The second service pack for Windows Vista will fail to install on computers that have cloned disks or partitions via what Microsoft referred to as third-party disk management tools. This is valid not only for Windows Vista SP2, but also for Windows Server 2008 SP2. The Redmond company explained that the service pack installation failure would be accompanied by error code 0x80004005. At this point in time, Microsoft only provides a workaround for the issue, but has indicated in no way that a solution will be made available through a hotfix or via an update.
“When you install Vista SP2, the Vista SP2 installer must update the system boot files. If third-party disk management tools are used to "clone" disks or partitions, the SP2 installer will be unable to uniquely identify the correct system boot files,” Microsoft explained.
The Redmond company has indicated repeatedly that some programs can interfere with the way updates, including service packs, are integrated into the operating system. This time around, however, the software giant has not named the specific disk management programs capable of interfering with the installation of Vista SP2. “To work around this issue, turn off the computer and physically unplug all drives that are not required for starting Windows. Power up the computer and restart the service pack installation. If the workaround is not successful, the alternative is to perform a clean-install,” Microsoft added.
When SP2 fails to install on top of Vista because of cloned disks or partitions, end users will be presented with the following error message:”Installation was not successful. Unspecified error - Error: E_FAIL(0x80004005).” Microsoft has yet to release Vista SP2 to the public. At the end of April 2009, the company started serving the Vista SP2 RTM and Windows Server 2008 RTM bits to MSDN and TechNet subscribers.