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How Do I Get SP1?

There are three ways to get SP1. But, before you try to get it, make sure you don’t already have it installed on your computer. You may, and may not even know it. The tip at the bottom of the previous page tells you how to check. Now, on to how to get SP1:

  1. The first method is called Express, and you can do it through the Windows Update once SP1 is publicly available. The only real downside to this method is that it takes a while. You’ll need a decent Internet connection to be able to download the service pack, which is kind of big, so if you don’t have a cable modem or better, you may want to stay clear of this one. You can always give it a try, and if your estimated download time says 38 hours, then maybe try another way.
  2. The next method is called stand-alone. This means the service pack comes as one big file. If you have a few computers in your house, then you may want to consider this one over the others, because you can always burn the file to a CD and quickly put it onto other computers, as well. You can usually get the stand-alone version in one of two ways: (a) download it from Microsoft’s website, or (b) I’ve seen Microsoft distribute free CDs with the service pack on them (they did this with XP).
  3. The last way is through the Vista install disc. After the service pack is officially released, Microsoft includes SP1 on the actual Vista install disc. So, if you buy Vista from a store after SP1’s release, chances are it’ll have SP1 on it. One way to check is to look at the box or on the disc label, and it’ll tell you whether it has SP1.

Once you have it, then you need to install it. We’ll look at that on the next page.

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