Installing Windows Vista Service Pack 2

If you are a Windows Vista user, you will be prompted within the next several weeks to download Service Pack 2 via the Windows Update Service. If you do not want to wait for the auto update to kick in, the standalone version of Service Pack 2 is available now for download. If you opt to download the standalone version you will need to determine if you have the x86 (32 bit edition) or the x64 (64 bit edition) version of Vista.

x86 Windows Vista x86 (32 bit) – [ GET IT HERE ]

x64 Windows Vista x64 (64 bit) – [ GET IT HERE ]

Brief Description

Service Pack 2, the latest service pack for both Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, supports new types of hardware and emerging hardware standards, includes all of the updates that have been delivered since SP1, and simplifies deployment, for consumers, developers, and IT professionals. [ Source: Microsoft ]

Information about Service Pack 2

The installation process might take an hour or more. Therefore, if you are installing SP2 on a portable computer, make sure that you plug in the power cord.

During the installation, your computer will restart several times. Therefore, save your work, and exit all open programs before you begin.

After you install SP2, a sound device or some other hardware device may no longer work. If this behavior occurs, just install an updated driver for the device.

[ Source: Microsoft Help and Support ]

In addition to fixes, there are improvements that have been made:

Improved reliability and compatibility of non-Microsoft programs.

Additional hardware improvements, including support for Bluetooth wireless technology and improved Wi-Fi connection performance, after the computer resumes from sleep mode.

Improved indexing and searching capabilities.

Improved TV recording in Windows Media Center.

Reflected below is a clip from PC World where users that installed Service Pack 2 are reporting increases in free disk space…

1clipsm Windows Vista SP2: Readers Report Big Increases in Free Disk Space

Nick Mediati, PC World

May 29, 2009 8:16 pm


Windows Vista Service Pack 2 went final earlier this week, with numerous fixes and tweaks to improve performance, bolster security, and squash bugs. But some PC World readers are seeing another welcome change to SP2: a lot more free disk space.

In comments posted in our forums, several readers reported large increases in free hard disk space after installing Vista SP2. Mind you, I’m not talking about a gigabyte here or there; one reader claimed that installing Vista SP2 freed up a massive 40 GB chunk of disk space. Another reader said, “Wow! I didn’t notice that til now. I went from about 88GB free to 122GB free. That’s a significant change ‘under the hood,’ isn’t it?” And yet another reader gained back 130 GB of hard disk space. Wow.

[ Source: PCWorld ]


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15 thoughts on “Installing Windows Vista Service Pack 2

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  1. Well, so just to tell you Rick that the SP2 took away around 20GB hard disk space so I am quite astonished by the above claims.


  2. I hate to ‘ding’ such a resource as PC World, but I am a tech: if I found 130 GB’s less files on my hard drive, I would have a heart attack!

    The only way that makes any sense.. is if as a part of the SP install, the disk cleanup tool is run, and this person had never, ever, not once, emptied the Recycle Bin, or cleared their cache, or rebooted.. and their machine was several (like.. 5+) years old!

    It will clear up some disk space because old (redundant) updates and their uninstallers are removed, but this is no ‘miracle’ performer.


  3. I think the author at PC World was trying to figure out how this was occurring as well…

    Thanks you for visiting and commenting.


  4. I agree with the above details of reclaimed disk space.
    I have installed SP2 this afternoon – smooth as silk. Before the upgrade, I had 42.3Gb free. After the upgrade I can now see 71.8Gb free disk space.
    All my personal files and non-OS programs all seem to be intact, so I assume it relates to redundant Microsoft binaries and data.


    1. ijargon,

      I am in agreement with you that it is redundant MS files that have been harbored on the system. I am glad that your SP2 install was successful.

      Thank you for visiting the blog and submitting a comment that will be helpful to other readers.



  5. It is “very true” that after installation of service pack 2 we gain a nice percent of hard disk space. I have personally seen it. And I know a small answer to why also – Earlier I used to sum up all the hard disk space consumed by all the files on the PC and it always totalled 15% percent lower of the actual hard disk space. It seems now microsoft has improved the space management and returned us (thank god) the free space earlier wasted and neither reported as used nor wasted.


  6. Just to add another confirmation, today I saw an increase in available hard drive space by 50 GB’s after installing SP2! I always manage my computer and keep temporary files to a minimum. And after this space increase, I have seen no loss of files… yet =P
    So I’m hoping it’s one of the improvements included in the update, by clearing unnecessary system files. Go microsoft! lol


  7. Ran SP2 this morning-took about 45 minutes and free space went from 88 GB to 107 GB . Immediately checked e-mail,web,and files and all seems OK.
    Thankyou for advice and putting mind at ease .I could never understand how my available HDD was so long as i am punctual with housekeeping


    1. David,

      That is great… The Vista Service Pack 2 is a pain in the butt for some people. I currently have one PC and it will absolutely not accept the Service Pack… I am still trying to figure this one out.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting…



  8. I later realized that the SP2 though gave space, was actually a fake, it was a shadow space used for purposes of windows restore – this space is not shown in the file system. This space gain as you must have already seen was temporary – sooner or later windows would have started making more and restore points and space would have lost soon. To see the amount of space currently allocated to the restore space do following.
    Click on the Start button (the circular windows icon in the taskbar) in the textbox where start search is written click there and type in cmd – a cmd icon and program will appear above it – right click that and click “run as administrator”. A black cmd window will open type in vssadmin list shadowstorage – and you will see the maximum space used for restore as well as how much maximum it can go.
    If you know what is going on only then try to reduce the shadow storage space (because reducing it reduces your capability to revert to older state – you may need to revert to older state of your computer for example if you have installed a wrong windows update and it has started causing you problems.


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