All New XP SP3 RC Refresh 2 and Vista SP1 RC Refresh 2 Available for Download

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In the zone
Making headway with the development of Windows XP Service Pack 3 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1, Microsoft has made available new builds of both service packs. That's right! The Redmond company has moved forward with the building of XP SP3 and Vista SP1, and made one more step closer to their respective release to manufacturing dates. In this context, new builds of XP SP3 and Vista SP1 are available for download. Microsoft has officially confirmed the two fresh and updated test versions of XP SP3 and Vista SP1.

The only catch at this point is that the two new milestone releases of XP SP3 and Vista SP1 were dropped to an exclusive pool of Microsoft testers, no more than 15,000 of them, the same in fact that got the private bits for Vista SP1 RC Refresh. Through Microsoft Connect, the testers can access Windows XP Service Pack 3 release Candidate Refresh 2. Wait a minute, Refresh 2? Well, the Refresh version of Vista SP1 RC Build 17128 was dropped in the second week of January 2008. At that time, indications coming from Microsoft also pointed to the existence of a XP SP3 RC Refresh 1 Build. You were able to read about the XP SP3 Refresh right here on Softpedia.

And if you are among the selected Microsoft testers with Connect access, you will also be able to get your hands on the bits for XP SP3 RC Refresh 2. But an evolved version of XP SP3 RC is not the only thing that Microsoft has in store for you in terms of service pack testing milestone releases.

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Release Candidate Refresh 1 Build 17128 was released privately in early January 2008 and then made available to the public. Now, Vista SP1 RC Refresh 2 follows it, after barely two weeks. Microsoft of course still has the first quarter of 2008 and the first half of this year as deadlines for the delivery of Vista SP1 and XP SP3. Still, the moment when the code for the two service packs will go gold is a tad closer. In fact, Vista SP1 and XP SP3 are synchronized with Windows Server 2008, and when the server operating system will RTM in early February 2008, so will the service packs.

j1n M@tt

Cyborg Agent
well......quite a gud news
Good news i must say. i am tired of waiting for the final build of Vista SP1. I have tried the first release to public build and i did noticed smoothness in performance. I wonder how much performance gain it will give.


In the zone
Download Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh 2 Build 6001.18000 (Hack) Not really a hack, more of a registry tweak

Back in mid-July 2007, Microsoft introduced the first pre-beta testing build for Windows Vista Service Pack 1. The service pack went through a series of tests and the first public release was made available in December of the past year. Since the Release Candidate for Vista SP1, Microsoft moved to the first Refresh in early January 2008. Initially a private build, dropped just to the 15,000 participants in the testing of Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008 and Windows XP SP3, Vista SP1 RC Refresh was subsequently opened up to all Vista users.

In the past week, Microsoft introduced Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh 2, alongside Windows XP SP3 RC Refresh 2. The latest releases of Vista SP1 and XP SP3 have officially been confirmed by Microsoft, but the Redmond company failed to mention anything about public availability. As of yet, both Windows XP Service Pack 3 RC Refresh 2 Build 3282 and Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh 2 6001.18000 are up for grabs exclusively via Microsoft Connect.

Vista SP1 RC Refresh 2 RC Build 6001.18000 is not available only as a standalone installer and an ISO download through Microsoft Connect, but has also been release through Windows Update. The problem is of course that a registry tweak has to be in place, in order for a copy of Vista to correctly identify, access, download and install the latest version of Vista SP1.

Microsoft is providing beta testers with a script that needs to be downloaded to Vista machines and then run with elevated privileges in order to apply some modifications to the registry. "The script sets a registry key on your system. The registry key is required for WU server to recognize your machine as a valid target for Vista SP1," Microsoft informed.

According to My Digital Life, the script is widely available to the public outside of the selected pool of Microsoft beta testers. Vista SP1 RC Refresh 2 6001.18000 can be installed on top of the previous testing milestone of Vista SP1, namely refresh 1. Users also have to deploy the prerequisite updates KB938371, KB935509 (Ultimate and Enterprise editions only), and then KB937287. In the end, you will be permitted access to Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (KB936330).


The Mighty Unkel!!!
Staff member
Can any one confirm if the bug in which legal keys been detected as invalid has been fixed? this occurs when RC in slipstreamed into the setup disk.
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