Windows XP SP3 causing buggy home routers to crash

Broadband modem/router maker Billion says XP SP3 has been causing its BiPAC 5200-series routers to go into a constant crash and reboot cycle.

The company has produced firmware upgrades that solve the problem which relate to a bug in Billion’s code not Microsoft’s. It relates to the fact that Microsoft has started issuing “flag 43” as part of DHCP messages to the modem — something that has been built into the DHCP specification for 11 years but not actually used in Windows until XP SP 3.

Although Windows XP SP3 has been available for manual download from Microsoft since May 6 it has just hit Windows Update as an automatic upgrade which will cause unexpected problems for owners of “unpatched” Billion BiPAC 5200 routers and possibly other brands or models of router.

The affected BiPAC 5200 firmware versions are 2.9.8.x and 2.11.0.x~2.11.33.x.

Firmware is the software that runs your router and can be upgraded via the router’s web interface accessible by typing the router’s address into your web browser (generally

PC Range managing director Raaj Menon said only a few users had reported problems since Microsoft began offering the Windows XP SP3 as a manual download last month. “However as Microsoft plans to make Windows XP SP3 an automatic upgrade this month the number of affected routers may increase significantly” he said.

“We want to let any customers with affected BiPAC 5200 know about this issue so they can download the new firmware in order to avoid experiencing any problems.”

The following links provide access to downloadable firmware that can resolve this Windows XP SP issue: