Frustrated Users Rage Against Vista SP1

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RTFM, or "Read the Fine Manual', is a term that's often wielded by exasperated IT staff whenever users don't read product manuals or follow basic instructions.

Microsoft officials may also be using the term this week in response to angry Windows users who've been venting their frustrations at being unable to download Vista service pack 1.

In a Thursday post to the Vista team blog, a poster using the handle 'COG93rd' seemed to be particularly upset by the experience.

"I'm losing my mind. I want the new SP. I followed instructions on checking updates ... it's not 'there' and my updates are fully up to date. If I go to my "control panel", it doesn't appear that I've got SP1 running.....why can't I get this update?" wrote 'COG93rd'.

At least some users' problems appear to stem from their not following Microsoft's instructions for installing the update or not being aware of the 8 different reasons Microsoft has outlined for why Vista SP1 might not be listed as available for them to download from Windows Update.

For example, some users apparently aren't aware that Windows Update won't dispatch Vista SP1 to PCs with certain device drivers that Microsoft has identified as troublesome, including display drivers from Intel and a software driver from Symantec.

Other users apparently hadn't realized that Vista SP1 is only available now for English, French, Spanish, German, and Japanese versions, and that the additional 31 language versions aren't due until mid-April.

However, there appear to be some issues with Vista SP1 that fall outside the scope of Microsoft's troubleshooting checklist. On the Vista team blog, user 'ObiWan' claimed that after installing SP1, the battery tray icon on their PC disappeared. Another poster, 'ronroyer', said that installing SP1 on their HP Pavilion laptop led to a loss of Internet connectivity.

And, according to a Tuesday post on the technology blog Digital Insipiration, running Vista SP1 with the Aero interface causes pointers for certain types of wireless and optical mice to malfunction, despite these devices having been certified by Microsoft as 'Vista Compatible'.

But not all users have experienced problems with Vista SP1, although the voices expressing positive thoughts on the Vista team blog are a distinct minority. A poster using the handle 'BJW' who installed Vista SP1 on an Acer laptop said the process went smoothly and the performance gains have been significant.

"No device driver issues, no language issues, nothing. If anything, it is loading Vista and programs faster, and shutdown has sped up as well," wrote BJW.

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