Vista Service Pack did not install. Times 2.

20 03 2008

One of the two notebooks (dual core, vista home premium pre-installed) I use prompted that Vista SP1 was available as an automatic update. I figured why not, since this is the official release from 2 days ago. Speedy download. Installation goes pretty swiftly. Step 1, step 2 and step 3: 100%. Sweet. Reboot. And then this:

vista service pack did not install

Excuse me? It just did 100% on all three steps, taking its sweet little time overal, and then it says it couldn’t do it? So what exactly happened during all the installation steps? If it checks something that critical at the very end, how about doing that little hardware and software check (or whatever it is) at the very beginning of the update process? And, where can I trace the cause of the problem? I did not see any error information? Nor suggestions?

Fortunately this botched update did not ruin the machine. Everything still looks the same and essential applications work. Small sigh of relief. And, now of course Vista SP1 is ready to be installed again. Funny.

On a second Vista notebook the SP so far refuses to show up. Haven’t tried any other machines yet, but something tells me I will exercise some patience. There are plenty of similar stories on the web already too.

Anyhow, you have to love Microsoft, right?

Update: I am too curious what the failure rate will be so I am already trying it on another machine. This one is a year younger, pretty much ‘stock’ (or factory default) and faster. We’ll see.

Update 2: Absolutely fabulous. 25 minutes into the installation. Step 2 is completed. System reboots. A blue screen of death. My system is unable to start. Windows Startup Repair can’t repair the problem. System restore … attempting …

Update 3: Fortunately I landed back on my desktop after some very long 15 minutes.

My conclusion, with two failures and especially after that Blue Screen Of Death, is that this Service Pack 1 for Vista is not ready for prime time. Two solid and fast machines, less than a year old, from mainstream manufacturers and neither can be updated?

I recommend others to just wait. Maybe once you hear on the web from somebody who has the same machine and updated his/her’s fine; you can be confident it will work. To me it is not worth the 40 min hassle nor risking data and possibly having to reinstall the machine. I have read some reports where it took several hours to both install and revert SP1. I can’t imagine sitting through that worrying if the machine will boot.




36 responses

21 03 2008

I saw this article, entitled Get Rid of the Junk Left Over after You Install Vista SP1. Wonder if it refers to the entire PC?…

21 03 2008

Yeah I sat through 4 hours of BS to get the did not install msg.
I had problems before i started with the windows updater not being able to download it so I went with the standalone and Failed miserabley. On the good side now that my computer reverted back to original settings it is running better than before I started this whole ordeal imagine that!!!

21 03 2008

LOL @ Bruce.

Thanks for the tip.

It was actually the standalone 447MB Vista SP1 that failed miserably with the blue screen of death. I may try a couple other machines this weekend, right now I feel it is just not worth the hassle and risk.

I will be contacting Acer & Toshiba as to why the update may have failed, though I doubt that will amount to anything.

21 03 2008
J.T. Malloy

Wow…Microsoft software not working correctly? Who would’ve thunk?

21 03 2008
G. Roberts

Well, I’ve now tried to install SP1 three times. Twice with Windows Update and once with the stand alone version. The last time was after doing all the things recommended at the Microsoft web page I was directed to after the first failure. Still no luck. I’ve got about 4 hours into this so far. Getting pretty disgusted.

23 03 2008

Ok success kinda…. mmm not really !!!NOT RECOMENDED!!! To install SP1 completely disable any virus programs. I had an expired Norton360 program that keep me from installing. I completely removed and all Symantec related programs, and SUCCESS! but at serious cost if you are running a Realtek integrated sound card “EXPECT FAILURE WITH NO RESURECTION”
I have tried every method to fix this problem 18 strait hours in one sitting and 3 whole days wasted, I uninstalled SP1 and still no fix. So in my case I’m buying a Vista ready Creative PCI SoundCard and will not be installing SP1 untill required if ever. I hope this helps anyone with like problems.

23 03 2008

Thanks for sharing your experience.

I think it is truly sad and shameful that Windows Vista SP 1 is not automatically compatible with a) the most common integrated hardware chipsets and drivers on the market for Intel & Realtek and b) major antivirus distributions.

