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INTRODUCTION

This article contains information to help you diagnose why Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 service packs are not being offered to you through Windows Update.

Although this article contains several methods that you can try to resolve the problem, don't be overwhelmed. We'll help you decide which method to try first and guide you through other methods if the first method does not resolve the problem. If you still have problems obtaining Windows Vista service packs after you try these methods, we'll advise you how to obtain more help.

For more information about how to obtain the latest service packs for Windows Vista and for Windows Server 2008, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
935791 How to obtain the latest Windows Vista service pack
968849 How to obtain the latest service pack for Windows Server 2008
Notes
  • This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user.
  • You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first.

Symptoms

When you check for updates on Windows Update, a Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 service pack is not offered for download.

Cause

This problem can occur for many different reasons. However, the following reasons are the most common:
  • You already have the service pack installed and do not realize it.
  • You must install another update before you can install the service pack.
  • You have not installed Service Pack 1 (SP1) and therefore you are not being offered the option to install Service Pack 2 (SP2). SP2 requires you to have SP1 installed.
  • System components that you must have to install the service pack are not installed on your computer.
  • You have a piece of hardware or software on your computer that is listed in the "Hardware and software that if present will result in Windows Update not offering you a service pack " section of this article.
  • You installed a prerelease version of a service pack, and it was not correctly uninstalled before you tried to install the final release version of the service pack.

STEPS TO RESOLVE THIS PROBLEM

If you are a user in a corporate environment, contact your system administrator. Some administrators temporarily block the delivery of service packs.

If you are not in a corporate environment where the delivery of service packs is temporarily blocked, use the following methods to resolve this problem.

Confirm that the service pack is not already installed and that you are not running a prerelease version of the service pack

You may already have the latest service pack installed and not realize this, especially if you have Windows Update turned on. Or you may have a prerelease version of the service pack installed.

To determine whether you have an earlier version service pack installed, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start button
    , right-click Computer, and then click Properties.
  2. If a service pack is installed, a reference to the service pack will be displayed at the bottom of the Windows Edition section.

    Note If a prerelease version of a service pack is installed, the information that is displayed will resemble "Service Pack 2, v.286."
    Note If you have a prerelease version of the service pack, you must uninstall it before Windows Update will offer you the final release version of the service pack. For more information about how to uninstall service packs, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    948537 How to uninstall Windows Vista service packs as a troubleshooting step

Check for pending updates or device driver updates

If there are any updates pending, such as security updates, for your system on Windows Update, Windows Update will not offer a service pack until those updates are installed. Therefore, you may have to install other pending updates or device driver updates before you can install the service pack. Pending updates can include security updates or other critical updates. Device driver updates can include updates for audio drivers, for display drivers, or for other hardware or software drivers.
Note Before you install SP2, you must install SP1. Windows Update will not offer you SP2 until SP1 is installed on your system.
To install all pending updates and device driver updates, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start button
    , type Windows Update in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  2. Click Check for updates. Review the list of updates, and verify that all updates that are marked Important or Recommended are selected, and then select any hardware device drivers that are listed as optional updates.
  3. Click Install Updates to begin the installation. Restart the computer if you are prompted to do this when the installation is complete.
  4. Check Windows Update again to see whether the service pack is now available.
If you were able to install the service pack, congratulations! You are finished with this article. You may want to read the "Prevention tips" section to learn how you can avoid these kinds of issues in the future.

If you were still unable to install the service pack, try the following methods.

Make sure that updates that prevent a service pack from being offered for installation are not hidden

  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start button
    , type Windows Update in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  2. Click Restore hidden updates. Review the list of updates.

    Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and for Windows Server 2008 is not offered to users for whom the following update is hidden:
    955430 Description of the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 installation software feature update released April 28, 2009
    Windows Vista SP1 is not offered to users for whom one of the following updates is hidden:
    935509 A software update is available for versions of Windows Vista that include the Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption feature
    938371 A software update is available for the Windows Vista installation components
    937287 A software update is available for the Windows Vista installation software feature
    To "unhide" an update, select the update, and then click Restore.

Computers that have certain multiple processors need to have update 973879 installed for Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and for Windows Server 2008 to be offered

Some processors report support for some unsupported feature sets. Therefore, when the system uses these feature sets, a Stop error occurs. If this issue exists, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 service pack will not be offered for download. For more information and to install this update, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
973879 You receive a "Stop 0x0000003E" error message when you try to install Windows Vista Service Pack 2 or Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 on a computer that has certain multiple processors

Download the System Update Readiness Tool, and then check for updates

System resources, such as file data, registry data, and even in-memory data, can develop inconsistencies during the lifetime of the operating system. These inconsistencies can block software updates. The System Update Readiness Tool verifies the integrity of your system and resolves any inconsistencies.

To obtain the System Update Readiness Tool, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start button
    , type Windows Update in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  2. Click Check for updates.
If your computer has a known inconsistency, you are offered an update that makes the correction. After Windows Update offers this solution, the Windows Vista service pack will be offered without more input from you. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
947821 Description of the System Update Readiness Tool for Windows Vista and for Windows Server 2008
If you were still unable to install the service pack, you may want to view the "Hardware and software that if present will result in Windows Update not offering you a service pack " section of this article. This list of hardware and software may help you quickly identify the cause of the problem.

