nav search
Data Centre Software Security DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes
BOFH
Lectures

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

Re: Exactly which AMD processors are getting hosed?

Not sure if the Phenom's are on the hit list, but casualties in my organization with AMD:

Ath 64x2 4450 - BSOD stop screen, could not repair - reinstalled Windows 7 and updates - still running

After learning of this brick through Windows:

Ath 64 x2 5200B BSOD stop screen - automatic repair fixed today

Ath 64 x2 4450e BSOD stop screen - automatic repair fixed today

Ath 64 x2 4450b - Unknown at this point - instructed user to not shut down at end of day so I could move data to another computer. Can't access remotely and it is not responded to WOL. I suspect the room it is located in has a blue nite light at the moment. I'll find the status of that machine when I go in tomorrow.

2
0
Holmes

piggy piggy piggy

I read that a BIOS update is required to address the Spectre vulnerability. It can not be fixed in the OS.

Microsoft recommends the customer call their manufacturer for the BIOS update. Do pigs fly?

The Intel CEO should go to jail for what he knew and when he knew it. AND for selling a huge percentage of his Intel shares after he learned that the shit was about to hit the fan. Do pigs fly?

AMD and AMD customers should get a public apology from Microsoft for sending the meltdown patch to systems that did not require it. A full page ad in every newspaper (print and online). Do pigs fly?

Class action lawsuits filed on this matter should primarily benefit those computer owners who have systems that are more than 5 years old ($500 per system), not the lawyers. Flying Piggies LLP ?

9
1
Silver badge
Facepalm

Meh Meh Meh

That must be some pretty powerful BIOS sauce.

Will it rip out the branch predictor and install a new one?

The Intel CEO should go to jail for what he knew and when he knew it.

That CEO must actually be BRAINIAC. "Stupid engineers! My enormous computronium-based intellect foresees a fault in your design that can be exploited by exquisite cache timing measurements and that will bite us in the arse 10 years later ... SHIP IT ANYWAY!! MUAHAHAHAH! MY HATE SHALL YET BE QUENCHED!!!!"

(decimates the engineering team because punishment must be meted out no matter what)

5
1
Silver badge

Re: Meh Meh Meh

Perhaps they didn't know. But do you HONESTLY believe they wouldn't ship anyway if they did know? Such extreme naivety! We are talking multiple billions of losses here if a processor line was completely withdrawn, and the top brass is BUSINESS people -not engineers with pride and integrity! Grasp this: Business people and sales people don't have pride in the products! All they ever worry about is money. OK?

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh Meh Meh

Yeah... not like the German engineers that fudged engine performance during emissions tests in the US. Corruption is pervasive in society. Get used to it and try to rationalize why one should remain on the straight and narrow when lots of others are scamming. My excuse is Karma.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

So what exactly happens to Phenom x2

Preferably before my system eats itself, that would suck.

Hint: M$ seems to have pre-empted the hackers this time, where the cure is worse than the disease.

8
0

Bricks Windows 7 AMD Systems Too

The analogous fix for Windows 7 (KB4056894) bricked my venerable Optiplex 740 (Athlon 64 X2), with a cryptic blue screen of death. Further, system restore doesn't work, failing with "unknown error code 0x8000FFFF". There's an elaborate fix for system restore (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2709289) that requires merging a hotfix into a repair disk via black magic.

Time to turn off Automatic Updates again... just when they're needed most.

4
0

Re: Bricks Windows 7 AMD Systems Too

By what I've read, AMD does not need Meltdown patch as it has only Spectre problem. Does not help victims of just freshly baked hot-fix but may be answers what is the root reason for crashing computers. M$ puts crap and honey in one barrel and guess what is the result ...

2
0
Anonymous Coward

There must not be a single AMD machine in Microsoft's patch testing labs

Haha, I jest. What patch testing labs? SatNad doesn't care.

"If a patch borks something, we'll just release another patch! Remember to set Windows Update to always-on!"

5
0

It bricks Windows 7 on AMD Athlon X2 as well

Yup, it showed up on my PC tonight, before Patch Tuesday, and a family member saw it and applied it dutifully, just like I told them they should always do. The Windows automatic startup repair would not work. I could use one of its options to rollback to the Restore Point it created before it installed and all is well now. And Check For Updates is now turned off.

