If you experience Windows Vista Service Pack 2 installation issues…

Most of the time when installing Windows Operating System service packs, the install/upgrade process proceeds without a hitch; however, there are those occasions where the install will simply fail and cause the PC to revert back (or roll back) to its’ previous state. What is frustrating is that the install will proceed through all of the stages, which can be time consuming, before you are made aware of any problems. Usually these problems are the result of the operating system missing a previous update component; or a program on your computer is interfering with the install process; or there is file corruption or inconsistency in a Windows component such as the Windows Servicing Store. With the recent release of Windows Vista Service Pack 2, I am starting to see people reporting install issues, which is not all that uncommon due to the nature of the upgrade. Let’s face it, Service Packs are a complex collection of updates, fixes and/or enhancements, some major, that effect the overall operation of the PC.

This article was drafted, not to give you a specific solution, but to provide options to explore that may lead to resolving the problem.

First point to make is that if you experience this particular issue or any other Windows based issue, always write down exactly what Windows is telling you when the failure occurs and any resulting error codes that you observe.  This information is vital in searching for a solution; whether it be using your favorite search engine (e.g. Google) or searching Microsoft’s Help & Support Site [ HERE ] or Microsoft’s Knowledge base [ HERE ] or Microsoft’s Fix it Solution Center [ HERE ]


Secondly, in the event you are using the “standalone install” of the Vista Service Pack, I suggest you visit the Microsoft Update site [HERE] to scan for and download any updates you may be missing prior to installing the Service Pack.

In reference to the Windows Vista Service Pack 2 install issue, the following knowledge base article is a good starting point.

How to troubleshoot Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 service pack installation issues

The article above will provide you with (4)-four progressive options to explore including the use of a “System Update Readiness Tool”.

The System Update Readiness Tool checks your computer and tries to resolve certain conditions that could interfere with the installation of updates or other software.

Another option to explore, if the options above did not work, that I do not see in the article, is the option of running a “System File Check”.  If none of the options reflected in the above article resolved the install problem, I would give this a try:

The System File Checker tool gives an administrator the ability to scan all of the protected files to verify their versions.

To resolve system file issues, use the System File Checker tool (SFC.exe) to determine which file is causing the issue, and then replace the file. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
  2. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:sfc /scannowThe sfc /scannow command scans all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions.

Following the operation of the “System File Checker”, I would revisit the Microsoft Update site again to scan for and download any updates, then would try (again) installing Vista Service Pack 2.

If all else fails and all options have been exhausted, you can contact “Microsoft Help & Support – Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (all languages” – [ CLICK HERE ].

Free unlimited installation and compatibility support is available for Windows Vista, but only for Service Pack 2 (SP2). This support for Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) is valid until November 26, 2009.

PLEASE NOTE:  This article has been translated to the Serbo-Croatian language by WHGeeks


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86 Responses to If you experience Windows Vista Service Pack 2 installation issues…

  1. Tux says:

    Great post. With the problems people have experienced in the past with service packs, it’s always good to get ahead of the issues, give yourself plenty of time to work through any problems that might arise, and remember that these things are released to fix and enhance the user experience, not break them. I know it seems sometimes that Microsoft does things to break their software, but that’s not the intent at all. It would be very back for business if it was. We all just need to take a deep breath and work thru the issues.

  2. Ramblinrick says:


    Thanks for the great supportive comment… I actually posted this article as result of experiencing problems installing Vista SP2 on a 64 bit system…

    Thanks for visiting… Keep up the great work on that blog of yours’.


  3. […] Today’s free link: If you experience Windows Vista Service Pack 2 installation issues… […]

  4. Pirate Frank says:

    Best solution for Vista is DOS 5.0

  5. paolo says:

    wow! i’m currently installing a windows vista service pack 2 and its taking 3 hours and still counting!!! I was doing a routine update on windows explorer for updates and sp2 showed up. It is taking forever, I’m glad I’m doing this in the middle of the night, I installed it at 12:35am. I slept and woke up right now at 3:01 am and its still installing!! at stage 2 of 3 at 6%!!!

    WTF!! Microsoft, you suck!!! I will not or will I ever venture into windows 7 or vista ever again. I am using my trusty windows xp with service pack 3!!! Microsoft, your the next GM, your too bloated, unresponsive. I will call my congressman when you ask for a bailout because everyone is jumping ship in your future.

