The new service pack for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, the Service Pack 2 (SP2) beta has been released on Microsoft Connect and Windows Update. For users who doesn’t have access to Microsoft Connect, or does not have any invitation or not accepted to to Windows Vista SP2 beta participation, there is an alternative registry hack, which had been used to download Vista SP2 pre-beta, to download and install Windows Vista SP2 Beta via Windows Update or Microsoft Update.

Download 6002.16497.rar and extract to run the 6002.16497.bat file.

For user who can’t download the file above, just copy and paste the following code to any text editor (such as Notepad), and then save as any filename with .cmd or .bat extension.

@echo off

reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\VistaSp2 /f > NUL 2>&1
reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\VistaSP2 /f > NUL 2>&1

reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\VistaSp2 /v Beta1 /t REG_SZ /d C21A5C64-2530-CC19-042F-9ABDB4ED27F9 /f
IF NOT %errorlevel% == 0 ( goto ERROR)

:SUCCESS
@echo.
echo ================================================== =========
echo Windows Vista SP2 registry key has been set successfully.
echo Please check for updates in Windows Update.
echo ================================================== =========
@echo.
goto END

:ERROR
@echo.
echo ================================================== =========
echo FAILED to set Windows Vista SP2 registry keys.
echo Please run this script by right clicking and selecting
echo "Run as Administrator".
echo ================================================== =========
@echo.
goto END

:END
pause

Note: User may require to run the batch script as administrator.

For users who have installed previous version of Windows Vista SP2 beta v.105 (build 6002-16489), the new version won’t install over the old version automatically. The workaround is to uninstall the previous service pack, and reboot the PC. Run Windows Update to check for update. Up to 3 updates may be offered – KB953155 and KB957200, and after another restart, Windows Vista SP2 Servicing Stack Update Build 16497 for x86 or x64 (KB955430). After yet another system reboot, Windows Vista SP2 beta build 16497 v113 should be shown for installation.

Note that to install SP2, SP1 needs to be installed. For users who can’t see SP2 in Windows Update, try to update Windows Update Agent. And the pre-RTM builds of SP2 beta versions is not upgradable automatically to final RTM build when it’s finally released, scheduled to be around the first half of 2009. So users will have to uninstall any beta versions of SP2 before installing SP2 RTM.

The 32-bit Windows Vista SP2 beta build 6002.16597 standalone update package and 64-bit Windows Server 2008 and Vista with SP2 beta integrated ISO image is also available for download.

Note: Windows Vista SP1 beta has been officially released, with the same build version.

Update: Download official Microsoft registry hack script (WU Experience Kit) for Vista and Windows Server 2008 SP2 beta build 16497.

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