HP Support







Precautions to Take Before Updating to Vista Service Pack 2

This document pertains to HP Pavilion Notebook and Compaq Presario PCs with Windows Vista.
This document will provide a general overview of what you should do to prepare your computer for an update to Vista Service Pack 2. You may want to view other documents to learn how to perform the recommended tasks.
You may wish to print this document out and use it as a reference during some of the procedures.
What is SP2 and should I install it?
The Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) is a collection of the latest enhancements and improvements in the Vista operating system. SP2 is a free update and you are encouraged to install it to keep your computer operating efficiently.
Before attempting to install SP2, you must install SP1 and Servicing Stack Update 955430 as well as all the critical updates from Microsoft. The installation of SP2 may take an hour or more, and the computer cannot be used during that time. See HP Notebook PCs - Precautions to Take Before Updating to Vista Service Pack 1 for additional information about SP1.
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 is available through the Windows Update function. You should visit the Microsoft web site for information on how to back up your files to an external storage device and temporarily disabling the antivirus programs during the installation. If you have specific questions about what to do before installing SP2, you should go to http://www.microsoft.com and search for “Windows Vista SP2.”
Installing the Windows Vista Service Pack 2
There are two ways to obtain the Vista Service Pack 2 from Microsoft:
  • Highly Recommended - Use the Windows Update function to install the Service Pack.
  • Not Recommended - Manually download the full multiple language Service Pack from the Microsoft Download site, copy it to a DVD, and then install it from the DVD.
HP and Microsoft recommend that you use the automatic Windows Update function. The Windows Update function checks the PC for installed components and software, and then downloads only the required drivers and software. Windows Update also provides you with information if the PC has known software or hardware compatibility issues. The manual installation of SP2 bypasses the software validation and correction process, and you may encounter problems as a result of drivers that have not been updated to work correctly with SP2.
To install SP2 using Windows Update, do the following:
  1. Connect the computer to a working AC power supply.
  2. Make sure the PC is connected to the internet.
  3. Exit all applications and save all files before starting the installation.
  4. Click Start, All Programs and then click Windows Update.
  5. In the left pane, click Check for updates.
  6. Click View available updates.
  7. In the list select the Service Pack 2 option, and then click Install.
    If the listing for SP2 is not listed, the Windows Update function may have determined that the computer has software that is currently not compatible with SP2, or you might need to install some other updates before installing SP2.
After the update is complete, when you logon to the computer you will see a message stating that the update to Vista Service Pack 2 was successful, or that there was a specific problem that prevented the update.
After installing Service Pack 2, you should use HP Health Check to install any updated HP drivers or software and then verify that the computer is operating properly.
What to do before installing SP2
For the best experience, HP recommends that you take the following actions BEFORE starting the installation of SP2. Additional information on how to perform these actions is included later in this document.
  • Check Microsoft and HP web sites for known issues. You may not want to install SP2 until certain issues are resolved.
  • Create the OS Recovery discs. You are allowe3d to make one set of Vista recovery DVD discs. These OS discs are needed to recover the computer in the event of a system failure.
  • Apply BIOS updates and all HP driver patches and updates. The computer should be in top operating condition before doing the update.
  • Scan for viruses. Use security tools to remove viruses, adware, and spyware.
  • Backup your data. Having a copy of your files will prevent the loss of critical data in the event of an installation failure.
  • Remove all unnecessary files and defrag the hard drive. The update will add additional files and may need some space that is currently being wasted by old fragmented files.
  • Disable antivirus software. Temporarily disable the antivirus program before the installation and it will automatically be enabled when the computer restarts.
Check for known issues
The Microsoft web site should be your primary source for information on known issues. When solutions are developed, Microsoft will publish updates and work-around information.
Do not attempt to install Windows Vista Service Pack 2 if there are any operational problems with the computer. Installing SP2 will not fix existing operational problems and may cause additional problems.
HP will provide information on issues that affect HP products. See Update to Vista SP2 Frequently Asked Questions for current issues.
Create the OS Recovery discs
