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Windows Operating Systems Software Microsoft Upgrades

Windows XP SP3 Creating Havoc 742

ozmanjusri writes "According to Information Week, within hours of its wide availability Windows XP SP3 had drawn hundreds of complaints from users who claim the update is wreaking havoc on their computers. One user said in a Microsoft newsgroup: 'I downloaded and installed [the SP3] package for IT Professionals and Developers on one of my computers. Now I can't get the computer to boot. I don't think Microsoft should have made this a critical update.' Other sites including IT Wire are also reporting problems, which include include random reboots or the inability to boot at all." Note that XP3 won't install on systems running beta IE8; and after a successful SP3 install users will no longer be able to downgrade from IE7 to IE6.
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Windows XP SP3 Creating Havoc

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  • by Fez ( 468752 ) * on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:42AM (#23349108)
    I have installed SP3 on several systems, and I have only had problems on one. It was my laptop, and I had known there were problems with the underlying Windows installation for months but wondered if SP3 might fix them. It did not. It ended up in an endless cycle of BSoDs from which it never did recover. I ghosted the drive, wiped it clean, and installed from an XP CD with SP3 slipstreamed. Now the laptop is running better than ever. I am not sure if SP3 has anything to do with that, or the fact that it's a fresh install with new, recent drivers. (most likely the clean install.)

    The BSoD/stop errors I received pointed to a driver issue with DEP, but without being able to boot even in safe mode there was no easy way to debug the problem. I could have tried a repair install, but I felt more comfortable starting from scratch.
    • by ppz003 ( 797487 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @10:03AM (#23349378) Homepage
      Windows service packs have never helped broken systems. They have only made them worse. See exhibits SP1 and SP2.

      If you suspect the SP won't take, just go straight to slipstream, wipe, and reinstall.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DaveWick79 ( 939388 )
        If only I had mod points. This is the most insightful comment I've seen on this topic today.

        Microsoft even warns quite emphatically not to install service packs on a system that may have viruses, spyware, or any other system problems. The anatomy of a MS service pack is not designed to solve problems, it's designed to update OS components. I'll be the first to admit I make a lot of money supporting Microsoft products, but obviously the design of MacOS and Linux are technically superior when it comes to u
    • by number6x ( 626555 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @11:35AM (#23350756)

      I agree.

      I use linux not Windows, but this is ridiculus!

      WinXP sp3 is causing hundreds of complaints?


      How many millions of XP users were automatically upgraded to sp3?

      Hundreds are complaining. That is a pretty good outcome.

      There are plenty of things to bash MS about.

      This seems like a non-issue to me.

  • Oh Yes It Will (Score:5, Informative)

    by RupW ( 515653 ) * on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:42AM (#23349110)

    Note that XP3 won't install on systems running beta IE8
    It won't be offered automatically by Windows Update but it *will* install. However you then can't remove IE8 without ininstalling the service pack first.
    • Re:Oh Yes It Will (Score:5, Informative)

      by nqz ( 778393 ) < minus city> on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:47AM (#23349184) Journal
      Also, the summary is misleading. If you downgrade to IE6 *before* installing SP3, then you'll be able to install and uninstall IE7 at will, after installing SP3.
  • by Ancient_Hacker ( 751168 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:44AM (#23349130)
    In the movie V.I. Warshawski , Kathleen Turner is some sort of hit-woman. Her catch phrase, something like "Sure I've killed a few dozen people, but that's insignificant compared to the population".

    One could make a similar statement about SP3.

    Not that I'm a MS fan-boy, far from it.

  • by TheMeuge ( 645043 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:45AM (#23349156)
    It may be paranoia, but I am considering that given the welcome that Vista has received, Microsoft had no choice but to do this. Producing two OSs that compete with one another is insanity... especially when the product that's winning is not the latest one.

    So the solution is fairly obvious - if you can't improve Vista, you can make XP worse. That way, people know they're going to be dissatisfied with your product from the get-go, but at least they'll buy the latest one.
  • Time to upgrade (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:46AM (#23349166) Homepage Journal
    Maybe this was just a sneaky way of trying to get people to 'upgrade' to Vista. Then again this is probably more evidence of a broken process at Microsoft.
  • Access Denied!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by InvisblePinkUnicorn ( 1126837 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:46AM (#23349168)
    Did anyone else get this? Microsoft really screwed this one up. Not only did they release an AUTOMATIC UPDATE that cannot be installed unless you close your antivirus (which isn't possible for my company's antivirus - the only choice is to unload it from the workstation), or to run this utility that changes permissions on all registry values and windows files, BUT they ALSO provided instructions that only make sense in a VISTA environment. For example, telling people to right-click and go to Run As Administrator, or referencing "defltbase.inf", which is a file you only find in Vista.
  • by AltGrendel ( 175092 ) <ag-slashdot AT exit0 DOT us> on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:46AM (#23349176) Homepage
    Here. []

    It has a banner add at the top, but at least it doesn't have the rest of the cruft on the page.