    • not everyones hard drives run as fast as mine so when you hear people say it only took 30 min to install sp2 update thats becasue they spent more then 400 on ther pc. sp 1 was done in 25 min for me download and all restart configureing everything. get a good pc then qq if you got problems dont cry when your pc is cheap

  6. mike d says:

    I installed SP2 on 2 Dell desktops (both came with Vista reinstalled. Both systems would no longer work correctly after SP2 were installed . The 64 bit would no longer print, the other worked fine after the initial reboot, but after a subsequent reboot, nothing worked. Both systems worked fine after doing a system restore. SP2 will remain hidden, I’ve tried Windows 7 and have had driver issues. I think its time to take another look at Linus, this is really getting out of hand.

  7. Jho says:

    I just installed SP2 on my sony vaio which came with vista 64 bit pre-installed. It was working fine before hand and now I am having several problems. Every time I remove something from my usb port (safely or just removing) I get a blue screen of death. Random blue screens just seem to happen out of the blue now. And most annoying is that now, windows wont even start correctly half the time!!! I am going back to xp.

  8. Henrik says:

    Hi all.

    Came across this searching for solutions to my vista problem.

    So im putting in my reply here.
    Just installed the last service pack for vista and after it finished my desktop was turned into XP look…
    No problem i thought and did the things people do when they change the look of their interface. But Vista is locked in XP mode. Reboot and removing of the service pack left me helpless 😦

    Dont really know what to do now other then FORMAT C:

  9. Arthur says:

    Performed an automatic Upgrade from Vista Service pack 1 to Service pack 2.

    Upgrade proceeded normally. However I was not able to access my password to login to Vista and finally had to perform a reinstallation of the operting system. Frustrating!!.

  10. Mike W says:

    I’ve been running Silverlight applications fine, such as the CBS Sports All Access video player. I did the auto SP1 to SP2 upgrade and this quit working. I uninstalled and reinstalled Silverlight but still stuck while “loading”. Suggestions? Can one back off back to Vista Sp1?

  11. Byron says:

    I am having a problem with windows vista service pack 2.i installed it on my hp pavillion and since then the sound is not working :-(.somebody help?

    • Diego says:

      The same happended to me What’s going on??? Please, help me. PD: I have the same notebook HP with Conexant High Definition Smart Audio 221 but after I installed SP2 for W Vista today, the audio and drivers goes away. What happend, Reymond??

    • Tunde Williams says:

      Hi. Have you sorted the issue with the sound not working out? I’ve got the same problem and it’s soo annoying. Somebody please help

      • Tim says:

        For sound issues, the only things I can suggest at this moment is to see if either your PC/Laptop, or the sound card/Mother board manufacturer has released a new driver for SP2. I know this isn’t the most helpful advice, but at this time it is all I have.

        You could always do a system restore to a point before the installation of SP2 since I have found not one benefit to have it at this time anyway.


      • yzznhymer says:

        I ended up removing Service Pack 2 and did a system restore; sound is back and all seems fine. I’m still wondering if there is a need to install this service pack and what the fix is for the sound issue if I do. Was hoping someone more savy could help me avoid the hours it would take me to troubleshoot drivers, settings myself.

      • Tim says:


        I think you did the right thing. I have heard or seen nothing to convince me that this Service Pack is even needed. Mostly is is just a bunch of security updates that you probably already have anyway. All they did was bunch them all together. If you have been updating you Vista OS you don’t need the SP2. Just let it update the Security Issues. I recommend to everyone that is having trouble, to Restore your computer to an earlier time. If you are not sure how to do this I will add instructions.

        1. Turn on your computer.
        2. Right away start tapping the F5 button on your Keyboard. Tapping it once every second or so.
        3. This should bring you to a boot screen.
        4. You have two options here. A.) this might work or it might not, scroll down to “Last Known Good Configuration.” Highlight it and press Enter. This is the faster way but might not be successful.
        If not try this.
        B.) Follow the instructions in steps 1-3. Highlight System Restore. Press enter. Locate a Restore point that is before the SP2 installation. Choose it and let it restore.
        5. Once it is finished, in the Control Panel, locate Windows Update and tell it to “hide” the SP2 update. This should keep it from trying to re-install.

