There has been a lot of discussion about Windows Vista SP1 slipstreaming. I understand why people want to do that with their corporate desktops. For those of you that are individual users and only have the original Windows Vista RTM disk, what do you do? Can you flatten a machine with that disk, then apply SP1 without ever going to update.microsoft.com to get updates?
The answer is yes. I had a Windows Vista Enterprise VL VM just waiting to test this scenario. The VM was created in October and activated. It has never had any software or updates installed. It's just been sitting on the disk waiting patiently for SP1.
Today, I downloaded the standalone installer and upgraded the VM to SP1. No issues. It took less than an hour. Sweet. Going from RTM to SP1 without installing all of the updates at update.microsoft.com rocks. Of course those updates are going to start feeling lonely now. Don't worry, they'll have friends soon enough.
So if you don't have a fancy TechNet subscription and the integrated SP1 DVD, no worries. You can pretty much accomplish the same thing with your original disk and the standalone installer. Enjoy!!!