I don’t envy Microsoft because there are a ton of variables with of the vast number of machines and softwares out there, as we all know, but you would think that Microsoft could have approached this a little bit by including a pre-installation check and pre-installation notes that amount to something more than making sure you have the AC plugged into your notebook.

In all I have been at this for about 24 hours and there don’t seem to be many guaranteed solutions out there. The web is starting to fill up with thousands of people having problems.

If I can’t update two A-brand mainstream machines without any add-ons out of three machines I tried it on … I really think SP1 was launched prematurely.

I consider it a healthy habit to wait a few days to apply OS X updates, so I will make that a few months to apply Vista updates, and I will not even attempt to install SP1 on critical machines.

23 03 2008

I had exactly the same problem. Rolled back automatically but no explanation – now pestering me to install it again! Only ms…

27 03 2008

Ok I woke up monday at around 4:30am feeling sick after a whole weekend messing with my computer, and to my disbelief my comp was in the middle of installing windows service pack without my knowledge but it contiued and installed successfully. Because my onboard card had already failed I did not uninstall it. Later that day my new memory and creative sound card came in. The creative audigy se 7.1 card installed with no problems. since everything is working right and I have been running sp1 I have noticed that less memory is being used at idle and less during application running. also as others have mentioned file moving and copy speeds are also faster. The memory that was ordered was pc3200 while i need pc5300 so it has to be returned. Overall SP1 has now made my Vista work more stable. I hope that the hardware and driver issuses that you are having will be resolved good luck and godspeed!!!

1 04 2008

Make sure your computure is booting up from Vista partition when u are installing SP1.

I had Linux GRUB which loaded both linux and vista and that caused the SP1 installation to fail at the end.

9 04 2008

You’ve described my problem exactly, except it took me 2 hours to install and revert back. I have a dual-core Packard Bell laptop less than a year old. Tried the standalone and went through the same rigmarole. Saddest of all, I’m not surprised. My main motivation for getting the SP installed is the hope eternal that Vista will finally work with all (or at least most) my old programs, especially ZoneAlarm.

15 04 2008

Isnt there a way we can sue the britches off of MS? Come on! We are only doing what they tell us to do, and it results in catastrophic data loss and loss of use of hardware! Its no one’s fault but theirs. I dumped Linux a while back because I had to put my hands in the “patient” so much to make it run stable and the way I wanted. Vista has virtually become the same beast. Im here waiting for the “revert” to finish. Luckily, im a hard core Ghost’er and Ive got multiple redundant “drive copies” of the image before I started this. If it doesnt revert to original state, im hoping all i’ll need to do is switch out drives.

Pathetic product!

26 04 2008
Bill Murphy

Thanks for the insights, folks. Just completed my fourth failed installation attempt with SP1. No success on my HP Pavilion… it has a Realtek integrated sound card, if it’s true, “EXPECT FAILURE WITH NO RESURRECTION,” then I wonder if it’s worth the trouble and expense!

23 05 2008

had the same problem. tried it twice and it had taken me about 2 hours each time. after “stage 3” i’d recieved the same blue screen…
i have a 6 months old lenovo, dual core.
i’m furios about MS. vista is working really slowly on my computer, and i believe that they won’t tell the exact size it takes from your hard drive – my computer supposed to have 120 giga hard drive but i’d recieved it 60% full!
when i tried to see which software is taking all this space i couldn’t. i mean i could see what it was telling me but it was making no sense at all.
but when i tried to install sp1 for the first time i got a message telling me that i need at least 4 g’s free. if only sp1 need 4 G’s – how much the whole thing needs? and that another reason to sue MS.
i’d wrote about it in my blog but you wouldn’t understand it unless you can understand hebrew – but i’d added the same photo of error message 🙂
good luck!

21 06 2008
Jeff Myers

My system had a problem with Event logging, and so this guy’s resolution worked for me!

1 07 2008

I had almost exactly the same issue you had with your second machine, except “update 2” has been going on for me since early yesterday. :/

2 07 2008

Same stuff that you all report. Tried checking for new updates about 2 months ago, found SP1, and it crapped out. Last night my machine prompted me to install it. Crapped out again with the revert screen. The only good thing about my experience is that I only waist 1 hr. triing the update. I believe that if we are patient and send MS a lot more money this will get worked out. NOT!

