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3/21/2008
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Windows Vista SP1 Flunks Out At Penn

University of Pennsylvania tech staffers are advising faculty and students not to upgrade to the new service pack for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system.

Windows Vista SP1 Is having a tough time getting into the Ivy League.

University of Pennsylvania tech staffers are advising faculty and students not to upgrade their computers to the new service pack for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system.

The school's Information Systems & Computing department said it will support Vista SP1 on new systems where it's preinstalled, but added that it "strongly recommends that all other users adopt a 'wait and see' attitude," according to a newly published department bulletin.

Penn's ISC department advised "continuing to use previous versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista until after the initial bugs in SP1 are identified and fixed."

Vista SP1 users have reported numerous glitches since the operating system became widely available on Tuesday.

"I downloaded it via Windows Update, and got a bluescreen on the third part of the update," wrote "Iggy33", in a comment posted Wednesday on Microsoft's Vista team blog.

Iggy33 was just one of dozens of posters complaining about Vista Service Pack 1's effect on their PCs. "What a disaster," wrote "SeppDietrich", of the update. "It exiled all my Nvidia drivers to the Bermuda Triangle."

"Bikkja" said that "after installing SP1 things seem to go really slow, even though my computer shouldn't have any problems."

Other troubles reported by Vista SP1 users ranged from a simple inability to download the software from Microsoft's Windows Update site to sudden spikes in memory usage.

It's not uncommon for major software patches to cause problems when first released. Windows XP Service Pack 1 inflicted numerous glitches on host computers when it shipped in 2002. Microsoft fixed many of the problems with subsequent patches.

Penn's ISC department said computer users at the Ivy League school should have systems that employ at least a dual-core or hyperthreading processor and a minimum of 1.5 GB of RAM before considering an upgrade to Vista SP1.

That's well above Microsoft's stated minimum requirements for the operating system. The software maker recommends at least a 1-GHz, single core processor and 1 GB of RAM for the Premium, Business, and Ultimate versions of Vista.

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