Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion

As a few industry news sites have noted, the SPECTRE patch developed and pushed by Microsoft causes some older AMD processors to hang during boot up (or worse).

I live in what could charitably be called a “computer museum.” Yes, one of my machines — a 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 64 processor 2600+ — was bitten by the patch. Boot-up freezes at the “Starting Windows” splash screen. Fortunately, I was able to roll back to a restore point and I promptly hid KB4056894, KB4056897, and its ilk. From there, I returned to normal operation. Other users have not been as fortunate (e.g., no restore point).

Today, I received a response from Microsoft containing a link to a page, “Windows operating system security update block for some AMD based devices”, stating, “To prevent AMD customers from getting into an unbootable state, Microsoft has temporarily paused sending the following Windows operating system updates to devices that have impacted AMD processors …”

The lawyers who wrote this page try to push blame onto “documentation previously provided to Microsoft to develop the Windows operating system mitigations to protect against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown.”

Excuse me? You don’t test your patches? Get real. I smell a class action lawsuit on the way.

Update: 10 January 2018. Tom’s Hardware has taken note of the Microsoft patch issue on older AMD processors, including Microsoft’s cheap shot at AMD.