If you got a fingerprint reader on your machine and are running Vista then think twice before installing SP1! About 7-8 months ago I got a new tablet ( Lenovo X61 ) which is a pretty sweet machine with Vista pre-installed and all was well until I installed SP1 and then the thing won’t even boot.

I tried to get into safe mode but no luck; I tried repairing - but no luck. I got in the repair console and tried to manually “fix” the MBR, but not luck. 😲 In the end I was screwed - royally - especially as I did not have a backup. I did have my machine being backed up by WHS which is what I was hoping would save me (more on that later).

In the end I had to do a fresh install of Vista (I choose to use a slipstream version of Vista with SP1 already on it) and then install all the relevant Lenovo specific apps that I needed. Of course getting all the other dev apps and getting the data back on it was

So, if you are running Vista and are thinking of SP1 here are the steps I would suggest you do:

  1. Make sure you got loads of time - don’t do this if you got a critical deadline the next day for which you need to use this machine.
  2. Backup your data
  3. Check your backup!
  4. In case you do need to do a fresh install Keep all relevant discs/iso’s at hand - don’t forget the drivers!
  5. Install the latest drivers for your fingerprint reader (check both the vendors and the manufacturers site).
  6. Install SP1 (while praying)

I must say that no other machine has a fingerprint reader and I did not have any issues installing SP1 on any of those. Also this post is specific for x32; I do not have x64 running anymore so can’t say how that will behave.