SP3 installation worries
July 8, 2010 9:41 PM   Subscribe

I've decided to install SP3 on my Windows XP Home version computer. But I've read horror stories about installing on an AMD machine.

I've got a Compaq Presario 7360 with an AMD-K6 3D processor and 504 MB RAM. I want to install SP3 so I can keep getting the security updates. But one reads of terrible things happening to AMD machines (constant rebooting, won't reboot in safe mode). I found in an older thread this blog with advice for the AMD user, but it's two years old.

Two questions: Has Microsoft fixed the problems with installing SP3 in an AMD machine? Have you been through this process and what was the result?
posted by bryon to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
I know this isn't an answer to your question, but you might want to think about saving yourself the effort and instead get a new motherboard/cpu for about... $25 that would be orders of magnitude better.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:48 PM on July 8, 2010

I have AMD Athlon 64X2 Dual Core with SP3. Don't recall having any problem ever since I installed that service pack. Just a data point.
posted by jstarlee at 9:50 PM on July 8, 2010

Back when I ran XP and waited forever to install SP3 on AMD, I didn't have any problems when I did.
posted by rhizome at 10:00 PM on July 8, 2010

AMD holds about 20% marketshare of the x86 processor market. It'd be pretty big news if none of these machines worked with SP3.

Also, that's an impressively old PC you've got there. If SP3 seems slow, it's likely because your PC is 12 years old, and may have originally shipped with Windows 95, depending on which half of 1998 you bought it in.
posted by schmod at 10:00 PM on July 8, 2010

As that blog post notes, the problem with SP3 and AMD was software-related: in some cases, the installer tried to load an Intel driver.

I had no trouble with XP SP3 on Duron/Athlon XP CPUs dating from 2003. The K6 is stretching hardware requirements somewhat* but since a new mobo/CPU also means new RAM and potentially a new graphics card, I don't see why you shouldn't try and get a bit more use out of your vintage box.

* I've run XP on a Pentium Pro 200 w/ 128MB RAM, and while it's very not fast, it's usable.
posted by holgate at 10:46 PM on July 8, 2010

There's nothing to worry about. SP3 is stable with most hardware.
posted by GlassHeart at 2:23 AM on July 9, 2010

I've installed SP3 on many, many computers: most of them Intel, some AMD, and a handful of VIA. The only time I've ever had trouble with it is when the computer had a hard disk fault (I have twice seen this cause SP3 to uninstall itself spontaneously) or its registry permission settings had been messed up by a Conficker infection (which causes the SP3 installation to fail with a typically useless cryptic error message).

My only concern running Windows on hardware of that vintage would not be XP itself, but the antivirus suite. I've recently taken to installing Panda Cloud Antivirus on pretty much every XP box I touch, both because it does a good job of keeping them clean and because it's very lightweight. I had become used to 256MB XP boxes being frustratingly, grindingly slow, but with Panda Cloud installed instead of AVG or (shudder) Norton/McAfee/Trend, they become far less unpleasant.
posted by flabdablet at 5:13 AM on July 9, 2010

I have a toshiba which cannot take SP3. I even (following someone's instructions) installed it in safe mode but it still would crash on boot. (This was just last week.)
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:26 AM on July 9, 2010

My 2005 era HP athlon computer required a software update from HP before sp3 could be installed. if this update was not installed, the computer wouldn't boot right after sp3 was installed. I know this from experience. check with your HP/Compaq for a software update for your model. The SP3 has not changed to do anything about this.
posted by DarkForest at 6:12 AM on July 9, 2010

I think that issue was isolated to certain HP models, but if you're worried download then trial version of Acronis backup. Image your drive to an external drive. Install SP3. If it fails then use the Acronis boot disk to restore your drive.

Also, this guy wrote a tool to remove the IntelPPL driver, which seems to be the cause of this issue.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:49 AM on July 9, 2010

I just found out that there's a pre-SP3-installation hotfix for AMD processors available from Microsoft.
posted by flabdablet at 1:40 AM on July 22, 2010

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