Print | Rate this content

HP Notebook PCs - Precautions to Take Before Updating to Windows 7 Service Pack 1

This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows 7.

Microsoft provides a service pack to update the Windows 7 operating system, referred to as Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1). Microsoft is responsible for this product and provides complete support information on their web site. Users with questions about what to do before installing SP1 should go to http://www.microsoft.com Non-HP site and search for “Windows 7 SP1.” Microsoft provides information on:

  • Things to know about SP1.

  • What to do before installing SP1.

  • Known issues with SP1.

Microsoft also provides guidance on backing up files to an external storage device and temporarily disabling the antivirus programs during the installation. The installation may take an hour or more, and the computer cannot be used during that time.

This document will provide an overview of what should be done to prepare the computer for an update. You will have to view other documents to learn the details of how to perform the recommended tasks.

NOTE: You may wish to print this document out and use it as a reference during some of the procedures.

Downloading Windows 7 SP1

When upgrading to Windows 7 SP1 it is important to have a high speed Internet connection because of the size of the service pack. There are two methods for obtaining the Windows 7 SP 1 from Microsoft:

  • Install the Service Pack using Windows Update .

    NOTE: HP and Microsoft strongly recommend this method.
  • Download the Service Pack from the Microsoft web site.

HP and Microsoft recommend the use of Windows Update. Windows Update checks the PC for installed components and software, and then includes the appropriate drivers and software in the download. Windows Update also provides information if the PC has known software or hardware compatibility issues. Manual installation of SP1 bypasses this validation and correction process, and customers may encounter problems as a result of drivers that have not been updated to work correctly with SP1.

The download of SP1 from Windows Update tends to be substantially smaller than downloading the file from the Microsoft website. Downloading a smaller installation package requires less time, which is especially important for people who may not have a broadband Internet connection.

To install SP1 using Windows Update:

  • Connect the computer to a working AC power supply.

  • Make sure the PC is connected to the Internet.

  • Exit all applications and save all files before starting the installation.

  • Click Start , type windows update in the search field, and then select Windows Update from the search results.

  • Click Check for updates , then click View available updates .

  • In the list, select Service Pack for Microsoft Windows (KB976932) , and then click Install .

    NOTE: If the listing for SP1 is not listed, Microsoft may have determined that the computer has software that is currently not compatible with SP1, or you might need to install some other updates before installing SP1.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions.

After the setup is complete, log into the computer to receive a message indicating if the update to Windows 7 SP1 was successful.

NOTE: If the Service Pack was downloaded from the Microsoft Download site, the installation may not contain all the latest or required files. Microsoft is constantly evaluating and improving the installation of the product. HP is also working to provide updated drivers through the HP Support Assistant and hp.com web site.

top

What to do before installing SP1

For the best experience, HP recommends that you take the following actions BEFORE starting the installation of SP1:

  • Check for known issues. You may not want to install SP1 until certain issues are resolved.

  • Create the OS Recovery discs. These discs are needed to recover the computer in the event of a system failure.

  • Apply BIOS updates and all HP driver patches and updates. The computer should be in top operating condition before doing the update.

  • Scan for viruses. Use security tools to remove viruses, adware, and spyware.

  • Remove all unnecessary files and defragment the hard drive. The update will add additional files and may need some space being wasted by old files.

  • Backup important data. This will prevent the loss of critical files in the event of an installation failure.

  • Disable antivirus software. Temporarily disable the antivirus program before the installation and it will automatically be enabled when the computer restarts.

top

Check for known issues

The Microsoft web site should be your primary source for information on known issues. When solutions are developed, Microsoft will publish updates and work-around information.

Do not attempt to install Windows 7 SP1 if there are any operational problems with the computer. Installing SP1 will not fix existing operational problems and may cause additional problems.

HP will provide information on issues that affect HP products. See HP Notebook PCs - Update to Windows 7 SP1 Frequently Asked Questions for current issues.

top

Create the operating system Recovery discs

HP strongly recommends that, if you have not already created the operating system Recovery discs, create the HP Recovery discs BEFORE installing Windows 7 SP1. In the event of a failure during or after the installation of SP1, the HP Recovery discs are needed to restore the computer to its original operating condition.

