back to article Windows XP SP3 sends PCs into endless reboot

Microsoft's service pack three (SP3) for Windows XP has caused havoc on hundreds of PCs, just hours after it was released as an automatic update. Angry customers have vented their spleen on the firm's Windows XP message board, posting complaints that include spontaneous PC reboots and system crashes after the service pack …


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  1. A

    significantly change customers' experience with the operating system

    Endless reboots..

    Yep, thats typical of windows.. I can see why they would say that. :)

  2. Elmer Phud

    AMD only?

    "Meanwhile, Jesper Johansson, a prominent Windows blogger, has claimed that the problem only involves machines using AMD processors."

    I'm not putting in another MoBo and processor just to do SP3 on XP

    Bah and thrice bah.

  3. Steven Raith

    I'm saying nothing...

    As I am about to put SP3 on a machine I have just taken a snapshot of [it's for an image I am building].

    After my previous defense of SP3, who wants to bet a pint that the machine shits itself?

    [Dell optiplex GX620 MicroMachine thingy, P4]

    Updates on this important event later this afternoon....

    Steven R

  4. Neil Greatorex
    Gates Horns

    which do not significantly change customers' experience with the operating system

    Quite right, Windows users have much experience of their PC's rebooting randomly.

    No change there then.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    So far, so good...

    No spontaneous reboots on an AMD64 yet, just the usual resource hogging, hard disk splattering bunk we've come to expect from microsoft.

  7. Slaine
    Thumb Up

    bites lip but can't help saying...

    ... how perfect this service pack is going to be in persuading people that vista is an UP grade.

  8. dervheid


    continuous loop rebooting isn't actually "significantly change(ing) customers' experience with the operating system"

    Micros**tspeak for "this'll maybey make you wish you'd upgraded to vista, you ingrates"

    No, it won't. It'll just make me disable auto updates, which might not be such a bad thing after all. (Please, don't patronise me by pointing out the 'risks' of not keeping up to date with the security patches, I'll take that over the risk of SP3 ta very much!)

    And they wonder why people are pissed off with them.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    AMD worked ok here

    I think it is Dell AMD systems, something to do with the power control. My AMD 3800+ X2 works fine with SP3.


  10. Badg3r

    I did on beta patch

    Had to do a complete rebuild, disabled auto update till they fix it.

  11. Stephen Usher
    Gates Halo

    Don't blame M$, blame the OEMs.

    Hmm.. it actually looks as though it's not really an SP£ problem, it's more of an OEM image problem which is being flagged up by the installation of SP3.

    Basically, HP (and others) to save costs produce one hard disk image irrespective of the computer's processor type, and they install the Intel power management driver.

    Now, it seems that until SP3 this didn't matter too much and the machine booted OK. However, something's changed in SP3 which means that the Intel power management driver crashes when it's run on an AMD chip (for which there is a separate driver which the OEM should have installed instead).

    Don't blame Microsoft for OEM's penny pinching.

    (Note: if M$ were to blame I'd be the first to throw the stone.)

  12. Jamie

    Lets see

    I currently have a AMD 2500+ at home with XP SP2 and a AMD 64FX2 with XP64 SP2.

    Could AMD use this in thier Anti-Trust lawsuit against Intel as Intel and MS are in bed together in so many details.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    I have not had problems!

    Oh, wait, i'm running OSX...

    (The one clad in aluminium, please.)

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Robert Flatters
    Jobs Horns

    SP3 and AMD

    I have installed SP3 on mine and it seem to work ok and i have got a FX AMD chip in my machine.....however i did shut it down after i installed SP4, which can be a fore warning of loop booting issues i.e. ground hog day screamers. You can tell that Microsoft are not really that bother about XP anymore and consentrating on Vista...trying to fix the bugs in that.

    Let hope when i get home tonight that when i do boot up its ok.....crossed fingers and rabits feet... need more than one rabits foot for luck.

  16. Liam

    no problems for me...

    seems ok - went like a breeze on my intel machine.

    i also found a bit of free s/w called vistamizer (spelling?) - basically it makes XP look like vista (nicer) but no as slow and annoying (having to lick yes 14x every time you wann do something)

  17. Paul

    Less FUD More Vista Please

    Happy Vista Home Premium SP1 user here, no issues or glitches. Maybe it's time for people to step up and get off of the legacy OS that is Windows XP. Microsoft should just pull the plug, that sucker is obviously on life support.

    /mines the one with the full color silkscreen of BillG on the back...

  18. Dave
    Thumb Up


    As far as I know the overclockers are safe, as I have overclocked my AMD (Phenom too....yes yes asking for it I know) and installed SP3 and it has been running flawlessly since.

    One thing I did do before installing was stop all of the extra processes that were running so only thing running was AV.

    I say its people who have any version of the Sims installed, they deserve a dead computer

  19. John Macintyre

    hmm.. this is why

    I saw the auto update and didn't hit download/install, thought i'd wait and see. I'm quite dependant at the mo on my kit and the last thing i want is for any of it to become unusable, think i'll wait a few months before getting this one

  20. Jason Harvey

    SP3 A-OK on AMD 1800+ here

    been cookin this cpu for 7 years... still can't kill it. gotta be the OEM issue that Stephen Usher mentioned. Suddenly I'm glad I build my own. I may have to bark at HP about my wife's laptop though. Think I'll back that machine up again this evening just for good measure.

  21. William Morton

    Mine is AMD based and updated to sp3 without problems or obvious effect

    I have a Semprom 2400+ and XP pro (Select version) 1GB of SDRAM

    Machine was already fully updated and had zonealarm and avast

  22. William Morton

    AMD related NO more likely Nvidia Motherboard chipset related

    As I say I have a VIA based motherbord and AMD CPU and did not have problems with XP SP3. There was however an update for the nvidia force NV4 chipset as part of SP3 that might be causing the issue?

  23. john loader

    Not all AMD

    I upgraded fine on a Sempron

  24. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up

    That promised update...

    Yes, I know you have all been waiting with baited breath to see if my PC is shafted.

    Well, it's not. No issues at all, and an interim "SP3MitNeuProfile.gho" has been created so that I have something to fall back on if Sysprep causes the machine to shit it's biscuits.

    Which it probably will.

    Ah well!

    Just the AXP2400Thoro@2200Mhz to put it on at home now....

    Steven "can't afford an A64/Core2Duo" Raith

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Swing and a miss ...

    "Meanwhile, Jesper Johansson, a prominent Windows blogger, has claimed that the problem only involves machines using AMD processors."

    Nope - just done several machines with Athlon64 x2 processors with no problems at all.

  26. Andy
    IT Angle

    no problems for me....

    well i dont know what all the fuss is about ive installed the patch (on 3 normal pc's and also on my macs bootcamp/parallels setup) and also the slipstreamed version and had no problems whatsoever. is this another case of people with crap hardware or setups with loads of dodgy software installed.. but as usual blaming the last thing that touched their pc?????

  27. gizmo23

    AMD yes but not all

    My neighbour has just had this endless reboot problem (which I've been called on to fix) and at first i thought it was the gdi32.dll problem but after a few hours troubleshooting it turns out i was wrong.

    I understand that the problem is with machines where XP was installed from a sysprep image where the original machine has an Intel processor and the target machine has an AMD. There is a registry key that tries to load an intel driver which is normally ignored but for some reason SP3 sets this off again and as the box has an AMD it barfs with a STOP 0x0000007E error which is immediately intelligible to serious windows dudes. Maybe.

    So if you've installed your own copy of XP you should be OK.

    If anyone wants to contradict this assertion, please go ahead I'm not a windows expert, i just use Solaris and Fedora.

    I love these comments, it gives you the chance to show how stupid you are in front of the thousands / millions / one billion squintillion* supremely expert Reg readers out there.