        Good Luck All,

        yzznhymer I don’t have an easy answer for you except to do what you did. Until Micrsoft works out the bugs in Vista (Don’t hold your breath) I would steer clear of the SP2 update altogether. But that is just me. My Wife’s computer runs Vista and it updated just fine. I don’t know why, I don’t think anyone knows why, but it seems to me about a 50-50 shot it will work. I don’t like those odds. I don’t like Vista. I like XP. I hope I like Windows 7.

        I guess I am done ranting now. Forgive me.

      • Ramblinrick says:


        You know, I’m with you on keeping SP1 on one of the computers I cannot get SP2 to stick. Thaks for your input and advice to the readers. Go with Windows 7, I really like it…


      • Tim says:

        I’m glad you like Windows 7. That is a good sign. I have not had the privilege yet, But I have heard good things about it, and am looking forward to giving it a go. I can’t say this about Vista. It seemed flawed from the start. Oh well, Bygones.
        Anyway, thanks for posting the page and if you ever want or need my input I would be happy to help. As I said, I work out of my home and have time to help the average Joe computer user. Plus my advice is free! try to get that from Microsoft! Lol!


      • Ramblinrick says:


        Yes, Windows 7 has been good to me and I even went the “upgrade” path instead of a clean install (just to be adventurous). Vista has dramatically improved with the Service Packs; however, it has its’ unusual ways that is not the most user friendly to the everyday user. Windows 7 has corrected alot of this and handles memory much better.

        Thank you for your input and feel free to jump in there anytime.


    • Bob says:

      I was hoping to get SP2 installed to cure some problems like no sound. I am on SP1 and some update gave me the same problem with no sound a couple of years ago. I have been using a workaround since then! It was easy so never got around to searching for the solution. After every reboot, I have to go to Device Manager and scan for hardware changes. It fixes sound till the next reboot.

      Best regards.

  12. Ramblinrick says:


    Possibly a driver issue…


  13. Mike W says:

    Update on my Silverlight problem with CBS All Access Sports. The tech support folks told me they were having trouble. It was just coincidental that my problem happened after my SP1 to Sp2 upgrade.

  14. Eric Swanson says:

    My laptop has been stuck at stage 3 of 3 0% for 45 minutes now. The screen reads “Do not turn off your computer.” So I don’t know what to do. If the percentage was creeping along I wouldn’t worry I’d just sit tight. But it’s not doing anything.

  15. cornel stanchi says:

    hi, i am trying to install the sp2 on my acer extensa. runs on vista home basic 34 bit. every time i try to turn of my ccomputer, it randomly shows that it is installing the update (step 1/3 completed 0% for example) and it gets stuck at 0%. every single time i turn off or on the computer. also have to mention that since the day i tried to install the sp2, the notebook works like hell. can’t see a movie without it blocking, can’t play a game right, even music player is afected. it’s very slow , it can not ready USB devices, not even memory cards. the bigger problem is that i can’t even uninstall the sp2. it always gives the same error that some files couldn’t be uninstalled and te process terminates. even tried it with the other steps recommended by the all mighty Microsoft on the support website. i hope i won’t be forced to reinstall windows. please, what woukd you recommend? thank you in advance.

  16. Tim says:

    I am a computer technician. In the last two weeks I have been flooded with Vista SP2 issues. My best advice for anyone is to NOT install it. Some Vista machines are having no problems, others are completely useless now. The list of issues I have come across, but I’m sure are not limited to: Drivers (Sound, Video, USB ports, and wireless interface devices.)Power issues such as batteries no longer charging and auto power saving settings. To complete Operating system failure. At this time I have come across no fixes for the latter other than a complete re-install.
    Vista has once again proven itself to be a complete failure. Pray Windows 7 will be better.

    • Ramblinrick says:


      On a personal note, I too have experienced it being an easy install TO it not installing at all. I currently have a PC where it will go through the install routine, which takes some time, then it will tell me that the install was unsuccessful. Been banging my head on this one and apparently something is amiss in one of the past updates. Windows 7 is and will be a much better OS.


  17. […] If you experience Windows Vista Service Pack 2 installation issues… […]

  18. goom says:

    i can’t get it to work either.
    says something about services not able to update and error code 80041315.

