Windows Client Guidance against speculative execution vulnerabilities

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  1.    13 Mar 2018 #490

    Hi,

    It seems a bit strange that Microsoft has yet to make additional CPU microcode updates available through the Microsoft Update Catalog. The microcode updates for Skylake processors were made available exactly 2 weeks ago.
    Cheers,
    Windows Client Guidance against speculative execution vulnerabilities Attached Files
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2.   My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.   My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    28 Mar 2018 #493

    For HP users:

    HP released BIOS updates for Intel Broadwell processors (5th Gen).

    Check the hp security bulletin, as well as your specific product's Software and Driver Downloads page for the new BIOS update.

    The new BIOS does fix the vulnerabilities with no performance degradation (none noticed so far).

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. Posts : 606
    Windows 10 Home - Version 1803 - Build 17134.407
       28 Mar 2018 #494

    I would suggest being careful with the HP bios update. I updated the bios on my 3 year old laptop to the latest version with the spectre fix and it did slow my computer down slightly (noticeable to me) and my laptop immediately started running hotter by about 10 degrees celcius and it would reach 80 degree celcius + with just a few browser tabs open with one youtube video playing. The fan would come on all the time.

    I spent a lot of time troubleshooting it with multiple clean installs, in place repairs, opening it up and looking at the fan etc. Many dozens of hours. I also tried every way possible to downgrade and rollback the bios but its not possible because the bios is locked since it is a "critical" update. HP locks their bios that have security updates. So I was not even able to absolutely verify it was the bios that was the cause though the problems started after the bios update.

    I ended up buying a new HP laptop which I am using now (after returning two other low end models that had problems) and I'm not going to touch the bios on it. I'm going to wait to see what M does as far as making updates available through WU. To cut to the chase, though well intentioned, updating the bios on that laptop was one of the worst computer decisions I've ever made.
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  6.    28 Mar 2018 #495

    tomseys said: View Post
    To cut to the chase, though well intentioned, updating the bios on that laptop was one of the worst computer decisions I've ever made.

    I sympathize with you about what you went through, but I was probably luckier than you, since I have updated my 2-year old HP laptop's BIOS at least 4 times, with no problem at all.

    Either way, in order to mitigate the Spectre vulnerability someone has to upgrade the BIOS. The MS provided microcode solution is not BIOS update, but code that starts on boot and clears at shutdown. If that covers you, then by all means avoid the BIOS upgrade. :)
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  7. Posts : 606
    Windows 10 Home - Version 1803 - Build 17134.407
       28 Mar 2018 #496

    ddelo said: View Post
    I sympathize with you about what you went through, but I was probably luckier than you, since I have updated my 2-year old laptop's BIOS at least 4 times, with no problem at all.

    Either way, in order to mitigate the Spectre vulnerability someone has to upgrade the BIOS. The MS provided microcode solution is not BIOS update, but code that starts on boot and cleared at shutdown. If that covers you, then by all means avoid the BIOS upgrade. :)

    What I should have done before I updated (I've updated the bios many times - I'm not afraid of the bios - I've never had a problem) is to confirm that I can rollback to the last known working bios or downgrade it to another bios in the event that something goes wrong or just doesn't work right. I assumed I could so I was not that concerned. But instead I was locked into it with no way to undo it. My only option was to wait for HP to release a new bios and hope it fixes it.

    I spoke with an assistant at the HP forum and she told me she has seen a few machines have serious slow down issues (inspectre says "good") and other problems after updating to the Spectre fix bios. People are having problems.

    I'm glad to hear that it has gone well for you. That's the way it should be. I just want to mention what happened to me because if you do have a problem, you can't undo it. I'll keep my eye out for continuing developments with Spectre but I'm not going to trash another machine over it with a bios update that may or may not work with no way out. I do have the software meltdown/spectre fixes applied and I'll take my chances for now.
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  8.    28 Mar 2018 #497

    It's good to have the experience from all users, good or bad, to evaluate what to do. So someone can benefit from your bad experience.

    To be honest, as HP also clarifies, a BIOS update should be done only if someone is facing a major a problem. It's not an app to get the "new" goodies.
    And definitely agree with you, that the early microcode updates from Intel (implemented by hp in its machines) did cause major performance degradation. Let's hope that this one does not...
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  9. Posts : 606
    Windows 10 Home - Version 1803 - Build 17134.407
       28 Mar 2018 #498

    ddelo said: View Post
    To be honest, as HP also clarifies, a BIOS update should be done only if someone is facing a major a problem. It's not an app to get the "new" goodies.

    Right but this is a recommended critical update. It's not about new goodies, it's about spectre. So they are recommending people to update to it. I was recommended to do it on the HP forum while describing another issue.

    It is this recommendation coupled with an inability to roll it back that led me to waste a lot of time and money.

    That's why I'm posting this.

    If this new spectre bios for some reason disagrees with your machine, you can't roll back. You can reinstall it, but you can rollback or downgrade the bios. You are stuck.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    28 Mar 2018 #499

    tomseys said: View Post
    If this new spectre bios for some reason disagrees with your machine, you can't roll back . You are stuck.

    I agree 100%. But there will be a point of time, when everybody should take the risk and do the upgrade in order to resolve the Spectre vulnerability. Now if that was the proper time ...only the future will show!
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