    * suggestion for a new unit. One billion squintillion = 1 Reg readership.

  28. Mike Crawshaw


    Can't remember if it was SP1 or 2 for XP (THINK it was 2, but no promises...), but there were massive problems with OEM kit there too, IIRC Dell customers in particular had to wait for a "Dell version" of the SP in question.

    Sounds like it might be, as Stephen Usher says, this issue, especially as there's prior form for it. Either way, I'm gonna wait for the dust to settle before I install.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    My one went fine

    Even better, XP is now faster. Personally I don't know why MSFT did it, only reason that comes to mind is to put another nail in the coffin of Vista.

    Still I prefer my home Ubuntu box over my Win work machine, even that work one is *much* faster. Ubuntu just feels so much nicer to use.

  30. Steven Raith

    OEM Kit


    I'm making this image with the Dell OEM XP CD - it's working fine.

    My 4gb USB pen, with all my tools on it, however, has just died a death and is now residing in the fucking bin.

    [must have been SP3 that did it, cough, ahem ;-) ]

    Steven R

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Fix AMD reboot

    I have had this problem before sending an image from an Intel based PC to an AMD PC.

    The fix is to boot up using the windows cd and enter the recovery console. From there type: disable intel_ppm

    Reboot the PC and all wil lbe fine again

  32. TC

    Known fixes to try

  33. Geoffrey Summerhayes

    Re: I have not had problems

    I'm quickly losing the remaining dregs of my belief in human intelligence.

    Here's a new cut-and-paste comment for the Reg:

    I haven't had any problems installing/running/removing/configuring the software/hardware/update on N systems. Since I do/don't/didn't overclock/interrupt the process/drink coffee/own a cat/believe in Xenu, it's obvious everyone who has had problems should/shouldn't overclock/sit on their hands/drink Jolt/[kill their/get a] cat/join Scientology. Problem solved.


  34. Kenny Millar
    Jobs Halo

    Forget XP, Forget Visat

    Buy a Mac.

    Seriously. Why not? They are safer, faster and no more expensive. (Despite what a few XP Zealots who have never even tried one will tell you.)

    If you've never tried a Mac in recent years, then don't even bother to reply since you have no right to talk about things you've never tried.

  35. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: I have not had problems

    I endorse your cut and paste comment.

  36. TheHempKnight

    RE: Less FUD more Vista

    "Windows XP. Microsoft should just pull the plug, that sucker is obviously on life support."

    Oh is that why many people are reverting to XP after they have the much hyped 'Vista experience' and decide it's the POS that it is.... XP's still got about 3 quarters of the computer market hasn't it? while Vista numbers dwindle and M$ rush through the next version of Windows?

    All in all XP's looking pretty healthy for something 'on life support' to me

  37. Spleen

    Re: Simon Ward

    He said it only affected AMD-based processors. That's different from "it affects *all* AMD-based processors". His statement is only disproven if the same problem happens with a non-AMD chip.

    If A = "fails to boot up" and B = "AMD-based processor", then the statement is "If A, then B" not "If B, then A". And it's only wrong if you have A and not-B, not if you have not-A and B. If that makes it any clearer.

  38. Paul Bottomley

    Upgrade me

    I've been running W2k then XP on the same machine for about 8 years now, its been solidly stable with XP SP2 (Xeon 550mhz & 2 meg VGA onboard) I however suspect SP3 will kill it? The patch is free but the new hardware required to support is will annoy me as its money that was ear marked for beer not M$ upgrade you kit tax.

  39. James Dunmore


    [insert smug comment]

  40. pctechxp

    no problems for me

    Running a Pentium D (Presler) @ 3.4Ghz on a clean install of XP SP2 (not an OEM image)

    Couldn't download via win update on Tuesday so installed using the stand alone installer.

    All OK

  41. HFoster


    My home machine (AMD Athlon XP2000+ @ 1.67GHz, 1.25GB RAM, ~200GB HD, dual boot Fedora 7/WinXP) was updated last night. Not had any problems as yet, and it was on all night. The only thing that took me by surprise was that my theme was reset to normal (although I was going to do that myself).

    I'll see what happens this evening when I get home.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Steve Raith

    > Yes, I know you have all been waiting with _baited breath_ to see if my PC is shafted.

    Yey! Another pleasing instance of that sneaky entrapment attempt!

    Over the past fortnight I've updated 30 PCs and laptops of varying power and age with SP3, and they've taken between 11 minutes and 62 minutes. No, sadly, nothing went wrong...

    Mine's the anorak with "Smug Git" on the back, in Gill Sans Extra Bold...

  43. Andy Fletcher
    Thumb Up

    No problem with SP3 here....

    ...maybe this story is just more of Britains current attitude of only talking about things when they go wrong...if it goes right, we just don't bother to say anything.

  44. JMB

    XP SP3

    I have a problem with a Canon camera not been recognised when plugged into USB on one machine (other OK) but Device Manager is blank, other people seem to have problems with Device Manager being blank.

  45. Test Man

    Sounds like...

    ... a lot of people don't have a clue at all here and are quick to jump on the usual Microsoft-is-definitely-at-fault-honest bandwagon, when the actual issue is down to how Windows was installed on the PC in the first place.

    OEM installs seem to be the problem here (at least something as specific as an OEM preparing an image of a pre-installed image of Windows on an Intel-based PC but using same image on an AMD-based one) so once again the silly fools who blame Microsoft without actually understanding the issue FIRST are the silly ones who look foolish.

    At least they've provided some entertainment this Friday afternoon. It's always good to laugh at the people who make it so obvious that they haven't understood the issue at all.

  46. Dean

    So far so good..

    Working fine on at least 6 machines to far, pretty annoying they removed the address bar though.. fixed by installing MuvEnum Address Bar

  47. thomas k.

    no problems here on AMD

    No problems on my homebuilt Shuttle SFF box with AMD 2800+ (VIA chipset iirc) with OEM copy of XP SP2. I had d/l'd the SP from MS but then read some horror stories so I waited until it was put out via Update and did it that way.

    I'm a little curious about Vista SP1, though. It doesn't appear on the Update site when I go there on my new Vista laptop. Of course, I just got it on April 21st and there was a boatload of updates that I installed straightaway - possibly everything that was wrapped up into SP1 so that Update doesn't see any need to offer it?

  48. Brian Griffiths

    All OK now (at last)

    After putting SP3 on my Acer AMD Turion laptop the machine refused to shut down. Eventually a huge crash corrupted the AV (Avast) and firewall (Comodo) plus programe settings for anything elsethat was running.

    Eventually tracked the problem down to the Buffalo Drivestation attached to the Firewire port. After switching it to a spare usb port all is fine, fingers crossed

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank God I did 'nt !!!

    Phew ,that is a big relief then after reading all the posts on here. I was in 2 minds whether to download and install or not, and in end I thought "nope I will wait and see how it turns out with others first " , and now I am just happy I did that.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    @Kenny Millar

    If you don't know what i need a computer for, you have no right to comment on what computer i should buy.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One advantage to having a Mac for running windows....

    If it in a VM, you can easily revert back to the prior version through snapshots in Parallels/VMware Fusion/VirtualBox should anything ever go wrong, and much, much faster than a system restore.

  52. OpenSauce

    OK on 8 systems so far

    3 AMD 64X2 (one in a network domain)

    1 AMD Athlon XP

    4 Intel P4 variants

    Guess it's luck of the draw just what other hardware/software is installed.

  53. Dan Beshear

    No XP3 problems here

    All AMD kits here, except for my MacBook Pro, and XP3 works fine with Parallels Desktop 3.

    Much adodo over nothing, as usual with M$.

