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Meltdown/Spectre BIOS update


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#1 Vantezzle

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 06:51 AM

Recently bought a new msi gt62vr 7re gaming laptop and I'm quite terrified about the news...What should I do?Should I even worry?
 
 
MSI has just released a new BIOS today with:

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; ;; ;; ;; MSI BIOS Release Notes ;; ;; ;; ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
 
Model : MS-16L2 (KBL)
MKT Name : GT62VR 7RD / GT62VR 7RE ;****************************************************************************; New BIOS : E16L2IMS.30C
ROM CheckSum : 2FCDH
Release Date : 2018/1/9
 
;--------------------------- Description ------------------------------------;
 
Update CPU microcode.
 

 

 

 
But I'm honestly quite scared of doing it after going through the instructions...What should I do?
 
 
 
Do you think I should even bother and risk updating the BIOS?I'm kind of thinking that the risk that I break something is higher than the risk that I get hacked with the Spectre vulnerability...I've never ever updated BIOS and I'm unable to take my laptop to any technician because of my disability.

Edited by hamluis, 13 January 2018 - 01:30 PM.
Moved from Win 7 to IH to Gen Security- This is not a Windows 10 related issue, but a hardware issue


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#2 dc3

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:47 AM

MSI has a BIOS update (version E16L2IMS.30C) which addresses the recently discovered security flaw in Intel. ARM, and AMD processors.  This was released on 01/09/2018.  Is this the update you are considering?

 

How did you become aware of this update?

 

It was recently announced that Intel (and other manufacturers)  has a large security problem with their CPUs.  The BIOS update offered by MSI addresses this issue, Microsoft has released a update to address this as well.

 

Updating the BIOS (also known as flashing the BIOS) was fraught with potential problems which left enthusiasts wary of updating.  It had become the accepted norm not to update the BIOS unless there was a hardware change which required a BIOS update to resolve the issue.  But as you have read above there are now more important reasons to update the BIOS.  It is easier to do now, but you need to have a firm understanding of the steps involved in the process.  Have you read through the instructions in the manual for this computer?


Edited by dc3, 09 January 2018 - 10:16 AM.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#3 Vantezzle

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:02 AM

It is, i just found it today on that site but I never updated BIOS so I'm not keen on doing it.



#4 dc3

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:18 AM

I accidentally posted before I was finished with my post.  Please go back an read the post in its entirety.


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#5 Vantezzle

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:22 AM

I read through the instructions and as I have said in my first post:

 

I'm honestly quite scared of doing it after going through the instructions...What should I do?
 
Do you think I should even bother and risk updating the BIOS?I'm kind of thinking that the risk that I break something is higher than the risk that I get hacked with the vulnerability...I've never ever updated BIOS and I'm unable to take my laptop to any technician because of my disability...I have the Windows update already.


#6 dc3

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:49 AM

If you are this worried about doing the update I would suggest that you not do this.  If I understand this correctly the security issue that Intel is addressing has been around for years.  I suspect that if you are using a good antivirus like Windows 10 Defender, a good firewall, and occasionally run scans like Malwarebytes you should be fairly secure.

 

Another alternative would be to get a friend who is more knowledgeable in this area to give you a had with the update. 

 

As I posted earlier, Microsoft is addressing this issue with security updates.  It's probably going to require Intel producing a new line of processors, they will not be able to completely resolve the existing problem.


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#7 britechguy

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:51 AM

This decision comes down to how secure you want your system to be and, depending on how you use it, it could matter a lot less or a lot more.

 

I am the contrarian when it comes to BIOS updates and have always applied them when they become available from my devices' manufacturers.  This is all the more so when the update is specifically to address a security issue.

 

Given that the instructions on the MSI website are not exactly specific unless one were to know exactly what downloads in relation to your machine it's difficult to say much more.  Some BIOS update methods are significantly easier and more "idiot proof" (and that's not aimed at you, just a general observation) than others are.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

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#8 Vantezzle

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:57 AM

I use my system pretty much only for gaming, browsing the internet and Netflix..As for asking a friend...Because of my condition (I'm unable to leave my bed)...I don't really have IRL friends.

 

I'm using the paid Bitdefender Total Security.

