back to article HP begs AMD PC owners to put XP SP3 on ice

Hewlett-Packard has told customers not to install Windows XP service pack three (SP3) on AMD-based desktops until Microsoft and HP cough fixes to the endless reboot snafu that has wreaked havoc on PCs. Microsoft confirmed yesterday that it was scurrying to patch the problem after hundreds of angry XP customers first grumbled …


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  1. andy gibson
    Thumb Down

    What about....

    Those of us with new HP kit (ie bought two months ago) with Vista preinstalled and NO XP drivers or support on the HP website?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Soooo easy to fix!


    How to fix:

    1. Install Vista (Any of your choice as long as your PC is compatible with it)

    2. Install Vista SP1

    3. Enjoy.

    Paris, Because even she would be an easy fix.

  3. Steve Foster

    @Andy Gibson

    Well, obviously XP SP3 doesn't apply to Vista, so you're unaffected by this particular snafu.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    The story is XP SP3

    @Andy Gibson

    You bought a Vista system so why should there be XP support? If you wanted XP then you should have bought a system with XP. You'll probably find at least some of the manufacturers of the devices that make up that system also don't support Vista.

    Anyway, the story here is about XP SP3, not the lack of XP drivers for Vista designed systems!!!

    Dumb and ass spring to mind!

  5. Big Dave
    Gates Horns

    @"So easy to fix"

    Yes, that may fix that issue. Unfortunately, it will also cause just about everything else to stop working or be so slow as to be useless.

  6. Steve Mason

    choice of words

    "HP is working diligently with Microsoft on a software update and will be proactively distributing"

    2 things wrong here... if they'd been "diligent" the cock-up wouldn't have happened.

    Proactive would imply they are fixing something before a problem occurs, clearly this is a REactive distribution of an update not even written yet.

    Marketing tossers need a dictionary :P

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    OEM Installs

    With this being apparantly caused by the application of an Intel based sysprepped image to AMD desktops isn't it any wonder that most if not all OEM installs are shockingly bad?

    Paris coz she isn't shockingly bad.

    p.s. can you tell the last article i read was the latest BOFH?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Just a registry fix?

    If its just a rogue registery setting why not just tell us what it is and let us remove it if we find it? Its not that hard to write some instructions.

    As for installing Vista and Vista SP1. Why? I have no need and from the press I've seen I think I'll wait for SP2 before I go near Vista. Why make a bad problem worse? To be honest given the price of the Vista upgrade I'll probably just buy a new pc with Vista when the times comes to replace my current pc.

    One assumes Andy Gibson might have one of the many pcs shipped with Vista with the 'free' downgrade to XP option. Perhaps that why he has an issue.

    End of the day this problem was from what I have read picked up in SP2 and microsoft have been aware of it for ages so rather than play the blame game why not just ensure that before installing the incorrect software the update doesn't rely on a potentially incorrect registry setting but checks it really is an intel processor or at least runs some sort of checks before the installation starts and refuse to install (with some meaningful message other than the 'usual an error occurred'.)

    Is this really that big an issue?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    regresion testing

    regresion testing, what regresion testing,

    why did the beta of sp3 not catch this ?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    The story is still about XP SP3 problems.. DA

    "As for installing Vista and Vista SP1. Why?"

    I've been running it since SP1 came out and have been well impressed with it. Wouldn't dream of going back to XP and I was one of the big doubters about Vista until I bite the bullet and actually planned to make my Vista install a success!

    "One assumes Andy Gibson might have one of the many pcs shipped with Vista with the 'free' downgrade to XP option. Perhaps that why he has an issue."

    Downgrade rights doesn't mean it will work unless the manufacturer supports it! If HP supported it then he'd have a recovery disk for XP and Vista.

    Dumb and ass still seem to be ringing in my ears! The story isn't about Vista, it is about XP SP3 under specific conditions. If this was a discussion forum then his comment would have been removed or moved to another thread.

  11. Avi
    Paris Hilton


    "Downgrade rights doesn't mean it will work unless the manufacturer supports it!"

    That. Is. The. Point.

  12. Andy
    Paris Hilton

    well if you will buy amd crap

    you only have yourself to blame.. stick with intel and the world will continue to turn uninterupted..

    paris because even she knows amd stink!!!

