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Old 09-07-2004, 02:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Microsoft tackles AMD conflict in SP2

From ZD NET AU
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Microsoft tackles AMD conflict in SP2
By Matt Hines, Special to ZDNet
30 August 2004


A problem in the Service Pack 2 update for Windows XP may keep owners of AMD-based computers from using the long-awaited security package under certain circumstances, according to Microsoft.
In an article posted in the Knowledge Base section of its Web site, Microsoft says that Service Pack 2 may not work with computers running Advanced Micro Devices' 64-bit microprocessors. The Redmond, Washington-based company said earlier that owners of such PCs may want to bypass the update completely, but has now come up with a workaround.

AMD's 64-bit chips include the Athlon 64 for PCs and the Opteron for servers.

A Microsoft representative declined to comment directly on the AMD-related issue but said the company "continually investigates all issues and vulnerabilities" reported to it regarding SP2 and other products.

However, an AMD representative said the chipmaker believes the problem has only occurred, so far, with one application, Sigma Designs' Realmagic Hollywood Plus DVD Decoder. Microsoft also identifies the application as being able to cause the problem.

Microsoft said in its advisory that PCs with 64-bit AMD processors may restart repeatedly after installing Service Pack 2, if those machines are also configured to enforce so-called data execution prevention (DEP) and contain hardware that requires a driver software known as Mpegport.sys. Sigma Designs' Realmagic Hollywood Plus DVD decoder application is one such application that uses the driver, the software maker said.

Microsoft says users may be able to resolve the problem by configuring a so-called DEP exception. AMD also recommends that people affected by the problem do so. Otherwise, Microsoft advises AMD users to remove SP2 altogether.

The AMD problem is the latest in a slew of issues that have dogged SP2 since it was first released to PC manufacturers at the beginning of August. By mid-month, Microsoft had detailed some 50 different software applications and games that may encounter problems with the update.

The potential for conflicts caused some high-profile businesses, including IBM, to order their employees to avoid installing SP2 until its ramifications can be better understood. Other organisations are moving forward with the update, expecting that its security enhancements outweigh the integration issues.

Microsoft has launched a do-it-yourself kit to help IT professionals assess their software's compatibility with the update. The compatibility guide, which can be retrieved from Microsoft's Download Center, is designed to help administrators "test and mitigate application compatibility issues."

This is great timing considering that Win Xp SP2 came out the same week that AMD started doing thier magor push on their 64-bit CPU.

WAY TO GO MICROSHAFT!!!!!
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Old 09-07-2004, 05:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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good news, hahaha
i don't have SP2 and I have an Intel
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Old 09-07-2004, 05:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have SP2 and an Intel....a bad one but it works. I'm more interested in learning about the new DDR2 RAM technology^^
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Old 09-07-2004, 07:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, been having a few issues with my current set up.

All fixed ever since I uninstalled SP2.
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Old 09-07-2004, 11:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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SP2 runs fine for me (on my AMD machine).

If you read the MS SP2 user release doco, it states that if you are not sure about compatability with your setup, or are concerned about important data, you should proceed with caution. Corporate upgrading (the users MS is really concerned about) has been advised to run a test environment if concerned.

Tough knocks for that software designer.

Also, I'd like to know how this release is so different from any other MS update (in regards to discovered bugs) and why it deserves so much hate over previous release experiences. Even MS can't test for all applications in use in the world, or all site environments. They also have an ENORMOUS application that they have to check, and problems are bound to occur. It's just stupid to assume that everything is going to work right out of the chute!

Chances are, MS hasn't spent too much time developing the new schemas for SP2 and 64bit, as they are throwing most of their 64bit thinktank resources into their 64bit-OS work.

If SP2 only grabs 50+ software compatability issues, it would be a very, VERY lucky peice of OS software, considering the width of the market it's used on.

I say cudos for MS for a new SP2 with the usual great features and bad features. They got the problems, and they have good programers who can work on them. The users were warned (both through doco and common sense) before upgrading, they did not have to upgrade right away (which is rarely safe) and they can always uninstall.

As for the Windows/MS bashers...they always bash, they will always bash, turn your ears elsewhere.
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Old 09-07-2004, 03:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm running SP2 on my AMD 3200+ (32/64 bit processor) and I don't see any issues.... also I DON'T have that DVD software so that could be it...
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Old 09-07-2004, 03:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Seriously...I wonder how many people actually have the Sigma Designs' Realmagic Hollywood Plus DVD Decoder thingy watchamakalit anyway?
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