6 07 2008

I tried installing SP1through auto update on my HP laptop which is 2 years old but purchased “Vista ready”. The 1st time it installed in a little over an hour then after rebooting I got the blue screen with the friendly message that SP! did not install…etc, so another hour for it to rollback to previous, yada yada yada, it was back to normal. The 2nd time it took approx 2 hours to install then after reboot same blue screen message and anouther hour for the rollback. Luckily for me everything is working but I don’t think I will be attempting a 3rd update until I am sure it will work. I work on my laptop and can’t afford the downtime.

6 07 2008

Ok, I did some research and found that uninstalling, not just disabling, any AV that you have running is supposed to solve the SPI install problem. This seems to be a ridiculous step to have to take but since my AV is pretty simple to reinstall I am going to give it a try. I will post my results later.

7 07 2008

Well no go. Uninstalling my AV didn’t help. Too much time spent on this crap now so I am giving up until MS gets their crap together.

13 07 2008

I had exactly the same problem with SP1, installing up to 100% on all three steps and then rolling back the changes for no given reason. I tried a lot of the suggestions above…IE: removing anti-virus, Firewall disabling..Etc. Someone I worked with suggested that since it is an OEM computer, all the original settings must be in place for it to work. After racking my tiny head I thought, could my disabling Vista’s User Account Control have any affect? I re-enabled it and Lo & behold, the SP1 installed. Hope this helps somebody else

22 09 2008
Na Moita

Dell Dimension E521 with AMD Athlon X2 3800+, Radeon X1300-1500 series 256 MB, 3 GB memory DDR2 667, Avira AV.
Attempted to install Service Pack 1 and on rebooting got the same blue screen as above: “Service Pack did not install. Reverting changes” OVER AND OVER and only got thru booting when I started from the Vista DVD and choosing the Restore Point prior to de failled installation attempt. I am afraid to try to install the Pack again since my machine already tied up once. Anyone had the same problem? (unable to boot from the HD after the service pack)?

22 09 2008
Na Moita

Referring to Toastysausage above I never messed with my Vista Account Control. It is as came from original install. I installed Vista from Dell DVD over original XP that came in the machine.

8 10 2008
Computer Creations NW

I just got through a mess with a customer of my own. He had a virus on his system. Something simple but it was removed quickly and correctly. The I cleaned the system through a full tuneup and decided to check for windows update through my fiber line since he was on a slower connection. I ran all the updates and it stated SP1 was available. GREAT!!!…NOT………….

I ran the update (4 hours later) it completed and I was rebooting the system. When it came up I checked his basic programs for function and checked his anti-virus and moved on. I buttoned up the computer and returned it to his residents. I did not even make it back to my house when he calls and asks how to get the “numbered key pad” function off as everytime he typed on the right side of the keyboard he got funky numbers or calculator keys. Well first of all its an HP laptop with Vista Home and it has the QWERTY keyboard with the number pad to the far right (not embedded into the keyboard).

So I logged in and typed on his computer and yup…it was acting nutty alright. So I checked google about this error and it was loaded with this problem. I uninstalled a trial office program and configured Office 2003 Professional to work. All fixed and fine to go….

Then I get a call that there is no sound card installed. I was starting to get the VISTA GUN loaded at this point. I logged in again and found that the sound card was not even listed nor showing up as a problem. I checked microsoft’s website and installed a patch. I then rebooted and it fixed the sound card issue. At this point I feel like a failure. I pride myself on finding improbable solutions to impossible problems and I have over 400 customers so I must be doing something right. So I’m sitting there trying to get this fixed and it hits me that there is still a keyboard issue.

I check the drivers and the fix I did was gone and no one had made any changes other then what I did the other day. I then started searching the internet and found some odd articles and tried different things. I then reboot all is well.