  54. Doug Glass
    Thumb Up

    SP3's a Breeze

    Maybe I'm lucky, but I've installed XP SP3 on seven computers with only one glitch. That one problem is the apparent dislike SP3 has for D-Link wireless utilities. Installing the drivers only solved that problem.

    On all seven machines (all 100% patched and updated; all XP Pro SP2) all morning startups and subsequent rebootings have been event free. Even seems a tab faster. But that could be wishful thinking.

    I'm no M$ proponent by a long stretch, but my seven have been XP Pro SP3 Ultimate no-brainers and I'm just giving credit where credit is due.

  55. Doug Glass

    SP3's a Breeze Rev. 1

    Uhhhh ... Forgot to say, ALL of my computers use AMD CPUs. I'm a relic and all are 3200 XP socket A.

  56. Anonymous Coward


    XP box is an AMD 2600XP, no issues with SP3 whatsoever.

    Strange but true....

  57. Anonymous Coward


    @Stephen Usher

    Hello. I'm not a hard-core expert...I'm just a helpdesk analyst. I've just been reading about the SP3 issue and I found your comment about the SP3 thing being a OEM realted issue interesting. I was discussing it with one of my co-workers and he said that a single driver issue isn't going to cause the computer to constantly reboot. I'm a female in the industry and anytime I discuss anything IT-related to any male co-worker, 99.9% of the time I get a response that very condescending so I don't know who's take on the issue would be more correct. So is it possible for a single driver issue to cause a computer to constantly reboot?

  58. John Folken Wolf

    1 Core Duo laptop, 1 Athlon X2 4200, 1 Athlon XP 2000+, all good this far w/ SP3

    No crap whatsoever this far, but the Core Duo took it harder... went to a serious crawl, prolly some driver having a fight with whatever they dropped in that SP3 thingie.

  59. Joe Stalin

    @ Fix AMD reboot

    Great worked a treat, and just made £30 for twenty mins work. The bloke next door got a right royal shafting by SP3, and came knocking on the door. I told him to bring the machine over and I'd look at it, found AC's post within seconds fixed the problem and then had a very long cup of tea (two hours got to make it look difficult). Took his machine back to him and told him to back everything up just in case (nice professional touch that last bit). This might turn out to be a nice little earner.

  60. J

    @Kenny Millar

    "If you've never tried a Mac in recent years, then don't even bother to reply since you have no right to talk about things you've never tried."

    Unfortunately I do have to use a newish Mac every other day, and its crappy user interface drives me crazy. So no, thanks.

    If I ever buy one of their machines, it will be to install Ubuntu or whatever on top of that crud that comes on them (which I guess I won't, given that I'll be paying for OSX just to throw it away, but if I get one as a gift...). I did it (dual boot) for a coworker here and it works perfectly, wireless and all, so why not?

  61. Michael Simmons

    XP SP3

    I downloaded the pre release ten days ago and it sent my laptop into a permanent re-boot and I couldnt even get into safe mode so had to do a complete recovery and start again. Microsoft - disaster soft!!

  62. TimM

    It's not specifically AMD, and it's mostly the OEMs fault!

    The issue, as said in an earlier comment, is down to OEMs using a single image for all hardware, be it AMD, Intel, or whatever.

    The problem would likely exist the opposite way around if the OEM image was made for AMD and they applied it to Intel machines. But more than likely the images were sourced from Intel machines.

    The fault is 90% in the hands of the OEMs.

    However the other 10% is Microsoft's because they knew about this problem way back to XP SP2, and during beta and RC phases of SP3. MS should have put a block on SP3 from installing on known problem OEM installs, together with a note telling users to contact the OEM (e.g. HP) to pester them for a free fix (regardless of warranty).

    By the way, the same could also happen if you are a system builder and you did a motherboard swap from Intel to AMD or vice versa, without a clean install of the OS.

    Or those (many) corporates who use a ghosted image for all their PCs, regardless of hardware.

    Essentially this is one almighty cock-up, and MS and the OEMs are likely to refuse to take blame for it, with MS blaming the OEMs and the OEMs claiming their systems were never intended to be upgraded and MS should work around the OEM's cock-up.

    Knowing someone who's machine is now hosed because of this (to the point of getting the dreaded 0x00000024 stop error meaning disc corruption and not even being recoverable via the usual means), I'm not best pleased.

    Oh, and no Linux, Mac, whatever else non-MS is not the answer for those people who have bought a PC designed for Windows and rely on Windows software, or can't/don't want to pay a premium for a Mac. Nor is such smug advice any help to those who are looking at lost data and a total reformat.

  63. Steven Raith


    "Over the past fortnight I've updated 30 PCs and laptops of varying power and age with SP3, and they've taken between 11 minutes and 62 minutes. No, sadly, nothing went wrong...

    Mine's the anorak with "Smug Git" on the back, in Gill Sans Extra Bold..."

    I've had the same situation, and I've also been using the RCs and pre-release ones too, as I expect you have.

    Surely our PCs are just so well built that we have no problems because we are NINJA, and those out there having problems are just full on fucking fuckwits who couldn't maintain an MS OS if their life depended on it?

    [he says, under the false premise of 'starting healthy debate'...;-) ]

    Mines the jacket with "if you can read this, F***ck you" on the back.

    Steven R :-)

  64. Anonymous Coward

    @Kenny Millar

    "Buy a Mac.

    Seriously. Why not? They are safer, faster and no more expensive. (Despite what a few XP Zealots who have never even tried one will tell you.)"

    Safer because they are a small target, faster... hmm, and no more expensive? !!!! Yeah, only if you buy a Mac mini and happen to have a monitor and keyboard and don't mind limited expansion and an underpowered machine. Otherwise they are vastly more expensive, even factoring in the cost of XP (which is almost always subsidised anyway unless you are one of the rare breed who buys a retail box of the OS).

    "If you've never tried a Mac in recent years, then don't even bother to reply since you have no right to talk about things you've never tried."

    Yes I have tried them (and actually I do like them, just I feel they are way overpriced), however that is a cop-out statement. Everyone has a right to express their opinions on things they haven't tried, especially when it comes to the economics of things. If something is too expensive, there's no need to try it just to be able to comment saying it's too expensive.

    Oh, and another blow to the smug brigade out there, do please remember that the only reason you have limited problems with Macs is because you have fixed hardware made by Apple that they can control. Once Apple allow competition and other manufacturers come into the frame, I can guarantee you will see the same kind of problems.

    But anyway, this kind of talk does not help those who have fallen victim to this.

  65. Robert Moore
    Jobs Halo

    @Kenny Millar

    I am about 6 months ahead of you there.

    I have no idea why the Reg readership has such a rabid hatrid of all things Apple.

    I am the senior IT person at a Java Development shop. It is strange but I get almost no support issues from the Apple kit, but the XP stuff is endless headaches.

    Much to my surprise, when you compare good quality hardware with licenced OS/software the Apple kit isn't that much more expensive.

    Lastly: Why are you people installing SP3 right after it is released? I expect better from the Reg readership. I will consider allowing SP3 into my network in about 6 months.

  66. Anonymous Coward

    Your Mileage May Vary

    Used an old Tyan Tiger for testing. This is a dual socket server mainboard. Takes two AMD Athlon-MP processors. The official XP SP3 iso download seemed to cause my network connections to misbehave. Unusually slow transfers, transfer time-outs, etc. Adapters in this system include a 3C902C by 3Com, an LNE100TX by Linksys, and an IEEE 1394 by ??.

    However, XP SP3 beta, v.3264 works flawlessly on this machine.

    I'm guessing that the official/final release must disagree with one or more of my existing drivers, and that the beta release does not.

    Not planning to investigate further, sorry. I fear that I might be tempted to post something foolish in the presence of One Reg of peer reviewers.

    - The Garret

    The Jolly Roger...just because.

