Intel Issuing Updates for Meltdown, Spectre Reboot Problem on Older Platforms

Intel says that it has root-caused the issue on Haswell and Broadwell systems and that it has already issued a version of the fix to hardware partners, which are now testing it. Intel's official advisory to hardware partners hasn't changed: Don't issue anymore of the bugged update and start testing the new one. Intel's only said that more details for regarding when the Haswell/Broadwell fix would arriving later this week.

In short, while computing device vendors and other Intel partners work with Intel to fix these issues at the top level and hopefully avoid these faulty patches, the firm also asking end users to stay away from the latest processor updates.

That's the latest directive from Intel, who cited spontaneous reboot and system instability problems - first reported January 11 - following its latest firmware patch aimed to defend against the Spectre and Meltdown exploit vulnerabilities.

The company is advising people to stay far away from its patch after users complained that it caused their machines to reboot. At least for Windows users, patches such as the one Intel issued typically come through the Windows Update feature, not from Intel itself.

Intel's decision to pause the updates comes amid criticism from technical experts of the industry's approach to patching Spectre and Meltdown.

The Meltdown and Spectre flaws relate to how a CPU handles tasks that it thinks a PC will need to perform in the future, known as speculative execution.

Indeed, in virtually the next breath after telling users not to install this particular patch, Shenoy advised users to keep their computers updated - a decidedly mixed message at best. However, Intel noted at the time that the general public was not directly affected, and recommended that home consumers continue installing patches put out by their system and operating system providers.

In new guidance, the company states: "We have now identified the root cause for Broadwell and Haswell platforms, and made good progress in developing a solution to address it". The company said Thursday newer chip models called Kaby Lake and Skylake are also affected.

  • Joey Payne