If you’ve got a fresh Windows 7 installation and have never run the big update to Service Pack 1, starting today Windows will now require this update to continue working. You’ll see the update hit Windows Update over the next few weeks.
Service Pack 1, or SP1, released February 9, 2011, is a massive update that can take several hours on older PCs. Windows creates a Restore Point before this big update, and crashes are uncommon but can happen, so it’s a good idea to back up your files before Windows forces you to update to Windows 7 SP1 and restart.
Windows 7 SP1 adds support for for Advanced Vector Extensions, Advanced Format 512e, and Identity Federation Services. It also fixes numerous bugs and updates security. That all sounds highly technical, but trust me — you need this update.
Note that there are some older applications that might have compatibility issues once Windows 7 SP1 is installed. In that case, try running the app in Compatibility Mode with an earlier version of Windows, such as Windows XP.
Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7 out of the box, starting April 9, so in order to enjoy full support from Microsoft, and the latest security fixes and updates, go ahead and get Windows 7 SP1 now.
Steve Horton has been working with computers for over 20 years. He's dedicated to helping people get the most out of their PCs, and likes playing cards and writing comics.
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