  • by Tominva1045 ( 587712 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:47AM (#23349190)
    FTA: Typically, the glitches are due to conflicts with software, such as drivers, system files, or applications already resident on the user's PC. The machines arrive in a pristine state. Users then add, sometimes compliant sometimes non-compliant software, hardware, and modify the registry. There should be no surprise that issues will arise. There are less-popular operating systems with upgrade / driver issues way worse than this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yes, but the updates in those cases probably aren't done as a critical update that basically gets shoved down the users' throats. There's likely a lot of people blindly installing SP3 when they get the pop up that could be in jeopardy of having their computer locked up on them. Those type of people also likely don't know how to fix something like that on their own, so they're going to have to fork over $80/hour for some teenager at Best Buy to tell them it can't be fixed and blow away their install.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by heritage727 ( 693099 )
      So as long as I don't install any software on my machine or do anything that changes the registry I'll be OK? I think the next computer I buy I'll just leave in the box. That way I'm sure not to have problems like this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JeremyGNJ ( 1102465 )
      I disagree that computers arrive in a "pristine state".

      All too often machines arrive with a whole slew of crap-ware pre-installed. These programs are generally either outdated by the time the user gets the PC (ie Real-Player et al), or just half-assed software written by a 2-bit audio-chipset-maker. These programs are rarely tested properly or in a timely manner when it comes to Service Packs, and there's no way MS could ever account for them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bellers ( 254327 )
      >>There are less-popular operating systems with upgrade / driver issues way worse than this.

      Slackware, I'm looking at you.
  • by LearnToSpell ( 694184 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:49AM (#23349200) Homepage
    to all the beta testers out there. You know who you are! We appreciate all your hard work, and when we install SP3 several months from now, when it's ready for release, we'll be sure to think of you sucke^Wkind folks.

  • Huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by His Shadow ( 689816 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:50AM (#23349212) Homepage Journal
    Four systems and counting , including my own laptop, i have upgraded to SP3 and not any problems of any kind. Systems even seem snappier. I did have to replace the standard Windows boot screen on my lappy. SP3 would not install with a custom boot up screen. For all my bile directed at Microsoft, XP is the most stable and versatile Windows I've ever used. People don't want to switch because of that, and Vista offers nothing at all compelling. Especially since it expects you to abandon all your current hardware and peripherals.
  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:57AM (#23349310)
    Patch size (in MB) = X
    (X * 3)/100 = T

    T = Time patch is ready for release to public (from microsoft release date, in months).

    This puts Service Pack 3 general release for February 2009, and i'm not touching it until then.
  • I love the /. bias (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:58AM (#23349318)
    News about XP SP3 when it's delayed, when it doesn't work with some server...

    No news when it's released.

    News again when some minority of systems fail the SP3 installation.

    I love that Microsoft is held to 100% success rates, too. 100%. Even though there are millions of systems with trillions of potentially screwed up configurations to miss in testing, 100%.

    Unless testing for SP3 was going to take hundreds of years, stuff was going to slip through.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I'm not going to defend the /. bias, because it's there big time, and we know it.
      But I'm sorry, I am just not buying this "there are too many configuration combinations to test" argument either. Not when we are talking about the third service pack of an operating system that has been running mainstream for 6 years. Not when it would prevent a computer from booting at all.
      Hell, at this point in XP's life cycle, there should not have been any service pack at all. All Microsoft should be doing for XP is
  • Issue Specifics (Score:5, Informative)

    by sean_nestor ( 781844 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @09:58AM (#23349334) Homepage
    From this article on ComputerWorld []:

    According to Johansson, there appears to be two separate issues. One affects only AMD-equipped PCs sold by Hewlett-Packard Co. "The problem is that HP, apparently along with other OEMs, deploys the same image to Intel-based computers that they do to AMD-based computers," said Johansson. "Because the image for both Intel and AMD is the same, all have the intelppm.sys driver installed and running. That driver provides power management on Intel-based computers. On an AMD-based computer, amdk8.sys provides the same functionality."

