The main thing is make sure your computer is free of any malware, which is a different class of threat than Norton tends to look for. Start with the program Malwayrebytes Antimalware and run a few others while you're at it. One of the most common reasons for a service pack install to go south is that there was some kind of malware rooted deep inside the OS that the user didn't know about.
Then you probably want to check the HP website for your computer, make sure there aren't any special HP specific updates you need to do. There probably aren't, but you don't want to end up like the people a few years back who had HP computers with AMD CPUs who had issues after installing XP SP3 because of the way HP made the OS image for those computers.
Finally, just my personal preference, but I always seek out the "network professional" version of service packs. The ones that don't require an Internet connection to install. That way you can burn it to a CD or DVD, put it on a flash drive, whatever, you have it if you ever need to restore the system back to factory condition. Plus you can use it on multiple machines, so your desktop and netbook can both be brought up to SP1 via the same updater. Plus, with ISPs metering bandwidth now, it saves some of that precious resource if you ever have to install SP1 again. You only have to download the post-SP1 updates. It might not be much, but with ISPs as stingy as AT&T with only allowing 150GB/mo, every little bit helps. I shudder to think about people who have to rely on cellular or satellite connections and what it might cost them to have to download SP1 again and again.
I need to install Windows 7 SP1 on my computer - stopped getting all security updates and won't till that is installed. I have a few questions about safely installing it.
First - what should I do to prepare my system ahead of time? I have an HP desktop, OEM Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit, 1TB hard drive, i7 processor, Norton Internet Security - and I had been keeping up with all MS updates till April when the SP was needed.
Can I safely do this update through Windows Update - it is offered there, but I haven't allowed it yet till I am sure that I am ready to do it?
Besides backing up everything and running a complete virus scan - what else will make this go smoothly? And what should I watch out for in the process?
And - is the same SP1 used of Win 7 Starter which I have on my little netbook?
Thanks for the info and help!