Windows XP Service Pack 3 woes

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Windows XP holdouts were blinded by a ray of hope with the release of Service Pack 3, a major update consisting of existing patches with a few enhancements thrown in that has been widely reported to significantly boost significant performance of the aging OS. But the Valley’s own Data Doctors warned against rashly installing this product — and boy, were they ever right!

Too bad Microsoft pushed this problem out as a vital update.

At this point the people having problems seem to be those running XP on a Hewlett-Packard/Compaq machine with AMD processors. The update installs, then your machine reboots … and reboots … and reboots. There is much talk of workarounds etc., and many people being unable to enter Safe Mode and System Restore. (Fortunately, I was able to roll back to a pre-update restore point.)

Here are a few resources — but unless you’re already stricken, it’s best to follow the Doctors’ orders and wait until Microsoft works out the bugs.

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About the author

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Scott Kirchhofer

One of Nerdvana's founding bloggers, Scott Kirchhofer is a graphic artist and designer of the Nerdvana logo, as well as a gamer and comic book movie fan.

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  • I have a Compaq Presario with an AMD Athlon 64 3400+. I experienced the problem you describe. Following installation of the SP3 update, I restarted, as instructed. The restart was unsuccessful, as were five other attempts at Normal Mode. I was able to restart into Safe Mode With Networking, get on a chat session with their tech support, and it was one simple registry edit to fix the problem. Since Safe Mode will not be accessible for some, I would recommend jotting down Microsoft’s SP3 toll free tech support telephone number before attempting the update.

  • I have a Compaq Presario with an AMD Athlon 64 3400+. I experienced the problem you describe. Following installation of the SP3 update, I restarted, as instructed. The restart was unsuccessful, as were five other attempts at Normal Mode. I was able to restart into Safe Mode With Networking, get on a chat session with their tech support, and it was one simple registry edit to fix the problem. Since Safe Mode will not be accessible for some, I would recommend jotting down Microsoft’s SP3 toll free tech support telephone number before attempting the update.

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