Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs Experiencing Reboots After Firmware Updates

Olive Hawkins
January 13, 2018

He added, "If this requires a revised firmware update from Intel, we will distribute that update through the normal channels".

Intel's fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre bugs are triggering processors released between 2013 and 2016 to randomly reboot.

"We believe that Retpoline-based protection is the best-performing solution for Variant 2 on current hardware", reads another excerpt.

In the meantime, Microsoft this week said it has "temporarily paused" patches for Windows customers running AMD processors after some users reported seeing the "blue screen of death" after the update was applied. Specifically, these systems are running Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs for both client and data center. These can be found at the Intel.com website.

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Despite the rollout issues, the tech industry is still urging customers to patch their systems. As other vendors are still working on patching systems, Google notes Meltdown and Spectre are the most hard fixes its engineers have encountered in a decade.

Sadly, not all Chromebooks will get the software updates that would protect them from potential attacks carried out by taking advantage of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. "We expect this issue to be corrected shortly and Microsoft should resume updates for these older processors by next week", AMD confirmed the rollout plans.

VMware has pledged to issue fixes at the hypervisor level, and cloud providers such as Google and Amazon say they've patched their VMs, but it's wise to patch the kernels, as well, Pereira said. Alongside the variant one OS patches, AMD are offering an optional microcode update for all Ryzen and EPYC processors to reduce the threat of variant two attacks - available nearly immediately.

"Operating systems and software are now having to do work that the chip previously performed at very high speed", said independent security analyst Graham Cluley. ARM says around 5 percent of more than 120 billion chips using its designs shipped since 1991 were impacted by Spectre and significantly fewer by Meltdown. But only you can make the call about the balance between performance and security.

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