Before you install Windows 7 Service Pack 1…

…make darn sure you have already installed the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 (if you want to use them, of course).

Otherwise, like me, you’ll likely resort to nuking your desktop and starting over.

Earlier this week, I posted about how I rebuilt my Windows 7 desktop while installing a new solid-state drive (SSD). Unfortunately, I later discovered that if you install Windows 7 SP1 before installing the current RSAT package, then you’re essentially screwed.

If you attempt to install the current RSAT release after installing Windows 7 SP1, then you’ll be greeted with a not-so-friendly message that the update not applicable to your computer.

Of course, this is clearly documented on the download page:

**Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 can be installed ONLY on computers that are running the Enterprise, Professional, or Ultimate editions of Windows 7. This software CANNOT BE INSTALLED on computers that are running Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1). To run Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 on a computer on which you want to run Windows 7 with SP1, first install Remote Server Administration Tools, and then upgrade to Service Pack 1.**

This software is not supported on computers that are running Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1). If your computer is running Windows 7 with SP1, and you try to install Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7, the following error message is displayed: “The update is not applicable to your computer.” This limitation is by design, and is documented in the Windows 7 with SP1 Deployment Guide.

Then again, if you downloaded RSAT for Windows 7 a long time ago (like I did back in 2009), then you probably missed this announcement. Apparently I really should have read the Windows 7 SP1 Deployment Guide before rebuilding my desktop. Ah…so much to read, so little time.

While researching the issue, I noticed that somebody mentioned you can uninstall SP1, install RSAT for Windows 7, and then re-install SP1. However, that didn’t seem like the best idea in my mind. After all, since I rarely rebuild my desktop I figured I might as well “do it right” instead of resorting to some hack.

The updated RSAT package for Windows 7 SP1 should be available soon (“scheduled for release in Spring 2011”).

Mercy…why couldn’t this have sim-shipped with Windows 7 SP1?

Comments (5)

  1. Andre,

    While people are certainly welcome to try the hack you link to above, it's been made pretty clear that this is considered "extremely unsupported and dangerous" (…/rtm-rsat-and-sp1-win7-shot-over.aspx).

    Obviously the SP1 version of RSAT for Windows 7 can't come soon enough, but if you *do* decide to go that route in the meantime, then I think it's safe to say you should expect to rebuild your Windows 7 box after the updated tools are released.

  2. Dave Burke says:

    Thanks for taking the time to document this so clearly.  RSAT is always part of my essential checklist on a PC setup, but now I'll remember to keep it there in the future.

  3. Daniel Fisher says:

    You can maybe patch the MSU file using orcas like it's done with shared view here:

  4. Jim Grabinski says:


    Thanks for the great post! This would have saved me a ton of time; I'm doing a similar rebuild. However, this issue has been fixed as of April 7, 2011. The Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)  package is now available from the same location:…/details.aspx

    Thanks again!