  67. Anonymous Coward

    @Kenny Millar

    My right to free speech: Mac are built arround generic low quality x86 parts then put in a shiny pastic case and sold at grossly over price. Just visite any mac forum and see for your self, each upgrade of the pathetic freebsd clone they call OS X bring more and more trouble same as a windows upgrade.

    Since Apple introduce Bootcamp the 1st thing an Apple user do when he get the machine is install WIndows XP. Mac is just vapors, smoke and mirrors. It as alway, it and always be. If you don't like MS os just run Linux, don;t make a foul out of your self by telling peoples such obvious lies.

    Mac users are different, just the fact that they own such a useless piece of rubish tell how clueless they are about computers.

    The Best computer is not Dell, Apple, HP or Acer, it is the one you built yourself...

  68. Mark

    4th time lucky!

    Have AMD chip. First attempt to instal SP3 locked up and had to be backed out. Next 2 attempts backed themselves out (although one required a system restore to stop the PC freezing up). 4th time worked ok.

    Guess I'll have to instal the patches for my family as it doesn't seem very friendly.

    Think I'll go for a Mac when my hardware reaches end of life. I hear they are less hassle!...

  69. John Colby

    Is it any wonder ...

    ... that my next PC will be a Mac?

    'cos I just want something that works!

  70. Phaux Camus

    Dells and HPs

    I've read around and it appears it's happening to HP AMD systems too. I guess it's due to HP using a generic XP image on their new systems, and it loads the Intel Power Management System, not the AMD Power Management System.

  71. Sleeping Dragon

    No problems here

    I've had two friends upgrade to SP3, one on Intel, one on AMD. No problems with either really. Whilst one of them was waiting though, he had a play with my Ubuntu box.

    He's upgrading again very soon... >:-)

  72. Robert Eisenhardt

    As with All things Microsoft

    GHOST your system hard drive BEFORE you install something as new and untried as SP3!!!!! I did and it saved my system quite nicely thank you. Would anyone who is a professional EVER do something less???

    I trust Microsoft never. I trust my instincts always.

  73. heystoopid

    Sounds like

    Sounds like they need to restore AutopatcherXP .

  74. Steven Snape

    Vacation time?

    As a self employed computer tech do I stick around and cash-in from the potential fallout or go on vacation and return when the dust has settled.

  75. D
    Gates Horns

    @Kenny Miller

    "Buy a mac" because it doesn't get crippled by updates. Apart from the times when it does get crippled by updates from Apple.

    As this is an IT site populated by readers who probably spend more time than most considering the pros and cons of various OS options it seems very unlikely that you trolling every "microsoft drops a bollock" story with "Buy a mac 'cos they're great and if you don't think so you suck". It's really not going to win people over to the mac experience.

    You would have more luck on fashion forums or forums, for lifestyle consultants, telephone hygienists, you know, the real Apple-Mac user base.

  76. Al Amet

    Does it on Intel as well

    First machine in the developers group that it was installed on died. It had an Intel Xeon process not an AMD. Went into a continuous boot cycle

  77. John PM Chappell

    OEM Images

    I've had bad experiences with craply done OEM images in the past, including the bundling of every single driver regardless of suitability and the usual bloatware applications installed.

    I now routinely wipe the drive and use an unbranded 'OEM' version of the relevant OS distro to reinstall, supplying the key that came with the hardware at the relevant point. Result: no problems in a long time and the installations go smoothly.

    I'm about to apply SP3 to the OS on this laptop; an Acer with AMD Turion64 X2 and XP MCE installed as detailed above. I expect no problems but will post again either way.

  78. Scott
    Thumb Up


    Have now put it on several computers, and each and every time it has gone okay.

  79. Anonymous Coward

    Time to add my 2cents

    I installed the beta of SP3 a long time back when it was first released on both my work machine (Acer POS desktop) and my home gaming machine (custom jobbie) and havent had issues at all. In fact the desktop was having stability issues with SP2 and patches but hasnt crashed AT ALL since i installed a beta. Have since updated to the release version without a problem. Granted both have Intel CPUs but I cant see this being the case. Co-Worker here installed it on a customers computer and went into the reboot loop, I have also installed it on many customers machines (Beta included) without a problem though (ranging from custom to AMD to Intel with manufactures across the board) I cant see anything wrong with what he did that would have caused it. My guess is that its not AMD or Intel based or even manufacture based so much as it has something to do with a driver or something along those lines. Wouldnt surprise me if a driver looked to see if it was installed or running on a SP2 machine and seeing SP3 and spazzing out.

    Why is it that people always bitch when something NEW (as in yes its been tested but there is only so much testing we can do on so much hardware so there might be some bugs that we havent found yet) comes out and has issues? My gaming rig at home is a $6k tower and, yes, the stability issues blew but I also bought everything 1st gen (CPU, Video Card, MoBo to name a few components) and its bound to have issues since they are still working out the teething issues. Can those of us who realize things will have issues and understand what a teething issues is please leave the room since it appears people in here are just the fanbios (Apple and *nix) or flamers who just want to get a hit in when they really have no idea what they are talking about?

    /anon for ovbious reasons

  80. Anonymous Coward


    My main workhorse at home and occasional gaming machine is an AMDx64 4200 home-brew machine. (no, not the fastest by todays gaming standards, but it gets by) I've got it overclocked about 18%, which is as far as I've been able to take it and keep it stable. It idles at just under 90 deg. F with a stock fan. (32C for you Brits) I've had the beta of SP3 on it since it was available for trial, and have had zero issues with it. (although the constant nag that something I'm trying to do contains an unspecified security flaw about 10x a day begins to piss me off--WTF good is a generic warning like that anyway??)

    Currently running Ubuntu on it as I write this though, because after a hard day of attempting to resolve Windows problems at work, when I come home I at least want to wrestle with different ones.

  81. Dave Coomber


    "significantly change customers' experience with the operating system "

    Well it certainly changed mine;l and this on a P4. I can't use the DVD!

  82. MS
    Thumb Up


    I've been using SP3 on a Lenovo T60 for a couple days now. No problems.

  83. Anonymous Coward

    @Test man

    Um, no offense, but I don't think an Intel image would even boot on an AMD machine in the first place. (or vice-versa) The HAL would be totally wrong.

    I think the problem is likely limited to folks with a certain chipset or hardware device that doesn't agree with it.

  84. John PM Chappell
    Thumb Up

    And.... success! :¬)

    Downloaded fine, verified fine, installed painlessly, silly prompt for auto-update told "no" and dismissed, boot completed normally.

    No obvious changes to the way XP works but certainly no complaints from me about the rollout of SP3.

    Kenny Millar: Apple stuff is overpriced, underpowered, proprietary (hardware and software) and looks like shite. Why on earth would I want to bother? Especially as the "no security flaws, no crashes" is bollocks that actually equates to "fewer problems but when they occur, boy are they bad

    To others: "who's" is the contraction of "who is" not the posessive of "who", which is "whose". Getting basic English grammar wrong damages your credibility when trying to slag off others ;¬)

  85. Graham Lockley

    @Kenny Millar

    Currently running a quad boot system (xp(main), vista, Ubuntu, OSX86) can I comment ?

    OSX=a more mature Vista e.g. pretty to look at but wheres the software I want ?

    At least I didnt have to pay Apple for their over-priced/underpowered hardware to enjoy something that '(only) just works' ;)

    Mines the one with a huge picture of a pear on the back

  86. Antoinette Lacroix

    Something funny

    I installed XP from a very old OEM disk, without any service pack on it, to deal with some odd errors, my customers were getting. After that, I went straight to Windows Update. It provided me with "critical updates" i.e. WGA and suchlike. Then I got some new stuff that enabled me to to use "Microsoft Update". After 45 min of "serious updating", I was ready to install SP3. After that, being the cautious Unix person that I am, not trusting anything I don't have source for, I created myself an ordinary user account. Then I installed Opera and hit the web. It was a short journey. Almost every website I visited, produced a popup which says that system files had been changed, and Windows asks me to insert the "Original Windows SP3 disk" (as if anyone had one of these, yet), to restore those files. Being logged in as a normal user, no website could possibly have altered any system files . . . could it ?