  13. Paul H

    XP SP3 issues

    Doesn't anyone see the ploy to move people off of XP?

    I mean really a reboot/blue screen issue that hits XP at a time when MS is really wanting people to move to Vista. Come on where are the tinfoil hat brigade when you need them...

  14. TimM

    Re: Just a registry fix?

    Problem is the "fix" can in some cases render the machine in a worse state than before. Essentially unrecoverable even with safe mode or the recovery console, and HP's recovery disc can't repair it, only carry out a destructive recovery.

    Microsoft did in fact publish this "fix" when they found it back in SP2. They however removed the fix and instead blamed the OEMs, probably because the fix can cause big problems in a few cases.

    Is it a big issue?

    Well, if you're technically competent and have the time to work out the problem and have access to the knackered machine, a spare machine and burner to download some recovery tools and play about, and enjoy repairing your OS that's broken because of a third party. Probably not.

    For the rest of the world who just buy HP machines from a high street store to surf the interweb, do some email, sort out finances, write documents, process photos, play games, etc, and have not got the first clue about the inner workings of Windows, well yes it is a big issue because after much pulling of hair the result usually is to give up and reformat and reinstall all their apps, settings. At best they'll spend days or a week doing this and at worst they've lost months or years of data depending how often they do backups (and few of us back up as often as we should). And does anyone compensate for this? Like f*ck they do.

    Frankly most people won't even be aware of this fuss. They'll just see their PC rebooting frequently, and end up taking it somewhere to be repaired at huge cost, or reformat and start again. Some may even throw away their PC thinking it's beyond repair and buy a new one!! Sounds crazy but I bet it happens.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: well if you will buy amd crap

    AMD crap? How strange... I've not had a single problem with any of my AMD processors - ever.

    If you're an Intel fanboi, fine, but don't slate something just because YOU don't like it.

  16. tuna
    Paris Hilton

    Open Box...CLEAN Install...Make Image

    Title says it all. No OEM bloatware and apparently no Intel driver on AMD chipset...the Pro's just keep coming!

    Paris, cuz she made a clean image of her install.

  17. Vernon Lloyd

    hmmm, not had a problem yet

    Reformatted 4 AMD computers (all under 2GHz chip speed single core) and installed XP. First main update was SP3. All 4 AMD machines ran the SP update and rebooted fine.

    The only glitch was having to manually register wups2.dll (stopped updates installing)

    Apart from that I have 4 well performing AMD PCs.

    Or have I just been lucky.......

  18. JC

    @ Just A Registry Fix?

    MS, and probably HP likewise, don't want people that need to be told what to do, mucking around in the registry.

    However, if you know enough to muck around then all the info you need has already been provided, you can do a simple search for the aforementioned intel power management driver filename and then delete that/those reference(s) to it preventing it from loading at boot time.

  19. JC

    @ Just A Registry Fix? Part 2

    Ok, the effected registry key is

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ intelppm

    Alternatively you can find instructions for leaving this service key but stopping it from running here among other places (ignore that the issue is different, it has the same resolution of disabling the service, I was just too lazy to keep looking for a esthetically perfect example page):

  20. JC

    @ TimM

    If the machine is rebooting from loading the driver all one should need do is boot their windows disc to the recovery console and delete the file C:\WINDOWS\system32\DRIVERS\intelppm.sys (or rename it)

    Certainly the typical HP owner who's now without a working computer won't be so likely to get this done but if they can get the info it's not a big deal to do.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That's amazing. Do these people do regression testing on their new products? Before they release updates!

    It would be much simpler on a Mac!

  22. Steve

    @Vernon Lloyd

    Well no, you wouldn't because you don't have an OEM sysprep image. You have a clean install on an AMD chip. If HP had done that and sysprepped that onto subsequent boxes then they wouldn't have a problem either.

  23. Test Man
    Thumb Down

    Re: Hendo

    Yeah, in a similar situation, the Mac would just break, Apple will deny the problem exists at all, (as they are the OEM AND the update developers) forcing you to wipe your Mac and start again, just before Apple sneak out an update to the problem without mentioning it.

  24. Mr.Huge

    What's an SP update?

