XP SP3 + ASUS Motherboard = New Swear Words!Locked
I decided to install Windows XP SP3 on a new AMD 64 based white box … Why I had this weird idea I’ll never know – temporary insanity?
I’d previously been hesitant about doing this with my computers after reading several “respected authorities” reporting problems with this service pack in general, and with some AMD systems, though mainly Hewlett Packard. So I allowed WU to install everything except SP3.
My reading also revealed problems on specific ASUS-based AMD systems. To understand my paranoia, here’s Google’s search results on that subject.
Yikes!! Holy 8GB RAM chips Batman!!
After about 6 hours reading forums, browsing tech websites and even the horrible MSKB I managed to make sense of the, at times, conflicting information.
(You should understand it was raining heavily at the time, very cold – mid winter in the southern hemisphere – I didn’t have much work, and wanted to stay indoors that day.)
But I digress – here’s the collective wisdom from various oracles, crystal balls and pontificating articles:
1. Apply a Windows patch before running the install – WindowsXP-KB953356-x86-ENU-Processor.exe.
2. Find and run a script to remove registry instructions to load the intel processor driver on startup – a great idea if your processor is AMD. “removeIntelPPMonAMD.vbs” is the required file name.
3. And of course the standard safety requirement – back up your system before playing “russian roulette”, so you can restore full functionality and data after the service pack has hosed your computer.
That’s what I did. The SP installed without error messages, the PC rebooted while I watched with confidence. But the reboot resulted in the puce-blue BSOD with “Stop:0x000021a”.
But this is a system file error, not the one mentioned in the articles, and all the googling in the world didn’t provide an easier solution that to restore my backup.
So here’s proof of two more certainties of computer life, apart from death and taxes:
1. Microsoft’s Knowledge Base, technical web sites, so-called “expert” forums and all the collective wisdom on the Internet can get it wrong – horribly.
2. A good backup is sometimes the easiest and least stressful way of fixing a computer.
3. Users will invariably NOT have a backup – or it’s years old, ’cause you did it when SP2 came out.
(Yes, I know I said TWO, but life’s too short not to upset someone occassionally.)
This experience started me thinking … I use a few boot CDs – each for a specific purpose.
I used DOS Ghost on a CD created with Win98 “DOS” to repair my system – took 20 minutes. It’s worked fine so far on W2K and XP, but haven’t yet used it on Vista. Can’t see why it wouldn’t work though.
I’ve also got a CD which boots using the XP setup files leading to the “Choose R for Recovery Console” option. This means I can use it to troubleshoot XP startup issues.
I sometimes use UBCDWin for transferring data from a dead PC to a USB hard drive.
These are all I’ve needed for home and SOHO computers, and I guess familiarity has stopped me from trying any other bootable CD – although I did experiment for a few weeks with a Ubuntu boot CD. Interesting experience.
The point is I started using them as a result of lurking on places like TechRepublic, so keep up the good work guys, and thank you.