    Running the intelppm.sys driver on an AMD-powered PC isn't normally an issue, but on the first reboot after a service pack installation, it causes "a big problem," Johansson said. The machine either fails to boot or crashes and immediately reboots.

    The other problem, according to Johansson, also seems to affect only AMD machines, and involves an error message indicating trouble with the PC's BIOS. Johansson said that the ensuing recommendation to update the BIOS is "most likely not your problem," but said that the problem may be isolated to a specific motherboard. "Possibly, it is related to computers with the Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard in them," he said.

    • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @10:16AM (#23349566) Journal
      So the point is, make sure you have your linux bootable cd available when you install the XP3 patch, so that if this is the issue you can successfully boot up, go in, delete that offending file, and you'll be good to go!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Hrm. Thats interesting because my main box runs on an Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe with an AMD64 X2 5600+ in it and my Dell Latitude D630 laptop runs a Core 2 Duo and I updated both without problems yesterday. In fact the install yesterday was the most flawless install of anything I've seen in a while.
  • by RPGonAS400 ( 956583 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @10:07AM (#23349422)
    I just bought a Lenovo laptop with XP Pro for my wife that came yesterday. The first thing I did after all the initial registration, etc. was to run Windows update. To my surprise, SP3 was available so I installed it. After the install, TCP/IP would not work at all. I called Lenovo and they told me to reload from restore partition - SP3 wipes out TCP/IP for that laptop. After the reload, I updated individual fixes (64 of them) and turned off Automatic Updates so it won't try to slip in SP3 again.
  • Worked well for me (Score:5, Informative)

    by EasyTarget ( 43516 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @10:16AM (#23349568) Journal
    At the risk of getting flamed to hell (this is /.)

    SP3 actually improved my old thinkpad. The XP copy on it was really struggling after years of being used as the 'windows toy'. No media (my bad) so I've never reinstalled it. I allowed SP3 on with some trepidation, but the end result is that the machine is a darned sight more spry (fast and responsive) than it was before. I think the installer basically did a good job of repairing the OS while patching it.

    I was pretty surprised.. it's pretty rare that anything from Redmond makes me feel that it's an improvement..
  • no IE6? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by werdnapk ( 706357 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @10:18AM (#23349614)
    Not being able to downgrade to IE6 is a bad thing?
  • by g0bshiTe ( 596213 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @10:19AM (#23349638)

    The service pack should offer a number of enhancements over the current version of the OS, which Microsoft is phasing out after June 30th. It includes all updates issued since Windows XP Service Pack 2 was released in 2004, and some new elements.

    I'm glad MS figured out how to secure Windows totally.
  • by UttBuggly ( 871776 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @11:12AM (#23350400)
    ...when I attempted to install it on a standard Compaq Evo N610c laptop. Other than a 2nd NIC installed in a card slot, this is a vanilla machine with IE7 and Office 2003.

    The SP downloaded and began the install just fine. Ran all the way to the end, which took over 2 hours, and then popped up a dialog after reboot that the installation "...has failed and will be rolled back. This is a two-step process..."

    Pressed OK and it took about 45 minutes and a reboot to finish. After boot, I got the "your system has encountered a serious error" dialog. So far, everything SEEMS normal, but I haven't done much as this is my 3rd PC, hence his starring role as "SP3 sacrificial lamb".

    Disappointed, but not particularly surprised this SP has issues.

  • I am happy with it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by i4u ( 234028 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @11:24AM (#23350582) Homepage
    My system is working very well after the upgrade. XP feels better with XP SP3. I can imagine though that lots of XP users have all kinds of stuff installed over the years and this SP is a major update that can have many side effects.
  • omg (Score:3, Funny)

    by Toreo asesino ( 951231 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @11:37AM (#23350788) Journal
    it totally thrashed my computer, now won't start at all - constant BSOD's. Also, there's a burning smell coming from the back of the tower; I could swear its killed the fan on the cpu too. Oh, and it constantly leaves the toilet seat up now when it goes to the loo, and keeps looking at my girlfriend's ass.

    Fucking Microsoft.

    *shakes fist*
  • new plan (Score:3, Funny)

    by TRRosen ( 720617 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @01:21PM (#23352390)
    If you can't fix vista...Break XP

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.