Microsoft pauses security patches as AMD customers report problems

9 Jan 2018

AMD logo. Image: Faiz Zaki/Shutterstock

The Microsoft patch against Meltdown and Spectre reportedly stalled machines.

The Meltdown and Spectre central processing unit (CPU) vulnerabilities affecting millions of machines around the world are currently being tackled.

Although it was initially stated that only Intel chips presented with the flaw, those made by ARM and AMD are also vulnerable.

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.

Microsoft had issued updates for AMD devices, but has had to put the delivery of the patch on pause following a slew of complaints from customers on its support channels.

People complained that their machines were unable to boot after the installation of the patch to protect against the CPU threats. Numerous users wrote of being unable to get past the Windows 10 splash screen.

Microsoft is now working on a new patch and has laid out several methods for those whose AMD devices are stuck in an unbootable state following the installation of the faulty fix.

Microsoft blames poor documentation

According to Microsoft, the blame lies with the documentation supplied by AMD: “Microsoft has reports of customers with some AMD devices getting into an unbootable state after installing recent Windows operating system security updates.

“After investigating, Microsoft has determined that some AMD chipsets do not conform to the documentation previously provided to Microsoft to develop the Windows operating system mitigations to protect against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown.”

Companies scrambling to fix major error

According to CNBC, AMD had said its chip designs were not vulnerable to Meltdown but one variant of the Spectre bug could be fixed using the Microsoft update. Now, both the chipmaker and Microsoft are working in tandem to resolve the problem with the patch.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich recently spoke at CES 2018 and assured customers that updates would be issued for more than 90pc of affected Intel machines within a week, and the remaining 10pc would be fixed by the end of January.

AMD logo. Image: Faiz Zaki/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects