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SP2 Released for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

Microsoft published Service Pack 2 (SP2) on Monday for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

This "release-to-Web" version of SP2 is a more general public release than the "release-to-manufacturing" version (designed for PC hardware builders) that Microsoft announced late last month.

Those eager to get SP2 can grab it today through the Microsoft Download Center or through Windows Update. The service pack is available as both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. However, grabbing the bits directly means handling a fairly large download, ranging in size from 300 MB to 600 MB.

System administrators typically might accept waiting for such a large download because they'll be getting a complete standalone SP2 package. However, average users can get SP2 as a much smaller 43 MB download if they've turned on Automatic Update in Vista and are willing to wait.

Microsoft plans to begin delivering SP2 via Automatic Update in June, and it will gradually be pushed out to users over about two months' time.

Microsoft's business customers needing more preparation time can block Automatic Update from downloading SP2 by using the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit. They can also control the update by setting the group policy for Automatic Updates and Windows Software Update Services.

SP2 is a single installer for both Vista and Windows Server 2008. However, you need to have Service Pack 1 (SP1) installed first before installing this new service pack. Those using Windows Server 2008 already have SP1 installed, according to Microsoft's "Notable Changes" document.

New features in SP2 include support for VIA Technologies' 64-bit CPU, the addition of Windows Search 4.0 and updates to Wi-Fi wireless and Blu-Ray media support, among many other details described in the Notable Changes document. SP2 also contains all of the updates Microsoft has released since SP1.

The Microsoft Download Center portal provides access to the x86 version of SP2 here, while the x64 version can be accessed here.

IT pros can access the bits or an ISO file at Microsoft's TechNet portal here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Jun 25, 2009 Armando Adames Puerto Rico

Regarding Windows Search 4.0, I did not find characterization/abstract in the scheme. Does any have an idea of where it is? In th previous solution, Indexing Services, it was there.

Regards,

Thu, May 28, 2009 Tom

After applying SP2 to vista business group policy is no longer getting applied. I am in a Windows server 2003 domain. I had the RC installed for awhile and did not have this problem.

Wed, May 27, 2009 Miked

I decided to check for updates and was notified that the SP2 was available. I downloaded and installed the SP on both my 32 bit and 64 bit machines and took a total of 2.5 hours. So far so good.

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