    5 failed tries.

  19. Tim says:

    I wish I had answers for everyone. Sadly, the only answer I have come across on the last two Vista machines that had trouble with SP2 was a clean install. While this is a complete pain in the butt, it was the only solution I could do to get Vista running again. The silly thing is, once I did a fresh install on Vista, the computers updated to SP2 just fine. I know it seems silly to do this, but I was curious to see if it would do it after a clean install. It did, and now seems to be working fine. But for those who have not installed Vista SP2 I still suggest not doing it. Unfortunately, I’m guessing anyone reading this has already done so. On a positive note. Windows 7 looks good. I think Microsoft should give a free copy of Windows 7 to anyone who had to suffer Vista.

  20. Tim says:

    All of you feel free to e-mail me with questions. I work out of my home and have plenty of time to help help frustrated Windows users. I know how frustrating it can be getting free advice. I try to do the best I can.

    Tim Shoemaker.
    A+ Hardware
    A+ OS

    • Katy says:

      Tim, you can email me at Katysailboat at aol dot com if you get this message. I need to know how to do a “clean install” on Windows Vista since I upgraded from Serv Pack 1 to Service Pack 2 on my laptop. It screwed up everything and there is no restore point beyond Service Pack 2 on it.

      I don’t want to lose all my pictures however that’s on my laptop so tell me if I need to get’m saved somehow. Thanks Katy

      PS Everything almost worked except for my Sprint Wireless device- it couldn’t detect it after the upgrade to SPack 2. No Internet connection is a major problem in fixing the darn thing.

  21. Tim says:

    You might need this.


  22. Anthony says:

    I tried installing Service Pack 2 on Tuesday night. A few seconds into the installation, the computer froze, and the screen turned into small blue and white checkers (color scheme may have been due to a website I had in the background). The computer was unresponsive, even to control+alt+delete, so I shut it off by pressing the power button. Since then, my computer does not turn on. The screen remains black, I hear the whirring motor, and see the blue lights on the keyboard turn on. After about 30 seconds, it shuts down, then quickly the cycle repeats. I have not been able to get a log-on screen yet. Even the F5 trick mentioned above has not worked. My Norton software indicated that my computer was secure. Any ideas? Do I need to replace my hard drive?

    • Tim says:

      Wow, I know SP2 has some problems but yours might be the worst so far. In fact, I’m not entirely convinced it is. What might cause this is a serious driver conflict with your video card. Or your HDD has failed. Or Vista Gremlins.
      Ok, the first thing I want you to do (if this is a laptop)I want you to take out your battery and unplug your computer. Then, hold down your Power Button for about 30 secs. This is called refreshing the Capacitors.
      After the 30 secs, plug the computer back in and try to turn it back on. Note: this will also work with desktops, and even HD TVs, but I see it most with laptops.
      If this doesn’t work, try tapping the F8 button instead of the F5. If this doesn’t work, We have a more serious problem.
      What we need to try to do is see if it will boot in Safe Mode. this “should” eliminate any driver issues.
      But, I understand if you are getting no picture at all, you can’t put it into any mode.
      Let me know how refreshing the capacitors goes and we will go from there.

      Also, do you, or did you hear any sort of “clicking sound” coming from your computer?


      • Anthony says:

        Thanks for your help, Tim. I blame the gremlins.

        When this problem occured first (last Sunday night), I could start windows in safe mode, and all was fine. Then the incident on Tuesday occurred.

        I tried refreshing the capacitors, to no avail – the cycle on/off problem still occurs, and the screen is still black. The F8 method did not work either. The computer chirps when it cycles off.

        I have searched aroung the internet and asked at BestBuy, and here are some of my findings:

        1. Computer is dusty, and mother board could be dying. Clean vents, or replace fan.
        2. HP users are complaining about HP quality. For some, the above solutions have not worked. Others record problems I have been having: wireless no longer works (HP posted a notice about this which applied to my product, but I fall outside the cut-off date for the special warranty), computer inexplicably shuts off mid-session (someone said this could be the computer processing hidden updates), and one person has a problem almost identical to mine. For some recorded HP problems, see http://www.fixya.com/support/t1067023-hp_pavilion_dv6000_turn

      • Tim says:


        Sorry to hear about that, but was wondering if it was an hardware issue and not Vista. How old is your computer? Most of the issues you listed, Fan or CPU you should be getting an alarm. Did your computer come with a Vista disk? If not did you make a recovery disk? If so, see if the computer will boot from a disk. Also, do you get a single Beep when you turn it on in the first place? Shoot me back a message and let me know.


