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XP Service Pack 3 Kills AMD Machines

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 34 comments

Windows XP Service Pack 3 finally arrived to our computers this week… And is now killing AMD machines, according to Jesper Johansson, former program manager for security policy at Microsoft.

The problem relates to machines with SP3 installed rebooting and then not allowing users to get so much as Safe Mode. The problem is mainly affecting AMD users who bought their machines from HP. Johansson attributes the problem to the way that HP puts images of Windows onto its machines, using the same copy for both Intel and AMD boxes.

"Because the image for both Intel and AMD is the same all have the intelppm.sys driver installed and running. That driver provides power management on Intel-based computers. On an AMD-based computer, amdk8.sys provides the same functionality," says Johansson.

Some other OEM’s beside HP have the same practice, and presumably their users will be seeing the same issue.

There is another problem with SP3 that has not yet been tracked down to anything so specific that is causing random hangs and system crashes, though at least one can get into Windows itself (unlike the lucky AMD users.)

Windows service packs causing mayhem and havoc is not a new phenomenon – indeed, AMD machines got hit with a similar bug back in 2000 when any machine running over 350 MHz crashed and burned after a new service pack was released – and we may wait a few weeks for all of the kinks to get sorted out.

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  • 1 Hide
    carver_g , May 9, 2008 7:14 PM
    Corrections to the story:

    The bug back in 2000 had nothing to do with a service pack, and only affected machines with Windows 95. It didn't affect Windows 2000, Windows NT, or Windows 98 at all.

  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , May 9, 2008 7:50 PM
    I just ran into this last night on an HP Media Center m7334n system I was working on. I restored the system to a factory-fresh install, installed SP3 right away, and got stuck in an infinite reboot. However, I was still able to boot into safe mode without any trouble. Once in safe mode, open regedit, browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\intelppm and change the "Start" value from 1 to 4. Reboot, and Windows should boot up normally. Also, you can do this step before you even start the SP3 install, and then the problem will never occur in the first place.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 9, 2008 8:42 PM
    I had the same crash issue after installing SP3 on a DELL AMD X2 laptop ... so not only HP gets that issue it's with AMD processors i guess.

    I ended in an Reboot looping ... Safe mode not accessible at all. I had to resintall windows.
  • Display all 34 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    DiscoDuck , May 9, 2008 8:49 PM
    My wife's homemade gigabyte-amd x2-4000 machine failed to boot a few days after the upgrade. Thankfully I could easily restore the image of right before, from my windows home server. It saved my bacon. Other 5 machines in the house dont seem to mind sp3.
  • 1 Hide
    sandmanwn , May 9, 2008 8:59 PM
    been running it on several AMD machines for a few weeks. No problems whatsoever.
  • 1 Hide
    edwilson , May 9, 2008 10:06 PM
    I have this installed on 2 AMD based machines that I built with zero issues. Machine 1 is a 2500 barton and an abit nforce2 mobo, machine 2 is an 6400+ A64 x2 Black Edition @3.6 ghz and a foxconn 590 sli.

    I think it would be more responsible news reporting to title this an "OEM issue" rather than an "AMD issue". Clearly this is not an ALL AMD machine problem.
  • 0 Hide
    virtualban , May 10, 2008 6:36 AM
    The article should not have been called "XP Service Pack 3 Kills AMD Machines" but instead "XP Service Pack 3 shows stupidity in HP images". What kind of freak puts a ghost image on a machine that is not perfectly identical to the original? And people go for the brand... If Intel had any influence in this, then AMD is right in suing.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 10, 2008 7:12 AM
    Although the most upsetting aspect surely has to be the fact that HP did not bother to test the SP before it was released to general public, there was release candidates out and all they had to do was install it on 2 machines... So ppl in the land of frivolous lawsuits, go get them :) 
  • 0 Hide
    virtualban , May 10, 2008 8:50 AM
    Oh, yes, yes, lawsuits, I forgot to mention them... I want my money back! (or give me some money, since I don't have an AMD HP neither at work or at home) :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Brunnen-G , May 11, 2008 1:29 AM
    Just updated to sp3, My system is AMD 4800+ Brisbane, Sapphire micro ATX with the AMD 690G chip set.. and ATI 1950XT, No problems, install was smooth and in fact my display seems sharper(!?)... Since these are "new" CPU and chip sets, perhaps the problem lies with older hardware versions... Hope this helps
  • -1 Hide
    Christopher1 , May 11, 2008 12:42 PM
    This is weird. You would think that Microsoft would have tested SP3 on almost all systems out there, including AMD machines, to make sure something like this would not happen.
  • -3 Hide
    pocketdrummer , May 11, 2008 2:28 PM
    Great, I knew i should have waited to install it. I cannot afford to lose any data on this system. I have recordings of bands, and if those are lost, someone will pay for it dearly.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 11, 2008 5:02 PM
    XP service pack 3, won't let me get in to windows. I had the beta version for awhile, but then I installed a software update from Microsoft about 2 weeks ago. Ever sence the update, my pc has load slower and kept on showing a error message after windows completly loaded up. The error message would say PROCESS id=0x9e0(2528) Thread id =0x9e4(2532) debug or cancel. I would hit debug but it would say can not debug system at this time retry later. I could still use xpsp3 but i notice some lag in booting up. My pc would continue to pop up the error message every time i load up, but I can still use xpsp3. Until a few days ago, xpsp3 was usable but now I can't even get bass the boot screen. It loops over and over into booting screens. I can not even get into safe mode. My pc is a AMD Phenom 9850/ on a AM2 Gigabyte motherboard.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 12, 2008 5:32 AM
    Installed this SP on many machines and found problems with every one. Doesn't matter about age or gender. My opinion is that the manufacturers dropped the ball by not fully testing the beta or RTM version they received. Good thing it can be uninstalled, unless your one of the unlucky ones that can't boot anymore. Twin pillars again to microshaft.
  • 0 Hide
    wild9 , May 12, 2008 7:00 AM
    Waits for the Intel fan-boys to start using this as an excuse to bash AMD instead of HP..
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 12, 2008 9:39 AM
    Sounds like everyone should investin a Windows Home Server to ensure bad software doesn't permanently brick your PCs.
  • 0 Hide
    wild9 , May 12, 2008 11:36 AM
    FredlySounds like everyone should investin a Windows Home Server to ensure bad software doesn't permanently brick your PCs.

    ..or what about just ghosting an image of your windows installation, onto some DVD media or a flash drive?
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 12, 2008 8:38 PM
    I had the same problem. After first installing SP3, my computer rebooted like after usual installations. However when loading the profiles account window, it kept rebooting itself. So I reinstalled the backup disk and all worked ok. however, now my computer was set back to SP1. I did download the entire sP3 and then installed it, rather than go through windows update website to do so. I found out that downloading the SP3 yourself, and then installing it, works!
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 15, 2008 1:08 PM
    XP SP 3 corrupted my AMD system's NVIDIA interfaces. I have a self-built AMD 3000, Asus+NVIDIA motherboard. Worked great with no problems whatsoever. Loaded SP 3 and I couldn't get to the net via Mozilla or IE. System also kept trying to add a new "high definition audio" device which turned out to be one of my network cards.

    Thankfully, my Windows restore point worked and I reverted back to the previous config. All is well now. Note to self: disable Windows updates. Personally I think they're messing with XP so that we get frustrated and go waste money on Vista...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 16, 2008 6:05 PM
    I i have a amd x 2 laptop, it crashed first time i wanted to install sp 3, the issue was the intelppm key in registry

    After i checked this site i used the utility there and i could install sp3 with no issue.
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