Windows 7 / 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Problems

Published: 2011-02-24
Last Updated: 2011-02-24 13:45:34 UTC
by Johannes Ullrich (Version: 1)
28 comment(s)

I will use this post to collect some of the problems we are hearing about with Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 2008 R2 SP1. Right now, there is no urgent reason to install this service pack and it should be tested first.

A few areas to watch:

- Whitelisting / Blocklisting: Whitelisting software may not have checksums yet to verify all the files that are modified by the service pack. Same for anti-virus: Some anti virus products monitor system files for changes and may sound an alert or block the installation of SP 1

- Firewalls: Third party firewalls may find that some of the low level hooks they use have changed.

- Disk Encryption: In particular full disk encryption that modifies the boot process may find that some of the changes it did are undone by the SP install

- Custom hardware: If you are using drivers other then those that are included in Windows 7 (or 2008 R2), be careful.

Specific examples. Consider them anecdotal but if you run any software mentioned here, or similar software, this list should give you a guide to test.

  • Users with old versions of Microsoft Security Essentials may not be able to install SP1. Upgrade first.
  • Samsung Galaxy S phone drivers may have problems with SP1
  • some users reported very long install times (> 1hr. but not all that unusual for a service pack)
  • Chrome 10 and 11 have issues according to some tweets
  • Word 2003 VBA
  • slower boot times with SP1 then without
  • some reports of download issues due to overloaded servers
  • Lenovo's Thinkvantage System Update may not work (update it before applying the SP)
  • EVGA Precision Utility 2.0.2 (Graphics card stats program liked by gamers)
  • MSI Afterburner
  • some issues with Bitlocker are reported. But no confirmation at this point and it may also be due to entering the wrong password on reboot (you have to reboot a couple times in certain situations)

Link to a technet page with reports of install issues:

If all fails, here a link with an uninstall procedure for SP1:

To temporarily block installation of the service pack:



Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D.
SANS Technology Institute

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