Product Note: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 For Providers

Important note: this document is designed for Local Support Providers (LSPs). This page was last modified on Tuesday, 31-Jan-2012 14:21:29 EST.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) become available through Microsoft Update on February 22nd. SP1 is the first significant update to Microsoft's newest operating system.

Information Systems & Computing (ISC) initially will support Windows 7 Service Pack 1 for its clients, including off-campus students, only on new systems that ship with Windows 7 Service Pack 1 pre-installed. ISC strongly recommends that all other University users adopt a "wait and see" approach, continuing to use previous versions of Windows (including Windows 7 RTM, Windows Vista SP2, and Windows XP SP3) until the initial bugs in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 are identified and fixed.

When ISC recommends this upgrade, it will be for systems that have at least 1.0 GB of RAM (2.0 GB or more of RAM will yield a substantially better experience).

Provider note: a Service Pack 1 installation on a fully patched Lenovo ThinkPad T410s with Windows 7 Ultimate took 3.0 GB of temporary disk space, one reboot, and approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete. This installation actually returned approximately 2.5 GB of disk space when it was complete.

Current Windows 7 Incompatibilities

Microsoft's Remote Server Administration Tools will not install (but do function) under Windows 7 Service Pack 1.


How to Get It

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is available at the University in three different ways:

  1. For users who have Automatic Update installed and set to automatically download and install, Windows 7 Service Pack 1 become available on February 22, 2011. The timing for users to receive SP1 through Automatic Update depends on a number of factors, including the user's Internet usage, location, language, and level of Internet demand for SP1.

    Provider note: providers who wish to prevent Automatic Update from installing Windows 7 Service Pack 1 may deploy the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit. This toolkit uses an executable to create a registry key that blocks downloading of SP1 (and other Microsoft operating system service packs) for twelve months.

  2. For users with Penn's Windows Automatic Update Service (WAUS) activated, WAUS will install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 after the end of the "wait and see" period, currently planned for a month after the February 22nd release.
  3. The full download of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is available from Microsoft here.


What's New in Windows 7 Service Pack 1

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 does not add many new features to Windows 7. Like Windows Vista Service Pack 1; it is mostly a compatibility, reliability, and performance upgrade.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 does have a few new features:

  1. Windows 7 Service Pack 1 adds support for Advanced Vector Extension (AVX). This technology helps optimize and enhance performance for applications that are floating point intensive.
  2. Windows 7 Service Pack 1 also will support communications with third-party federation services that support the WS-Federation passive profile protocol.

    Provider note: overall impact on client systems should not be major. Changes will be minor usability fixes and other specific issue fixes.

For further information

Microsoft's Notable Changes in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 page.

ISC's Windows 7 page.

-- John Mulhern III, Lead for Client Technologies, ISC Technology Support Services

Thanks to Carl Kishel, Andrew Romond, Don Thatcher, and Vern Yoneyama.

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Date Posted: February 21, 2011

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