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Vista SP1 downloaders bite back

'I've gained an update and lost my drivers'

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Windows Vista customers have been complaining about problems with installing Microsoft’s first service pack for the unloved operating system.

SP1 was made available as a manual download on the Windows Update site earlier this week, although the company also admitted that there were a staggering number of reasons why many users people won’t get their mitts on it until an unspecified date next month.

In the meantime, Vista Ultimate customers with the language packs in English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese are among the privileged few who can download the service pack today.

But going by some angry posts on the official Vista team blog, as well as elsewhere on the interweb, plenty of frustrated customers are wrangling with the manual version of the service pack.

One poster regretted installing SP1 after spotting its availability on the WU site. “In retrospect, not my finest decision,” said SeppDietrich. “What a disaster! It exiled all of my Nvidia drivers to the Bermuda Triangle... they're simply all GONE.”

Microsoft has acknowledged that the service pack will not install on computers that use “incompatible” peripheral device drivers from the likes of Realtek and Intel. However, there’s no mention of known problems with Nvidia drivers on Microsoft’s rather long list.

After failing to successfully install the service pack on his new PC because of the driver problems listed by the software giant, AkaJohnDoe concluded that: “I understand Microsoft's position on this issue, and have been a proponent of Vista for some time now.

“However, from this day forth, Vista is functionally stabilized on my PC. There will be no further updates. My next OS will not be Windows.”

Other complaints about the service pack included sluggish response times, random crashes, and one from a puzzled Aussie who was told his language wasn’t supported for his Vista Ultimate-loaded PC.

He said: “Funny thing is, my language is English. Unless ‘English (Australian)’ is not considered English????? Have you stupid Americans limited English to the ‘English (United States)’ language pack? “What a joke. I'm switching back to Linux.”

Given the number of reasons why Vista customers can’t yet download SP1, why did Microsoft release a service pack that locks out so many people?

The firm hopes to address this next month, when the real test for Vista SP1 begins in earnest as it is finally pumped out automatically to the masses. That’s assuming Microsoft delivers on its promise. ®

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