This was an HP desktop. My Compaq desktop also has an AMD processor so I removed its power cord for now. Both are 10+ years old and started out on Vista but are running perfectly for the limited use they see.

2
0

Nice title by the paid author

Wow "wreck some AMD machine" instead of "wreck AMD Athon machine from year 2000", this way people who saw the headline and didn't bother to read the article will make assumptions that even Ryzen is affected which it does not. How does wrecking a EOL, less than 1% in the world be "gets worse"? Its like this example, it gets worse, the volkswagens cars is getting wreck, only the pre 90's era beetle. So stupid.

0
7

Task Manager process

wuauclt.exe = amdfubar.exe

4
0

It is true

So this explains why my old home server stopped working two days ago. It's an Athlon CPU running Windows 7 Pro and now it won't boot, it halts with a strange blue screen, with only one line of memory addresses. I guess it's time for that long overdue Linux upgrade.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: It is true

Do the steps in "I had some luck with this" post earlier. It will fix it.

It wont install Linux

1
2
Silver badge

Re: It is true

If it's just a file server I can't see the point of running Windows at all on it.

5
0

Re: It is true

Well I'll try that one liner later today, but I'm not optimistic because i meddled with winsxs folder and disabled restore points.

I kept Windows on that old Athlon machine because it was convenient enough for a fileserver, video surveillance receiver, p2p file sharing, testing web apps on Windows server, and most of all for Oracle db I need for my faculty project.

If simple approaches for repair fail, I'll put in an SSD with Linux from an old laptop and conjure up some virtual machine abomination in order to run that Oracle server for a few weeks more. Anyways, there goes a few hours of my time, thanks a lot MS!

P.S.

My other machine which runs AMD Phenom II 1055T survived this Windows 7 patch with no problems.

2
0

There is a high likelihood that this tracks back to Intel's door - Intel actively wants to spread some mud onto AMD and could well supply information to microsoft to use as a fix that contained am AMD wrecker

7
0

My AMD laptop installed the patch automatically over the weekend, then immediately disabled the keyboard during the boot sequence, so i couldn't type the PIN to boot into windows.

I had to take my laptop back home (i was out travelling) and stick a USB keyboard into it just to type the PIN.

Well done.

7
0

Hasty Updates = Bad Engineering = No QA

It's time Microsoft and others learn that Software Development needs Engineering Discipline and strong Quality Assurance. Windows 10 shows much evidence of bad engineering. Marketing and Sales need to have their wings clipped and QA needs to have a much stronger voice.

7
0

This is what happens

When you relinquish control to a faceless corporation that does not care about you in the slightest. But you shouldn't be running such antiquated hardware anyways. So it's totally your own fault.

1
2
Holmes

Re: This is what happens

And that applies to politics too; faceless corporation (faceless government - you cant call Trump & May real faces) antiquated hardware (government systems of all kinds) - all this is common with effective monopolies that fail to pay reasonable taxes - so how is that our fault that we the majority have no real choice.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: This is what happens

"But you shouldn't be running such antiquated hardware anyways. So it's totally your own fault."
IPCop runs on a 386 with 32 MB RAM. Heck, I published a book on that hardware and it's still doing useful stuff! Hint: if you get consigned to the scrapheap because you're "antiquated" you'll only have yourself to blame ;-)

3
0

This is why

If you use Windows always have a hot swap drive in reserve in case the system gets totally broken.

This got me out of trouble more than once when for no discernible reason a routine KB update hosed my system (black screen during startup).

Yet installing the same update on a fresh install then the hot swap drive worked fine.

Maybe undetected malware/drive corruption/etc ?

1
0

Bricked

Had 3 computers running Win 7 Pro on Athlon processors with BSOD Monday morning (stop screen). They were planned for replacement in the next year, but this is still very inconvenient.

2
0

AMD does not require a fix for Meltdown as was explained

I do not understand why MS issued the fix for AMD for both Meltdown and Spectre while it was said that AMD is not vulnerable to Meltdown. That possible is starting point for the mess.