HP strongly recommends that if you have not already created the operating system Recovery discs, you should create the OS recovery discs BEFORE installing Windows Vista Service Pack 2. In the event of a failure during or after the installation of the service pack, you will need these recovery discs to restore the computer to its original operating condition.
If you were unable to create the recovery discs or if you no longer have the discs, contact HP and order a replacement set now. You may want to wait until you receive the recovery discs before installing SP2.
The recovery discs will recover the computer to its original condition with the licensed operating system. If the computer has been upgraded to Windows Vista from another operating system, see Recovery scenarios for different operating systems.
Apply BIOS updates and all HP driver patches and updates
It is extremely important to check for and install the latest BIOS before updating to SP2. In working with Microsoft, HP has improved the BIOS to take advantage of newer features available in Windows Vista Service Pack 2. When updating the BIOS, connect the notebook to the AC power supply, exit all other programs, and allow the computer to restart after applying the updated BIOS.
Do not turn off the computer while the BIOS is updating. Attempting to cancel this update operation will damage the BIOS and will require that the computer be repaired at an HP authorized facility.
To locate HP updates, run either the HP Update or HP Health Check utilities. These utilities examine the computer and check the HP web site for updated BIOS, drivers, and software for the specific computer.
Scan for viruses
Scan for and remove any viruses, spyware, and adware before installing the service pack. HP / Compaq computers ship with either Norton or McAfee antivirus software installed. To scan for viruses, right-click the antivirus software icon in the system tray, open the application, and then select the full scan option.
If the computer has been used to browse the internet, also run a scan using a reputable adware and spyware detection tool. Examples include Ad-Aware by Lavasoft.com, and Spybot – Search & Destroy by Safer Networking Ltd.
Backup your data
Although Microsoft designed the update to Windows Vista Service Pack 2 to preserve your existing personal files, there is always a chance the update will fail or cause the loss of important personal data.
The Microsoft Backup and Restore Center will guide you through the process of backing up your important information to a DVD or other external media
To locate this utility, click Start, type backup in the search field, and select the Microsoft Backup and Restore Center from the list.
The backup tools are designed to locate and copy specific types of files; however, there is no guarantee that they will copy every file or files stored in alternate locations. Please read and follow the software manufacturers' instructions for best backup and recovery results. Data may be lost or deleted if backup is not done according to the software manufacturers' instructions.
Remove all unnecessary files and defrag the hard drive
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 will install additional files to the hard drive. HP recommends that old and unnecessary files be removed before installing SP2.
Use the Disk Cleanup utility to help find and remove temporary files. These files include internet files, cache files, and other temporary files that are created automatically by programs or are left behind when new programs were installed.
To locate this utility, click Start, type Disk in the search field, and select Disk Cleanup from the list. When prompted, select the main hard drive, usually C:, and click OK. Follow the on-screen instructions.
Use the Defrag utility to defragment (repair) files and conserve space on the hard drive after removing the unnecessary files.
To locate this utility, click Start, type defrag in the search field, and select Disk Defragmenter from the list. Follow the on-screen instructions. Depending on the size and condition of the hard drive, the defragmentation may take only a few minutes or it may take hours.
Disable antivirus software
After you have prepared the computer, but before installing the Windows Vista Service Pack 2, you must temporarily disable the antivirus program. Because the service pack will change internal Windows settings, the antivirus software may try to protect the computer by blocking parts of the installation.
Temporarily disabling the antivirus software allows the update to install and then forces the computer to reboot. The antivirus program will automatically re-enable itself when the computer restarts.
Recovery scenarios for different operating systems
Before installing Windows Vista Service Pack 2, consider the consequences of the computer failing during the process. HP recommends that you either create or order a set of Recovery discs to restore the computer to its original operating condition in the event that the computer fails during or after the update. The following scenarios describe the potential actions needed to restore the computer to operating condition.


Contact HP

Contact HP

Let HP help you find the answer or identify a service location. Contact us >

Country: Australia