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

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

  1. tsunami231

    tsunami231 Ancient Guru

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    let me see if i under stand these instructions correct
    1. Download https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-cpu-microcode-update-driver
    2. Extract those files to a folder in this case "cpumcupdate2.1"
    3. Extract zip contained in that in same place "cpumcupdate2.1"(which overrides files)
    4. Download https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/k...irmware.git/plain/amd-ucode/microcode_amd.bin and https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/k....git/plain/amd-ucode/microcode_amd_fam15h.bin
    5. Place them in same folder as 1 "cpumcupdate2.1"
    6. Download this https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27431/Linux-Processor-Microcode-Data-File?v=t (latest?)
    7. Extract that.
    8. Extract file inside the above file and place Microcode.dat and "intel-ucode" folder into "cpumcupdate2.1" folder.
    7. Run install.bat

    after which if it succeeded when windows boots it will load the the new microcode on ever boot. After which i can delete the above "cpumcupdate2.1" folder or keep it in case i want to use the uninstall.bat to remove it.

    Is that correct? Updating bios will just have new microcode loaded before it even get in to windows. which simplify way of doing this, but most wont do this
    seeing

    Every Manufactures can easily release small program to do this for us, just as easily and MS can push these microcodes. , just like the release "chipest" exe and drivers updates

    to me this is not "simple" process and and i know enough to do this stuff if "NEED BE" most are not.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  2. Susahamat

    Susahamat Member Guru

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  3. user1

    user1 Master Guru

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    I mean they really should release microcode for systems all the way back to pentium 3 for the sake of complete coverage imo, since there are many legacy systems running which will need replacing if they aren't patched(that proabably wont be replaced for a long time). Anything less than core 2 being patched, consider it negligence, I can't begin to tell you how many schools still use core 2 or older machines and they wont be replaced for a long time.... there was a school that i saw was still using powermacs from the mid 90s last year....
     
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  4. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    Correct. Note that driver is started right during execution of "install.bat". So you can go to Event Viewer, open System log and see events from "cpumcupdate" source. I saw two consecutive events: first about initializing of driver, and second about whether updated microcode was applied.
     
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  5. tsunami231

    tsunami231 Ancient Guru

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    I do this then if MS dont push the microcode like they should.

    though this method can be undone, I am assuming MS pushing it can be undone via CP uninstall method? or more complicated if done that way?. and if it done via bios only way to undo it is go to older bios, not that removing these fixes would be a good idea
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  6. Chastity

    Chastity Master Guru

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    The big issue with the VMWare solution is that currently the OS mitigations are not enabled. On boot, the kernel is started and does a CPUID check. The BIOS microcode is loaded at this point, and fails the HW mitigation check, and the OS disables the support. THEN the VMWare driver is loaded.

    We would need to see if we can force the OS level support to be enabled in conjunction with the VMWare driver loaded.
     
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  7. CrazY_Milojko

    CrazY_Milojko Ancient Guru

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    If M$ pushes updated CPU microcodes via WU all you need is to run: uninstall.bat ...as admin (from zip VMware CPU Microcode Update Driver 2.1) prior to installing/replacing CPU microcode either by newer M$ KB pushed by WU or prior to manualy replacing curent CPU microcode *.bit with latest updated CPU microcode... oh crap, I really don't know hot to make sentences shorter lol

    Edit
    In meantime I'll wait a bit for Intel to relese updated CPU microcodes then make me few liters of coffe and mod + flash BIOS's for those around dozen and few more PC's around me in home and office assuming that most of these PC's below Z87/Z97 would never get newer BIOS with updated CPU microcodes officially released by their manufacturer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  8. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    No CP method, only "uninstall.bat" method.

    No need to uninstall VMware driver before installing MS update with microcode, because VMware driver doesn`t prevent MS update to work. It can be uninstalled at any time.
     