 

And I think this is the method for my laptop https://www.msi.com/files/pdf/Flash_BIOS_by_UEFI_BIOS_Setup_Utility_en.pdf



#9 zzzz

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 11:11 AM

dc3 wrote  'the recently discovered security flaw in Intel. ARM, and AMD processors.  '

 

I have heard/read many comments that AMD is not affected by Meltdown and only with difficulty by spectre - is this true?

 

Also there isn't much from the tech world about this flaw. Some say do the updates but how to find these updates - will we be informed and any indication of when? If not urgent should we not boot up until further notice? Read a book instead.

 

And can a hacker using this flaw invade all computers at once or only one at a time or what? If only one at a time and being a home user then the danger is tiny, no? - seems no one knows


Edited by zzzz, 09 January 2018 - 11:17 AM.


#10 dc3

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 11:21 AM

If you are going to follow these instructions you should copy and print these instructions so that you have these in front of you while doing the update.

 

The downside of this is that if an error is made while flashing the BIOS you can seriously damage Windows.

 

I just saw you  last post.  The link you posted shows how to access the BIOS and do the update.

 

I will reiterate, if you are not comfortable doing the update I would leave it alone.  As I posted earlier, this BIOS update is a security update which addresses the recent discovery that there is a potential security issue with Intel, AM, and AMD processors.  Microsoft has already addressed this issue with a update.  I'm not sure that I would be this concerned about this if you are using safe browsing practices.  I would suggest staying away from utorrent downloads and the like since you have no idea what the file/s contain.  Stay away from other "questionable" websites.


If you are going to follow these instructions you should copy and print these instructions so that you have these in front of you while doing the update.

 

The downside of this is that if an error is made while flashing the BIOS you can seriously damage Windows.

 

I just saw you  last post.  The link you posted shows how to access the BIOS and do the update.

 

I will reiterate, if you are not comfortable doing the update I would leave it alone.  As I posted earlier, this BIOS update is a security update which addresses the recent discovery that there is a potential security issue with Intel, AM, and AMD processors.  Microsoft has already addressed this issue with a update.  I'm not sure that I would be this concerned about this if you are using safe browsing practices.  I would suggest staying away from utorrent downloads and the like since you have no idea what the file/s contain.  Stay away from other "questionable" websites.


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#11 britechguy

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 11:23 AM

The support page for the GT62VR 7RE DOMINATOR PRO presents both the BIOS Update and the Intel® Management Engine Critical Firmware Update checker software (about which more details are available, on Intel's website here).

 

At the very least I would download the Intel checker software from MSI's site and run it so you get further details about what the state of your system is and whether you feel you would, or would not, wish to proceed with the UEFI/BIOS update.

 

I am surprised that MSI doesn't have something a lot more modern and user-friendly as far as UEFI update, but the instructions for what they do have are decent step by step instructions which, if followed precisely as written, should give the desired result.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

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#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 11:36 AM

dc3 wrote  'the recently discovered security flaw in Intel. ARM, and AMD processors.  '

 

I have heard/read many comments that AMD is not affected by Meltdown and only with difficulty by spectre - is this true?

 

AMD's response

https://www.amd.com/en/corporate/speculative-execution

 

Variants 1&2 are Spectre

Variant 3 is Meltdown

 

 



#13 zzzz

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 12:11 PM

Thanks JohnC_21 for that AMD link.

 

Luckily my PC has AMD which I've been using these past few days but my laptops have Intel - PC World on Jan 4th said Intel patches next week - I guess it is next week now -hope the BBC tells us when the patches are ready!



#14 zzzz

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 12:28 PM

What does anyone think of this? Probably good but necessary at the moment?

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/338801/how-to-check-if-your-pc-is-protected-against-meltdown-and-spectre/



#15 britechguy

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 12:47 PM

I said this elsewhere, and I'll say it here:   There is a difference between "care and concern" and "the sky is falling"-type panic.

 

If you go to the support page for your computer, almost regardless of manufacturer, there will either be a collection of fixes already there (if you're lucky) or a notice saying that there will be soon.

 

If it's the former, download 'em and install 'em.   If it's the latter, keep checking back (maybe once or twice a week, not hourly) and do the same once they're there.

 

It doesn't help one bit to know that you are vulnerable if no fixes are available.  Keep checking to see if fixes for your particular hardware become available and apply them as soon as is reasonably possible after they are.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 





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