After you install Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), Device Manager may not show any devices, and Network Connections may not show any network connections.
This problem may occur when an antivirus application is still running during the installation of Windows XP SP3.
This problem occurs when the Fixccs.exe process is called during the Windows XP SP3 installation. This process creates some intermediate registry subkeys, and it later deletes these subkeys. In some cases, some antivirus applications may not let the Fixccs.exe process delete these intermediate registry subkeys.
When this problem occurs, certain applications, such as Device Manager and Network Connections, may be unable to enumerate the device or connection instances. These applications will report a blank status, even though devices and connections still function as expected.
To resolve this problem, apply hotfix 953979. For more information about hotfix 953979, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
953979 Device Manager may not show any devices and Network Connections may not show any network connections after you install Windows XP Service Pack 3
Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
To work around this problem, follow these steps.
Note You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first.
Restart the computer in safe mode. To restart the computer in safe mode, follow these steps:
Click Start, and then click Shut Down.
In the Shut Down Windows dialog box, select Restart in the What do you want the computer to do list, and then click OK.
After the computer restarts but before Windows XP starts, press F8.
Use the arrow keys to select the Safe Mode option, and then press ENTER.
Click Start, and then click Run.
Type regedit in the Open box, and then press ENTER.
Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
On the Edit menu, click Find.
In the Find what box, type the following text:
Click Find Next.
Right-click the registry subkey that begins with "$%&'()*+," and then click Delete.
Click Yes to confirm the deletion.
Press F3 to search for the next registry subkey.
Repeat steps 7 through 8 to delete each registry subkey that contains the text "$%&'()*+."
Exit Registry Editor.
Restart the computer.
For more information about steps to take before you install Windows XP Service Pack 3, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
950717 Steps to take before you install Windows XP Service Pack 3