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vista sp1 won't install

i have downloaded service pack 1 for vista home premium but after it gets through it reverts everything and says it couldn't update. any ideas?

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Unable to install Vista SP1.

Plain and simple if you perform a clean, parallel, installation of your operating system your problem will be resolved. It is not something everyone likes to do, but it will save you the hassle of going through the rest of this reading. has picture walkthroughs of performing a reinstallation, and to be honest the only hassle is backing up your data.

There are obviously a few things we'll need to know prior to being able to assist you. But, all in all I'd like to set the expectation that you may have to do a reinstallation of some type for this issue. Whether it be an "inplace upgarde", "parallel install", or "clean installation". Granted it does seem a bit drastic, but it comes directly for the Microsoft developers.

1) Do you have a technical stop code for the install failure? (ie. 0x00000000)
2) Did you receive the SP1 update via Windows Update or manual download?

The rest of the information is truly trivial because there are too many contributing factors to what may have caused the failure.

The first thing you will want to do is download and run the System Readiness Update Tool (aka. CheckSUR). This will evaluate your system's readiness for SP1, and will most likely indicate that some of your manifests, Windows Updates, are missing or corrupt. The download can be found below and if you don't know which one you need download the 32-BIT.



After you download this you will need to "RUN" it on your system. It will look like a Windows Update. When it states that it is installing you may not see a progress bar. That is normal, and please do not stop the process. If you do the results may be inaccurate.

Next, we will want to run a SFC /SCANNOW on your machine. This is called the System File Checker, and it does just that. It verifies the integrity of your system files, and attempts to repair them using backup's. If this scan returns "errors that could not be repaired" we may have a problem.

To do this please do the following.
1) Click Start > All Programs > Accessories and then Right Click on Command Prompt. After you have done that select "Run As Administrator".
2) Click "Allow" when you receive the UAC prompt.
3) You should now have a black window on your screen.
4) Please type the following and hit enter: SFC /SCANNOW
5) After the scan has completed it will give you a message indicating such.

If you receive an error message stating that "... found errors that could not be repaired" please proceed to STEP 3. If it did not find errors re-run CheckSUR, and then attempt to install SP1.

Now we will need to run CheckDisk this checks your hard drive for errors, and attempts to repair them. This scan can take anywhere from 30 minutes up to 2 hours depending on the size of your hard drive. You can execute this command from the command prompt as before or from within Windows. For ease of use I'll tell you how to do it from within Windows.

1) Click on Start > Computer.
2) Right Click on Local Disk (C:), and select Properties.
3) Click on the Tools tab.
4) Click the top most button that says "Check Now"
5) Make sure BOTH boxes are checked and click "Start"

It may require a restart before it can do the error checking, because the drive is in use. After that has completed rerun CheckSUR see if problems still persist. If not then attempt to install Vista SP1. Should you still receive errors then you will need to perform a reinstallation of your operating system.

Personally as in the "Short Version" I would recommend just doing a clean installation. It is the fastest and meets with the most success. Time and time again I've seen in-place upgrades work, but as well I've seen them cause data loss. Personally, if I'm going to do something I'd rather do it right the first time.

One of the problems most consumers are going to run into is that the computer they bought did not come with a Windows Vista Installation DVD. First off request one, because you should have gotten it. Secondly, at worst just borrow a friend or neighbors. Most times you can perform a "keyless" installation, and apply the Product Key you have "after" the installation.

If anyone has questions or concerns about the overall process please feel free to ask. Any questions I can answer here saves me from having to talk to you later down the road Wink

If you perform a "fresh/clean" install of your OS. You can install the standalone version of SP1 on your machine without any other updates. I've done it on consumer machines as well as my test boxes. The only prerequisite updates for the SP1 package are included in the standalone. So should you have to reimage a machine or simply installing Vista for the first time consider getting the SP1 download prior to doing anything on the machine to reduce failures.

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One more thing.

After you have run the following scans/test, and still do not want to reinstall I would be happy to look at the logs generated by these tools. Granted there may be nothing that can be done, but we may be able to identify the cause.

The following are the locations of the logs that are generated for the scans. You will most likely have to copy and paste these to different locations, such as the Desktop, before you can modify them.


The CheckDisk is report is located in the "Event Viewer" and is a little trickier to obtain. It can be found by typing, get this, Event Viewer in the Start Search bar. Once it opens you need to expand the folder labeled Windows Logs. Now Right Click on "System" and select "Save event as.." type a name and place it in a location you'll remember.

Please included all these files in a ZIP, and send them to
I will then review them and post the results after I've had a chance to look at them. As before if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to respond to this thread. Happy

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when i run the scan it freezes during phase five

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Not so good...

You're either talking about System File Checker (SFC) or CheckDisck (CHKDSK). If the freeze occured during SFC, you may be looking at a corrupt OS. There may be some relevant data within the log file, but we can't be sure untill we can look at it.

If the freeze occured during SFC, please run ChecDisk and then try SFC again. Either way I'd recommend backing up your data if you have not already done so.

The results for the above test can be found in: C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\cbs.log

You will most likley have to copy this file to a different location and then you should be able to access it. Find the date you ran the scan, and copy/paste that information to the thread.

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i have it compressed

how do i put attach it to the thread

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Still apply...

Can I still email you the logs? Because I want to update to SP2, and I never updated to SP1, so I can't skip it. I'm having no luck, after waiting for maybe 3 hours, I learn that it wasn't installed and had to wait another hour to have it undo everything it did.

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Resolved Vista SP1 Installation Problem.

Although the short version to do a clean installation was tempting, I recently reinstalled my Vista Ultimate Edition and didn't feel I should need to do it again. Nevertheless, I was prepared to. In any event, after downloading the system readiness tool and running check disk no real problems were found. However, after downloading the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Five Language Standalone (KB936330)file, it failed to install but indicated (and I forgot to do screen capture of the error message!) but basically a language other than the five (English, Spanish, Japanese, etc.) was installed. Once I opened the Regional and Language Options, I could not believe that Russian and Finnish were installed. Once I removed both of those languages and ran the stand alone SP 1 file, not only was I able to install SP1 and other important updates but SP 2 as well! I don't foresee this solution helping most but I highly recommend downloading the stand alone service pack (right click the file and choose Run as administrator) instead of using the Windows Update at least for SP 1.

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Resolved Vista SP1 Installation Problem

Thank you! Great tip, I was finally able to resolve the SP1 issue on a frien's Dell Inspiron 1525. Not having that in place was preventing me from loading other software packages which are fine now. Much appreciated!!

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(NT) Is your PC a Dell?
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vista sp1 install

Get all the other updates current then download SP1 as a standalone pack and run as administrator. You will have to save it to a location such as your desktop or somewhere you can find it. This means click save instead of run when downloading it and navigating to where you saved it, right click the file and click run as administrator. I had tried a lot of other ideas such as update readiness pack etc. and it never worked until I ran it as administrator. It seems odd that with User Account Control this would be necessary, but it was.

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