Microsoft Force Feeds Service Pack 1 to Windows 7 Users

Paul Lilly

SP1 for Windows 7 delivers critical security updates and improves performance.

For those of you rocking Windows 7 -- likely the majority reading this -- Microsoft wants you running Service Pack 1 (SP1), so beginning today it will roll out automatically on Windows Update, the software giant announced in a blog post. You can avoid SP1 by disabling automatic updates, but unless you have a very specific reason to do so, you might as well upgrade, if you haven't already. SP1 contains several security patches, bug fixes, and performance tweaks to keep Windows 7 operating at peak form.

One thing to keep in, however, is how much storage space you have on your system, especially if you're running a small capacity solid state drive (SSD).

"To ensure Service Pack 1 is installed without issue, customers should check for sufficient free disk space and that AC power is present on a laptop," Microsoft advises . "If additional space needs to be created, we recommend using the Disk Cleanup tool to delete some files so that the service pack will install. If the service pack installation is interrupted, it will reattempt to install automatically after the next restart."

SP1 delivered via Windows Update requires 750MB of free disk space on a x86-based system running 32-bit copy of Windows 7, and just over a gigabyte (1,050MB) for 64-bit. If downloading SP1 from Microsoft's website or installing with a DVD, 4,100MB (32-bit) or 7,400MB (64-bit) is required.

Why the sudden push? Microsoft is planning to end support for Windows 7 without SP1 next month. With SP1 installed, Microsoft will support the OS through January 2020.

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