Can’t Install Vista SP1 Due to Language Pack Problems? Try This.

vista_sp1.pngFor the non-tech-heads visiting my blog you can probably ignore this one, although it might provide some useful insight if you’re having issues with upgrading to Vista SP1. I have had the biggest headache recently trying to get Vista Service Pack 1 installed on my Windows Vista Ultimate, 64-bit Edition PC. The new Vista SP1 is stated to have many bug improvements, and since Hulu would occasionally crash my machine during my wife’s viewing of old “Major Dad” episodes (yes, they even have that on there!), I finally got fed up with it.

The problem with Vista SP1 is if for some reason you thought you needed every single update out there and installed all the language packs (I actually do have a fascination with foreign languages), SP1 refuses to install, and won’t even show up in your list of automatic updates to install under Windows Update. So, I figured, why not just remove them? Well, it appears that that, too seems to be a bug in Vista. Despite the fact that it would take 30 minutes each (at least) to remove each language pack, eventually, I started getting errors on the last few language packs I was trying to install. Vista was fighting back with me, avoiding with a vengeance not to be upgraded.

So I searched all around the internet trying to find a solution – I wanted to fix all these bugs, but the bugs were keeping me from upgrading Vista to fix the bugs that were preventing the upgrade! (Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?) After a week of waiting for things to be resolved in various threads on Google with people that were experiencing the same issue, I came across this forum post from Saad Siddiqui on this thread on VistaHeads:

There is a workaround but it requires dealing with the registery so backup registery first.

1. press Windows Logo Key + R to open Run Dialog
2. Type regedit
3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHEINE\SYSTEM\CONTROSET001\MUI

there will be an entry for romanian language DELETE it. [for english the key is “en-US” in the navigation tree].

Repeat step three for

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHEINE\SYSTEM\CONTROSET003\MUI

this will make SP1 installer to see only English Language there.

hence it will continue installation.

and

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHEINE\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROSET\MUI

It was corrected that instead of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CONTROLSET001 it was really HKLM\SYSTEM\CONTROLSET001\Control\MUI\UILanguages, repeated for CONTROLSET003 and CURRENTCONTROLSET. Backup your registry first!!!

I tried this, removed all languages except US from the listed languages under my registry, and voila – all of the sudden Vista SP1 was appearing in my list of Automatic Updates! I installed it, and now my wife can watch her “Major Dad” episodes on Hulu just fine. It should be noted that even the Microsoft employee in that thread was unable to diagnose this.

So if you’re looking for a quick shortcut to get rid of all the pesky language packs so you can install Vista SP1, hopefully this provides a solution that works for you. Good luck!

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