      • Anthony says:

        Thanks, Tim.

        My computer was purchased May of 2007. I am not aware of any alarm for the fan or CPU. The computer only came with a Vista anytime upgrade disk. I did not make recovery disks. I guess it can’t hurt to try booting with the anytime upgrade disk.

        It chirps once when it turns on. I notice that the past few times the fan does not make a loud whirring noise.

        I just tried inserting the upgrade disk, but the motor only cycles with the computer.


    • Tim says:


      Man, it sounds like a hardware issue to me. That single “chirp” you hear at start up is your computer running a POST test. 1 beep is supposed to mean that the hardware has passed the test. Now, if you are saying that the fan does not make the normal sound that it always has before, it would make sense that it could have failed. Most times it should set off an alarm if a fan has failed, though some computers only sound an alarm when the CPU fan has failed. This still does not explain your computer passing the POST test. Unfortunately, there is not much more I can tell you without actually seeing the computer. I have a few things I would try but I don’t know how comfortable you would be with trying these more advanced “Fixes/Tests.”
      I wish there was a way I could help more, but we are running out of options short of taking it to a professional. Oh, and by this I don’t mean the “Geek Squad” you’ll be lucky if it ever works again once they get their hands on it.
      All I can say is good luck.


    • judy says:

      is it an hp product? I have had that problem. I managed to repair it by doing a f12 or f10 . which ever one goes into your system bios….do a full scan from there. It worked for me twice now. Good Luck……..And like everyone else here.. windows 7 seem much better than all other windows….

  23. Dave Hoder says:

    Just wanted to document my experience here also and offer some suggestions. I installed sp2 yesterday on my wife’s computer. I don’t like Vista and am sticking with XP on my machine. The sp installed fine and everything seemed to work. This morning she started here computer and got some kind of startup error (she couldn’t tell me exactly what the error was). When I got to the computer both the sound controller and storage controller were not functioning with a corrupt or missing driver in Device Manager.
    I checked windows update and found a couple of updates which I thought I’d install before looking for new drivers. After installling the updates I rebooted and checked again for updates. This time sp2 was shown as an update again! I let it re-install and now everything is functional again with no driver errors.
    One thing I would suggest is making sure ALL device drivers are current including motherboard drivers (check the manufacturers site, not windows update). Tim did you install different (current) mb drivers on the systems that wouldn’t work before?

    • Tim says:

      Yes, a very good point I left out. I made sure the computers were updated with all of the latest drivers and security updates for that matter. In fact I made sure all updates were done and manually set a restore point and even backed up my registry before finally trying SP2 again. Both times it worked. So, maybe that is the key. Of course the key could also be:

      1.Don’t bother with SP2.
      2.Go back to XP
      3.Move on to Windows 7

      I think you all know my opinion of Vista.


  24. John says:

    I have found this thread most useful. It seems that I am lucky that SP2 failed to install and I am not attempting it again, having read what can happen. I bought Vista because it was pre-loaded on a new Sony computer in 2008. It is clearly full of faults and I think it is terrible that I am expected to pay again to get Windows 7.

  25. Andres says:

    While updating my wife’s computer to Service Pack 2 after the system restart it only keep repeating the message that the installation was not completed and it is removing the update. It restart automatically repeating the same message. After more than 4 hours I give up. Please indicate if there is a solution.

  26. rich says:

    i installed the service pack last night and after the LONG wait i restarted and got a blue screen then got the window that says windows couldnt start and i tried over and over but it would start up i have to wipe everythig and reinstall WINDOWS SUCKS!!!!!

    • Darlene Vile says:

      ME TOO. Tried to stalled the Vista SP2 on my comp (vista home 32 bit), and after it completed, my system shut itself down, tried to restart but ot the blue screen of death. It then said that Windows cannot start and must try to repair itself. After hours and hours, it still had not repaired itself. So we had to send it back to HP to get repaired. At least it was under warranty. I knew they had to wipe it clean, but I assumed they were going to install the new SP2 for me, but no, and it seems it never will be.