Two days later (tonight) I get a call that it’s doing it again. Now bear in mind that non of these issues were like this prior to Service Pack 1. Heck I got better response from this with the….So anyways I’m now uninstalling the Service Pack and it’s only been 1.5 hours for stage one and I’m at 98%….He’s not happy, I’m not happy and microsoft can bite me………….

Nit everyone…I will let you know how it goes…


8 10 2008
Computer Creations NW

Nevermind…they just re-appeared…its late…Nite.

PS – The uninstall took 2.5 hours and everything was smooth after it came out. All issues are gone with sound, keyboard and system speed.



8 10 2008

Thanks for that detailed account, Troy.

I have not updated other machines this summer to Vista SP1. Only a couple XP upgrades to SP3.

I have to laugh when I see the Windows Mojave commercials where average consumers feel compelled to upgrade to Vista. Nice features can wow anybody. Vista is just average. It is slow, does a few things backwards (explorer), annoys me with balloons you can’t turn off, will start updating when you really want to shut your computer off and head for the airport and can send you running in circles (like when it complains it can’t find ANY network when it is already connected to one of the two WiFi)

As a whole I am very disappointed in the tech industry. MS with some of their Vista decisions, computer manufacturers not standing behind their products (what happened to those promises Toshiba? And HP we’re looking at you as well), peripheral manufacturers not timely releasing any or half baked drivers for their hardware …

12 10 2008

Hi i got the blue screens and a window telling me that Installing service pack Stage 3 of 3 is 100% complete, Do not turn off your computer.
But from that screen it doesnt start up windows, to give me my desktop, it never changes, and i am stuck permanently with it. I cant get in to remove Service pack, or roll back, like most of you guys have done. Even when i start up on safe, its same screen i get, even in safe mode.
Has anyone any ideas of what i can do to just get it back please. James.

13 10 2008
Computer Creations NW

Well sorry I did not put my findings on here earlier.

The first thing any noob would do would to check the num lock key making sure that is not the issue. Since I’m years past noob days..that was the first thing I checked. It did not make a difference either way…

Funny enough I was going through every possible registry key and when I looked at the keyboard profile settings the string was full of numbers and characters. Totally corrupt…I should have checked this first. I knew better and I looked past it….

I replaced the registry string with the correct single digit (1 or 0) and wam….the num lock key started working again and the keyboard stopped thinking it was a mini keyboard with a num pad embedded into it…

Problem fixed…



15 10 2008

I just installed SP1 on my desktop and now it’s stuck on the “Service pack did not install … do not turn off your computer.” It will not get pass this screen and boot into Windows. Any suggestions?

15 10 2008

nm, it took a while, but it’s booting.

15 10 2008

I was going to suggest to let it run the final part of the installation run its course for a while longer. Some updates take hours, unfortunately enough.

At least it sounds like it did complete the installation and finished it, unlike many other systems.

30 11 2008

I have the same problem as james. i just can not get rid of the blue screen with the message Installing service pack Stage 3 of 3 is 100% complete, Do not turn off your computer. Please tell me the steps I have to make. Thanks

8 12 2008

I am having trouble with Service Pack 1 on a Dell Inspiron 1501 – I did remove all Norton – but installed CA Security before running the Service pack install – but now I cannot uninstall CA – the software does not show an uninstaller – and when I try to run Programs and Features in the control panels to get to the Windows uninstaller – nothing happens – I have run a number of anti-virus and anti-spyware – and registry repair etc etc etc – but noting seems to work – there are also a couple other updates stuck in a status where they fail but I cannot remove them.

11 12 2008

This sucks, it seems impossable that we accept Microsoft software anywhere near our computers. All their programs have BUGS that still huge chunks of both our lives along with the computers. My laptop (wish i could get vista off it) just spent 2 hours installing; And the last 80 minutes Reverting changes. The Good “now poor” old thing is just sceaming at the HD and fan overload. Completely unnecessary, Microsoft is sitting on buuco bucks and we can not fine them for our time wasted. Too long america has been based on bad business. Not that Apple and the Iphone crap seems any better. Hopfuly Google fixes the nightware.

14 12 2009

Yea I got to the blue screen and it has been on the blue screen for 3 days now… idk what to do except maybe throw the comp out the window…

23 09 2010


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