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Important Changes to Windows Vista Service Pack 1

At last! Windows Vista Service Pack 1 will be release soon. Recently, Microsoft released a documentation regarding the notable changes made to Windows Vista.

Download Here: Notable changes in Windows Vista SP1.pdf


SP1 will contain changes focused on addressing specific reliability, performance, and compatibility issues, supporting new types of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards.

Service Pack Size

  Usage Download Size
Standalone Package

PCs without internet access
System administrators

About 450 MB (5 Language package)
About 550 MB (Full 36 language package)
Windows Update

Most home users
Many business customers

About 65 MB

This is great! Most home and small business users will receive SP1 thru Windows Update and the download size will result approximately 65MB only.

GOOD NEWS: SP1 reduces the number of UAC (User Account Control) prompts from 4 to 1 when creating or renaming a folder at a protected location.


  • About 20-25% of these improvements will be released separately via Windows update, prior to Windows Vista SP1.
    Improves the performance of browsing network file shares by consuming less bandwidth.
  • Improves power consumption when the display is not changing by allowing the processor to remain in its sleep state which consumes less energy.
  • Addresses the problem of the Video chipset (VSync interrupt) not allowing the system to stay asleep.
  • Improves power consumption and battery life by addressing an issue that causes a hard disk to continue spinning when it should spin down, in certain circumstances.
  • Improves the speed of adding and extracting files to and from a compressed (zipped) folder.
  • Significantly improves the speed of moving a directory with many files underneath.
  • Improves performance while copying files using BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service).
  • Improves performance over Windows Vista’s current performance across the following scenarios:
    -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
  • Improves responsiveness when doing many kinds of file or media manipulations. For example, with Windows Vista today, copying files after deleting a different set of files can make the copy operation take longer than needed. In SP1, the file copy time is the same as if no files were initially deleted.
  • Improves the copy progress estimation when copying files within Windows Explorer to about two seconds.
  • Improves the time to read large images by approximately 50%.
  • Improves IE performance on certain Jscript intensive websites, bringing performance in line with previous IE releases.
  • Addresses a problem that caused a delay of up to 5 minutes after boot with specific ReadyDrive capable hard drives.
  • Improves the effectiveness of a Windows ReadyBoost™ device in reducing the time to resume from standby and hibernate by increasing the amount of data stored in the ReadyBoost device that can be used during a resume cycle.
  • Includes improvements to Windows Superfetch™ that help to further improve resume times, in many environments.
  • In specific scenarios, SP1 reduces the shutdown time by a few seconds by improving the Windows Vista utility designed to sync a mobile device.
  • Improves the time to resume from standby for a certain class of USB Hubs by approximately 18%.
  • Improves network connection scenarios by updating the logic that auto selects which network interface to use (e.g., should a laptop use wireless or wired networking when both are available).
  • Improves the performance of the user login experience on corporate PCs outside of corporate environments (e.g., a corporate laptop taken home for the evening), making it comparable with PCs within the corporate environment. 
  • Reduces the time it takes to return to the user’s session when using the Photo screensaver, making it comparable to other screensavers.
  • Removes the delay that sometimes occurs when a user unlocks their PC.
  • Improves overall media performance by reducing many glitches.
  • In SP1, PC administrators are able to modify the network throttling index value for the MMCSS (Multimedia Class Scheduling Service), allowing them to determine the appropriate balance between network performance and audio/video playback quality.
  • Windows Vista SP1 includes a new compression algorithm for the RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) that helps reduce network bandwidth required to send bitmaps or images via RDP. The compression, which can be selected by administrators via Group Policy settings, is transparent to all RDP traffic, and typically reduces the size of the RDP stream by as much as 25-60%, based on preliminary test results.


  • Adds support for creating a single DVD media that boots on PCs with either BIOS or EFI.
  • Enhances support for high density drives by adding new icons and labels that will identify HD-DVD and Blu-ray Drives as high density drives.
  • Adds support for Direct3D® 10.1, enabling 3D application and game developers to make more complete and efficient use of the upcoming generations of graphics hardware.
  • Adds support for exFAT, a new file system supporting larger overall capacity and larger files, which will be used in Flash memory storage and consumer devices.
  • Adds support for SD Advanced DMA (ADMA) on compliant SD standard host controllers. This new transfer mechanism, which is expected to be supported in SD controllers soon, will improve transfer performance and decrease CPU utilization.
  • And many more...


  • Allows users and administrators to control which volumes the disk defragmenter runs on.
  • Allows users and administrators using Network Diagnostics to solve the most common file sharing problems, not just network connection problems.
  • Windows Vista SP1 includes a new Security Policy (UAC: Allow UAccess), which allows applications to prompt for elevation without using the secure desktop. This allows a remote helper to enter administrative credentials during a Remote Assistance session.
  • And many more...


  • Adds full support for the latest IEEE draft of 802.11n wireless networking.
  • Enhances Windows Firewall and IPsec to use the new cryptographic algorithms that are Suite B compliant.
  • Updated drivers are delivered primarily via Windows Update and directly from hardware vendors, not as part of a service pack. However, a small number of critical drivers are included as part of Windows Vista (e.g., display drivers, audio drivers) and some of these have been updated.


Microsoft has already released several application compatibility updates which will allow more applications to work seamlessly for the end user. These will appear in SP1, but are also available via Windows Update.


Reliability improvements vary from PC to PC based on hardware, environment, and usage. Customers will experience varying levels of benefit. SP1 addresses issues many of the most common causes of crashes and hangs in Windows Vista, as reported by Windows Error Reporting. These include issues relating to Windows Calendar, Windows Media Player, and a number of drivers included with Windows.


  • Windows Vista SP1 includes all previously released Security Bulletin fixes which affect Windows Vista.
  • SP1 includes Secure Development Lifecycle process updates, where Microsoft identifies the root cause of each security bulletin and improves our internal tools to eliminate code patterns that could lead to future vulnerabilities.
  • Service Pack 1 includes supported APIs by which third-party security and malicious software detection applications can work alongside Kernel Patch Protection on 64-bit versions of Windows Vista. These APIs have been designed to help security and non-security ISVs develop software that extends the functionality of the Windows kernel on 64-bit systems, in a documented and supported manner, and without disabling or weakening the protection offered by Kernel Patch Protection.
  • Improves the security of running RemoteApp™ programs and desktops by allowing RDP files to be signed. Administrators now have the control to differentiate the user experience based on the publisher's identity.
  • Data Execution Protection (DEP) is a memory-protection feature available beginning with Windows XP and Server 2003. SP1 improves security with a new set of Win32 APIs to allow programmatic control over a process’s DEP policy. This will provide application developers with finer control on a process’s DEP settings for security, testability, compatibility, and reliability.
  • And many more...

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