| By Susan Bradley |
I’m revisiting my advice and guidance on Windows 7 SP1, because many Windows Secrets readers had questions.
And we’ll revisit issues with that Patch Watch problem child, .NET 4.
When is Windows 7 Service Pack 1 mandatory?
In the last Patch Watch, I gave the thumbs-up to Windows 7 Service Pack 1. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean some user won’t encounter installation issues. Despite its problems, I’m sticking to my recommendation to install SP1; I believe the process won’t get any better, and sooner or later we’ll need this service pack on our systems. Sometime in the next year or two, Microsoft will probably make SP1 mandatory for you to receive needed security updates.
► What to do: Although Microsoft recommends that single-PC users go to Windows Update for SP1, I still recommend that you manually download and install it. Manual downloads have given me the best updating results. You’ll find KB 976932 on the Win7 SP1 download page.
Note! Before you install SP1, back up your system and review The Windows Servicing Guy’s blog, “General guidance before installing Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2,” for tips on what to watch for.
My rule for application-compatibility updates
Updates such as Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool or Outlook junk filters I typically install as soon as they’re offered. But I’ll often hold off installing any new Windows updates that appear on the unofficial, second Patch Tuesday (usually, the forth Tuesday of the month). These updates seem to have more problems. For example, if I see a Windows Application Compatibility Updates (WACU) offered, I’ll typically add the patch to a test system, then watch the update forums for problems discovered by others.
Sometimes these late-month patches are worth trying immediately, such as the fix in Microsoft Support article 2541014, which addresses a hybernation problem that might appear after installing Windows 7 Service Pack 1.