The very first service pack for Windows 7 will be available to the public starting from February 22nd as confirmed by Microsoft just over a week ago. It’s already been delivered to OEM partners and to subscribers of the MSDN or Technet service as of February 16th.
Is there anything that the average PC user will have to do to get the service pack? Not really, it’s a fairly straightforward process for most. Microsoft will be making it available from the Windows Update and the Microsoft Download Center. Microsoft recommend that single PC and home PC Users should be using Windows Update instead of the standalone installer from the Microsoft Download Center. Mainly because it’s much easier to do with very little input from the user, but also because of the disk space requirements.
The disk space requirements vary dramatically. Users who update the operating system via the recommened Windows Update method need 750 Megabytes for 32-bit systems and 1050 Megabytes for 64-bit systems. However a stand alone installation by downloading the service pack via Microsoft’s Download Center, requires 4.1 Gigabytes of memory for 32-bit systems and a whooping 7.4 Gigabytes for a 64-bit system. So do what’s recommended and update via the Windows Update method.
Only admins who are working with multiple computers may consider download the service pack from the Download Center for distribution purposes.
There are a couple of things that should be done prior to updating to SP1
- Just do a quick scan to make sure your free from malware and viruses
- Microsoft recommend turning off your antivirus temporarily as it may interfere with the installation
- Make sure your drivers are up to date
- Be sure to have a constant power source, plug in your laptop or netbook to it’s charger
- Make sure you have enough free disk space
- Back up any important data in the unlikely case something goes wrong
And finally for those of you who don’t want to upgrade to the first service pack just yet, you can download the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Blocker Tool from Microsoft. The toolkit blocks the installation of the service pack for 12 months.