bsod.jpgNaturally Windows XP users have been wanting to upgrade to the latest and greatest Service Pack 3, but it seems as though some users are getting an unexpected surprise. If you have a desktop by HP/Compaq with an AMD processor you may find that your computer shows a blue screen of death (BSoD) when starting up. And to top it all off it won’t stop rebooting.




The problem is that HP ships both AMD and Intel desktop computers with the same operating system image. AMD and Intel processors use different drivers for power management: Intel uses intelppm.sys and AMD uses amdk8.sys. Up until XP SP3 this hasn’t been a problem, but for whatever reason after installing the Service Pack all hell breaks loose on any AMD desktop machine that has the Intel power management driver running. Upon booting up the computer you’ll receive this error message:

A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer...

Technical information:

*** STOP: 0x0000007E (0xC0000005, 0xFC5CCAF3, 0xFC90F8C0, 0xFC90F5C0

SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED

After the error message is briefly shown the computer will restart. This cycle continues until you turn off the computer, and you’ll end up having to bootup into Safe Mode to temporarily get around the issue.

How do you correct the problem? HP has posted a workaround which primarily consists of disabling the Intel power management driver. Here’s a quick overview on what you have to do:

  1. Boot into Safe Mode by pressing the F8 key when starting your PC
  2. In Windows Explorer navigate to C:\Windows\System32\Drivers, and locate the intelppm.sys file
  3. Rename the file to something else, such as XXXintelppm.syx
  4. Reboot the PC

If you’re about to install XP SP3 on your HP computer (with the OEM operating system) then you might want to be proactive and follow these steps. It can save you a lot of headaches down the road. ;)

It’s unfortunate that you have to go through all of this to get XP SP3 successfully installed, and I’m left wondering who’s to blame for this. Is it Microsoft’s fault for changing something that causes the error, or is it HP who was apparently too lazy to create separate OS images for AMD and Intel based machines?

Thanks for the tip Omar!