More information

Hardware and software that if present will result in Windows Update not offering you a service pack

Installation problems are known to occur with the hardware and software in following list.

Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and for Windows Server 2008

  • Intel ICH7 systems with Bluetooth that are connected to a USB 2.0 hub

    Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and for Windows Server 2008 is not available from Windows Update to customers who have an Intel ICH7 system with Bluetooth connected to a USB 2.0 hub. There is a known problem with the service and this hardware configuration. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    970408 A Bluetooth device stops working intermittently on a computer that is running Windows Vista Service Pack 2
  • vLite

    If you used vLite to customize your Windows Vista installation, you may have removed some required system components. To work around this issue, install the latest version of vLite. For more information, visit the following vLite Web site:
    http://www.vlite.net/
  • HP TouchSmart IQ700 models of computers

    There is a known compatibility issue between SP2 and the specific USB hardware on the motherboards of this product line.
  • Windows Live Messenger 14

    There is a known compatibility issue with Windows Live Messenger 14. An operating system upgrade causes Windows Live Messenger 14 to stop working. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    972634 You cannot start Windows Live Messenger 14.0 after you install a Windows service pack

Windows Vista Service Pack 1

  • Symantec software driver for Symantec Endpoint Protection and for Symantec Network Access Control clients
    • For x86-based computers:
      Wgx.sys version 11.0.1000.1091 or earlier
    • For x64-based computers:
      Wgx64.sys version 11.0.1000.1091 or earlier
    Note Symantec is aware of this issue and has developed a solution. For more information, visit the following Symantec Web site:
    http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/ent-security.nsf/docid/2007121216494948
  • Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo LA Notebook (Laptop)

    Windows Update will not offer Windows Vista SP1 for Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo LA 1703 Notebooks that have a BIOS release date of March 14, 2008, or earlier (BIOS revision number 8.6T1-0023-M007 or earlier). This block reflects an incorrect power management setting that will be resolved in an updated BIOS revision. To download the latest BIOS update for your Notebook, visit the Fujitsu support site and browse to the available downloads for your Notebook: 
    http://www.fujitsu.com
    For select Notebooks and for AMILO La 1703, an updated BIOS (8.6 or a later version) has been posted and is available for download.
  • Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) Store Operations or Headquarters

    Windows Vista SP1 is not available from Windows Update to customers who use Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) Store Operations or Headquarters because of an issue with the ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) interface. An update for this issue is available from Microsoft. After you install the update, Windows Vista SP1 will be available from Windows Update. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    952287 An application that uses the ADO interface may malfunction, or data loss may occur when the application connects to SQL Server in Windows Vista, in Windows XP, or in Windows Server 2008
  • vLite

    If you used vLite to customize the Windows Vista installation, you may have removed some required system components. To work around this issue, install the latest version of vLite. For more information, visit the following vLite Web site:
    http://www.vlite.net/

How to resolve installation issues

Device driver updates can resolve issues for the Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo LA Notebook, for Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) Store Operations or Headquarters, and for vLite. For information about how to install device driver updates, see the "Pending updates or device driver updates" section.

If Windows Update does not resolve a driver issue, visit the driver download area of the computer manufacturer’s Web site. Look for recently updated device drivers that have not yet been installed on your computer. After you update your computer, return to Windows Update, and then click Check for Updates again to see whether the service pack is now offered.

Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

FOR SYSTEM ADMINISTRATORS

Visit the following Microsoft Web site to view the "Windows Operating System Service Pack Blocker Toolkit: Frequently Asked Questions":
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb892134.aspx
Users who run a Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) environment are affected only by the following problems that were described earlier in this article:
  • A Windows Service Pack is not offered because it is already installed.
  • vLite was used to customize your installation of Windows Vista.
  • An inconsistency in the file system or in the registry exists in the current set of installed Windows components.
  • A prerelease of the service pack was installed and not uninstalled.

PREVENTION TIPS

To prevent these problems in the future, keep your computer updated. The easiest way to keep your computer updated is to turn on Windows Update. To turn on Windows Update, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
     Start button
    , click All Programs, and then click Windows Update,
  2. In the navigation pane, click Change settings.
  3. Select the Windows automatic updating setting that you want.
  4. Click to select the Include recommended updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates check box, and then click OK.

Properties

Article ID: 948343 - Last Review: June 21, 2014 - Revision: 24.0
Applies to
  • Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2, when used with:
    • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V
    • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
    • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V
    • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems
    • Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V
    • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
    • Windows Server 2008 Standard
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 2
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1, when used with:
    • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
    • Windows Vista Enterprise
    • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
    • Windows Vista Business
    • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
    • Windows Vista Ultimate
    • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
    • Windows Vista Home Premium
    • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
    • Windows Vista Home Basic
    • Windows Vista Starter
Keywords: 
kbresolve kbexpertisebeginner kbtshoot kbprb KB948343

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