Windows: How to get latest CPU microcode without modding the BIOS

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by mbk1969, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,869
    Likes Received:
    736
    GPU:
    GeForce GTX 1070
    All you need is VMware CPU microcode update driver for Windows and files with microcodes.

    Here are instructions
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/how-to-update-microcode-from-windows.787152/

    Here is page with VMware driver (same as in instructions page above)
    https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmwa...?ClickID=cxk7eiw7vksskvqs44nxlafzqswiq7lwlnea

    Here are Intel latest microcodes
    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27337/Linux-Processor-Microcode-Data-File?v=t

    Here are AMD not latest microcodes (since I have Intel CPU I need AMD microcodes just for the sake of "install.bat" from VMware driver bundle)
    https://packages.ubuntu.com/trusty/amd64/amd64-microcode/download

    Don`t worry about word "Linux" - luckily bin-files with microcodes are appropriate for Linux and Windows. Both downloaded bundles with CPU microcodes from Intel and Amd are just archive files supported by any modern archive apps (I used 7zip). You will need to paste files "microcode.dat" (Intel), "microcode_amd.bin" and "microcode_amd_fam15h.bin" (AMD) to the folder where you extracted VMware driver bundle.

    After "install.bat" execution you can check System event log to know whether downloaded microcode was applied. At my rig it was not:
    Log Name: System
    Source: cpumcupdate
    Date: 05.01.2018 16:23:41
    Event ID: 42
    Task Category: None
    Level: Information
    Keywords: Classic
    User: N/A
    Computer: DESKTOP-B4BTHBB
    Description:
    No CPUs needed an update. Your system might not need this driver.
    Event Xml:
    <Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
    <System>
    <Provider Name="cpumcupdate" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="16392">42</EventID>
    <Level>4</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2018-01-05T13:23:41.790662900Z" />
    <EventRecordID>58904</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>System</Channel>
    <Computer>DESKTOP-B4BTHBB</Computer>
    <Security />
    </System>
    <EventData>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Binary>0000000001000000000000002A0008402A0008400000000001000000000000000000000000000000</Binary>
    </EventData>
    </Event>
    So I can uninstall VMware driver.

    Also you can check the version of CPU microcode in BIOS and in any modern monitoring/info tool. Here is HWinfo screen
    [​IMG]

    PS I am sure this info was already posted here, but I was too lazy to search thoroughly...

    Update:
    Here is thread with CPU microcodes repositories
    https://www.win-raid.com/t3355f47-Intel-AMD-amp-VIA-CPU-Microcode-Repositories.html

    Update: New bundle
    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27431/Linux-Processor-Microcode-Data-File?v=t
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
    Fender178, Susahamat, akbaar and 7 others like this.
  2. holystarlight

    holystarlight Master Guru

    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    Asus 1080 Strix SLI
    thats really useful! thanks for sharing!
     
  3. jaggerwild

    jaggerwild Master Guru

    Messages:
    474
    Likes Received:
    127
    GPU:
    Many
    Can you show before and after performance hits? IS this for only VMware people?
     
  4. RealNC

    RealNC Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    1,833
    Likes Received:
    313
    GPU:
    EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW
    Doesn't windows already update microcode when needed? It does here. It's done through windows update. The microcode version after windows boots is newer then the one shipped in the BIOS.
     

  5. holystarlight

    holystarlight Master Guru

    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    Asus 1080 Strix SLI
    My Main PC said "microcode is already up to date" for my 6950X but on my windows server 2016 using 5960x it updated itself using the above method. So I guess microsoft doesn't always update the microcode.

    performance is identical on my windows server after the microcode update for the 5960x, The VMware is just a emulated driver I believe that allows us to update the microsode manually, you do not need to be using a VM to use the above method.
     
    jaggerwild likes this.
  6. -Tj-

    -Tj- Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    14,990
    Likes Received:
    513
    GPU:
    Zotac GTX980Ti OC
    I think server edition is a different thing all together, that won't update unless you do it manually


    When i tried to run this tool it said, im missing amd.bin file lol, so I quit..


    Will wait for Windows or asus to release its fix..

    https://www.asus.com/News/q5R9EixxfAqo1anZ
     
  7. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,869
    Likes Received:
    736
    GPU:
    GeForce GTX 1070
    I suspect Windows loads microcode from its files on every boot (may be comparing it to actual in CPU), but how often MS pushes new microcodes through WU is the question. Last time I remember was in 2015.
    This VMware method allows to use microcodes obtained from Linux updates which at least are published on Intel site with some description.
     
  8. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,869
    Likes Received:
    736
    GPU:
    GeForce GTX 1070
  9. CaptaPraelium

    CaptaPraelium Member Guru

    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    20
    GPU:
    1070
    No need to visit odd third-party websites for instructions and downloads. Get it from the source:
    https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-cpu-microcode-update-driver#instructions

    Be advised that the microcodes on the intel website linked above do not appear to include fixes for spectre/meltdown.
    RHEL and Debian Sid have shipped microcode updates dated 2017-12-15 which are reported to include said fixes. The source code does not include an updated dat file.

