Vista and XP Performance, Reliability and Compatibility Packs

Microsoft has released 2 Windows Vista fix packs and one for Windows XP. The one for XP is actually downloadable now, get it here, the two Vista fix packs have been uploaded to mediafire file serving site and can be downloaded here for the X86 version and the X64 versions here. It is being speculated that these two fix packs will be the majority of what comprises the Windows Vista sp1 and that it will not contain much more, but most all of the service pack information concerning Windows Vista is speculation right now.

938979 Vista Performance and Reliability Pack
This update resolves a number of individual issues which may be affecting some computers running Windows Vista. These issues have been reported by customers using the Error Reporting service, product support, or other means. Installing this update will improve the performance and responsiveness for some scenarios and improves reliability of Windows Vista in a variety of scenarios. Some examples of the improvements contained in this update are:

  • Improves performance in resuming back to the desktop from the Photo and Windows Energy screensaver.
  • Resolves an issue where some secured web pages using advanced security technologies may not get displayed in Internet Explorer on Windows Vista.
  • Resolves an issue where a shared printer may not get installed if the printer is connected to a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 system and User Access Control is disabled on the Vista client.
  • Resolves an issue where creating AVI files on Vista may get corrupted.
  • Improves the performance in calculating the ?estimated time remaining? when copying/moving large files.
  • Improves performance in bringing up Login Screen after resuming from Hibernate.
  • Resolves an issue where synchronization of offline files to a server can get corrupted.
  • Resolves a compatibility issue with RAW images created by Canon EOS 1D/1DS Digital SLR Camera which can lead to data loss. This only affects RAW images created by these two specific camera models.
  • Resolves an issue where a computer can lose its default Gateway address when resuming from sleep mode.
  • Improves the performance when copying or moving entire directories containing large amounts of data or files.
  • Improves the performance of Vista?s Memory Manager in specific customer scenarios and prevents some issues which may lead to memory corruption.

938194 Vista Compatibility and Reliability Pack

  • Improved reliability and compatibility of Vista when used with newer graphics cards in several specific scenarios and configurations.
  • Improved reliability when working with external displays on a laptop.
  • Increased compatibility with many video drivers.
  • Improved visual appearance of games with high intensity graphics.
  • Improved quality of playback for HD-DVD and Blue-Ray disks on large monitors.
  • Improved reliability for Internet Explorer when some third party toolbars are installed on Vista.
  • Improved Vista reliability in networking configuration scenarios.
  • Improved the reliability of Windows Calendar in Vista.
  • Improved reliability of systems that were upgraded from XP to Vista.
  • Increased compatibility with many printer drivers.
  • Increased reliability and performance of Vista when entering sleep and resuming from sleep.

Source: Major Windows Vista updates, Vista Performance, Reliability and Compatibility Pack

Looks like a lot of improvements for Windows Vista users, lets hope that it is actually the case. No reports from anyone using them currently that I am aware of. Mary Jo Foley got a look at the email sent to the testers and it had some service pack 1 information in it.

Q: What is in Windows Vista SP1?

A: ?Windows Vista SP1 is an update to Windows Vista that, along with improvements delivered to users via Windows Update, addresses feedback from our customers. In addition to previously released updates, SP1 will contain changes focused on addressing specific reliability and performance issues, supporting new types of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards.?

Q: What is not in Windows Vista SP1?

A: SP1 is not intended to be a vehicle for releasing new features; however some existing components do gain enhanced functionality in SP1. ?

Q: What are some examples of ?improved security and quality??

A: SP1 delivers improvements that target what we?ve found to be the most common causes of crashes and hangs, giving users a more reliable experience. SP1 also improves upon performance in key scenarios, such as copying files and shutdown time.

Beyond improvements to the basics, SP1 addresses other areas where we have received feedback. For example, SP1 improves the success of peer-to-peer connections, such as Windows MeetingSpace or Remote Assistance, when both PCs are behind symmetric firewalls. It also gives vendors of security software a more secure way to communicate with Windows Security Center. Source: New Vista fix packs provide updates promised for SP1

Some of the folks over on the AeroXperience.org website have benchmarked the time it takes to copy files before and after the fixes and the improvements are indeed promising.

During the tests, we quickly found copying small files (1MB-10MB) proved too difficult to time and therefore were cut from the benchmark. The other tests, however, blew us away (sorry, we’re pessimists when it comes to NVIDIA drivers and Microsoft hotfixes)…

After some very lengthy re-learning of percentages, we calculated the transfers completed over twice as fast! One oddity, however, was the fact the speed indicator in the file transfer dialog remained at a fairly constant rate (48MB/s), giving us the impression the speed calculation code is borked. Despite this, however, these numbers are very encouraging given the hotfix’s short life; we can’t wait to see what the final build delivers! Source: KB938979 to Fix File Transfer Woes. No, really.

So, it definitely appears that it will be a help to most people.