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View Full Version : Intel releases critical Core 2 Duo microcode update - Silently


Tr1cK
05-09-07, 09:56 AM
This is news to me. Any one else know anything about this?

Around April 10th, 2007, Intel released a microcode update (BIOS flash to the rest of us) to resolve several major issues with how Intel Core 2 series processors operate.

Intel has provided a microcode update as a critical software fix. This Intel microcode update addresses an improper Translation Lookaside Buffer (TLB) invalidation that may result in unpredictable system behavior such as system hangs or incorrect data. OEM's are making available a system BIOS upgrade that integrates a new version of this Intel microcode to address this potential but extremely rare issue. While the occurrence of this issue is extremely rare, OEM's strongly recommends upgrading the system BIOS to an updated version. Intel has indicated that the microcode update has no known measurable performance impact and provides a complete and comprehensive resolution to this issue.

The issues can affect any workstation that uses Intel Core2 Duo desktop processor E4000 and E6000 sequences, Intel Core2 Quad desktop processor Q6600 and Intel Core2 Extreme processors X6800 and QX6700 processors.

While the implications of the issue are difficult to quantify, any of the following symptoms can occur:

The system may stop responding to keyboard or mouse input.

A system operating in a Microsoft Windows environment may generate a blue screen.

A system operating in a Linux environment may generate a kernel panic.

superklye
05-09-07, 09:57 AM
Weird...I heard nothing about it and definitely haven't experienced any problems that weren't directly related to video card drivers.

CaptNKILL
05-09-07, 10:33 AM
So it updates something inside the CPU? I've never heard of such a thing...

Tr1cK
05-09-07, 10:34 AM
I don't think so Capt. I think it is a change to the code in the BIOS that works directly with the CPU.

radekhulan
05-09-07, 10:36 AM
So it updates something inside the CPU? I've never heard of such a thing...

Yes, when BIOS loads, it will update CPU with new microcode. This is exactly the reason why BIOS must "know" each CPU, to upload correct microcode, and if it does not know it, it may not work correctly. The same stuff applies both to AMD and Intel, all CPUs have bugs, and microcode is the only way to solve them.

E.g. latest BIOS for Asus Commando changelog from 2007/05/04 says:

1 Support AHCI mode SATAII hot plug function
2 Fix after downgrade CPU ratio, the Conroe L frequency not correct under ASUSCPU
3 Add new CPU uCode to support new processors

Microcode update can be also done from within Windows:
http://www.msfn.org/board/Microcode_updates_UPDATESYS_t44388.html

Tr1cK
05-09-07, 10:38 AM
^ He knows. :captnkill:

Amuro
05-09-07, 10:41 AM
I remember Intel did something similar to this 12 years ago for the first Pentium's that had some weird floating point issue. BTW, what is this "some other source"?

Tr1cK
05-09-07, 10:43 AM
I remember Intel did something similar to this 12 years ago for the first Pentium's that had some weird floating point issue. BTW, what is this "some other source"?

As in just go ahead and GOOGLE (http://www.google.com) it.

Amuro
05-09-07, 10:45 AM
As in just go ahead and GOOGLE (http://www.google.com) it.
Well, I'm checking Asus site now and see if there's a new BIOS for my board. :)

gulizard
05-09-07, 10:45 AM
Has to be a way without using a floppy. Thats a pain for me because my floppy drive sits up to high from my PSU, and the floppy plug isn't isn't long enough. Its total BS, because if I want to update mine I have to take the side of my case off and hold the floppy up just to update.

radekhulan
05-09-07, 10:46 AM
Has to be a way without using a floppy. Thats a pain for me because my floppy drive sits up to high from my PSU, and the floppy plug isn't isn't long enough. Its total BS, because if I want to update mine I have to take the side of my case off and hold the floppy up just to update.

Why not create a bootable USB disk and flash BIOS from it? HP has a nice little utility for creating MS-DOS bootable USB media:
http://h18000.www1.hp.com/support/files/serveroptions/us/download/20306.html

Amuro
05-09-07, 10:48 AM
Has to be a way without using a floppy. Thats a pain for me because my floppy drive sits up to high from my PSU, and the floppy plug isn't isn't long enough. Its total BS, because if I want to update mine I have to take the side of my case off and hold the floppy up just to update.
I use a USB flash drive with EZ-Flash. Works great for Asus boards.

Tr1cK
05-09-07, 10:48 AM
Why not create a bootable USB disk and flash BIOS from it? HP has a nice little utility for creating MS-DOS bootable USB media:
http://h18000.www1.hp.com/support/files/serveroptions/us/download/20306.html
I'll second that. I used a HP utility on a cheapy USB drive. Flawless.

Well, I'm checking Asus site now and see if there's a new BIOS for my board. :)
There's a new one for mine, but all they claim is "Added USB 2.0 support for DOS."
WTF



And to add more info:
ftp://download.intel.com/design/processor/specupdt/31327913.pdf

Amuro
05-09-07, 10:50 AM
Hmm, no new BIOs for my board yet.

gulizard
05-09-07, 11:07 AM
Hmm, no new BIOs for my board yet.
That sucks, its ashame that us eVGA owners have to stick to the old floppy. At least when you get yours, it will be able to be flashed via usb.

nekrosoft13
05-09-07, 11:10 AM
That sucks, its ashame that us eVGA owners have to stick to the old floppy. At least when you get yours, it will be able to be flashed via usb.

umm what?

Windows Installation - Alternate installation method
Note- If you have an older version of the NVIDIA Update Utility, please remove it before installing this new version
Before updating your BIOS, please load BIOS defaults by hitting the delete key during POST and select: “Load Defaults.” Now select “Save & Exit Setup.” After that has been completed please follow these instructions:
Download the following files: NVIDIA Update Center and NF68_P28.BIN
Install the latest NVIDIA Update Center and run the program. (Use ONLY the above version, DO NOT use any previous version of NVIDIA Update Center.)
Once Update Center opens, Check the box “Clear CMOS” and then hit apply at the bottom right hand corner
Now select browse and locate NF68_P28.bin
Select load bios
After update center finishes, completely shutdown your system
Once the system is off, unplug your PSU and press the power button on the front of your case. (This will discharge the Motherboard.)
Wait 30-60 seconds to turn on or plug in your PSU and start up your system.
Press "Delete" to once again enter the BIOS, and load defaults. Save and exit; your system BIOS is now updated.

Digital_Trans
05-09-07, 07:48 PM
I'm running the Intel Core 2 Dou Extreme Edition 2.93GHz on Windows Vista Ultimate Edition x64 How do I get the updated Intel Microcode? or does this get fixed by flashing the motherboard with a newer bios? Please advise? :D

Amuro
05-09-07, 08:53 PM
I'm running the Intel Core 2 Dou Extreme Edition 2.93GHz on Windows Vista Ultimate Edition x64 How do I get the updated Intel Microcode? or does this get fixed by flashing the motherboard with a newer bios? Please advise? :D
Just look for a new BIOS for the motherboard.

Digital_Trans
05-09-07, 09:07 PM
Just look for a new BIOS for the motherboard.


Exactly! thanks for the info as always! On a final note, I really love my Asus Stiker Extreme 680i Motherboard. I runs so damn smooth with everything else I've added to it.