We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
79,796 News Articles

Windows XP SP3 'reboot' fix now online

Former Microsoft exec publishes unofficial patch

A former Microsoft security manager has published a tool designed to detect and fix PCs that may be susceptible to 'endless reboots' if updated to Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3).

Jesper Johansson, once a program manager for security policy at Microsoft and currently an MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) who works at Amazon.com, posted a link to the tool on his blog on Wednesday, beating his former employer and HP to the draw. Neither company has yet come up with a fix or patch for the week-long snafu.

Windows XP SP3 review

Johansson's small, 16K VBScript (Visual Basic Scripting Edition) file checks whether the PC is running a processor from AMD, and if so, examines the Windows registry to see if a device driver meant for Intel-based machines is set to load.

"If it is, it will offer you an option to disable it," said Johansson in an update to a blog post where he has been summarising reports of Windows XP SP3 problems and offering solutions.

Users can run the script from the command line to check multiple machines on a network, Johansson added. The command is:

removeIntelPPMonAMD.vbs ...

"The only caveat is that the tool will prompt you several times for each computer," Johansson added.

The free-of-charge VBScript file is available for download.

The tool is the latest in the week-long problem some users have encountered after upgrading Windows XP to the new service pack. Last week, just a day after Microsoft added XP SP3 to Windows Update, reports accumulated of 'endless reboots' crippling machines running AMD CPUs. Many of the users said that the out-of-control PCs were from HP.

According to users, Johansson and most recently, Microsoft itself, the problem can be traced to the disk image that HP used to factory-install Windows XP on AMD-based machines. HP, said everyone concerned, used an image created on an Intel-powered PC to install XP on AMD systems; Microsoft had advised computer makers against doing that as long ago as 2004.

Microsoft was not immediately available for comment on Johansson's detection tool, but traditionally the company has taken a dim view of unsanctioned, unofficial fixes to its software.


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs iPhone 5S comparison review: Metal smartphones fight

IDG UK Sites

Gateway to your kingdom: why everybody should check and update their broadband router

IDG UK Sites

Fonts review

IDG UK Sites

Best Mac? Complete Apple Mac buyers guide for 2014