If you were unable to create the HP Recovery discs or if you no longer have the discs, contact HP and order a replacement set now. You may want to wait until the Recovery discs have arrived before installing SP1.

NOTE: The Recovery discs will recover the computer to its original condition with the licensed operating system. If the computer has been upgraded from another operating system, please see the section on recovery scenarios for different operating systems.

top

Apply BIOS updates and all HP driver patches and updates

It is extremely important to check for and install the latest BIOS. In working with Microsoft, HP has improved the BIOS to take advantage of newer features available in Windows 7 SP1. When updating the BIOS, connect the notebook to the AC power supply, exit all other programs, and allow the computer to restart after applying the updated BIOS. See HP Notebook PCs - Locate and Install Updated BIOS, Drivers, and Software .

WARNING: Do not turn off the computer while the BIOS is updating. Attempting to cancel this update operation will cause damage to the BIOS and will require that the computer be repaired at an HP authorized facility.

To locate HP updates, run either the HP Support Assistant or check hp.com . These utilities examine the computer and check the HP web site for updated BIOS, drivers, and software for the specific computer.

top

Scan for viruses

Scan for and remove any viruses, spyware, and adware before installing Windows 7 SP1. Every HP computer ships with Norton antivirus software installed. To scan for viruses, right-click the antivirus software icon in the system tray, open the application, and then select the full scan option.

If the computer has been used to browse the Internet, also run a scan using a reputable adware and spyware detection tool. Examples include Adaware by Lavasoft.com, and Spybot – Search & Destroy by Safer Networking Ltd.

top

Remove all unnecessary files and defragment the hard drive

Windows 7 SP 1 will install about 3.5GB of additional files on the hard drive. HP recommends that old and unnecessary files be removed before installing SP1.

Use the Disk Cleanup utility to help find and remove temporary files. These files include Internet files, cache files, and other temporary files that are created automatically by programs or are left behind when new programs were installed.

To locate this utility, click Start , type disk in the search field, and select Disk Cleanup from the search results list. When prompted, select the main hard drive, usually (C: ), and click OK . Follow the on-screen instructions.

Use the Disk Defragmenter utility to optimize file placement and conserve space on the hard drive after removing any unnecessary files.

To locate this utility, click Start , type defrag in the search field, and select Disk Defragmenter from the search results list. Follow the on-screen instructions. Depending on the size and condition of the hard drive, the defragmentation may take between a few minutes and a few hours.

top

Backup user data

Although Microsoft designed the update to Windows 7 SP1 to prevent disturbing any existing user files, there is always a chance the update will fail or cause the loss of important personal data.

The Windows Backup and Restore Center will guide you through the process of backing up your important information to a CD/DVD or other external media.

To locate this utility, click Start , type backup in the search field, and select Backup and Restore Center from the list.

WARNING: The backup tools are designed to locate and copy specific types of user files; however, there is no guarantee that they will copy every file or files stored in alternate locations. Please read and follow the software manufacturers' instructions for best backup and recovery results. Data may be lost or deleted if backup is not done according to the software manufacturers' instructions.

top

Disable antivirus software

After you have prepared the computer, but before installing the Windows 7 SP1, you must temporarily disable the antivirus program. Because the service pack will change internal Windows settings, the antivirus software may try to protect the computer by blocking parts of the installation.

Temporarily disabling the antivirus software allows the update to install and then forces the computer to reboot. The antivirus program will automatically re-enable itself when the computer restarts.

top

Recovery scenarios for different operating systems

Before installing Windows 7 SP1, consider the consequences of the computer failing during the process. HP recommends that you either create or order a set of Recovery discs to restore the computer to its original operating condition in the event that the computer fails during or after the update. The following scenarios describe the potential actions needed to restore the computer to operating condition.

Recovery path if the licensed operating system was and still is XP

Older HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario computers that were shipped with XP are not designed to run Windows 7 and should not be upgraded to Windows 7 or Windows 7 with SP1.

