Vista SP1 deployment rants…

So since SP1 is finally final, I started playing around with it. One of the most important
features for me was the ability to deploy it. So,wanting to hear it from the horses mouth,
I downloaded the Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals.

After going over it I found a few points that surprised me:

  1. No option to slipstream. Integrating the SP into the OS is not possible although
    a version that will have SP1 integrated will be made available (?!?).
  2. The SP can not be applied to an offline copy of Windows. This is kind of obvious
    if you read the previous point but still,considering that many people use images (WIM)
    to deploy desktops having to install it online and then recapturing the image seems
    to be somewhat questionable in the light of the automation features (such as offline
    driver integration) that WIM images provide…
  3. Still in the image department, if you create an image (or apply the SP to an existing image,
    which is more or less the same) you have to run the Boot critical driver tool (PostReflect.exe).
    To be honest, I don’t (yet) understand the exact reason as for why you have to run this tool
    except the reason provided in the document:

    “This is necessary because SP1 contains boot-critical drivers for the hardware abstraction layer (HAL) and matching changes to the kernel. If the updated versions of boot-critical drivers for the HAL and the kernel are not correctly installed on the computer that you are deploying SP1 to, the operating system will not boot on that computer or on any computer that has a different CPU or hardware configuration.”

    Now that is even more surprising since Vista is considered as an OS that is hardware independent…

On the brighter side of things, an additional tool that can be found either in the new version of the AIK or
%windir%\system32 called Vsp1cln.exe will allow you to clean up all the files that SP1 backs up during the
installation (approximately 800MB).

This tool can be used either online or offline but once it is used you can no longer uninstall SP1 (which is also
kind of obvious, so make your choice wisely).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *