Microsoft halts AMD Meltdown and Spectre patches after reports of unbootable PCs

10 Enero, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Enrique Watson
  • Microsoft halts AMD Meltdown and Spectre patches after reports of unbootable PCs

The good news is that for Windows 10 PCs with modern Intel processors, the Windows security patches plus the additional firmware updates necessary for addressing a specific variant of the Spectre vulnerability won't have a big impact on performance. It lies in AMD's documentation for its CPUs, Microsoft asserts, which is erroneous in some respects, and whatever differences there are between the documents and reality of AMD's processors are serious enough to have caused affected machines to fail to boot. Microsoft stock rose 0.3 per cent to US$88.50.

The company added that Windows Server will see "significant performance impact" when its enterprise customers will enable the mitigations to isolate untrusted code, especially in I/O intensive applications. Not all servers will be affected, it said. PCs from 2015 are showing "significant slowdowns" after upgrades, even for people running Windows 10.

Last week, experts revealed that the two memory corruption flaws could allow hackers to bypass operating systems and other security software to steal passwords or encryption keys, on most types of computers, phones and cloud-based servers. In order to eliminate the potential risk, software vendors, including Microsoft, had to release updates to their products. At the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday night, though, Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich was more measured and said performance slowdowns will depend on a given computer's workload.

Intel has more than 99 per cent market share in servers, and its chips are in more than 90 per cent of laptops and 88 per cent of desktops sold.

Intel said that it has been focused on designing and distributing microcode patches, rather than benchmarking their effects, the company said.

Microsoft halts AMD Meltdown and Spectre patches after reports of unbootable PCs
Microsoft halts AMD Meltdown and Spectre patches after reports of unbootable PCs

The chipmaker said last week that fixes for security issues in its microchips would not slow down computers, rebuffing concerns that the flaws would significantly reduce performance. Based on tests of PCs using the latest components, slowdowns will be 6 per cent or less, it said, while noting that results ranged from 14 per cent to 2 per cent. But as patches roll out, customers have begun to worry what the performance impacts might be, too. "In some cases there are multiple mitigation options available, each with different performance implications and implementation specifics".

As the Verge reports, Microsoft issued a statement to say: "Microsoft has reports of customers with some AMD devices getting into an unbootable state after installing recent Windows operating system security updates". But third-party benchmarks that have tested the patch impacts have generally done so without patches to both the silicon microcode as well as the operating system, he wrote.

Microsoft has said most customers of its Azure cloud-computing service will see no noticeable impact. That's why i'd be updating all my systems if I was responsible for system security.

In other words, this is AMD's fault (at least according to Microsoft).

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