Windows Home Server + Windows XP SP3 = No More Remote Access?
The UK-based We Got Served Windows Home Server website is reporting that some users cannot use WHS's remote access feature after they have updated the Windows XP computers on their home network to Service Pack 3. WHS's Remote Access feature enables remote users to connect to their home computers.
According to We Got Served, the culprit in SP3 is its disabling of the Terminal Services ActiveX control that enables WHS to provide connections to the XP-based machines on the network, and, to make matters worse, the web browser's suggestion to add the WHS computer's web site address to the "Trusted Sites" security setting on each Windows XP system on the network doesn't work either. To reset XP SP3 to the less secure settings used by SP2 so you can connect remotely to your systems again, see this Microsoft Windows Home Server thread.
HP Laptops + AMD CPUs + Windows XP SP3 = Oops!
According to reports posted at The Register and Tom's Hardware, users of AMD-based HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario laptops with preinstalled Windows XP should run, not walk, away from installing SP3 for now. There are numerous reports of blue screens and continuous reboot loops on these systems after installing SP3.
The Wrong OEM Image Can Haunt You
According to the Microsoft TechNet forum thread on this problem, it's a problem caused by incorrect customization of the original OEM Windows XP image:
This is not a problem with AMD-based systems or AMD CPUs. The issue is caused by the method in which the original, pre-installed version of Windows XP was customized during manufacturing by some PC Manufacturers (OEMs). These OEMs loaded a Windows XP image originally created on an Intel-based machine onto computers with AMD processors, and then modified the image incorrectly for AMD CPUs.
This is an imaging process that has never been supported by Microsoft because of the compatibility problems it can create.
The continual reboot issue was first discovered with the release of Windows XP SP2, and we determined the problem to be a modified registry entry incorrectly set as a result of the imaging process discussed above. During Windows XP SP3 beta testing (see KB888372), we inserted special code into the Windows XP SP3 installation software logic that preserved this registry setting so that customers would not experience this reboot problem again. However, after the release, we received reports of customers experiencing the same problem when upgrading to Windows XP SP3. After investigating those reports, we discovered additional OEM workarounds to the original issue (see KB888372) that are causing the same problem to occur.
In these additional cases, when Windows XP SP3 is installed, this particular registry value is set to load intelppm.sys automatically (i.e.: at boot time). When the driver loads on a system with an AMD processor, the system blue screens and instantaneously reboots.
Calling All Cars: Be on the Lookout for SP37394
If you have an affected HP or Compaq laptop, watch for a patch called SP37394 in the next week or so. This patch is designed to fix the problem, so you can upgrade safely to SP3. You should receive it through HP Update.
Hey, What About Us?
According to The Register, users of AMD-based Dell, Gateway, and Lenovo have reported similar problems. According to PC World, Microsoft is working on its own hotfix for the problem.
Traumatized by SP3 Woes? Dr. Jesper Will See You Now
Former Microsoftie and current MVP at Amazon.com, Jesper Johansson (a PhD in MIS, so he's a real doctor), has beaten both HP and Microsoft to the punch with a simple VB script tool that can remove the erroneous command that loads the Intel driver on an AMD-based machine. He's also pulled together a bunch of solutions to other Windows XP SP3 upgrade woes. See the whole collection of solutions here.