    My linux machines don't seem to have any of these problems!

  25. TimM


    Sadly the person I know tried the recommended fix and the result was a 0x00000024 STOP error and effectively a corrupted disc. Recovery console couldn't even see a partition to even attempt to delete the intelppm file!!

    For all the gory detail on the possible problems and some workarounds see Jesper's blog...

    Oh, and it's not just HP or AMD. In fact even ATI cards appear to have problems depending on the driver version you have installed.

    It's just this hits mostly HP.

  26. TimM


    What you suggest would involve a non-OEM image, i.e. retail box.

    Most people I know who suggest this usually use pirated versions of Windows, which I hope you're not suggesting. Otherwise it's a very costly purchase of Windows retail. Seems daft to do that when you get the OS with the PC.

    Where I have an OEM version I do a fresh install from the OEM discs, then remove all the extra bloat added by the OEM (Norton etc), repartition with something like Partition Magic so I have a small system drive and then a big data drive, then do a ghost image of the system drive to produce my reinstall disc. Hopefully if the system drive/partition goes I'd at least have a chance of keeping the data.

    Obviously in the case of HP you'd want to remove the intelppm thing as well before imaging. Hopefully HP can come up with the right patch for this.

  27. Martin Maloney

    To stop loading intelppm.sys

    TimM posted:

    "For all the gory detail on the possible problems and some workarounds see Jesper's blog..."

    One of the suggestions in that blog is to boot into a WinPE disk. For the uninitiated, this is a CD that boots into a "live" version of XP. There are various flavors, available via BitTorrent.

    An alternative is to download a Linux distro that reads and writes NTFS partitions and boot into it "live."

    You need a functioning computer to do either kind of download. If you need to impose on a friend, and if your friend's machine isn't already setup for BitTorrent, then the Linux download would be the better way to go.

    After you boot into the disk of your choice, rename or delete


  28. Alice Andretti

    Non-AMD Dell froze up, had to reformat

    TimM wrote: "Oh, and it's not just HP or AMD. In fact even ATI cards appear to have problems depending on the driver version you have installed."

    Funny you mentioned graphics stuff - I wonder if my Dell's weird proprietary "integrated" graphics could have been why the SP3 installer *froze-up* solid partway through the install? It's *not* AMD though...

    Now, I'm *not* a Windows genius and I've only been using Windows for about 18 months, and since nothing else would respond (not even ctrl-alt-del) after sitting there and staring at it for a long time trying to decide what to do (and giving it a good hour to un-freeze itself, which didn't work), I finally did the mortal no-no of pushing the computer's "off" button for a couple of seconds until it shut down. Trying to boot it up yielded a solid black (not blue) screen. Hmm. Okay, fine, I rooted around in my box of CD's and got out the official Dell Windows XP Pro SP2 installer disk, put that in the tray, forced the machine to shut down again from its solid black screen (it was "on" alright, I mean the computer's green light was on and the fan was quietly working like it's supposed to, but nothing was showing on the monitor), and booted from the Dell CD, thinking maybe it was repairable - one time, quite a while ago when I was first learning how to use Windows I had used that same Dell XP CD (same computer, it's the only Windows machine I have) to do a "repair" of the existing system when I'd screwed something up being careless in the registry, but this time that didn't work, it didn't even recognize that there was an OS on the hard drive. Fine, okay, whatever, hey I'd just done a backup of my documents (just my personal files) before messing with SP3 anyway, so I just wiped the drive and reinstalled everything from scratch from the Dell CD (no, the Dell disk doesn't have Norton or AOL or anything else like that, just the bare essentials), went to MS and got the SP2-related updates *only*, and the machine's working fine now, *without* SP3 though.