      • Ramblinrick says:


        Thanks for sharing your pain with Vista SP2. Seems a lot of people have experienced problems with trying to get that service pack on their PC’s…


      • Ramblinrick says:


        Thanks for sharing your pain with Vista SP2. Seems a lot of people have experienced problems with trying to get that service pack on their PC’s…


  27. Dylan says:

    all I get is the blue scree with…
    a problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.
    if this is the first time you’ve seen this Stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:
    Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a new installation, ask your hardware or software manufacturer for any windows updates you might need.
    If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup options, and then select Safe Mode
    Technical information:
    *** STOP: 0x0000C1F5 (0x00000000,0x00000000,0x00000000,0x000000000

    • Mairtin says:

      I have the exact same message. My wife turned the power off in the middle of a service pack update for her acer aspire 1610. Windows will not start. We’ve even tried putting recsue discs in and changing the setting to boot from cd rom but are getting the same message regardless. We can’t find any option for disabling cashing or shadowing in the advanced bios (there’s no option given reguarding memory at all)and when a restart option is available after going through this, ‘Safe mode’ is not given as an option – it’s either repair mode or start windows normaly.the pc is just two years old and has run perfectly until this service pack hijacked it.

  28. m. d. mcginley says:

    I had my doubts ever since installing Vista SP-2 on my Presario 5601. Everything was slower than it used to be, and one of my favorite applications kept crashing. Not to mention, I was getting tired of three and four-minute powerdowns and startups. So last week I repartioned my hard drive with the factory programs and rolled back to Vista Service Pack 1, updating, of course, the Windows Defender and my Spybot Search and Destroy. Once I turned off the Norton Antivirus and trimmed my System to raw performance and essential systems only via the msconfig and services control panel, now I have fast shutdowns and my boot time has been increased to 35 seconds. 35 seconds! So it seems like the more they try to fix an operating system that was never ready for the market in the first place, the more they muck it up. I don’t need to burn blue rays, nor do I need the so called “enhancements” of Service Pack 2. Service Pack one is way faster, and that is what matters to me. With defender and Spybot S & D, the security will be there without SP-2 eating up my precious RAM and compute cycles. It’s like, so unnecessary! I’m so glad I rolled back to SP-1 on Vista, I have no plans to “upgrade,” since that’s more crap I just don’t need or use.

  29. Chickpea says:

    Thanks for all the information and posts, Rick and Tim.

    I had a problem that sounds similar to Anthony’s, although I was aware as it was happening it was likely hard drive death. I had bought the extended warranty from HP and they replaced the HD, reinstalling Vista. However, while it seems to be a better/newer Vista than I first had (which I hated), it still wanted to do lots of updates. I have probably installed 50 updates, since Windows never managed to smarten up by just giving me SP-1 to start with.

    When today it told me it wanted me to download SP-2, I googled about it. I am glad I found this (and a lot of other similar information), and I’ll be sure not to even try this one. (Only problem is I think there were some security patches I hadn’t downloaded, and I should go figure out about getting those… sigh.)

    • Ramblinrick says:


      Since the posting of this article, I still have not found a solution to getting SP2 on a PC that I have… Just will not take it! I plan to upgraded to Windows 7.

      Thank you for posting a comment…


  30. Shobhit says:

    I probably did a silly thing to stop the SP2 upgrade in the middle as it was taking for ever to complete installation. I cannot start windows any more. Can any please let me know how to rectify this problem.

  31. Bill says:

    I had a similar round of issues with SP2. Mt Dell came with Vista 32 bit home basic and while it did work, was very slow. Then, a month ago the hard drive failed and I installed a new one, reloaded vista and the software. Suffered through a seige of updates (71 of them!) The next day I received notice that the SP2 update was downloaded and ready to install so I went ahead with it. (After all, it was on the original hard drive and it worked, right?) Well, you guessed it. After the install the next boot didn’t work. The message was: winloadexe. missing or corrupt. Did all the suggested fixes – repair windows etc., but still got the blue screen warnings and failed boot sequences until I did the system restore to the first day. Also hid SP2 update and changed settings to notify but don’t download. Systems works now, but there still is an issue when I try to run Roxio creator – not all the time, but often enough to be annoying and there aren’t any updates available for my version. Now that the support for SP2 has expired I wonder where that leaves us unfortunates. Vista and the service packs have been the best ads for Apple anyone could have imagined, and that will be my next computer. Why would anyone assume that Windows 7 will be any better?

