Microsoft today resumed the automatic distribution of a Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) prerequisite, called the Servicing Stack Update (SSU), after releasing a fix for the problem. The resumption of this download means that millions of additional Windows Vista owners will begin receiving Vista SP1 automatically via Windows Update in the days ahead.
"This update helps to ensure a smooth install of the SSU by working to prevent the system from rebooting during the SP1 SSU installation, an issue that a small number of customers experienced when they first issued the SSU in February," a Microsoft representative said.
After these customers complained of constant reboots while trying to install the SSU, Microsoft suspended automatic distribution of the file. Microsoft investigated the cause and then isolated and fixed the problem in a separate update. So the SSU and this separate update are now available via Windows Update.
Microsoft says that anyone who successfully downloaded and installed the SSU previously doesn't need a patch. The problem, it seems, was with the SSU installer code and not with the SSU itself. So as part of the prerequisite installation process it will now look for the fix first. (Think of the fix as a prerequisite for the prerequisite, I guess.)
"These two updates should now install seamlessly through Windows Update, in the proper order, so those of you with WU set to 'install updates automatically' who haven't already installed the SSU don't have to take any further action," a blog post from the Microsoft Update team reads. "For those using the standalone download of SP1, the issues we encountered do not affect that method of installing at all."
In a separate blog post, Microsoft director Chris Flores said the company was on track to begin initial release of SP1 in all supported languages by mid-April. This schedule was originally announced in February.