Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate is now available for download from Microsoft. It's described in KB976932 available here. The X64 download is 865.4MB. An ISO DVD image with both X86 and X64 patches is a mere 1875.2MB.
I've used RC service packs before. They are usually quite stable. The beta versions can be problematic but they are rarely released to the general public. I agree that most people don't want to install it on a production system though. OTOH, I've seen final release service packs that caused more problems than the RC versions.
Installing service packs is kind of like playing the lottery, but in reverse. It makes little difference to most, except for ongoing support which needs the service pack installed. There are always some people who have minor problems and a small number that have big problems. Microsoft recommends that third party firewalls and virus scanners be disabled, especially the real time components. I usually uninstall them before applying the service pack and reinstall them after.
A forum community dedicated to Canadian TV, computing and home theatre owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about home audio/video, displays, troubleshooting, styles, projects, DIY’s, product reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!