Sunday, May 3, 2009

Computer Won't Boot After Windows Update

If you won an AMD-based computer running WinXP, you may have a problem installing Service Pack 3 (SP3) on it. I've run into this problem a couple of times now (mostly on HP computers). Most people experience the problem (i.e., the computer won't boot) after doing a Windows Update.

Here's the problem. SP3 tries to load an Intel driver on your computer during startup following the installation of SP3. The problem is that this driver is not compatible with AMD computers. To fix the problem, you have to disable this driver (which is very easy).

Here's how to fix the problem:
  1. First make sure your computer is an AMD-based PC (not Intel). This is VERY IMPORTANT. In most cases, you can look at the front of the tower and there will be a sticker telling you if it's AMD or Intel based (this is assuming you've never replaced the motherboard).
  2. If the computer is AMD based, start the computer to SAFE MODE (when you push the button to start the computer, you should see the SAFE MODE option; if you don't start the computer again and keep hitting the F8 key on the keyboard til you see a menu offering you the choice to boot in Safe Mode.
  3. Once you're in Safe Mode follow the steps below:
    • Click the START button and then RUN
    • In the window type: sc config intelppm start= disabled
      (note there is a space between each word and before the word, "disabled")
    • Hit "enter" on the keyboard
    • Reboot the computer normally (it should work)
Hopefully this solved your booting problems. If not, then you may have something else wrong with the computer which requires professional technical support. If the steps above did fix your problem, I'd suggest creating a new "restore point"

Running Windows Update and installing SP3 is a good thing. This is just one of those rare flukes that caused a problem. So please don't let this little problem keep you from updating Windows.