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Microsoft pauses security patches as AMD customers report problems

Microsoft pauses security patches as AMD customers report problems

First reported on answers.microsoft.com, users have shared a bunch of cases in which Security Update for Windows KB4056892, Redmond's Meltdown/Spectre patch, leaves some AMD PCs with the Windows 7 or 10 startup logo and not much more.

In a January 9 blog post, Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices group, warned of "more significant slowdowns" on Windows 10 PCs running on fourth-generation "Haswell" Intel Core processors relative to newer systems.

Users vented their frustration over attempting to recover their systems after the failed updates installed, often automatically.

Microsoft is working with AMD to ensure the issue is solved as soon as possible. The documentation provided to Microsoft by AMD was apparently inaccurate, which means the patch that Microsoft developed wasn't compatible. The chipmaker didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. It's unknown which CPUs were affected, but one report identified specific vulnerabilities in the Athlon and Sempron chips.

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On vulnerable systems, Meltdown and Spectre increase the risk of side-channel attacks triggered by malicious web content, potentially allowing attackers to access private information outside the scope of a given website.

Microsoft said on Tuesday it had suspended patches to guard against Meltdown and Spectre security threats for computers running AMD chipsets after complaints by AMD customers that the software updates froze their machines. "To prevent AMD customers from getting into an unbootable state, Microsoft will temporarily pause".

Companies are scrambling to issue effective updates to protect against the issues that could see some of the contents of a processor's kernel memory made visible to bad actors.

The slowdowns were to be expected due to the nature of the bugs and the type of patching required to get them fixed. We do recommend the AMD owners to not install any updates until the issue is resolved.

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After the discovery of the Meltdown and Spectre processor flaws, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 will act a little differently, even if it's not obvious to users.

It appears that Intel Haswell processors and anything older will be impacted the most by a series of firmware updates created to protect against the Spectre CPU security flaw.

Microsoft said it is also aware of another issue affecting certain anti-virus products, causing Windows to crash with the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) error, after the Meltdown-Spectre patch is installed.

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