As of February 22, 2011, Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 is available to the general public from the Microsoft Service Pack Center. Windows 7 SP1 includes previously released security, performance, and stability updates, plus some improvements to features and services.
Microsoft suggests that individuals just let the normal Windows update system handle installation of the service pack. However, if you'd like to accelerate the process, you can download the file and install it manually. The install will take around 30 minutes, and you will have to reboot the PC during the process.
Depending on what method is used to install the service pack, you will need anywhere from 750MB to 7400MB of available disk space storage to complete the installation procedure, so plan accordingly. If you have a pre-release version of SP1 installed, you will have to uninstall it before you install the latest version.
Also note that some antivirus software will prevent SP1 from being installed properly, so you may want to temporarily turn off your antivirus while the installation takes place.
Are you planning to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 immediately? Have you already installed SP1? Did you come across any problems? Can you share any caveats with your peers about the installation process?
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.