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RCX
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Dell BIOS Intel SGX Option not Enabling CPU Feature

Hello, I have recently purchased Precision 3510 laptops with the intention of using them for research on Intel's new Software Guard Extensions (SGX). These laptops come with the required CPUs that support these new CPU instructions and (we thought) the required BIOS support as well.

In the BIOS for the laptops, there is an option for enabling SGX, but when enabled we are not able to install any of the official Intel SDKs on Windows OR Linux. Additionally, we ran an SGX test program that would dynamically detect the SGX features using CPUID and Machine Specific Registers (MSRs). It successfully detected the SGX hardware support (i.e. the SGX instructions are physically on the CPU chip), but it showed that the BIOS flags controlling the startup of SGX were not enabled (possible SGX specific MSRs have not been set). The specific CPU flag that needs to be set is described here: https://github.com/ayeks/SGX-hardware . Here is a quote from that page that describes what is needed for SGX to work, "The CPU and the motherboard BIOS must support SGX. SGX is turned off by default and must enabled via MSR.IA32_Feature_Control.SGX_Enable. Only the BIOS can make changes to the IA32_Feature_Control".

For reference, we are using the latest BIOS version for our model - version A07. Also, the CPU we have is the Intel Core i5 - 6300HQ CPU @ 2.3GHz. 

I hope we can resolve this issue in a timely manner as we are not able to use these laptops for their intended purpose (SGX research).

Intel SGX explanation: https://software.intel.com/en-us/sgx

Intel SGX SDK: https://software.intel.com/en-us/sgx-sdk

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Moderator
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RE: Dell BIOS Intel SGX Option not Enabling CPU Feature

Hi RCX,

If you are still experiencing this problem, can you send me a PM as I may have a fix that resolve this for you

Colin H
Dell | Social Outreach Services

I'm based in the UK and available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm GMT

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