The latest service pack for Windows 7 is SP1, which was released a while back. Service Pack 2 will be coming sometime next year, but in the meantime, you might run into some issues installing SP1 on your system. Personally, the first time I updated my Windows 7 machine to SP1, it worked just fine.
However, after performing a reformat due to poor performance, I had trouble installing the service pack! I kept getting the following error:
Installation was not successful
And as usual, the error messages are so vague that you really have no idea what the real problem is. Eventually I narrowed it down to a problem with the Windows Servicing Store. I’m still not sure what the Servicing Store does, but it’s required to be functioning properly in order to install the service pack. If there is any inconsistency, then the install will fail.
Another possible reason the install can fail, which is a lot simpler to fix, is because of a program on your computer like an anti-virus program or anti-spyware program.
System Update Readiness Tool
The first thing you can do is to download and run the System Update Readiness Tool. It’s a free tool that you can install on your computer which will scan everything and notify you of any problems that might occur because of incompatible programs or settings. You can download the Windows 7 versions here:
Install it and then run the tool. The tool will actually fix a bunch of different errors automatically, so it’s definitely worth downloading and installing. It basically checks certain system locations and makes sure the integrity of the files is intact.
It also corrects problems in the registry that might be causing the installation to fail. If this tool does not fix your problem, then move on to the next possible solution.
Windows Update Troubleshooter
Windows 7 also has a built-in troubleshooter for Windows update that could fix the issue. To get to the troubleshooter, go to Start, then Control Panel and type troubleshooter in the search box and then click Troubleshooting. Under System and Security, click on Fix problems with Windows Update.
Disable Anti-Virus Software
The last option is to try and disable any antivirus program that you might have installed. Antivirus programs are notorious for causing all kinds of issues with system files and core Windows components. Whether it’s Symantec, Kaspersky, McAfee, Norton or the myriad of other choices, turn off the program completely and then try to re-install the service pack.
If you’re still having issues installing Service Pack 1 on Windows 7, post a comment here with your setup and system and we’ll try to help out! Enjoy!