    I wonder what this is all about . .

    [if you don't give me a BSD Icon soon, I visit you in person, and believe you me . . you don't want that]

  87. EnigmaForce

    Enough... enough.

  88. Kabakoff

    XP SP3 Successful on AMD computers if .ISO update used

    09 May 2008

    Hello --

    I sent this information to Kelly Fiveash the author of this article regarding the problem with Windows XP SP3 on AMD computers but apparently she did not consider this information worthy enough to pass on. So I will directly.

    There are three ways to update a computer to Windows XP SP3. The first is via online update. This will fail on AMD computers. The second is by downloading the 316MB file. This will fail on AMD computers.

    The third and SUCCESSFUL way is to download the 554MB .ISO file. Burn the .ISO file to a CD and then use the CD to SUCCESSFULLY update the computer, even AMD based computers, to Windows XP SP3.

    Notice that the .ISO file is considerably larger and would logically contain vital components for a successful update that are seemingly missing from the first two methods.

    I have already updated four AMD based computers, my customers, to Windows XP SP3 with no problems via this method.

    Best Regards,

    Gary Kabakoff

    Tucson, Arizona USA

  89. Ign R. Amis
    Jobs Horns

    Gratuitous Apple fanboi post

    Boy, Apple sure does suck, huh?


  90. Ign R. Amis
    Thumb Down

    @John PM Chappell

    "Apple stuff is overpriced, underpowered, proprietary (hardware and software) and looks like shite"

    Totally agreed. It needs a lot more cheap plastic doodads, blue LEDs, and a bajillon buttons on the keyboard to launch my email app.

  91. Darryl

    Working fine here

    No problems with the XP SP3 update, and everything's working smoothly. Then again, my Vista laptop has never had any problems before or after SP1, so maybe I've just got a charmed life. (yeah, right)

  92. Antoinette Lacroix

    You might have read my first post

    and the it get's even better. After visiting some Yahoo sites, Windows informs me that 4 services have been deactivated for security reasons. Is this a part of the Microhoo scheme ? One can ony speculate . .

    No really, I don't flame anyone. But how can ANYONE possibly use Windows ?

    (Shakes her head an rips out the M$ infested disk.)

    Unix is the only way to go.

    (Still no BSD icon, you guys are in serious trouble)

  93. Anonymous Coward

    My toy is better than yours

    The service pack borked a few computers, fair enough; but I heartily invite you to show me one major OS update that hasn't managed to accomplish that at one stage or another.

    This ridiculous OS/platform fanboy willy-waving is beyond childish. Grow up, you utter gits.

  94. Anonymous Coward

    @XP SP3 Successful on AMD computers if .ISO update used

    Hmm... I downloaded the update and installed it on my AMD machine (64-bit dual-core 4200+ homebrew) No problems; actually smoothest SP install I've encountered. Was wondering at the time what the point of it was, because it didn't seem to affect anything whatsoever. Not sure what the extra MBs included in the CD image contain, but it doesn't seem to matter. Sorry Gary, I think there's other factors at play here. (chipset? Video card?) Apparently YMDV (your mileage did vary)

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The update is just out.

    I am a happy Apple Laptop user. But I wouldn't install a new update like this on anything for at least the first month or so. I need my laptop to work for me rather than use it to do a vendor's testing for them. I might try it on my VMWARE XP Installation though :)

  96. Busted

    Worked for me eventually

    After waiting about 2 hours for it to finished updating my T42 to SP3 I got fed up waiting so start/shutdown was enough to actually get it to finish the job. Now that is complete it works fine no issues to report and it actually boots up a bit quicker.

    Reboot issue does sound like some sort of driver problem as you can boot into safe mode and the OEM's do have a habbit of cr@ppy installs.

    Did have ubuntu on this laptop but upgrading to 8.04 resulted in constant harddrive access which I couldn't resolve so back to XP for a bit.

    Mines the one with the various CD's in the pocket.

  97. JC


    Why on earth is anyone interested in keeping XP updated (which would mean you already had 9/10ths of this installed via patches) willing to risk what they spend so much time and bandwidth on, just to risk what was otherwise working properly?

    MS users, XP and Vista alike, you are simply masochists. You WANT to be slapped upside the head then complain about it, and if it doesn't happen you'll find a way to make it happen because in your heart you hate hate hate MS.

    You know you do, quit making excuses to love them because you think it makes you modern. You'd be modern either way, all MS does is remove your chocie of doing what suits you better than what suits their wallet.

  98. Sean O'Connor

    Correction to Stephen...

    Stephen Usher Posted:


    "Basically, HP (and others) to save costs produce one hard disk image irrespective of the computer's processor type, and they install the Intel power management driver."


    Actually thats incorrect, they make one drive image for each System model. While Win98 and supposidely Vista are smart enough to find their boot partitions, NT, Win2k, Win2k3, and XP will fail to boot if you put the drive into a computer with a different chipset and controller. The machine simply bluescreens. Try it sometime, take your harddrive out and put it in a different computer with a different chipset.

    Since AMD and Intel chipsets and controllers are different, no machine from Dell or any other OEM would be able to boot if they only made one drive image.

    Typically the drive images are produced a couple of months before the computers ship, thats why even a brand new pc is usually months behind on patches.

  99. TimM

    Why people installing SP3

    "Lastly: Why are you people installing SP3 right after it is released?"

    Those of us who have been burnt by such things in the past will hold off of course if they have sense.

    However, those with relatives who have just gone and spotted SP3 on Windows Update with lots of comments from MS about it being an essential security update, will just click on it regardless.

    It's not their fault, hence why many of us are somewhat pissed.

    I would say the majority of people with the vulnerable OEM machines in question will likely not be experts and will just install SP3 because it's offered to them. What do they do in this situation anyway, especially if they have no internet access because their only machine is trashed?

  100. marc
    Jobs Horns

    Mac Users

    Why do Mac users feel the need to push their choice of operating system onto others? Do Volkswagen Polo drivers do the same? What about people who shop in Tescos as opposed to Sainsbury's?

    I stopped using my Mac when I had to pay £99 for upgrade the OS, in order to install and develop for Java 1.5. Daylight robbery.

    Pros. Cons. They all have them! I am happy with Vista at the moment, yes I miss certain features of the Mac, but at the end of the day it's the programs I run that matter.

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XP SP3 loaded to AMD machine no problems.

    I run an AMD Athlon machine. Loaded XP SP3 Friday 09/05/2008 with no problems so far. Though one odd registry entry appeared in Spybot namely "autocheck autochk *\Is delete\" I couldn't find anything on the net regarding that one.

  102. John PM Chappell

    Spot on :¬)

    Ign R. Amis: Aye, Apple definitely sucks, mate, agreed. "... a lot more cheap plastic doodads, blue LEDs, and a bajillon buttons on the keyboard ..." - sounds like an Apple, alright.

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No reboot problem, but it broke Windows Update

    I have a Dell AMD64 based system. I had installed the AMD drivers before running the install and it mostly went ok.

    However, now when trying to update my wireless NIC drivers (which started throwing errors), it hangs while trying to talk to Windows Update. I also tried going to the Windows Update site to download it, but the site gave an error message when trying to retrieve the locally installed list. Fixed that error by setting the Remote RPC service to use Local System logon (took some digging in the MS Knowledgebase to find this fix), however now it hangs instead.

    Maybe this is how MS plans to EOL XP.

