Windows Meltdown-Spectre update: Some AMD PC owners post crash reports

A number of AMD PC users say they can't boot after installing Microsoft's Windows 10 Meltdown-Spectre patch.

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The issues are appearing on older AMD Athlon systems that received the update for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Image: ZDNet

Microsoft's Windows patch for the Meltdown and Spectre attack methods is reportedly causing problems for users with AMD Athlon CPUs.

According to a number of complaints on Microsoft's community forum, the problems are appearing on Athlon systems that received the update for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, labelled KB4056892.

The initial reporter said after installing the update the PC only displayed the Windows logo and otherwise failed to boot. The update was delivered through Windows Update.

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"After several failed boots [it does] a rollback and [then] it shows error 0x800f0845. Unfortunately, it seems it's not easy to disable the automatic updates without gpedit tweaks, so it tries installing and rolling back the update over and over," wrote the reporter.

It's not clear how widespread this issue is, but the reporter noted that the CPU involved is "quite pre-historic", specifically the AMD Athlon X2 6000+, which was released a decade ago. Others who report the same issue are also using older AMD chips.

It's also not certain that Microsoft's patches for the Meltdown and Spectre attacks are the actual cause of the problems, given KB4056892 contains much more than these specific security fixes.

AMD said in a statement that the chipmaker "is aware of an issue with some older generation processors following installation of a Microsoft security update that was published over the weekend."

"AMD and Microsoft have been working on an update to resolve the issue and expect it to begin rolling out again for those impacted shortly," the statement added.

Microsoft hasn't responded specifically to the reports yet, instead issuing a general statement relating to the Meltdown and Spectre problem.

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AMD chips aren't vulnerable to the Meltdown attack, but operating system updates could address one of the Spectre attacks it was vulnerable to.

AMD said there was a "near zero risk" its chips could be exploited by the second Spectre attack, which required firmware updates from OEMs containing CPU fixes such as Intel's IBRS microcode fix or Google's Retpoline software fix.

Previous and related coverage

Windows Meltdown-Spectre fix: How to check if your AV is blocking Microsoft patch

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Windows Meltdown-Spectre patches: If you haven't got them, blame your antivirus

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Critical flaws revealed to affect most Intel chips since 1995

Most Intel processors and some ARM chips are confirmed to be vulnerable, putting billions of devices at risk of attacks. One of the security researchers said the bugs are "going to haunt us for years."

Apple confirms iPhone, Mac affected by Meltdown-Spectre vulnerabilities

The iPhone maker has confirmed all Mac systems and devices running iOS are affected by the vulnerabilities, but also said there are currently no known exploits.

Google reveals trio of speculative execution flaws, says AMD affected

CPUs can leak data when unwinding unused speculative execution paths.

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A serious security memory problem in all Intel chips has led to Linux's developers resetting how to deal with memory. The result will be a more secure, but -- as Linux creator Linus Torvalds says -- slower operating system.

Intel chips have critical design flaw, and fixing it will slow Linux, Mac, and Windows systems

The faulty design has been present in chips for years and it will force a redesign of the Linux and Windows kernels.

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