Microsoft releases Windows Vista Vista SP1 RC Refresh version, an update to the Vista SP1 RC v.668 version made available for public last December to 15,000 beta testers which mainly consists of corporate customers, consumer enthusiasts, software and hardware vendors and others. The new test code is not available for public download. However, as with previous betas and release candidates, there is trick to allow Vista users install Vista SP1 RC Refresh from Windows Update, or download the leaked standalone setup package.

The latest build of Vista SP1 RC Refresh is 6001.17128.080101-1935 v.774. Again, to use the trick to download and install the Vista SP1 RC Refresh from WU (Windows Update), a registry key will have to be inserted and added so that WU can recognize the computer as a valid target machine to roll out the SP1. The steps to get SP1 on the machine is pretty simple as outlined in this installation guide.

Download RCRefreshSP1betaprogramsRK.cmd.

Update: Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh 2 (6001.18000).

If you want standalone setup package for the build 17128 of Vista SP1 RC Refresh, download Windows6.0-KB936330-X86-wave0.exe setup file directly via HTTP or download the Microsoft.Windows.Vista.SP1.Update.32Bit.Build.6001.17128.READ.NFO-WinBeta.torrent to download via BitTorrent network.

Note that if you already installed the Service Pack to your machine, you must uninstall the previous build before installing RC Refresh. As usual, there is 3 “Important” prerequisite updates for SP1 – KB935509 (for Vista Ultimate and Enterprise editions only), KB938371 and finally KB937287, which does not require a reboot and also is the “installer” code for the service pack. Windows Vista Service Pack 1 will show up as KB936330.

By the way, the final gold (RTM) release of Vista SP1 is planned to be released on 6th February 2007, before the scheduled release of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2007 on 27th February 2008. If you can wait, just wait for the final version of Vista SP1.