Meltdown and Spectre: Microsoft's Spectre patch 'bricks' older AMD machines

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Meltdown and Spectre: Microsoft's Spectre patch 'bricks' older AMD machines

Users report boot errors and hanging Windows loading screens

Microsoft's patch to address the Meltdown and Spectre bugs has reportedly bricked a number of machines running older AMD processors, with users complaining of boot errors, crashes and being unable to bypass the Windows logo on the splash screen.

One user's lengthy post on the company's community forum claimed that Windows patch KB4056892, which was rolled out to fix the recently discovered critical processor bug Spectre, caused their AMD Athlon machine to suddenly stop working and become locked to the Windows boot screen.

"I can try full reinstall, but I doubt it will change anything," said Windows user Jaroslav Škarvada. "It seems like the update is binary incompatible with my old CPU. I understand that making the machine unbootable is the best protection from remote exploitation, but I would rather have the OS working."

What's more, a rollback reportedly cannot fix the problem, because Windows will automatically download and try to reinstall the patch once the machine returns to the desktop. In some instances, attempts to revert the machine back to previous states result in an impassable 0x800f0845 error, according to the post.

Users have since corroborated the flaw, which seems to affect older AMD processors, including the Athlon and Sempron series, running both 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 10. It's the Spectre flaw that affects AMD chips (as well as those of ARM), while Meltdown is specific to Intel processors. 

"Having the same issue, with a freeze at Windows logo screen and update rollbacks loop after installation of Meltdown/Spectre patch, on Windows 10 x64 Pro Build (1709 16299.125) with an HP Pavilion Entertainment PC DV2-2116WM with AMD Turion 64 X2," said another user.

Those who have been able to get their machines back to the desktop have even tried to terminate the update process in the task manager in order to avoid the machine connecting to the Microsoft servers, but have had mixed success so far.

"Unfortunately, even though I successfully 'hid the 2018 Cumulative Update KB4056892', and it showed up in the hide/show tool as being hidden, Windows Update just charged ahead anyhow and began downloading, got to 100% download, and then began installing this update on my system until I quickly disabled windows update service again," said another user.

Similar posts have also been spotted on the Italian and German versions of the Microsoft forum, but so far we've been unable to find any advisory statements from Microsoft in response to the issue.

We have contacted Microsoft for an official comment.

This article originally appeared at itpro.co.uk

Copyright © ITPro, Dennis Publishing
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