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It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs

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Anonymous Coward

"Why is it that I could predict these things happening" .......

Sadly it's a no win situation. Most non technical (and many technical people too) don't know if a patch is critical, pointless or potentially damaging so have no basis on which to accept or reject it. So either they follow the little security education they recall and say yes to patches or they don't bother with patching.

If you don't force security patches lots of people will never install them. My daughter is a prime example of this. In the Windows 7 days despite knowing she should patch she would always say "no" when offered a patch as she was only using the PC because she needed to use it at that moment, so didn't have time for a patch. When she gave me her malware infested machine to fix because it wasn't working I saw she hadn't allowed it to patch for over a year. At least with Windows 10 her PC stays patched, and as far as I can tell the forced updates are causing her little or no discernible grief.

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Apathy implies some kind of lack of interest. MS is interested, but don't really give a flying feck about ordinary people. They are just too big for that, and their marketing budget is too big as well.

My question was largely rhetorical.

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MS made it so slow and painful to update that people stopped updating.

My experience of Linux on the other hand is the complete opposite. It doesn't tend to unexpectedly force a reboot on you either.

It's pretty simple: MS is fixing a problem of their own making by introducing forced updates.

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"Don't confuse ignorance with apathy."

Don't confuse apathy with intention.

This is why we need home users beta testers.

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Why is it that I could predict these things happening back when Win 10 with forced updates was introduced, but MS couldn't?

Because you don't make vast wedges of cash from selling user-data to advertisers? It's remarkable how making money off something seems to switch off self-critisism..

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"Heeey! Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand!"

-Homer Simpson

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> Most non technical (and many technical people too) don't know if a patch is critical, pointless or potentially damaging so have no basis on which to accept or reject it.

It's pretty hard to know whether a patch is necessary or not when the only information MS supplies in the list of patches is "this is a security update".

MS should be supplying full patch information in the windows update interface, not a generic message.

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Yes. That is the correct answer.

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Microsoft used to give much better information on each patch (and I would read it and select which ones to install). I think this was on XP - I would even "hide" some updates which would prevent them from being installed or showing up in the list again.

Unfortunately, at some point, Microsoft apparently decided users didn't need to know what the patch was actually fixing and stopped giving any sort of information that would allow us to choose.

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>>"Others have been able to do so, only to have their machines quickly download and install the problematic patch all over again"

And this milord is exactly why mandatory and forced updates are a BAD thing!

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Agreed bad, but you know microsoft will just spin the press .. "oh look at how many we've saved, the millions running our windows 10 with updates that don't brick won't be part of the worm spreading masses"

And this happened before .. remember the driver that killed gamers systems for keyboards and mice? Yet where do they go? .. back to microsoft to slurp up more free gruel. MMMMmmm thank you microsoft might I have some more?

FYI tell your friends, the first places Spectre related malware is likely to show up? .. those "download to see this movie" apps. We internet poor do love our stolen goods.

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Anonymous Coward

"FYI tell your friends, the first places Spectre related malware is likely to show up? .. those "download to see this movie" apps. We internet poor do love our stolen goods."

Quite right. I dont run AV at home, because I am the only one there and I dont do stupid shit like that. The machines I made for gf and stepson have plenty of AV , because they will click on anything.

If people could just learn to not download executables ( or to download them from a suitable URL ) everything would be fine.

In fact I think I will start imposing corporate lock down type policys on friends and family.

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Do try and instill fear in them. It's the only thing that might work.

If they are not afraid, they simply have no idea of how vulnerable they are.

Feeling confident because you have Antivirus software is the worst kind of delusion,

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Bah, humbug and fol-de-rol

My Win10 install on my work laptop is still churning away with windowsupdates.

Luckily I have another PC running Linux Mint.

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Just Spectre-acular

Maybe the spectre of testing caused them to have a meltdown

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How to delay windows 10 updates

If you do not want to be a guinea pig when new updates are released - disable the Windows Update service for a week or 2 after a new patch is announced to let others be the guinea pigs. Also for any major change - make sure that you take an offline backup.

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Re: How to delay windows 10 updates

Better yet.. use a 3rd party tool to disable all the automatic updates and Microsoft spyware in Windows10. Install the cumulative updates manually.

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Re: How to delay windows 10 updates

Install Windows (not 10) or any other operating system?

No icon. Not a joke.

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Re: How to delay windows 10 updates

A lot of work involved in enjoying the fruits of 30 years of operating system development, don't you agree?

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Explains why

When i reinstalled 10 back ont neighbours PC after the hardrive had failed it ran an update and got stuck on the windows logo....

yup athlon 64.

But it did repair it self so alls good for now

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BRICKS!!

Now we are all bricking it, in more ways than one.

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Thumb Up

I see Microsoft's windows beta test program (aka Windows 10 for home users) is working just as designed. Thanks to this, these oversights will never reach paying enterprise customers now :)

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Devil

Dear windows user...

We detect that your machine is using an AMD processor. Unfortunately as a result of our most recent patch your machine has been rendered unusable which is why you cannot see this notice.

Thank you for "running" Microsoft Windows.

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Typical

I've been trying to walk parents through fixing their pc of remotely with no joy whatsoever as a result of this. Microsoft ought to be paying for techies to be sent out on site to repair each and every one that's stuck bluescreening as a result of their deficient testing regime.

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The title implies that the update bricks (damages) the hardware, but it seems like it would be fine with a new installation of Windows (a previous version) or Linux. Nevertheless, it would be rather inconvenient...

