Vista SP1 – Installation Issues and Incompatibilities – Check your drivers

Microsoft is giving me, and countless other people headaches with the Vista Service Pack 1 update. Luckily I haven’t had an inoperable operating system yet, and right now, my personal install score is: 2 failures – 1 success.

Since I have a near factory fresh Toshiba laptop on my desk which experienced that BSOD, I gave them a call to see what’s up as their site didn’t tell me anything about Vista issues. I received some bad advice and feel sorry for people that may follow it blindly. No surprise really, and many manufacturer’s may unfortunately say the same thing.

Toshiba’s Level 1 advice:

a) a program you installed is incompatible, do a factory restore then try again. Sorry, this machine only has an additional browser or two and a card game.

b) something you installed caused a driver issue, do a factory install and try again. Sorry, I did not update any drivers and the factory restore for that matter would be useless, it would just set the device drivers back to where they are now.

c) call MS. Oh right, who will say call Toshiba.
Toshiba’s level 2 advice

d) download the standalone installer, don’t go through update. Fair. I prefer to work that way anyhow. Unfortunately that was the method I used the other night.

e) there are no known issues between SP1 and Toshiba notebooks. All are Toshiba notebooks are Vista SP 1 compatible. No upgrades or downgrades of drivers are required.

Red alert! While I was on hold, a little light bulb had flipped on in the back of my head. Clearly my BSOD was some driver issue (didn’t catch the name, it rebooted on me the second I noticed it from the corner of my eye) and the reason of my call to Toshiba. Microsoft didn’t give any install notes about hardware incompatibilities, driver issues and I didn’t find it upon a first quick search. Anyhow.

MS may not give an incompatibility notice before you start nor after a fumbled install, but, I found an incompatibility list in a roundabout way. (he types with a smile) I had wondered why machine A show SP1 as an available update and machine B doesn’t? Bingo.

The key is the hardware and drivers you are using. According to Microsoft, depending on hardware and drivers you use in Windows Vista, the SP1 update will or will not show up.

I quote a small part of: – – Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is not available for installation from Windows Update and is not offered by Automatic Updates

Cause 5. To help ensure a positive update experience, Windows Update will temporarily not offer Windows Vista SP1 to systems that have the following device drivers. In some cases, these device drivers are problematic on Windows Vista-based computers when you update to Windows Vista SP1. By installing updated device drivers, you will resolve the issue and enable Windows Update to offer Windows Vista SP1.

I applaud the thought to ensure a positive update experience, but it fails miserably on several fronts.

Anyhow, right below it we find some incompatible device drivers:

Audio drivers

Realtek AC’97
• For x86-based computers: Alcxwdm.sys – version or earlier
• For x64-based computers: Alcwdm64.sys – version or earlier
• For x86-based computers: Sthda.sys – version 5.10.5762.0 or earlier
• For x64-based computers: Sthda64.sys – version 5.10.5762.0 or earlier
• For x86-based computers: Stwrt.sys – version 6.10.5511.0 or earlier
• For x64-based computers: Stwrt64.sys – version 6.10.5511.0 or earlier
Creative Audigy
• For x86-based and x64-based computers: Ctaud2k.sys – version or earlier
• For x86-based computers: P17.sys – all versions (This was originally a Windows XP-based driver.)
Conexant HD Audio
• For x86-based computers: Chdart.sys – version or earlier
• For x64-based computers: Chdart64.sys – version or earlier
Biometric (Fingerprint) Sensors
• AuthenTec Fingerprint Sensor with the Atswpdrv.sys driver file – version or earlier
• UPEK Fingerprint Sensor with the Tcusb.sys driver file – version or earlier
Display drivers

Intel Display
• For x86-based computers: Igdkmd32.sys – versions between and including driver and
• For x64-based computers: Igdkmd64.sys – versions between and including driver and
Other drivers

Texas Instruments Smart Card Controller with the GTIPCI21.sys driver file – version or earlier

Sierra Wireless AirCard 580 with the Watcher.exe application – version or earlier (This application is located in the AirCard 580 Program Files folder.)

Symantec software driver for Symantec Endpoint Protection and for Symantec Network Access Control clients
• For x86-based computers: Wgx.sys – versions 11.0.1000.1091 or earlier
• For x64-based computers: Wgx64.sys – versions 11.0.1000.1091 or earlier
Note Symantec is aware of this issue, and it is working on a solution. Symantec provides various update procedures. This includes their LiveUpdate service.

For more information about how to configure your Symantec software to receive the latest Virus definitions and other content updates, visit the following Symantec Support Web site: Windows Vista SP1 driver information

Additionally, Windows Update will not offer Windows Vista SP1 to computers with the Logitech QuickCam that uses the Lvuvc.sys device driver (all versions). Microsoft has identified a flaw in the Windows Vista Ks.sys file that may cause a critical stop during Windows Vista SP1 installation if this device driver file is present. An update to Ks.sys is being developed that resolves this issue. When Microsoft has resolved this issue, an update to Ks.sys will be offered to these users through Windows Update. After this update is installed, users will then be offered Windows Vista SP1 by re-checking for updates.

Any guesses which Intel display driver the little Toshiba has? Bingo.

So, after the level 2 technician repeated that there are no updates required nor incompatibilities; I advised him I just found the contrary in a MS bulletin.

Armed with the knowledge about outdated drivers, I will install some updates and try again.

Some of the things I have not yet figured out (and may never) is why:

– on machine A with an incompatible video & audio driver, it offered the SP1 update, as according to the text above it is not supposed to. Plus it didn’t give a blue screen of death and went all the way to Step 3 100%. A slightly different video driver that is maybe a few % less compatible upon reboot, but causes it to revert after completion?

– on machine B it didn’t show the update, but when I started installing the official 434MB SP 1 download, I received no incompatibility warning. I guess based on A and B we can conclude there is no compatibility check even though one is easy and would certainly help consumers.

– on machine C it did the downloaded install even though the audio driver is incompatible

So, if you are experiencing installation issues without error notifications, there is hope.

Check if your audio & video drivers are on the list and try again after updating them. (Control Panel, Device Manager, click the plus to the left of the device, double click on the device, 2nd tab lists driver details)

If you did get an error message “Installation was not succesful” or “An internal error occurred while installing the service pack”, it most likely points to which offers 5 recommendations:

1. Restart and start the update again

2. Check your hard drives for errors

3. Run the system file checker tool

4. Run the windows vista memory diagnostic tool

5. Restart the computer and close any apps that may be running

If any or all of that fails it is probably time to step back and let Microsoft sort some issues out. Send them a message about your problem, who knows they may have the answer. According to Microsoft offers free support for Vista SP1 via:


  1. Pingback: Toshiba Satellite U305 vs Windows Vista SP1 catch 22 « icerabbit’s blog

  2. Pingback: bsod xp service pack 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *