How To Uninstall the Vista SP2 Upgrade

If you need to dump Vista SP2 here's how to do it

uninstall vista sp2
uninstall vista sp2.

In this age of Windows 10, you shouldn't run into too many problems with Windows Vista service packs since Microsoft has had so long to work out the various quirks and bugs. That being said with billions of computers running some various different versions of Windows around the world, the chances that someone somewhere will run into trouble with Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) are still quite good. 

A few years ago, when Vista SP2 caused problems you used to be able to contact Microsoft’s Free Support to help you resolve any issues. However, now that Vista is in its extended support phase (meaning Microsoft will only provide security updates for the operating system) you're on your own.

So what do you do if you install Vista Service Pack 2 and it wreaks havoc on your PC? Uninstall it of course. Before you uninstall such an old piece of software as Vista SP2, however, you should make sure there aren't any other problems first.

Most importantly you should try to update the drivers for all your PC's various components. Drivers are little bits of software that make it possible for your components like Wi-Fi, sound, and the display to work properly. Most of the time you can get driver updates by using Windows Update, which you'll find under Start > Control Panel > Security > Windows Update. 

If that doesn't solve your problem--or there are no driver updates available--try visiting your computer manufacturer's website. The bad news, however, is that since Windows Vista is so old it's likely your PC is no longer officially supported.

In that case, you can try to find driver updates from the various component makers. But that is a more advanced solution that really isn't for novices. Besides, just as with the previous methods, individual component makers may not offer driver updates built for Windows Vista given the age of the operating system.

Whatever you do, do not download driver updates from websites that are unaffiliated with either your PC maker or the individual component maker. Grabbing downloads from unofficial websites is generally a terrible idea, and it's a good way to end up with malware on your machine.

Once you've exhausted the official methods for finding driver updates or new drivers didn't solve your problem, it's time to move to plan B.

The first thing to know is that if you do end up uninstalling Vista SP2, you will have to change your Windows Update settings. Otherwise, SP2 will just reinstall in the background when you are not paying attention, and then you'll be right back here going through the uninstall steps for a second time.

It's always a good idea to backup your personal files before you start a process like uninstalling a service pack.

The good news is uninstalling a system update like Vista SP2 is fairly easy. Depending on how fast your machine is the whole process could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Here's how to uninstall Windows Vista SP2:

  1. Click Start > Control Panel.
  2. When the Control Panel opens select Programs.
  3. Then under the “Programs and Features” heading select View installed updates.
  4. Once the “Uninstall an update” page opens, the culprit you're looking for is entitled “Service Pack for Microsoft Windows (KB948465)." (pictured above)
  5. Now click Uninstall and follow the instructions on your screen.

That's really all there is to uninstalling Windows Vista SP2. Keep in mind, however, that this process will take a while to complete. Be sure to leave your computer alone until the uninstall process is finished.

Also, it's critical that you have a constant power supply during the uninstall process so that the computer does not shut off. Finally, reboot your computer after the uninstall process to make sure that everything is working properly.