Windows 10 fixes for Meltdown and Spectre are breaking some AMD computers

10 January, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Myrtle Cook
  • It said it had no reason to believe the drivers were troubled by the second flaw dubbed Meltdown

With Windows 8 and Windows 7 on older silicon (2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU), we expect most users to notice a decrease in system performance.

"Microsoft has reports of some customers with AMD devices getting into an unbootable state after installing this KB".

AMD chips aren't vulnerable to the Meltdown attack, but operating system updates could address one of the Spectre attacks it was vulnerable to.

Security researchers disclosed the flaws on January 3 that affected almost every modern computing device containing chips from Intel, AMD and ARM Holdings, owned by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. An AMD spokesman at the time said the flaws posed a "near-zero risk" to its processors.

Microsoft said it is working with AMD to resolve this issue and resume Windows OS security updates to the affected AMD devices "as soon as possible", but said for AMD device-specific information users should contact AMD.

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Instead, the problem that is being patched by Microsoft concerns a variant of another flaw, known as Spectre.

"For context, on newer CPUs such as on Skylake and beyond, Intel has refined the instructions used to disable branch speculation to be more specific to indirect branches, reducing the overall performance penalty of the Spectre mitigation", Myerson said.

And Microsoft and AMD are working on the issue, but the fact that an unknown number of PC owners with AMD CPUs are going to have to wait to have their devices protected from the unsafe bug is incredibly disappointing. Rivals Intel and ARM Holdings have offered much more detailed documentation of these security issues, he said.

The comments in a blog post were the clearest signal from Microsoft that the microchip flaws for Intel and other chipmakers described last week could meaningfully degrade performance. Unfortunately, it seems it's not easy to disable the automatic updates without gpedit tweaks, so it tries installing and rolling-back the update over and over. "But it's obviously not a positive thing".

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