PermaLink When Windows Update keeps your system from booting (agp440.sys issues)07/05/2005 01:02 PM
I figured I'd stay on Win2K as long as possible to avoid the goofy licensing and system upgrade issues of Windows XP, but it looks like I'll have to try upgrading soon because I can no longer get Win2K updates to work.  Well, actually, they install, but my system no longer boots after upgrading to the latest ones.  I'm not even convinced that going to Windows XP will help me. Apparently, this is a fairly common problem, though this is the first instance I know of where a Windows Update made a system sensitive to the agp440.sys hang problem.  What's worse is that it might not be this driver that has a problem because a bunch of other drivers load after it, but when you go into safe mode, Windows only prints out driver names up to agp440.sys.  This isn't exactly a bright thing to do; if a system has problems, there should be a debug mode where the operating system prints out everything that it's trying to do so the problem can be isolated better.  I've tried the most obvious workarounds like telling the BIOS that Win2K is a Plug and Pray OS and to initialize the non-existent PCI video card instead of the AGP card (a fairly ancient Geforce2).  And as for why I doubt a WinXP upgrade will fix my problem?  You know it's bad when MS has a tech note that tells you how to disable that agp440.sys driver in case your WinXP system hangs at agp440.sys on bootup  Argh.  Looks like it's time for a motherboard upgrade and a new PCI-Express video card and 64-bit processor...
Comments :v

1. Tom12/03/2007 16:21:58

I deleted the agp440.sys driver as suggested by MS
I ran chkdsk /r as suggested by several bloggers.
My computer will now boot up but I have nothing on my desktop (Icons, toolbars, etc) I have to access my programs and files with MS Task Manager.
I can't access Internet Explorer to download other video drivers.
Any Suggestions.

2. manoj12/07/2006 07:43:54

Hi... After upgrading from XP Pro SP1 -> SP2 my system started
to crash at apg440.sys. After looking around the web and after
booting in Safe mode found out that if the Networking is selected
it does not reboot. Now like an idiot, I went ahead and edit the Safe boot and selected with minimal networking. And not it stopped booting all together.

Can anyone help me and tell me where I can go and re-set to default values via DOS. As now the system is also not booting from CD does straight to DOS prompt and my C: drive is write protected.
I am stumped.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


3. Ken Yee08/22/2005 02:04:52

After upgrading to Windows XP, the hang still happened. However, it looks like MS changed the safe mode driver display to go beyond the agp440.sys driver (yay!!!). I found it hung at amdagp.sys. Booting the XP CD and using the recovery console, I was able to rename this driver to allow me to boot up in PCI mode. Video is slower now (it's running the AGP card in PCI mode), but it's at least bootable.
I found out I have the AMD AGP 5.1 drivers. The latest is 5.33 which adds support for XP. Alas, it was just a false victory. After XP did a windows update to itself a bunch of times (apparently, it needs more than one to get all the latest updates, even if you install SP2 initially), it got back into the hang state. I also tried installing WinXP onto a separate partition, installed the latest AMD 5.33 AGP driver, then let WinXP autoupdate itself...again, to the death. It only boots up in safe mode. Looks like one of MS' "security" updates doesn't like my hardware, so it's time to upgrade the system again...

4. Ken Yee07/29/2005 02:46:22

Thanks for the suggestions, Michael. I actually use Acronis TrueImage and religiously image my system before running Windows Update just in case something like this happens. It's time to upgrade my video card anyways...nVidia has decided to drop GeForce2 GTS support in their latest drivers. So it's a good excuse to upgrade
Might as well get a new DFI motherboard w/ CrossFire SLI support too while I'm at it

5. Michael Jennings07/28/2005 10:35:44

I don't think the hangs occur at agp440.sys. That is just the last driver displayed. They occur at the driver after agp440.sys, and that MS does not tell you.

One answer is just to re-load the Windows 2000 operating system from the CD. That may fix whatever driver is hanging.

If you can arrange to boot into Windows, from a backup perhaps, another answer is to download the latest version of Sysprep for Win 2000 and run that. That can re-enumerate all the drivers.

If you can boot into Windows, you can also go into device manager, select Show Hidden Devices, and delete anything that shouldn't be there.

Another answer is to try another video card, one that is simpler and better supported. Any unusual hardware should be removed from your system temporarily.

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Full-stack developer (consultant) working with .Net, Java, Android, Javascript (jQuery, Meteor.js, AngularJS), Lotus Domino