  32. Dean says:

    Just wanted to post to thank Tim for the advice. I was having the usual failure to install, but my laptop was stuck in ‘reverting changes’ mode. It just kept restarting over and over again – I couldn’t figure out how to stop it. Tim’s 5 Nov note did the trick. Much thanks!

  33. France says:

    I click on windows update then click on install. Then service pack was under process. It is taking so long. How long will it take? On the screen of my laptop is !!Oxc0000034!! 250/86899 (_000000000000000.cdf-ms) Is there any problem with my computer? What is happening to my computer? Can anyone help me on this matter? Please.. Thank you..

  34. Hezekiah says:

    Have it solved.

    With pre-installed OS download the SP2 file then reboot in Safe Mode and go from there.

    It worked as a final desperate move on my part and took about 20 minutes to instal.

    Hope this helps.

  35. […] If you experience Windows Vista Service Pack 2 installation issues… […]

  36. Shirley says:

    Hi there !

    I am having problems too installing vista SP2.
    What a nightmare !
    It takes like forever to install and no information at all on what is going on…
    I’ve been looking around for a solution but it looks like a lot of people have problems too.
    As far as I am concerned, I would give up but I’m pretty sure one day I will get an error message stating SP2 is the minimum required to install some software (bad habits are hard to loose and I practice M$ for a looooong time now…).
    Anyhow, it’s a pleasure to read a blog like this one specially when I now I’ve got another night in front of me to fix my computer !

    • Ramblinrick says:


      Thank you for your comments. There is definitely an issue with the SP2 service pack on various PCs. To this day, I still cannot get SP2 to take on my Father’s PC.


  37. Howard says:

    Downloaded SP2 15 times and tried to install 15 times in Vista. Will not install, even after all the tips and tricks – clean up tools, troubleshooting, and even many emails with Microsoft – depsite the fact that they will not support Vista anymore.
    Unfortuntely, the only program that won’t run is Pinnacle Studio 14 (12 works) without it (error – Importer has stopped working).

    Finally gave up and went to buy Windows 7, but was told that one could not upgrade up from Vista to Windows 7 unless Service Pak 2 is installed. Anyone know if this is true.

    No wonder one of the comments mentioned Apple looking better all the time.

  38. Chickpea says:

    I’m still subscribed to this thread and want to say that it has been 9 months of daily usage without SP-2 and I am fine. Still hate Vista but they told me I have to upgrade my memory (1Gb to 2??) in order to upgrade to Win7.

    I hadn’t heard I’d need SP-2 for that and I doubt it is true, isn’t upgrading really just a re-install of the OS? And my understanding is they kept it affordable after pissing everyone off with the awfulness that is Vista!

    Enlightenment welcome!

    • Ramblinrick says:


      Service Packs is basically major fixes and enhancements. If you can, jump to Windows 7. It will run on 1 GB. I run it on a netbook with 1 gb; however, runs nicely on 3 to 4 gb


  39. playswithwindows says:

    I jumped through a lot of hoops and spent a lot of time trying all the suggestions I could find. Finally, I decided to reinstall Vista on my desktop from my reinstall disk. I watched a youtube vid showing how to reinstall Vista and that was very helpful because I had never done that before. It showed me what to expect.

    I reinstalled with the disk. The disk contained Vista Home Premium plus Service Pack 1. Then I did the windows updates (that took several hours). I manually installed SP2 and it worked. Then I downloaded Microsoft Security Essentials. Copied all my personal files that I had saved, and installed other programs. The entire process took me about 5 hours.

    • Ramblinrick says:


      Ironically, just a couple of days back, I did a rebuild on a Vista PC that would not take SP2. The reinstall of the OS, then SP1, then SP2 cured the problem. As with anything with this stuff, it is very time consuming and patient is required.


