Windows Vista SP2 Won’t Install: Fixes

Several users have reported that they can’t install Windows Vista SP2. This problem is more likely to occur if a pre-release edition of Windows Vista service pack 2 was installed prior to the final edition, but it is also happening to systems that only had SP1 (make sure you have SP1 installed before you attempt SP2 installation).


There are three potential fixes for this issue:

Run CheckSUR First, download and run the System Update Readiness Tool (aka CheckSUR) for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Running this tool, which takes 15 minutes or more on most systems, can resolve issues that prevent SP2 from installing. After running the tool, re-attempt installation of Windows Vista SP2.

CheckSUR is available through Windows Update (Click Start, then click Control Panel, and then click Security. Under Windows Update, click Check for updates) or this standalone download page.

Delete vLite key If you receive the message “Service Pack Installation Cannot Continue: One or more of components that the service pack requires are missing,” try deleting the file vLite keyfrom the registry. To do this:

  1. Click Start
  2. In the search box (or in “Run”), type regedit then press enter.
  3. Navigate to HKLM\Software\
  4. Select vLite
  5. Choose Edit and then Delete from the Registry Editor menu.
  6. Restart your computer and try the Windows Vista SP2 update again

Try selective startup As a last resort, try running the Windows Vista SP2 update while booted in a selective startup mode. To do this:

  1. Click Start then go to the Control Panel and select “System and Maintenance”
  2. Go to Administrative Tools and select System Configuration
  3. Click Continue (enter admin password if required)
  4. Select the General tab then choose Selective startup
  5. Uncheck “Load startup items”
  6. Click the Services tab then check “Hide all Microsoft services” and select “Disable all”
  7. Click Apply, then OK
  8. Restart
  9. Retry the Windows Vista SP2 update

Disable antivirus/spyware software during installation Directly prior to installation of Windows Vista SP2, disable all antivirus/anti-spyware software, then re-enable it after the update is complete. These programs can interfere with proper installation of the update and cause other problems.

In particular, some versions of ESET Smart Security and the ESET NOD32 Antivirus software have caused issues with the update. Disable or uninstall this program before installing Windows Vista SP2.

Can’t see license agreement; fix Some users are unable to properly view the Windows Vista SP2 license agreement, and therefore cannot proceed with installation. In most cases, this problem can be resolved with Chris Pirillo’s Vista Font Fix.

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