Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is it necessary to back up data before installing Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) from online updates?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

Yes, this site and other forums are full of posts about lost data for one reason or another.

You should Always have a recent backup of your important data.

In addition to a backup of your data you could make a system image of the hard drive before you install a Service Pack as suggested by member slhck.

Vista Business and Ultimate have this ability to make a System Image built in, otherwise you would need to install software to make a system image, something like This Software

When windows installs a service pack it automatically creates a Windows Restore Point, which can be useful to roll back the service pack install if things go wrong, but should not to be relied on as a replacement for data backups or system images.

System Restore in Windows Vista

System Restore from a Vista Install disc or by using F8 at boot time

share|improve this answer

No, it is not necessary, but it is recommended.

Service Packs are many updates all packaged together, and it only installs the updates in the SP that are not already installed or up-to-date. However, there is always the chance that an update can mess up your computer, etc, and with a SP, you should backup, just in case.

share|improve this answer

You should always back up important data before critical system updates. That's what they tell you anyway. It's better to make a complete system backup in case you are left with an unstable system rather than backing up just single files.

That said, I think that 99% of people do their service pack updates without backups and it should be fine.

share|improve this answer
3  
Good answer. Think broader - you should ALWAYS back up important data, certainly before a major system update but really you should do it on a regular basis anyway! –  Shinrai Feb 22 '11 at 15:57

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.