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Intel Microcode Boot Loader

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In early 2018, security researchers discovered several security vulnerabilities affecting all processors: Meltdown and Spectre.

Has there yet been any documented instance of anyone being negatively affected by Spectre / Meltdown who has ignore all the patches and workarounds ?
 
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Both in BIOS/UEFI and Windows Update ?
 

xerces8

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Windows update only has microcode updates in Windows 10. Many people (around 50%) still use older Windows.

A working solution for UEFI systems:
- boot Intel BITS (in BIOS legacy mode)
- there update the CPU microcode
- chainload Clover EFI bootloader (BITS is grub2, so it is easy)
- from there boot youe EFI Windows (or other OS)

Clover can start in legacy mode and then swith to UEFI mode, this makes this trick work.
 

powered _by_Trex

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Sorry for the late bump.. but I could use your wise bits about using Intel Microcode Boot Loader.

What I have accomplished so far:
Made a bootable usb - copied the folder contents -ran the IMBL program and it installs successfully.

Device to be run on --->> Prehistoric laptop from 2007-2008.
Fujitsu siemens amilo pi 2530
Bios Type: Phoenix BIOS

When I try and run it on the laptop it goes into grub recovery with the error below.
The error is /boot/grub/i386-pc/normal.mod normal.mod not found.

(hd0,msdos1) This is where the boot(MBR) is installed (Boot only, OS files are on another partition).

When I run ls command all the other partitions give this error Error: unknown filesystem.
the OS is installed on (hd0,msdos2). ---> Error: unknown filesystem.
(hd0,msdos3) ---> Error: unknown filesystem.
(hd0,msdos5) ---> Error: unknown filesystem.

PS:
UBU won't work on that machine so can't run that.




https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/intel-microcode-boot-loader.248858/reply
 

Regeneration

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Sorry for the late bump.. but I could use your wise bits about using Intel Microcode Boot Loader.

What I have accomplished so far:
Made a bootable usb - copied the folder contents -ran the IMBL program and it installs successfully.

Device to be run on --->> Prehistoric laptop from 2007-2008.
Fujitsu siemens amilo pi 2530
Bios Type: Phoenix BIOS

When I try and run it on the laptop it goes into grub recovery with the error below.
The error is /boot/grub/i386-pc/normal.mod normal.mod not found.

(hd0,msdos1) This is where the boot(MBR) is installed (Boot only, OS files are on another partition).

When I run ls command all the other partitions give this error Error: unknown filesystem.
the OS is installed on (hd0,msdos2). ---> Error: unknown filesystem.
(hd0,msdos3) ---> Error: unknown filesystem.
(hd0,msdos5) ---> Error: unknown filesystem.

PS:
UBU won't work on that machine so can't run that.




https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/intel-microcode-boot-loader.248858/reply
Your system must have special recovery parititon as 1st partition. That's probably the problem.
 
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Has there yet been any documented instance of anyone being negatively affected by Spectre / Meltdown who has ignore all the patches and workarounds ?
Hi,
Necro time lol

No not in the least bit win-7 daily on four machines disable with Inspectre on all windows systems even 10 systems for any performance killing crap although I don't use 10 for much other than benchmarks.

GRC | InSpectre
 

powered _by_Trex

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Your system must have special recovery parititon as 1st partition. That's probably the problem.
Thanks for the quick reply, yes it does have a separate recovery partition. Should I try the HD install method or is there a work around with USB?

*Edit
Made some progress..
All errors have disappeared and when it boots it now boots to the grub prompt not the grub recovery prompt :)
When I type Exit it boots into windows.

My question is .. does it actually load the cpu microcode when I type exit and loads windows like that?
 
Last edited:

Regeneration

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Thanks for the quick reply, yes it does have a separate recovery partition. Should I try the HD install method or is there a work around with USB?

*Edit
Made some progress..
All errors have disappeared and when it boots it now boots to the grub prompt not the grub recovery prompt :)
When I type Exit it boots into windows.

My question is .. does it actually load the cpu microcode when I type exit and loads windows like that?
Check the BIOS settings for hard drive order and set the USB HDD as 1st boot and drive. Sometimes there are several options.

Your hard drive might have non-standard partition layout. Some vendors have unique partition with OS installation files.
 

powered _by_Trex

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The boot order is set and there seems to be a mess in the partitions.

(hd0,msdos1)has the boot loader
(hd0,msdos2)has a bootloader as well(just incase hehehe) and OS.

I'm trying these commands in grub but won't budge :confused:

set prefix=(hd0,msdos1)/boot/grub
set root=(hd0,msdos1)
insmod normal
normal

also tried

set prefix=(hd0,msdos2)/boot/grub
set root=(hd0,msdos2)
insmod normal
normal

***Edit***

NVM. Solved it !!

The usb method wasn't working so opted to do it the localdrive method. Followed the instructions included in zip and now it works like a charm :peace:.
Updated the microcode to the latest 2021 version in \boot\mcu.

Thanks for the support and for this great tool.
 
Last edited:

Ludwig von Ay

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Thank you Regeneration. I didn't know abaout those repositories.

I'll try to find the matching ucode later when I get access to that computer.
 
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@Regeneration - Thanks for your tool described in this thread. I look forward to trying it soon.

Does you Intel Microcode Boot Loader solution allow for updated microcode after hibernation or sleep/standby? For sleep/standby, my understanding is that states S2, S3, and S4 turn off the CPU.

I installed Intel Microcode Boot Loader 0.5.4 onto a 128 MB USB 2.0 flash drive with a FAT32 filesystem-formatted partition and connected it to one of my computer's motherboard USB 2.0 ports. The motherboard is a Gigabyte P55-USB3 Revision 2.0 motherboard (see https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-P55-USB3-rev-20 for motherboard product page) and the CPU is an Intel Core i7-870 processor (CPUID: 106E5). The motherboard uses BIOS and not UEFI. I have five hard disks connected; each uses a SATA interface and has a single partition that is of Primary partition type that is formatted to NTFS filesystem. I believe that the operating system that I wish to usually boot, Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3, after microcode load, is installed to the third connected SATA hard disk's partition.

After setting the flash drive with Intel Microcode Boot Loader 0.5.4 to boot first, the drive was able to boot, but seemed to not do what it was supposed to do afterwards. The screen text was as follows, with the first "..." omission indicator being mine (the second one is actually real output):
SYSLINUX 6.03 EDD...
Loading /boot/grub/lnxcore.img... ok

Welcome to GRUB!
error: no such partition.
Entering rescue mode...
grub rescue>

Upon getting the error, it was not clear to me how to fix the problem. I am unfamiliar with grub or Linux other than Android.

What must be done to get Intel Microcode Boot Loader 0.5.4 to function properly and have microcode reliably updated and operating system loaded?
I was also wondering, how does Intel Microcode Boot Loader 0.5.4 determine what to boot on computers that have many operating systems installed?
 
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