamed as to avoid hours of post-install configuration. I'm not bashing Vista, just want to make things easier. I wonder if Win 7 will have the same methodology with service packs.

g0wg said,
just slip stream sp2 on vista sp1, whats so hard about that?

The fact it can't currently be done by any official means.

Raa said,
The fact it can't currently be done by any official means.

You're right, it can't, because it's not available yet.

Nobody in any position of authority has given any indications that you won't be able to slipstream SP2.

In fact, there is more evidence that you will be able to than the other way around.

bolix said,
Isn't "Windows Connect Now" the tool already available for connectivity on Windows XP?

No, XP has the "Wireless Network Setup Wizard" and the "Wireless Network Connection" apps. There is no app named "Windows Connect Now" bundled with XP.
However, I do see your point: XP's WiFI apps work just fine, so why did Microsoft need to re-invent the wheel for Vista, and the again for Vista SP2, right? Don't ask me. I don't understand why we even needed Vista in the first place.
I'll switch from XP when Windows 7 is mature or when XP stops being widely supported, and not before then.

Kinda cool that you will only need one SP for both server and client OS. Complications may arise when certain vunerabilities occur in Vista and not Server 2008 and vice versa and then a hotfix will be the only way to act against said vunerability.

that's how it was before Windows XP, nothing new they just went back to what they used to do (which is better IMHO)

they just dont get it, part of what folks wanted was a way to integrate sp2 into the existing vista media without using all that buggy 3rd party crap. Looks like they are making us buy preintegrated media yet again.

There was no mention of whether it could/not be integrated, we'll have to wait and see how this one unfolds...

Sounds good! I'm looking forward to this update.

I really hope they have a new 'Feature Pack' as well soon. I remember they are going foward with separate 'Service' and 'Feature' packs. So that'd be interesting.

Don't forget, feature packs often don't get to the hands of retail customers, often they are for OEM's only - such as the Media Center TV Pack!

King Mustard said,
Interesting :)

Yeah. That's one word for it It's a bit crappy if you ask me. When I rebuild my computer from my retail CD, I want to just apply one service pack, not SP1, then SP2, then SP3 and then SP4 (obviously in the future).

TCLN Ryster said,
Yeah. That's one word for it It's a bit crappy if you ask me. When I rebuild my computer from my retail CD, I want to just apply one service pack, not SP1, then SP2, then SP3 and then SP4 (obviously in the future).

Then simply copy your CD to the hard disk, slipstream then SP and reburn the CD. Job done. When the next SP comes out, repeat with the last copy.

Taomyn said,
Then simply copy your CD to the hard disk, slipstream then SP and reburn the CD.

Except you failed to mention that you CANNOT slipstream a Vista CD. (Officially)

Raa said,
Except you failed to mention that you CANNOT slipstream a Vista CD. (Officially)

Microsoft has stated that it is a design goal to let customers slipstream SP2. It wasn't possible with SP1 due to changes in the servicing stack.