Recovery path if the licensed operating system was Vista but computer has been upgraded to Windows 7

Beginning in late 2009 and early 2010, some HP computers were shipped with Windows Vista but were designated as Windows 7 Capable. These computers could be upgraded to Windows 7, and HP provided a special HP Windows 7 Upgrade Disk to automate the upgrade process.

To be prepared in the event of an operating system failure, you should:

  • Create or order the allowed one (1) set of Vista Recovery discs.

  • Download the HP Windows 7 Upgrade Disk and save it to a separate CD/DVD, if you do not have a copy already.

Then, if there is a failure, you can:

  • Recover the computer to the original Vista operating system.

    NOTE: Do not install any additional software until after the computer is updated to Window 7, AND SP1 is installed, AND all HP and Microsoft updates have been applied.
  • Apply the latest BIOS.

  • Upgrade to Windows 7 using the HP Windows 7 Upgrade Disk.

  • Run the HP Support Assistant to apply all the HP updates.

  • Run Windows Update to apply all the Microsoft Windows patches and updates for Windows 7.

  • Test the computer to verify that the audio, graphics, CD/DVD drive, and accessories are operating properly.

  • Install Windows 7 SP1.

  • Reinstall all the desired software and applications.

The computer is now operating with the latest version of the Microsoft operating system.

Recovery path if the licensed OS is Windows 7

Beginning in 2010, HP computers were shipped with Windows 7. These computers can be updated to Windows 7 SP1.

To be prepared in the event of an operating system failure, you should:

  • Create or order the allowed one (1) set of Windows 7 Recovery discs.

Then, if there is a failure, you can:

  • Recover the computer to the original pre-SP1 Windows 7 operating system.

    NOTE: Do not install any additional software until after SP1 is installed, AND all HP and Microsoft updates have been applied.
  • Run the HP Support Assistant to update the BIOS and apply all the HP updates.

  • Run Windows Update utility to apply all the Microsoft Windows patches and updates for Windows 7.

  • Test the computer to verify that the audio, graphics, CD/DVD drive, and accessories are operating properly.

  • Install Windows 7 SP1.

  • Reinstall all the desired software and applications.

The computer is now operating with the latest version of the Microsoft operating system.

Recovery path if the licensed operating system was Window 7 but has been upgraded to a different version of Windows 7

Microsoft licensed several different editions of Windows 7 for home and business computers, and allowed users to upgrade to different editions that had additional features. Using the HP Recovery discs will only return the computer to the original edition of Windows 7. You will have to repeat the process for upgrading to the different edition, and you will have to contact Microsoft to re-activate the license agreement. See the Microsoft web site for instructions on this process.

In the event of a failure, follow the steps outlined above, but BEFORE installing Windows 7 Service Pack 1, upgrade from the original edition of Windows 7 to the enhanced version that you purchased.

Recovery path if computer was upgraded using a commercially available copy of Windows 7

If the computer is not an HP-designated Windows 7 Capable PC, or if the operating system was changed using a commercially available copy of Windows 7, or if HP Recovery discs were never made, the Recovery path is very different.

To restore the computer to operating condition, use the Microsoft Windows 7 product disc to:

  • Remove all partitions, and then create a new active partition on the hard drive.

  • Install the Windows 7 operating system using the instructions provided by Microsoft.

  • Run Windows Update utility to apply all the Microsoft Windows patches and updates for Windows 7.

  • On the HP Software and Drivers Downloads web site, locate and install the Windows 7 drivers for your specific computer model. You should also install any available BIOS and HP Support Assistant updates.

  • Run the HP Support Assistant , and select Maintain . This will test the computer and apply all the required HP updates.

  • If the desired operating system is different from the edition of Windows 7 on the installation disc, upgrade to the enhanced version and contact Microsoft to activate the license.

  • Install Windows 7 SP1.

  • Reinstall all the desired software and applications.

Since this recovery involves programs and drivers from multiple hardware and software manufacturers, it is advisable to document the specific steps that were performed during this restore process.

top

Provide feedback

Please rate the information on this page to help us improve our content. Thank you!