Today, I was offered Windows Service Pack 1 as an ‘Important’ update via Windows Update service. It installed just fine on my old Dell laptop; I have now installed it on my new Lenovo T510 as well. Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 is basically a collection of bug fixes and previous updates, so don’t expect to see any obvious differences in Windows 7 behaviour post-install.
Note that some currently installed hotfixes may prevent the successful installation of SP1. You can find out about the workaround here in KB Article ID: 2502370 – “The following updates might need to be reinstalled” message when you try to install SP1 for Windows 7 or for Windows Server 2008 R2
What’s in Service Pack 1? Microsoft states: “Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is an important update that includes previously released security, performance, and stability updates for Windows 7. SP1 also includes new improvements to features and services in Windows 7, such as improved reliability when connecting to HDMI audio devices, printing using the XPS Viewer, and restoring previous folders in Windows Explorer after restarting.”
For complete Service Pack 1 documentation, you will find it here.
The best way for most of us to get Service Pack 1 is through Windows Update since it will only install the components of SP1 that your Windows 7 version needs. This helps to keep the download to a smaller package. The ‘full’ SP1 weighs in at anywhere from 500 to 900MB, depending on which Windows platform you have! (You can get it here if you wish, but it is more for those who need to install SP1 on more than one PC, such as a small business, etc. I actually used this method when Windows Update stalled out at 24% completed. I found it faster to download the 900MB .exe file!)
As always, before installing a major service pack, or make any other changes to Windows, perform a full system backup.