  104. Dave Birch

    JMB - Blank Device Manager

    A known problem when "Plug & Play" is disabled under "services.msc".

    This also explains the failure to recognise your USB stick/drives which are obviuosly plug & play. I doubt that this issue has anything to do with SP3.

  105. Dai Kiwi
    Thumb Up

    All fine here

    Just adding it as a datapoint.

    AMD 64x2 4200+ in a homebuilt randomly upgraded machine. Based on the reports I didn't expect to have any problem, and it seems to be fine. Boot time is about the same.

  106. Steve
    Black Helicopters

    Going back to Windows 98 SE

    If I could find the CD that is.

    There were problems with the beta and I think people are confusing those with what is happening now - the fixes and issues aren't necessarily going to be the same.

    I know we're all fast becoming one big blue screen of death family but the reasons for joining are different.

    It isn't just an OEM install problem and it isn't just an AMD problem and the damage being caused is ranging from an annoying bsod cycle, cured by system restore and a mug of coffee, to completely shagged Windows.

    I'm off now to drool over Windows Vista Home Basic.....

  107. Big Al
    IT Angle

    Where the...?

    Alright for you lot, the automatic updater on the two flavours of XP in the house here haven't even noticed that there's something to download yet....

    Good job it's nothing critical eh?

  108. Anonymous Coward

    Why are people bothering?

    What exactly has SP3 got that you actually want?

    --> Network Access Protection compatibility

    Unless you are using a windows2008 domain, you don't want or need it.

    --> Product Key-less install option

    You machine is already installed, init? Usefull for some though -- system integrators and whatnot.

    --> Kernel Mode Cryptographics Module.

    Dunno about that one.

    --> "Black hole" router detection algorithm.

    Why would you need that? 99.99% of people wont....

    The rest is patches you most likely already have installed from windowsupdate / SUS / wotever.

    Don't bother lads, you really don't need it...

    especially if your a home user!


  109. Dana W
    Jobs Halo

    @ D

    15 years of PC repairs, and homebuilt Machines. 14 months of trouble free Macbook Pro happiness.

    My computer works for me now, I no longer have to work on my computer.

    You all have my profound sympathy. Good luck with the disservice pack.

  110. Telic

    SP3 is a Vista Backport

    How can there be any surprise in this havoc, knowing that SP3 contains backported Vista code?

    As reported by InformationWeek: "Contrary to popular belief, Windows XP SP3 does ship with all-new features, not just patches and hotfixes," said researchers at NeoSmart, a nonprofit group that tracks computer technology. Most of the new features are "backported from Windows Vista," according to NeoSmart.

    Read the full report at

    Thank you, Tux, for my freedom Microsoft.


  111. Michael J Cawood

    Windows XP SP3 sends PCs into endless reboot

    My no.1 PC has an AMD Athlon64 processor and I got a blue STOP screen after installing XP SP3. My first reaction was to use System Restore, no problems here & it went back to SP2, however I then carried out a small change to the registry on a recommendation:-

    "Windows XP SP3

    After installing, go to Safe mode, open Regedit

    Go to (or similar key)


    change the Start value to 4, then reboot & all should be well."

    This cured the problem & my Windows XP SP3 is now up and running OK.

  112. Terry Bernstein

    My two penn'orth

    First off, some very silly comments here. For a start, if the SP3 install went fine, bully for you. That's what it's meant to do. Not even MS would send out an upgrade that didn't work on most PCs.

    The defined problem is that in a certain set of systems the upgrade can't be installed safely. And that is the issue.

    Using this problem to polish the chips on your shoulders isn't going to impress anyone. Finding out which systems didn't take to the upgrade and what the common factors were would be helpful/

    FWIW I installed SP3 on two of my home machines. The INTEL based machine with Windows SP2 having come from a Windows disk supplied by the manufacturer installed with a bit of help and ran fine.

    The HP AMD based machine with an OEM install of software including XP got caught in the endless reboot cycle. It's newish machine that's not had any serious tweaking, and I triedr removing the AV software first.

  113. prathlev

    What happened here?

    Wow... El Reg just turned into a support forum or what? All these comments (I only read about half of them) are blatantly disregarding the following "axioms of commenting on El Reg":

    a) Before posting, read the fudging article and make sure you understand it.

    b) If you don't have something funny to write, don't write.

    My two favorite comments are:

    - Millars "no right to talk about things you've never tried", which makes it unrightful for anyone (living) to talk about suicide.

    - Kabakoffs "I sent this informations to the author who ignored me": I think she did that for obvious reasons. The Reg staff aren't support moderators. (Are they?)

    And where's the beer angle?


  114. Alan Wilkinson

    Not just AMD problem

    I got exactly these symptoms (boot fails and restarts continuously unless booted in safemode) on a bog standard Thinkpad A61p with an Intel chip.

    So there are either several different problems with the same symptoms or it is definitely not localised to AMD machines.

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Service Pack 3 Smooth as Silk

    14+ years of using Apples only to shell more for a speed bump and then realise that I could have bought a lot of things with the money. Well nothing works better then a good home built pc that can do what Apple can do. I like Windows XP and service pack 3 was a smooth install, download it whole 369MB instead of the update service because lots of issues can happen. Just like Leopard and their update problems (bluescreen) during updates. I still own a Mac because they are practical, but I use my Windows laptop a lot more.

  116. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Not OEM's fault

    Sorry, but saying "ohh, you can't install an Intel driver on an AMD system, it's the OEMs fault" is bull. That's just laziness on Microsoft's part, pure and simple. The Intel power management driver should see there are no Intel CPUs present, and just unload or deactivate. Similarly the AMD PM driver should deactivate on an Intel system. It should be possible and valid to put both power management drivers into a single install.

    Ubuntu? I can install on any type of system and (move the hard disk, or ghost) to any other type of system.. I wouldn't want to go to a 486 but I could. Realistic minimum's like a P2 with 256MB of RAM. Moving a live install over I may have to tell it I have a different video card; OEM, I do belive the video detection is run on first boot. No driver hell, no "oh noes, it's an AMD, time to blow up". Microsoft can sod off.

  117. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    No problems here

    I've had no problem with SP3.

    That proves exactly nothing.

    I have no opinion about what operating system other people should use.

    I offer no explanation of why I used the Paris Hilton icon.

  118. Steve Liddle

    glad I declined the offer of auto updates

    Running vista 64 home premium on main pc, got XP SP2 on 2nd box, the SP3 has not updated yet and suspect that auto update will be disabled for the next few months

    vista been pretty good, but there are a few things it fails on, so XP is backup, just like it to work

    Never known a major upgrade to work 100%, which is why MS needs volunteers to test it's real world apps :)

  119. Dana W

    @ Anonymous Troll

    " Just like Leopard and their update problems"

    The people who ran APE had problems. Long since been fixed. Try again.

    Gee, mess up the underpinnings of the GUI and wonder why the updates might have issues. Unlike Windows, updates to stock Macs actually work.

  120. Anonymous Coward

    don't these people hear about programs like ghost?

    i don't get the deal, computing these days has become such a walk in the park, you can slap a 500GB USB drive into the side of your computer, reboot with ghost and copy everything in its perfect state (if you call the last service pack perfect that is) then reboot and install the next service pack... oops, it shat itself, never mind, i'll be up and running in 15min... whenever i talk to plebs about computers and backups, i ALWAYS mention ghost... i guess the sadist within us enjoy NOT telling lameheads about ghost... but then we'd have to fix ourselves.

    ghost it, stop bitching.

    i'm running 1 week on WINXP SP3 with no reboots.

    ...getting a ghost cd out of my jacket pocket.

  121. Mike Morris
    Thumb Up

    3 for 3

    Two desktops and one laptop, all went ok into SP3 land.



