After applying the patches supplied to keep their systems safe, many Intel processor users have been reporting reboot issues. Now Intel has released a statement saying it has identified the root cause of this behaviour on Broadwell and Haswell platforms, and made good progress on other platforms. As Intel’s revised patches are now in testing, it is asking customers to hold fire on applying any currently available patches.
The problem eager system updaters have faced is described as “higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behaviour.” I must count myself among that number. Last week after running the InSpectre testing app I was spurred on to check the Dell site for BIOS updates available for my Haswell Ultrabook. I found a new BIOS, just a few days old with the Spectre fix and applied it, feeling rather lucky. However, yesterday this laptop restarted (blue screen, as above) twice. I can’t recall it blue screen crashing at any time previously.
The current guidance from Intel, with regard to patching your PC, is as follows:
- We recommend that OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors and end users stop deployment of current versions, as they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behaviour. For the full list of platforms, see the Intel.com Security Centre site.
- We ask that our industry partners focus efforts on testing early versions of the updated solution so we can accelerate its release. We expect to share more details on timing later this week.
- We continue to urge all customers to vigilantly maintain security best practice and for consumers to keep systems up-to-date.
To conclude the news bulletin Intel’s Navin Shenoy apologised for any disruption, adding that his company is “working around the clock,” to address all the issues.
Some people aren’t very appreciative of Intel’s efforts. For example Linux guru Linus Torvalds has slated the efforts of Intel thus far. “The patches are COMPLETE AND UTTER GARBAGE,” commented Torvalds in a public email chain between himself and David Woodhouse (an engineer at Amazon in the UK), regarding Intel’s solution for the Linux kernel.