Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Vista SP1 - The Windows Update route

As a self proclaimed "windows guy" I'm really looking forward to the arrival of Service Pack 1 for Vista. As has already been posted here one of the most eagerly awaited improvements are in the networking and file transfer stacks. I have quite a few boxes on the wlan at home and I've taken to transferring large numbers of files using an external disk which is hardly ideal. MS have published information about the contents of the SP1 release here and by all accounts local network file copies should have the following improvements:
  • 25% faster when copying files locally on the same disk on the same machine
  • 45% faster when copying files from a remote non-Windows Vista system to a SP1 system
  • 50% faster when copying files from a remote SP1 system to a local SP1 system
They've also fixed issues with the estimated time to complete which was something that really got me wound up at times.

Other fixes that interest me are:
  • Improves power consumption and battery life.
  • Improves the speed of adding and extracting files to and from a compressed (zipped) folder.
  • Improves the speed of copying files, folders, and other media.
  • Improves startup and resume times when using ReadyBoost
Now under normal circumstances, I would be first in line at the MS download site to get the SP when it becomes available but apparently the downloadable package comes in two flavours one with 5 language packs embedded and the other with all available language packs. These top out at 450MB and 550MB in size respectively.

An alternative to downloading the full thing, particularly if you're the sort of user who keeps his machine up-to-date with fixes is to just let Windows Update (Microsoft Update) apply the Service Pack, apparently this weighs in at a much nicer and lightweight 65MB as it is able to detect what fixes have already been installed and will apply the bits that haven't.

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