  122. TimM

    Mac and Linux again

    First Linux, Ubuntu, Fedora, whatever...

    Yes these install fine on just about every bit of hardware under the sun.

    However, they only work for a limited set of hardware unless that hardware is designed for Linux or is a well known bit of hardware that has had enough bedroom geeks developing drivers for it.

    As an example, try installing Linux in any form on the vast majority of "designed for Windows" laptops out there. I bet you it will have a nightmare of a time with the WiFi, touchpad, hotkeys and numerous other hardware specific to laptops.

    As much as I love tinkering with linux on my home server, I gave up in the end on my laptop as it's just not suitable at all. Worse was when I found various attempts to get suitable drivers working were subsequently broken by new kernel releases.

    The problem is Linux has to support every combination of hardware under the sun, and there are not enough bedroom geeks to do it.

    Microsoft on the other hand have a lot of money and employees, plus partners, to do the job. When you think about it, it's mighty impressive what Microsoft manage to achieve considering what they have to support.

    And please, let's face facts here... no operating system should EVER have you recompiling the damn kernel to get something to work!! Joe Average should not have to step anywhere near a compiler.

    Right, Macs...

    Macs have a fixed platform and fixed set of hardware that Apple know all too well will work.

    That is why they "just work". You of course pay for this premium and are limited to Apple hardware. If you are happy with that, just fine, but don't shove it down the throats of those millions who pop into a shop and just want to buy a cheap computer and are provided with a perfectly decent bit of hardware designed for Windows.

    End of.

    So, can we get back to the real issue, i.e. how to deal with the potentially thousands of people with trashed PCs, who I'm sure are not going to appreciate being told that they should spend a fortune on Apple hardware as a solution to all their lost data! It's not going to get it back is it FFS!

  123. vincent himpe

    @anon who wrote GEEMER

    Yes it is.

    If a kernel mode driver accesses a resource on the PCI bus or the SMB and causes a bus contention it will crash the system faster then you can blink.

    Especially on PCI ...

    That intel power driver accesses a block of hardware that does not exist, or has a completely different function in an AMD based system. Results can be completely unpredictable. If a timeout occurs : no harm done. If the different hardware causes a PCI contention : you are dead.

    In case of a pci bus contention you will not even get a blue screen fo death ! You will ge a black screen and the pc will start the POST again. There is not a single operating system that can block this , because this is a hardware reaction. But it can be triggered from software, if that software writes to locations that do not behave as it would expect.

  124. TimM

    Re: don't these people hear about programs like ghost?

    Problem is, you buy Ghost these days and you get some bloated junk that's nothing like the Ghost of old that actually just simply imaged your hard disc and the ghost executable would fit on a floppy disc!

    Not to mention that imaging the disc with disc sizes these days takes a hell of a long time. I do it far less than I should. Although I will do it before I eventually apply SP3 (which is going to be a long while yet now), but I admit I didn't for SP2 as I've usually been trusting of service packs and not had any problems.

    Also, for those people on a budget (or those who just dislike the idea of paying for things), the idea spending £50+ on Ghost and another £50 to £100 on a spare hard disc to Ghost their disc, tends to result in it not getting spent.

    Oh, and ghosting on a laptop can be a pain. You need a suitable USB or firewire disc or caddy, that is actually compatible with Ghost. Because it's USB/firewire, it's slower, and I've had a few occasions where the whole task has aborted due to some instability in the connection.

  125. Chika

    @ TimM

    OK, calm down! We know that Linux has a few issues with some kit but then how many hardware vendors out there really have much time for Linux? Using it doesn't cost them anything but it doesn't earn them anything either, so hardware support will always run behind with Linux. However, where Linux comes into play big time, all that legacy hardware that people have that they don't want to change out just because the latest Windows won't touch it. And, with the degree of advancement these days, the term "legacy" seems to be affecting technology earlier and earlier.

    As for me, I'm sticking to my guns with MS and its notoriously flaky programming practices (i.e. give it at least a year). It seems obvious to me that they (and anyone else, regardless of prominence) have yet to positively identify the correct combination of conditions that effect their product, so I'm sticking to SP2 on the machines that need it. Whether I'll be upgrading openSUSE to 11.0 when it comes out in just over a month's time is also debatable, and the Acorn that handles my email and Usenet stuff will still be on RISC OS 4.02 until further notice!

  126. Chika

    Where's the beer angle?

    Buy a round for everyone that has participated in this and I'll tell you! ;)

  127. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    XP Sp3 ate my dog and drank all my beer

    ...and it made me look old and fat.

  128. Patrick

    SP3 Worked Great on Mac

    Luvin' it. SP3 installed and working - Bootcamp + Parallels.

    Hatin' it. HP desktop at work is dead in endless reboots after SP3.

    ...Excuses are like noses, everyone has one...

  129. Anonymous Coward

    OS X vs. XP

    You guys should have given me a heads-up about this, I would have brought the popcorn!

    Mine's the one with "Grow the FSCK up!" on the back.

  130. Steven
    Thumb Up

    49 Going Strong

    Well 49 of our company machines have been updated with SP3 so far ALL Dell machines with AMD processors, some desktops and some laptops of varying models.

    I'm also running an overclocked Vista machine at home and not had any problems with SP1 infact it's run a lot better since installing it.

    Guess I'm either really lucky or the problems are being way over exagerated by the linux/apple camps as usual :)

  131. Pondlife

    No issues here

    Have deployed SP3 to about 20 various Intel HP test machines via WSUS3 with no issues, although it does seem to take some time to install in some cases.

  132. DiveMonkey

    SP3 Problem

    I had a problem installing some new petrol in my car the other day.

    Could this be because of XP SP3 as well?

  133. Schroeder

    @TimM - Bill, give it a rest with the out of date FUD will ya

    How about getting that group of highly paid employee's and partners, to write a decent chipset detection routine, as this appears to be the issue here. Something that either the SP or the original image should have been able to use to put the problem to bed.

    As an example, a while ago I had a motherboard die on me, resulting in the purchase of new motherboard and a new processor, moving to AMD from Intel. Moved my dual boot hard-drive over to it. Windows just up and died as expected, and required a completely fresh install. Linux on the other hand, suprised me by noting that the only thing wrong with the current install was some driver mismatches and I was able to login to my original profile in less than 15 mins, with all my user data intact.

    I also have a 'built for windows' Sony VAIO laptop that happily dual boots linux - no wifi, touchpad, webcam or other hardware issues. No kernel recompiles or anything needed, but then I've never had to do one for an install in over 10 years of using linux, going back to SuSE 6.

    And finally, we can tell your another sad shill / troll anyway, as you felt the need to fall back to the other tired old line of linux coders working in their bedrooms. Most good IT people know that the majority of linux developers work for large companies who have a vested interest in open source nowadays. You know, like IBM, Google, Sun, Novell, Red Hat and Oracle.

    Oops, I brought everyones attention to some of your real competitors - better get my asbestos suit on quick.

  134. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fix for hp amd

    This is because HP ship these machines with the Intel 'intelppm' driver.

    Fix is to run the following command in safe mode:

    sc config intelppm start=disabled

  135. Chris Stanton
    Thumb Up

    AMD 5600+ No issues here

    Installed it and I haven't got any problems with my self-built rig.

  136. anarchic-teapot

    All went fine here

    One self-built desktop, one Dell laptop with Media Centre removed and XP Pro installed (with the Dell drivers). Slight hiccup with the Bluetooth driver, nothing a cold restart couldn't fix.

    Still toying with the idea of installing Ubuntu on the laptop once I no longer have need of the two Windows-only programs I run on it.

  137. Anonymous Coward

    HP with AMD processor

    I installed SP3 last weekon to my HP PC with an AMD processor. PC would reboot only into Safe mode ie something very wrong. I uninstalled SP3 via add/remove software in safe mode. Fortunately PC then rebooted and all seems normal BUT some programs have fallen over. Canon ZoomBrowser Stitch process won't work and ZoomBrowser is unstable.