    I don't have a concrete explanation of why the SP3 installer froze up like it did -- everything'd been working fine, I'd *already* just recently formatted and reinstalled everything as I do once or so a year whether it needs it or not ;) although twice in a month is a bit much even for me, and I don't know whether it could have been caused by a video issue or just that SP3 hates my computer ;)

    Never a good idea to have to force-quit in the middle of a major install, *duh*, so there's that - but if the installer hadn't froze up in the first place, I wouldn't have *had* to force-quit the damn thing. I had just the minimal stuff installed, Firefox and MS Publisher and a major well-known SFTP app to retrieve my logfiles, no weird third-party junk, so I don't know what its problem was. And then on reboot it *was* the same solid-black screen that I'd got a year previously when messing around with Linux (dual-boot, at that time) before I finally found a Linux distro that had built-in video support for my oddball proprietary system - but *note* that absolutely *none* of that Linux stuff is there anymore (completely formatted the whole harddrive since then), so I can't blame it on that (I'm not dual-booting anymore).

    Maybe the SP3 installer freaked out because I have a separate partition for the Windows swap file, although I've always set it up like that and never had any problems whatsoever, with any other Win updates, or anything else for that matter. (Yeah I know, I should buy boatloads of RAM so I wouldn't need the swap, but I haven't got around to that yet - maybe next month)

    But whatever the reason, now when I go to the Microsoft update site, I ignore the button where they advise me to install SP3,and I just click the other update button instead, and update *only* the SP2-related stuff.

    I wouldn't have thought it would make any difference, I mean I thought the idea of SP3 was to wrap up all the previous updates into one tidy package? But I'm going to stay far away from SP3 for the time being, unless I don't have anything else to do than take a chance on having to reformat and reinstall everything *again* and quite frankly I've had enough fun with reinstalling for a while, so I think I'll wait this one out.

    If it turns out that there's some horrible major security issue that absolutely *requires* SP3 and that SP2 updates won't address, where running without SP3 would instantly turn my poor li'l ol' Dell into a zombie spambot or something, I suppose I could always go back to surfing with Linux (Knoppix live-CD, it's not writable, heh-heh, ought to be secure enough if a person reboots often) or my incredibly old pre-OSX Mac, but those wouldn't be my first choices right now, as I've gotten kind of fond of XP Pro :) at least for some things.

    It's highly doubtful that Vista would run on this PC, so SP2 will have to be sufficient for a while. Actually I think I'll wait out the whole Vista phenomonen *too*, see what comes after Vista.

    Meanwhile, long live XP Pro SP2! (I'm gonna enjoy it while it lasts)

  29. Christopher Woods
    Paris Hilton

    Pfft, I'm not surprised

    I installed slipstreamed SP3 onto my laptop as a fresh install - and bam, as soon as I installed the latest ATi drivers from (WHQL certified too) all my OpenType fonts stopped working (did something which somehow corrupted the Adobe OTF parser which Microsoft licenced way back when, and use in all versions of XP). Rolling back to the older graphics drivers made OpenType fonts work again.

    Oh, and another version of the ATI drivers made my machine completely lock up after about a minute of uptime. Fortunately a rollback got me out of that, but I had to bugfix myself - would've never thought of rolling back graphics card drivers. Ended up installing the Omega drivers a month or so after that and it's been trouble-free since then - but I also had HUGE problems with my Realtek HD Audio onboard sound (which many others experienced) due to Redmond inexplicably REMOVING integrated support for the HD Audio chipsets... It's addable via a manual patch installation and then driver installation, but why REMOVE driver support for one of the most widespread audio chipsets used in laptops today?

    The mind boggles, and I just hope I don't have to install XPSP3 on my laptop again in the near future because it was enough hassle the first time. That people are having comparatively minor (and obvious) problems such as constant reboots due to incorrect power management OS components doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

    Paris because I think she put together SP3.

  30. Stuart Castle Silver badge


    This whole situation staggers me..

    Assuming Microsoft's excuses are true (and it's entirely possible they are as I have had similar symptoms when moving Windows from Intell to AMD without re-installing), it is staggering.

    Anyone who has used any kind of OS image know that you *should* maintain different images for different hardware.

    This isn't so important for the "peripheral" hardware (NICs, sound cards, graphic cards etc), but for the machine's core hardware (CPU, chipset etc), it is *very* important.

    After all of the periphheral hardware has the wrong drivers, the machine may still boot.

    If the core hardware has the wrong drivers, the machine almost certainly won't boot.

  31. Bob Morgan
    Black Helicopters

    HP Laptop

    I have a HP laptop with a sub-2.0 MHz AMD processor. Microsoft's update service is trying to push the SP3 update, but thus far I've resisted.