    Would be interested to see the results of the powershell script for checking this. If anyone has the 20171117 microcode and get all green there it would be great if you could post here.
    If you're unfamiliar, it's this:

    Install-Module SpeculationControl
    Get-SpeculationControlSettings
     
  10. EdKiefer

    EdKiefer Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    1,598
    Likes Received:
    51
    GPU:
    MSI 970 Gaming 4G
    Mbk1969 already did this and has posted his results in the other latest win build thread.
    https://forums.guru3d.com/threads/o...te-build-16299-15.416866/page-38#post-5507435
    From my memory it was same as mine after patch this week and I think he posted after microcode update.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018

  11. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,869
    Likes Received:
    736
    GPU:
    GeForce GTX 1070
    Since my CPU is old installation of VMware driver with 2017-11-17 microcodes bundle was in vain - there was no new one. So my results in PowerShell were with old microcode from 2014.
     
  12. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,869
    Likes Received:
    736
    GPU:
    GeForce GTX 1070
    Care to share file(s) with newer microcodes?
     
  13. CaptaPraelium

    CaptaPraelium Member Guru

    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    20
    GPU:
    1070
    Yeh, darn. That confirms my suspicion that the 20171117 microcodes don't fix spectre.

    https://packages.debian.org/sid/intel-microcode
    https://lwn.net/Articles/742918/

    Thing is, I've looked at the source and there are no new dat files. This matches Intel's website where the latest are the 20171117 version. It seems that Intel is keeping the fixes under wraps for now, but has made them available to certain customers. I've read that Amazon are pushing fixes, and it doesn't surprise me that they would be near top of the list (given the VMs they run)

    I'm also unsure why Microsoft isn't pushing this as a Windows Update. They've specifically said that we would need to obtain microcode updates from vendors, but it is well known that Windows is capable of microcode updates as they've done them before eg https://superuser.com/questions/355691/how-do-i-see-cpu-microcode-version#895447

    It is possible that this is all a result of the Jan 9 target date for the fixes. This was all meant to be under wraps until then. via https://www.anandtech.com/show/12214/understanding-meltdown-and-spectre

    Still, I don't see why they would release one patch early, without it's counterpart, if that counterpart existed... And I don't see why they'd point the responsibility directly at vendors if they plan to push such an update themselves.

    I think it's strongly advisable to wait out the 9th and see what Intel drops and what might follow it. No harm updating windows of course, but no point applying that old microcode :(
     
    Jackalito likes this.
  14. maur0

    maur0 Master Guru

    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    point of view gtx 570 1gb
    as I know if the version is fixed the bug Meltdown and Specter?
     
  15. HK-1

    HK-1 Master Guru

    Messages:
    479
    Likes Received:
    179
    GPU:
    XFX RX460

  16. CaptaPraelium

    CaptaPraelium Member Guru

    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    20
    GPU:
    1070
    Called it. First thing in the morning the latest dat files have dropped.
    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27431/Linux-Processor-Microcode-Data-File?v=t
    https://downloadmirror.intel.com/27431/eng/microcode-20180108.tgz


    Again, I think it's best to hold off and see what our vendors deliver in the way of updates. The same restrictions that intel had in place to drop this today, will apply to others. They will now be free to release BIOS updates etc.

    Still, for those of us unfortunate enough to have delays from vendors (eg you have a 5 year old motherboard that isn't going to get an update) the VMWare tool could help.
     
  17. Agent-A01

    Agent-A01 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    10,994
    Likes Received:
    602
    GPU:
    1080Ti H20
    If one has the means to do all that they are better off manually adding microcode to the bios of their platform, provided there will be no planned updates due to age.

    There will be better performance that ways instead of having a microcode software fix running at startup
     
  18. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,869
    Likes Received:
    736
    GPU:
    GeForce GTX 1070
    Only for boot.

    Alas, ASUS made a flashing process of modded BIOS files so uncomfortable that I will prefer VMware driver way.
     
  19. Agent-A01

    Agent-A01 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    10,994
    Likes Received:
    602
    GPU:
    1080Ti H20
    ASUS has the easiest way really, if it has USB flashback.

    Without that, security checks prevent updating inside bios, in which case you can use AFUWIN to disable security checks to flash a modded bios.
     
  20. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,869
    Likes Received:
    736
    GPU:
    GeForce GTX 1070
    I meant namely USB flashback because it should be carefully prepared and when it continues you are not aware what is happening. I prefer flashing through BIOS itself.

    And guys, check new microcode.dat in post of CaptaPraelium - my granddad IB-E 4930 received updated microcode: 428 => 42A!!! (Now I can watch YouTube and porn.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018

Share This Page