Does your AMD-based computer boot after installing XP SP3?

Last night WSUS deployed XP Service Pack 3 to the sole remaining computer running XP that I have. This morning, I came down and was greeted with incessant reboots. The computer booted, apologized for not being able to boot properly, asked if I wanted to boot into safe mode, defaulted to normal boot, rebooted, and so on and so on.

It would boot into safe mode fine, so I did that. Not knowing what it was, I ran a disk check, which turned out to be a real mistake. Once I configured the computer to run a disk check at startup it would not even boot into safe mode.

Fortunately, I know Bill Castner, another Microsoft MVP, and he pointed me to a solution. It turns out that this computer is running an OEM OS image from HP. HP, apparently along other OEMs, deploy the same image to Intel-based computers that they do to AMD-based computers. That means they 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.

Ordinarily, having intelppm.sys running appears to cause no problems. However, on the first reboot after a service pack installation, it causes a big problem. The computer either fails to boot, as in my case, or crashes with a STOP error code of 0x0000007e. It will boot into safe mode because the drivers are disabled there.

To fix the problem, boot into safe mode, or boot to a WinPE disk, or into the recovery console, and disable the intelppm.sys driver. You do not need it on an AMD-based computer anyway. To disable it, take the following steps:

If you booted into the recovery console, from a command prompt, run "disable intelppm"

If you booted into safe mode you can run "sc config intelppm start= disabled"

If you booted into WinPE, you have to manually edit the registry. Do this:

  1. Run regedit
  2. Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  3. From the File menu, select "Load hive"
  4. Navigate to %systemdriver%\Windows\System32\Config on the dead system and select the file name System
  5. Name it something you can remember, such as "horked"
  6. Navigate to horked\ControlSet001\Services\IntelPPM
  7. Double click the Start value and set it to 4
  8. If you did what I did and completely destroyed things by running a disk check, navigate to ControlSet001\Control\SessionManager. Open the BootExecute value and clear out the autochk entries
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 for the other control sets.
  10. Reboot

The computer should now reboot just fine.

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