    I've read somewhere (WXPNews?) that there is no need for the SP3 patch for HP laptops? True or False?

  32. Matt Ewing

    HP patch 37394 is a joke

    I found the HP patch that was supposed to allow users of Presario laptops with AMD chips using XP Home SP2 while logged in as Administrator to enable their machines to accept the SP3 update from Microsoft.

    I downloaded the HP update, ran it, and encountered the plain error message that the update failed because I did not meet the minimum requirements! Let's see... I have a Presario with an AMD cpu, and am using XP Home while logged in as an admin... all exactly as specified by HP... and the damn patch doesn't work. Gee, was I supposed to stand on one foot and whistle "Dixie" while attempting the update, or what?

    HP support is in over its head with this and tells me one line of BS after another. The intelppm is not even mentioned in the registry, so all of their dumb disablement fixes don't even apply. Their suggestion to delete the intelppm driver from the Windows directory is equally futile; Windows immediately replicates the deleted or renamed driver in the same folder.

    Anyone using their online chat tech help system needs to be aware of a quirk in the Cisco Caller chat program used by HP: it will automatically drop you after a few minutes if there is no activity. If your tech is off looking up something, then be sure to enter something (a period or a space) in the chat box and press ENTER to keep the session alive. If your session is dropped, then you will need to repeat everything all over again to the next tech when you go through the hoops to reestablish your chat.

  33. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    @Paul H, re "An intentional push to move from XP."

    Well, Microsoft certainly succeeded in this case.

    I finally gave up when the Windows update site claimed my HP OEM installed copy of XP was pirated.

    You're telling me installs pirated copies of Windows on their Pavilion's, now?


    I gave MS the Finger, popped in an Ubuntu cd, & rebooted.

    Shrunk the MS partition down to almost nothing (~12Gigs on a 500Gig HD), let Ubuntu have the rest of the drive, and haven't rebooted to Windows since.

    I have YET to find anything Ubuntu can't do that Windows can, besides running a few games I have no interest in playing.

    Photoshop? Gimp.

    Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access? OpenOffice.

    Outlook & IE? Thunderbird & Firefox.

    Nero & MagicISO? Oh look, those functions are *built in* & accessible via a *right click* from the "File Explorer" (Nautilus).

    Firewall, Antivirus, & Spybot were a *mandatory* constant-on with Windows.

    In Linux, I don't need the firewall because the system doesn't leave those "doors" open for scum to enter.

    Don't need an antivirus because you can't infect what you don't have permission to write to.

    Don't need Spybot because you can't edit a Registry that doesn't exist.

    Which means there's a few hundred MEGS of System RAM that gets dedicated to running what *I* want to run, and not what the OS "needs" to run in order to be secure.

    My HP Pavilion a1132n (AMD 3500+ 2GHz, 2Gig RAM, ATI Radeon X600) runs MUCH faster now that Windows isn't my primary OS.

    And I don't need MS screwing things up with a botched SP3, ThankYouVeryMuch...


  34. Ed Manteuffel

    So easy to fix it's not even funny

    I can't belive what a big deal this has become. All you need to do is type "sc config intelppm start= disabled" at a command line then install SP3. No big deal. This problem has been around for years when moving Virtual PC's around from workstations to laptops.

  35. Matt Ewing

    Not so fast

    The easy fix that you offered does not work. The intelppm driver was never active in my registry to begin with, so it doesn't have any effect on my Presario in enabling me to install SP3.

    If it worked for you, then consider yourself extremely lucky. Most of us trying to get SP3 installed have already seen the BS about the intelppm driver and the quick fixes to disable it. There is more to the uninstallable SP3 issue than the intelppm driver alone.

    I have seen other tech reports stating that this issue was raised by MS four years ago when the SP2 update was issued. However, it should be noted that a substantial number of XP users have long since had to reinstall XP on either a reformatted or replacement drive. I would wonder if this has any bearing on whether the SP3 update will take.

  36. kain preacher

    SP3 DRM

    SP3 adds drm that restricts DVD play back. I know this because when I tried to play ghost rider on my computer it bitched about copyright protection. I have a copy of sp2 on that same computer and it works fine.

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