  40. owen says:

    This Windows Vista Service Pack 2 update has had devastating effects on my computer! I have a Toshiba A300-1MC. I did have SP2 installed, but my computer stopped Windows Updates, so I did Toshiba HDD Recovery and installed SP1 again. I tried to install Service Pack 2 again after the factory reset, so I got to the end of the Service Pack installation, and it said that I had to restart my computer. When I got to the end of Stage 1 of 3, it said that some changes could not be completed. reverting changes. will retry on startup. It rebooted and tried to reinstall SP2 again! When it got to the end of Stage 3 of 3, I logged in and it said that multiple drivers had stopped working! So I tried to do a System Restore, and then I found out that it had deleted all of my restore points! So I copied all my files and then had to do Toshiba HDD Recovery again! I feel like formatting and reinstalling a clean copy of vista off an installation dvd

  41. NICKY says:


  42. Cassandra says:

    I need a minimum of Vista SP2 for the internet I want, would I be sooner off just backing up all my files and putting the money out to upgrade to Windows 7? I’ve tried installing SP2 but all that happens is it takes forever to “Install” then upon reboot it just stays on a black screen with a flashing dash. It’s strange and not cool.

    • Ramblinrick says:


      I too experienced Vista SP2 install issues. I ended up restoring the computer back to factory specs, performing the Windows Updates and then installing SP2. A lot of work to just install a Service Pack, but it worked (at least for me).


  43. Chickpea says:

    I’m still here and still managing *without* SP2… pretty happily. I do all the upgrades, and am okay (I suppose it might have installed SP 2 without my knowledge but I doubt it somehow… is that possible Rick?!).

  44. Fainth says:

    I can’t go on http://www.microsoft.com
    I can’t browse their website What should I do?!

  45. sim says:

    Ive just seen that my install(is vista sp2) i didn’t relised it install it which cause non driver install issiues…………. won’t install even a hardrive via sata, meaning i can’t back up data. (lost all my back ups on my wd 1tb) to reinstall that vista to a .grrrr not happy customer!!!!!!!!!!!! gonna wait for windows 8 but that prob got more issues with drivers from older hardware. thanks all

  46. howtofixmycomputer…

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  48. […] If you experience Windows Vista Service Pack 2 installation issues… […]

  49. Gerry Garcia says:

    just restore your computer i did it and it installed service pack 2

  50. blah bla says:

    Gf’s comp is having this issue. All official MS channels keep saying the same junk “Run Update Readiness Tool”. “Run File Checker”. I do all this. They say everything is fine. I’ve tried SP2 about 6 times now… all fail within 30 minutes. Windows Update Log provides no clue what’s up…no error message in pop-up as to why it failed, too. We think we’ll try the Vista install cd’s repair option, but I’m not holding my breath. The main issue I’m having is I’d rather just bump her up to Windows 7, but I’m not going to reward MS’ bad behaviour with a no-go SP2 install by rewarding them with $100+ to go to a new version of their OS. But, we’re stuck. She doesn’t know Linux, and we’re not going to pop $1000+ on an Apple. It’s a no-go. We’re just stuck. It’s a freaking let-down, and I feel powerless to MS, which is not how I want to feel as a consumer. If it was my comp, I’d be reverting to XP or something else I could get on there for free (even some flavor of Linux). But, it’s my gf’s comp…she only knows Windows. And, b/c this stupid SP hasn’t installed for a year now (I’ve only known her for 3 months), a virus got on her comp, b/c NO OTHER UPDATES WILL SHOW UP until we get SP2 in. IE: she hasn’t been able to update her comp at all for a year, b/c SP2 keeps trying to install and nothing else will come through until it succeeds. So…we’re stuck. Guess I’m reformatting her computer or something…prob get the same issue, though. How do I know I won’t? This is completely aggravatiing, and I’m upset with MS over it.

  51. Denae says:

    Just had to leave a little note….sp2 still messed up why should I have to buy windows 7 since I already bought vista. I did bite the bullet and do it on my laptop..but this is ridiculous they’re getting even more money. I’m not sure they didn’t corrupt it to make us have to buy 7 on purpose….just frustrated.

  52. Antonia says:

    SP2 is just shit. It has stuffed up my Vista Home Premium on my Toshiba Laptop which was working perfectly since day one in 2007. Don’t know what to do now ? Do I uninstall SP2 ? Do I have to upgrade to Windows 7 ?

  53. […] If you experience windows vista service pack 2 […]

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