    Looking at the download for SP3 left on my PC shows that there is no amdk8.sys file present but the intelppm.sys file is there. Surely we should have been provided with an amdk8.sys updated file!

    Is it possible to remove the intelppm.sys file from the download, add the old version of amdk8.sys file to the download and expect the SP3 installation to give a PC that works normally.

    Comments please!!!!

  138. TimM


    Mate - I don't give a fuck what you think. I'm having to deal with someone who is pissed at essentially looking at having lost everything on his computer thanks to this fuck up which is primarily HPs fault.

    My point is, shut the fuck up about Macs and Linux and either crawl under a rock for a while or sort out our problems instead of posting smug crap.

    Note though I do actually use and like Linux (and even I like Macs), for where they serve a valid purpose. I don't however believe they are the answer to everything and nor do I like the smug superior attitudes thrown about whenever 1000s of people are looking at major data loss and potentially a large cost in time and money.

    Linux and Macs may be the long term answer, but you are NOT helping right now!

    Now, if you want to help, tell me how to (without a total reformat) get out of a 0x00000024 STOP error when you can't boot at all (even in safe mode), and recovery console can't see any partitions to attempt to repair anything. All as a result of trying to install SP3.

  139. Schroeder


    My, My, and you claim to be a serious linux user ....

    Linux Live CD (of your choice), copy friends data to a spare USB drive / DVD. Then you can safely do a re-install. If the partitions are unreadable, you might get away with doing a quick(non-destructive) format if you know the exact sizes they should be. I've had some luck resurrecting partitions by doing that.

    At least your friend has had it underlined to them the necessity of having decent data backups. You claim to have problems with Ghost too (Oops, its created by those lovely highly paid programmers you love, so it musty be good surely? Or is it simply that it's not Microsoft?). I can't believe that if the data was so important, the pair of you couldn't be bothered to wait for a simple drag 'n' drop of the data to a USB drive to finish, or even shell out the £50 for 250GB one.

    Hey, I know the two day reinstall of all the windows apps and settings will be a pain, compared to 30 minute linux install, but just think how nice and clean the registry will be afterwards. Or you can wait for Microsoft to ship a fix.

    Oh, and I love the way that you have a go at my attitude, after you used the old 'geeks in bedroom' shtick when referring to linux. Your original comment is a rant against linux and mac, triggered by the fact you and windows screwed up. You are the one that has the attitude problem, mate. Nice to see you bite.

    Really, you'd be better off directing your ire at those nice highly paid windows developers, that caused this, rather than the OS that might get your friend out of hot water. Of course, that is, if your not just shilling / trolling - I see you turned up in the Fedora comments with the same 'stick to XP' message even after it's supposedly burned you so bad.

  140. TimM


    Only trolls I see are the ones who have no interest in Windows and yet are quite happy to jump in on any Windows related topic and have a blast boasting about their choice of OS.

    And no I don't claim to be a serious linux user at all. I dabble that's all. And I don't even hate it! I just don't think the sun shines out of it's arse either, just the same as I feel about Apple or even Microsoft.

    And yeah I commented on the Fedora article. I use Fedora. I wasn't shouting out that "I love XP". I just stated that I didn't think Fedora (at least Fedora 8) was any use for mainstream use on laptops yet. I gave it a chance mind. Ran it for 3 months before I gave up. I still like it in fact, but it has too many problems for me. XP is less hassle that's all. As you'll note I did also go on to say that I run Fedora on my server, as I have been happily doing so for years since Red Hat days. Does the job perfectly fine there, as it's designed to.

    My anger here isn't even about my personal experience of running XP (as after all I've held off SP3), but when you have a relative calling up in a panic because they've just installed SP3 because it was offered via Windows Update and now their machine is dead, all because of HP, then you'll see why I'm frustrated. It's frustration over OEMs in the main (who are the real cause, not those "highly paid Windows developers" as you put it), and in part Microsoft's faults in (not) dealing with a known issue.

    So if you see, I'm not "pro" Microsoft or even "pro" Linux (or Apple). If anything I probably hate HP as a result of this.

    My main rant though is aimed at the smug trolls here who wade in about how fantastic their OS is, which is of no help whatsoever other than to annoy (as per the definition of a troll).

    But then that's the pattern on The Reg. Post an article about a product and inevitably it invites comments from fans of the competitor product to have a go.

    Anyway, nothing I can do now really. The data is lost apparently from the last I heard (bear in mind I'm doing "telephone" support effectively over a long distance), though there was a backup but as with the vast majority of us, backups aren't always made so frequently.

  141. Schroeder


    Sorry mate, but your reply still fits the standard Microsoft Troll MO.

    The funny thing is that you'll find far more trolls jumping in with 'They're crap, I tried them, don't touch it' in the comment section of any article about any of Microsoft's main competitors ( Linux, Sony and Apple, for example) than anything the other way around. And strangely enough the phrase 'astroturf' was coined in relation to actions of which company again?

    Again, I found it amusing that you felt the need to regurgitate the 'non-profession developers' line that Microsoft so loves to tie to Linux, in a comment section about Microsoft's latest screw-up. And you didn't mention that you had a relative suffering the issue at hand in your first rant did you?

    Wait - you claim to use Linux as a server - but I would have thought developing a highly stable server OS takes more (paid) professionalism and hard work than a simple desktop OS? Surely, you should be using Microsoft Server, by your own logic?

    Nice to see it's still not Microsoft's fault in your mind, even though it now appears they were aware of the issue four years ago and could have incorporated a fix into the online update version of the SP.

    Real issue, or cornered Microsoft Troll, going for the sympathy vote - I'll let the readers decide.

  142. tony baldwin

    just one of the myriad reasons

    that I use Linux.

  143. TimM
    Paris Hilton


    "And you didn't mention that you had a relative suffering the issue at hand in your first rant did you?"

    I try to keep the personal stuff out of it. It's only become relevant to bang home to you why I've become so pissed off.

    I wouldn't be bothered half as much if it was my system, as I'd have the backups and resources and time to get myself out of the mess.

    "Wait - you claim to use Linux as a server - but I would have thought developing a highly stable server OS takes more (paid) professionalism and hard work than a simple desktop OS? Surely, you should be using Microsoft Server, by your own logic?"

    Simple logic that server linux is yes mostly based on professional developments (from Unix) and frankly has been ironed out over decades because most servers are very basic technology. There's just not much to go wrong. It's desktop linux drivers for components mostly used by home users that I have issues with. It's no surprise most of this stuff gets left out of pro server products like RHEL, because who needs 3D graphics and WiFi support for an enterprise server?

    "Nice to see it's still not Microsoft's fault in your mind, even though it now appears they were aware of the issue four years ago and could have incorporated a fix into the online update version of the SP."

    Did you even read what I said? I've stated in several comments that it's certainly in part Microsoft's fault, and I even mentioned the fact that MS knew about it!

    Did you even read that I'm not in love with MS?

    Seems you're just spoiling for a fight (like most trolls) and determined to make out I'm a MS lover and Linux hater... which I'm certainly not. I don't love any particular OS, they all suck in ways.

    "Real issue, or cornered Microsoft Troll, going for the sympathy vote - I'll let the readers decide."

    Indeed. Next time your system, or worse a relative's, is fucked up because of a third party I'll ask the same question when you (quite rightly) feel the need to rant about it (especially if the "apparently" more prevalent MS trolls wade into your linux comments and you feel the need to "correct" them). :-)

    Though non of this would have happened if we didn't have the usual tired "buy a Mac, use linux" unhelpful trolling here.

    Paris - would she do it with Trolls?

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