3
0

AMD pain

I have experienced many of the same problem described above including the error when trying to use the restore to an earlier time. However I did find on his machine, earlier restore points. Most of which threw up the same memory read error. However one from November ran right through and I thought it had completed, but has displayed this error message. http://www.http://speeednet.co.uk/images/amd.jpg Could be that the fix is preventing itself being changed or removed, so in essence what is the difference between this fix and a virus?

I am currently using Dart 7 to try and uninstall the hotfix, when it finally stops the spinning timer and kicks in.

2
0
Meh

This does have an effect

on later AMD processors as I couldn't get it to install. It then went into a download loop reporting different error numbers (0x8024a105 was one of them) as it went. A quick Bing of the error messages directed me to the relevant support pages which directed me elsewhere.

Disabling anti-virus software (before my 3rd attempt at download/installation) did the trick and I lived to tell this tale. In my case there were 2 updates in this package and restarting the computer twice installed the 2nd update after the 1st one (separately), anti-virus having no effect on the 2nd pass.

HTH.

2
0

Spectre update

My Pc is AMD phenomenon based and runs windows 10. The Microsoft fix was applied in a recent updates the pc boots up without any problems as have been described by many. Maybe the update onlyaffects athlon based pcs.

0
0

Re: Spectre update

Please excuse the spelling. Should be amd phenom x3

2
0

Who's going to replace my bricked hardware?!

Completely Bricked. AMD 1800X, Asus Strix X370F, GTX 1070.

This is complete crap on Microsoft's part. I've never been so ready to bail on Windows than I am right now.

This "patch" completely bricked my PC. BSOD every time. I even pulled hard drives to drop in a fresh drive and tried to boot from a newly created windows 10 install USB. Still, I get the same BSOD errors. Which one of them, AMD or Microsoft, is going to replace by new door stop?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Who's going to replace my bricked hardware?!

So what did they patch, in case a new boot partition doesn't affect things?

I suspect you are doing something wrong. (Not trying to defend MS and Intel.)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

AMD running OK with the patches

AMD Athalon 7450 Dual-Core with the KB4056892 patch installed and my machine runs fine.....

0
0

My data points

Did fresh 10 install on Phenom X2/8GB 12800 DDR3L/C650D machine with brand new SSD.

So far it seems to be working fine but did notice that the damnable atibtmon.exe error is back after one round of patches.

Could there be a connection?

I have yet to try it on an older system as it is in pieces due to the lack of a working graphics card and my 40" monitor being tied up with fecking This Morning!

(cough multipath hack with 3D glasses so I can use the TV at the same time /cough)

My older system is a Core 2 Duo T7300 running Intel/W7 x32 so shouldn't be affected.

Also two netbooks both Intel Atom based.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Thankfully, I had a recent data backup along with an Acronis partition image from October. Other than updating the system with the December rollup, I was lucky to be back in business in less than an hour.

0
0

Not Just AMD systems, ALL SYSTEMS, its luck of the lottery draw...

All I see is AMD this and that in regards to KB4056892, but many systems are affected including mine that houses an i7 5960x on a Gigabyte X99-SLI motherboard. The PC went into a boot loop. Fortunately for me I had made an Arconis backup on the 6th of January before this mess was released, so I went back, downloaded the tool to hide the update and also created a group policy windows update choosing option 2 which prevents windows from downloading updates without my consent, this only works on Windows 10 Pro. I contacted Microsoft and the representative told me that many systems are reporting similar issues across the board, so this is not an exclusive AMD problem...

1
0

I fix the update follow this

Okay long story short the update killed my desktop and to format hard drive and reinstalled windows 10. After 2 weeks I hit the check for updates button in windows 10 and it wanted to install the update again with a windows defender update also. It did it's thing and installed the update, after it wanted to restart to finish but this is what I did different this time. I went and downloaded this update for AMD processors from Microsoft.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4073290/unbootable-state-for-amd-devices-in-windows-10-version-1709

Downloaded and installed that update, once it finished it asked to restart, so then I finally restarted the computer.

It rebooted and booted right up, checked update history and it had the KB4056892 and the the KB4073290 installed successful.

So it will never try install it again.

Problem solved..

0
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing