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XP Service Pack 3 Kills AMD Machines

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.

  • carver_g
    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.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/192841

    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • DiscoDuck
    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.
    Reply
  • sandmanwn
    been running it on several AMD machines for a few weeks. No problems whatsoever.
    Reply
  • edwilson
    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.
    Reply
  • virtualban
    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.
    Reply
  • 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 :)
    Reply
  • virtualban
    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) :)
    Reply
  • Brunnen-G
    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
    Reply