  9. CrazY_Milojko

    CrazY_Milojko Ancient Guru

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    Yep, I'm aware of that but guess @tsunami231 and his OCD will kick in :D if M$ decide to push new CPU microcodes via WU. And I'm almost 100% sure he wouldn't feel comfortable to keep VMware driver and old CPU microcode sitting around and doing nothing. He would almost freakout to see those in Eventviewer :)

    Tsunami231 am I right? ;)
     
  10. tsunami231

    tsunami231 Ancient Guru

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    My ocd make it so i dont want to do it this way or for that mater via bios updates, cause idont like doing those,, It being done via windows update is preference, followed by bios update then the vm method.
    If VM method isnt gona enable the OS protections meaning i do something else to get they going, just make me want to do less that way, cause more "hoops" that have to be jumped threw.

    as for my OCD it not like i hide it, it should quiet legendary around here
     

  11. user1

    user1 Master Guru

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    Looks like hp has revised that list, no more z400 servers listed(westmere), some sandy bridge pcs are still listed though
     
  12. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Ancient Guru

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    What does updating the microcode do for AMD cpu? I have a FX 8320.

    I don't fully understand the purpose.
     
  13. user1

    user1 Master Guru

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    microcode updates fix low level bugs usually (can be used to enable or disable features aswell like haswell's bugged tsx instructions.). getting the latest microcode isn't really that important most of the time unless critical bugs are found (like the recent meltdown(intel only)/ spectre exploits and the skylake hyperthreading bug)
     
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  14. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    Looks like Windows store microcodes right inside two DLLs - "mcupdate_AuthenticAMD.dll" and "mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll" located in "C:\Windows\System32". I was hoping for raw binary files. Will see if I can spot known microcodes there...
     
  15. hawk7000

    hawk7000 Member

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    It's also unclear if that would do any better than the Vmware tool, it's entirely possible it would also apply the microcode update too late to work with the spectre mitigation.
     

  16. Alessio1989

    Alessio1989 Master Guru

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    The last Intel microcode public patch (from 8th January), covers only from
    Coffee Lake to (some) IvyBrdige models. That would be useless for two of mine machines..
     
  17. hawk7000

    hawk7000 Member

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    Their announcement indicated they would have more ready by end of January. Not sure how far back they will (or even can, although that is a separate question with less practical value) go, though.
     
  18. tsunami231

    tsunami231 Ancient Guru

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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  19. dr_rus

    dr_rus Ancient Guru

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    Fun fact: my old office IVB machine still report that it's vulnerable to Spectre even after BIOS update which supposedly plugs this hole.
     
  20. Alessio1989

    Alessio1989 Master Guru

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    Didn't change the uCode version on a Ivy Bridge mobile and on a Nehalem (Lynnfield) desktop machine..

    From (very poor) releae notes, only those CPUs microcodes are actually patched.
    Code:
    -- Updates upon 20171117 release --
    IVT C0        (06-3e-04:ed) 428->42a
    SKL-U/Y D0    (06-4e-03:c0) ba->c2
    BDW-U/Y E/F    (06-3d-04:c0) 25->28
    HSW-ULT Cx/Dx    (06-45-01:72) 20->21
    Crystalwell Cx    (06-46-01:32) 17->18
    BDW-H E/G    (06-47-01:22) 17->1b
    HSX-EX E0    (06-3f-04:80) 0f->10
    SKL-H/S R0    (06-5e-03:36) ba->c2
    HSW Cx/Dx    (06-3c-03:32) 22->23
    HSX C0        (06-3f-02:6f) 3a->3b
    BDX-DE V0/V1    (06-56-02:10) 0f->14
    BDX-DE V2    (06-56-03:10) 700000d->7000011
    KBL-U/Y H0    (06-8e-09:c0) 62->80
    KBL Y0 / CFL D0    (06-8e-0a:c0) 70->80
    KBL-H/S B0    (06-9e-09:2a) 5e->80
    CFL U0        (06-9e-0a:22) 70->80
    CFL B0        (06-9e-0b:02) 72->80
    SKX H0        (06-55-04:b7) 2000035->200003c
    GLK B0        (06-7a-01:01) 1e->22
     

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