Oops! Microsoft posts 64-bit Vista SP1 to Windows Update

It was 'inadvertently made available' says company; some users grabbed it

Microsoft accidentally added the final 64-bit version of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) to Windows Update Thursday, even though it's repeatedly said that most users won't be offered the upgrade for weeks.

Some users of the 64-bit edition of Vista were able to download and install SP1 Thursday. By Friday, Microsoft had pulled the service pack from Windows Update (WU), according to reports posted to a support newsgroup.

Talk of Vista SP1 appearing on WU began Thursday morning. "This morning (02/21/2008), I used Microsoft Update on my Vista Ultimate (x64) machine and found one Important Update," recounted a user named David Lessnau on a Microsoft support forum.

Lessnau pasted text from WU into his newsgroup message. "Windows Vista Service Pack 1 for x64-based Systems (KB936330)," it read. "Download size: 120.0 MB - 711.6 MB; Update type: Important."

After trading messages much of Thursday, other 64-bit Vista users who also reported receiving the notice decided that what they'd downloaded and installed was the final, or RTM (release to manufacturing) version of the upgrade. "Based on [other] posts, I let this thing install. All went well," said Lessnau. "That registry key contains '6001.18000.amd64fre.longhorn_rtm.080118-1840,' which seems to indicate the version off of Microsoft Update is the RTM.

Late Thursday, Microsoft confirmed the mix-up. "Today, a build of SP1 was posted to Windows Update and it was inadvertently made available to a broad group," a spokeswoman said. "The build was intended only for our more technically advanced testers, and was meant to only be offered to those with a specific registry key set on their PC."

By Friday morning, 64-bit Vista users who left messages on the support newsgroup said that SP1 had disappeared from the list offered by WU.

So far, Microsoft has released SP1 -- the first major update to its newest operating system since Vista debuted more than a year ago -- only to about 15,000 beta testers, customers of its Volume Licensing programs and subscribers to TechNet Plus and Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN). Subscribers to TechNet and MSDN were provided SP1 only after they raised a stink over being shut out; IT professionals and developers pay hundreds of dollars annually to subscribe to the services, which are supposed to give them early access to Microsoft products for testing and development purposes.

"For general availability, we are still planning to make SP1 broadly available in the mid-March timeframe," the company spokeswoman reconfirmed.

Since it announced Vista SP1's completion on February 4, Microsoft has been adamant that it wouldn't release the update to WU until the middle of next month, and then only as an optional download. It cited problems with an unspecified number of hardware device drivers as the reason for the delay.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?