Some Microsoft users who have installed the latest Windows security update have experienced freezing on devices with AMD processors, Microsoft disclosed in a recent update on its support site. In a notice released on its website, Microsoft explained, "The compatibility issue arises when antivirus applications make unsupported calls into Windows kernel memory".
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As if the Meltdown and Spectre processor security bugs that have been dominating headlines across the internet for the past week weren't scary enough on their own, even the patches for those bugs are causing problems now. This led to a flood of complaints on Microsoft's support forum, at which point Microsoft halted the patches.
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AMD said there was a "near zero risk" its chips could be exploited by the second Spectre attack, which required OEMs to issue firmware updates containing CPU fixes - such as Intel's IBRS microcode fix or Google's Retpoline software fix.
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"We (and others in the industry) had learned of this vulnerability under nondisclosure agreement several months ago and immediately began developing engineering mitigations and updating our cloud infrastructure", Microsoft executive Terry Myerson wrote in a blog post. In particular, those running older AMD Athlon-based systems have reported that they are unable to boot their PCs past the Windows startup logo after applying the patch. "It wouldn't be the first time a Windows update had an issue", said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. I can try full reinstall, but I doubt it will change anything. I understand that making the machine unbootable is the best protection from remote exploitation, but I would rather have the OS working. I could find only some German and Italian people reporting the same issue (well the CPU is quite pre-historic and the KB update is very fresh), but no info / acknowledgment from the MS so far. Could anybody provide more information? What is uncommon is that Microsoft is not merely suspending this update; the company has also outlined why.