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Windows 10...

Software or hardware bricked? It's hard to know the difference with Windows 10 as it tries to take control of the hardware away! ;)

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Happy

"The title implies that the update bricks (damages) the hardware, but it seems like it would be fine with a new installation of Windows (a previous version) or Linux. Nevertheless, it would be rather inconvenient..."

So, unhalfbricking?

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"So, unhalfbricking?"
They do it to give us something to do on our holidays...

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Anonymous Coward

I had some luck with this

I had 4 AMD servers running 2008R2 and 2012 that showed a stop error after this patch. I managed to recover by starting Windows recovery (F8, repair my computer), opening command prompt and using this command below:

Dism.exe /image:c:\ /cleanup-image /revertpendingactions

Mileage may vary

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MrT

Re: I had some luck with this

Exactly my experience - Turion64 X2 CPU - although it was easy enough to just roll back to a recent restore point. I'll note that command, though, since it's good to have alternatives - cheers!

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Re: I had some luck with this

I was silly enough to check the MS site for instructions. My first thought was system restore, but I figured MS would have any additional info.

NOPE!

All MS is providing is a link to a generic BSOD diagnostic guide. Not even a suggestion to simply roll back with system restore.

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Facepalm

That putrid patch

Is particularly pissing plenty of people off. Perhaps it's punishment for their poor choice of PC OS provider. They can't be pleased with the problematic pickle they're placed in.

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Re: That putrid patch

Perhaps they should p-p-pick up a p-p-penguin?

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So: Unplug network, Create restore point, Re-enable network, Install patch ...

perhaps ...?

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Pint

Re: So: Unplug network, Create restore point, Re-enable network, Install patch ...

Cross a few pair of fingers.... have a beer...

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Anonymous Coward

Its by Design

Thats because MS and Intel are in bed together and scratching each others backside.

SO give it to them AMd's, mate ! (said Intel)

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Facepalm

No Restore Point?

Well, Microsoft can be forgiven for ignoring this new technology.

I mean, they've only been around since Windows ME, after all...

</sarcasm>

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Facepalm

Patch Tuesday

Bitch Wednesday

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2018 - the beginning of the end?

Looking at the first weeks crop of crap, I wonder if this could finally be the year that the idea of desktop computers finally dies? I don't see any sign that it's going to get better ...

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Facepalm

Re: 2018 - the beginning of the end?

This crop of crap is a calamitous catastrophe. Clearly, the cruel conundrum caused by the callous carelessness of microsoft caught countless careful citizens chillingly.

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Re: 2018 - the beginning of the end?

Charming!

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KB4056892

Interesting that update KB4056892 is designated a quality improvement update by Microsoft, with only passing mention of security (possibly including the specific issues) at all. It's one thing being a bit hush-hush about all this, but would be reassuring if users knew for sure they were protected as best they could be.

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FAIL

Are Intel/AMD scrambling to create new processors without the flaws?

Is nobody answering that question?

Yes, several chips have multiple degrees of vulnerability for the issues... And Microsoft and Linux worlds can scramble to patch the issues via software, but...

CAN Intel and AMD design new chips without the flaws? Would they call it Core i3.1 or Core i4, or Core i6...?

Is it safe to say that Intel Roadmap have its place reserved on the trash bin, or at least delayed a whole generation to circumvent the design issue?

Did they stop making the faulty processors, or do they just expect the OS'es producers to completely fix the problem on the OS level?

Keep making the same processors with the same flaws is like keep making cars with Takata airbags to recall them later!

STOP DOWNVOTING ME! This is a valid question!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Are Intel/AMD scrambling to create new processors without the flaws?

The fault is with Intel chips. The error is with all other types of processing using branch prediction (AMD, ARM etc). This speeds up computers, but introduces methods to break security. So new software or hardware is needed to make security stronger, or change the branch prediction logic.

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Something isn't right about this.

Unless I am confusing Meltdown and Spectre there's something very wrong here.

1: Meltdown only affects Intel CPUs but it can be patched.

2: Spectre affects all CPUs but can't (yet) be patched.

3: There is a third AMD bug, which apparently needs physical access to the machine to exploit

So just what is the update supposed to be doing, because i am not sure it should even be trying to install on an AMD machine?

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Joke

Re: Something isn't right about this.

I assume it's the same as the "No Windows 9 allowed" idea. If they released Windows 9, Windows 95 software would bug out after checking the 9, and finding no 5. ;)

So here, it bugged out finding a CPU not labelled as Intel or Ryzen?

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Exactly which AMD processors are getting hosed?

"KB4056892 is not your friend if you run an Athlon"

I have an AMD Phenom II X4 945 processor that's about 10-12 years old. The Windows update that Microsoft is offering me is KB4056894. I'm wondering if this processor is Athlon-related and whether this update is safe.

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MrT

Re: Exactly which AMD processors are getting hosed?

That's the Windows 7 version of the patch. It broke one of my laptops running an AMD Turion64 X2 CPU, but went fine on another running an Intel Core2Duo T7200. Be careful. The good news was that running the system repair sorted it out (from the F8 startup menu before the Windows logo pops up) - if you've not got a recent one, make a restore point yourself before trying the patch.

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Re: Exactly which AMD processors are getting hosed?

It's now a day later, the morning of Patch Tuesday; and I see that Windows Update is no longer offering me KB4056894. Looks like it got recalled:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4073707/windows-operating-system-security-update-block-for-some-amd-based-devi

As of right now, Windows Update is showing me no "important" updates.

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