Patches Can Keep Your Computer Secure
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 was released two weeks ago to the public. What exactly did Microsoft fix in this massive update? Should you install it?
Microsoft releases service packs to their products on a sporadic basis. A service pack can contain updates for performance, program compatibility, security, and system reliability. These updates are bundled into a service pack for ease of download and installation.
Unless you’ve been specifically instructed not to do so, it’s generally a good idea to install service packs to your system. Prior to installation, make sure to have your data backed up to a location external to your computer, such as DVD or external hard drive. Though it doesn’t happen all of the time, service packs can have problems during installation which may require a reinstall of your operating system. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Specifically in Windows 7 SP1, Microsoft outlines these general fixes (source):
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is an important update that includes previously released security, performance, and stability updates for Windows 7. SP1 also includes new improvements to features and services in Windows 7, such as improved reliability when connecting to HDMI audio devices, printing using the XPS Viewer, and restoring previous folders in Windows Explorer after restarting.
It’s worth noting that this service pack also updates Windows Server 2008 R2 to Service Pack 1. However, upgrading a server operating system is not something that should be done spur-of-the-moment. It’s best to consult a professional support person prior to installing that update.
For Windows 7 users, if you go into Control Panel and open Windows Update, SP1 should be listed under the Important Updates. You can install from there manually if you wish.
For more information on the service pack, visit http://support.microsoft.com/kb/976932.