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Microsoft says security patches slowing down PCs, servers

10 January 2018, 01:48 | Megan Pierce

Microsoft says security patches slowing down PCs, servers

Microsoft says security patches slowing down PCs, servers

Microsoft has stopped Windows updates meant to patch the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities on AMD powered computers.

AMD shares have gained almost 20 percent in the last week as investors speculated that the chipmaker could wrest market share from Intel, whose chips were most exposed to the security flaws.

Microsoft has begun updating its Windows operating systems against the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, but not all users will be too happy about it.

Microsoft has identified a compatibility issue with a small number of antivirus software products.

Microsoft has suspended delivering the latest Windows update to certain systems with AMD processors after reports that the update was causing the machines to crash with a blue screen of death when booting.

The pause in the updates was spotted by The Verge.

Microsoft said it will temporarily stop sending the nine systems updates out to some PCs running particular AMD processors. "Older versions of Windows have a larger performance impact because Windows 7 and Windows 8 have more user-kernel transitions because of legacy design decisions, such as all font rendering taking place in the kernel", Myerson explains.

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Specifically, Windows 10 computers with 2016 Intel Skylake, Kabylake or newer processors showed "single-digit slowdowns", which Microsoft didn't expect most users to notice a change because these percentages are reflected in milliseconds.

Microsoft has said that to receive any future security updates on any Windows system, KB4056892 must be installed.

Though the discovery of the CPU vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown have the worst implications for Intel users, AMD users aren't exactly out of the woods.

More information on how to perform Windows Updates. In a ideal world, that would be the end of it - at least until new exploits related to Spectre and Meltdown are discovered - but of course, we don't live in a flawless world.

Microsoft is now working on a new patch and has laid out several methods for those who have found their AMD device to be stuck in an unbootable state following the installation of the faulty fix. "Windows operating system updates to devices with impacted AMD processors at this time". This is an architectural issue and it can't simply be fixed with a patch.

The Meltdown attack method is thought by researchers at the Graz University of Technology to mostly affect Intel-based CPUs, while Spectre is thought to affect chips from Intel, AMD and ARM Holdings. However, patch issued by Microsoft appears to have done more harm than good at this stage.



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