2/21/2008

Holy Sh*t, Batman! Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Installed!

I don't necessarily agree with everything I say.  - Marshall McLuhan

Jeesh! After months of having Windows Update not working because I volunteered to be a Beta Tester for Service Pack 1, I got an email from the MotherShip yesterday congratulating me for my participation, with links to the RTM real deal. You have to be very careful with this because on Microsoft Connect there are a whole bunch of links and what you want is the file that looks like this:

6001.18000.080118-1840_x86fre_Client_en-us-FRMCFRE_EN_DVD.iso

make sure the .18000. build number is in there - that's the RTM. In FTM, you should see:

"Windows Vista SP1 Client for X86 and X64 English and German"

So I burned the sucker to a DVD and ran the Setup.exe off of it from within Windows Vista. Batman! The Upgrade option was enabled! Holy Jamoca, could this be the start of something good? You cannot "undo" an RC Vista Service Pack whose "View Available Updates" entry is gone by trying to upgrade with the original Vista media - the upgrade option will be grayed out. But I guess since the build number on this new slipstreamed Vista is higher, you can do it! An Upgrade preserves all your existing software. You also must have an SP1 already installed to do this, for example one of the RCXX releases.

Anyway, it installed, Windows Update is working again, and now I've got a whole new Windows Vista with the Windows Server 2008 Kernel, and all my software is still there --er, kind of...

Yikes! Everything is back to Square 1 - UAC is enabled, file extensions in Explorer are disabled, Firewall is on, Windows Defender is trying to run on Startup - the whole shebang! Now I have to go back a whole year and try to figure out all the customizations I've done and re-enable them.

Oy, vay! Alright. First we make Kosher de Chicken...

Tried to run Sql Server and Visual Studio 2008 and this is what I got:


Sidebyside

"The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log for more detail."

OK. Downloading and running the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (x86) fixed the SQL Server issue.

The Event log entry for Visual Studio 2008 reads:

Activation context generation failed for "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe". Dependent Assembly Microsoft.VC90.CRT,processorArchitecture="x86",publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b",type="win32",version="9.0.21022.8" could not be found. Please use sxstrace.exe for detailed diagnosis.

Umm, they tested this Service Pack, right? Crap. There is no redist for VC++9.0, only 8.0. I'm running a repair on Visual Studio to see if that will fix the VC++ 9.0 runtimes. OK, now Visual Studio 2008 loads. Oh, crap! "COMException" trying to load a Web Application Project... Oh man --it's because IIS 7 is no longer installed! Don't forget the Metabase and other compatibility stuff...

The moral of the story? If you upgrade Vista with the new slipstreamed SP1 DVD, you run the risk of having it clobber your VC++8.0 and VC++9.0 runtime libraries, and you may have to reinstall them. It isn't the end of the world, but it is a big annoyance. In addition, EXPECT to have to reinstall IIS 7.0 and run a full Repair on Visual Studio 2008 in order to get back the VC++ 9.0 runtime dlls.

Thank the Lord I've got an installation of Server 2008 on the other drive just in case... Jeesh! You can bet I won't be installing this on my Vista box at the office anytime soon, unless I've got a lot of time and everything I need all ready.

Some programs either will not run at all, or run with reduced functionality under SP1. My advice? You better check that list FIRST! Microsoft has warned that this list is not "comprehensive" and asks people to get in touch with the maker of any affected software to fix problems. Transalated from M-Speak: "We aren't responsible if our service pack F**ks up some of your software".

Your account is disabled

Now here is a kick in the head! Having finally gotten to first base with the desktop box, I installed (upgraded via slipstream) SP1 on my laptop. Everything went fine, except when I went to login - "Your account is disabled" -- WTF? I had my account set to "Never expires"! Here is how I fixed it:

1) Boot off the DVD, until you get to the final screen. Then choose the "REPAIR" option, and run a Command Prompt.
2) Navigate to the windows\ERDNT folder (assumes you are using ERUNT, which I highly recommend). Navigate to a recent backup date folder.
3) "Copy SAM C:\Windows\System32\config\" - overwrites the SAM hive with your backup. If you don't have ERDNT, look for the "RegBackup" subfolder.
4) Reboot - your original account status is repaired.

Don't ask me why or how this happened. I just figure if it happened to me, then it can happen to others. Go figure!

N.B. As of today, 2/22.2008 I have SP1 installed on my box at work. There, I used the standalone installer and had very few problems.

Conclusion

Having gone through all this pain, I would not recommend using the Slipstreamed SP1 image to perform an upgrade to Vista Service Pack 1 unless absolutely necessary. The standalone EXE Installer is less problematic. Having said all this, Windows Vista does indeed perform better and faster with SP1. Really. I was all ready to repave and put in Windows Server 2008 as my primary workstation OS. Now, I think Vista will turn out to be OK.

Incidentally, to help kick off our eggheadcafe.com March promotions and newsletter for members, we decided to provide a "What I hate most about Windows Vista poll"! You can either vote or just look at the results. Enlightening!