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Cbarnhorst
Silver

Will there be a Meltdown/Sceptre microcode update for Dell XPS 8500?

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I have patched my XPS 8920 Bios with 1.0.15 but I have not found a similar Bios patch for my XPS 8500.  The earliest XPS 8xxx updates in the table are for 8700.  Any chance that our XPS 8500s are going to get a Meltdown/Sceptre patch?  Or are the XPS 8500s considered too old to bother with?

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Re: Will there be a Meltdown/Sceptre microcode update for Dell XPS 8500?

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Cbarnhorst,

I cannot say for certain if there will be another bios for the 8500. Chances are there will not be. The system shipped in 2012.

 Download and run this free InSpectre application to check your system. What are the results?


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Cbarnhorst
Silver

Re: Will there be a Meltdown/Sceptre microcode update for Dell XPS 8500?

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The test report is:

EDITED TO CORRECT IMPROPER TESTING!  3/8/18 

System is Meltdown protected:  YES

System is Spectre protected:  NO

Performance:  Slower

CPUID:  306A9

So it appears that the XPS 8500s needs a BIOS patch.

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beamermt79
Diamond

Re: Will there be a Meltdown/Sceptre microcode update for Dell XPS 8500?

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I would say the software patches worked and that your lucky. There are some older machines that should be patched but can't due to massive performance drops in testing. Its a mess that will take a while for all concerned to figure out.
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Vic384
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Re: Will there be a Meltdown/Sceptre microcode update for Dell XPS 8500?

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Your results for Spectre makes me suspect the ability of the InSpectre tool. Meltdown requires an OS patch which Microsoft has provided for Windows OSs including versions 7, 8, and 10. The Windows update for Meltdown was released in late January/early February. 

Spectre variant 2 requires a microcode update which Intel has released to OEMs. Up to this point the microcode update requires an updated BIOS. If you do not have an updated BIOS then I don't see how you are protected against Spectre. There is a article here: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/03/microsoft-will-soon-start-shipping-the-intel-spectre-microco..., that indicates Spectre microcode fixes are coming to a Windows update but as far as I know that has not happened yet.

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Cbarnhorst
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Re: Will there be a Meltdown/Sceptre microcode update for Dell XPS 8500?

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I got confused between two screens.  My results show I am not protected from Sceptre.  The correct result for my Dell XPS 8500 is:

 

System is Meltdown protected:  YES

System is Sceptre proteced:  NO

Performance:  SLOWER

CPUID:  306A9

 

Sorry for any misleading info.

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Vic384
Gold

Re: Will there be a Meltdown/Sceptre microcode update for Dell XPS 8500?

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Now this result makes more sense. Hopefully, Microsoft will incorporate Spectre microcode updates into Windows 10 as the article indicates. At least this will help folks with systems that will not get updates from OEMs, but it appears folks running Windows 7 or 8 maybe left out.

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ejn63
Diamond

Re: Will there be a Meltdown/Sceptre microcode update for Dell XPS 8500?

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And let's hope that if this happens, the updates are made optional at least at first - Microsoft releasing microcode updates sends shivers up my spine.

The problem is that on many of these systems, they're just not available for testing the updates before they're released - so they become alpha releases, with end users being the (unwitting) testers.

 

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Vic384
Gold

Re: Will there be a Meltdown/Sceptre microcode update for Dell XPS 8500?

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Given some of the experiences discussed here in this forum about some of the problems with the BIOS updates with microcode fixes for Spectre and the Intel Management Engine, I am not sure which is better, Windows updates or BIOS updates. At least Windows updates don't have the potential to brick your motherboard and generally they can be uninstalled although being optional would be better.

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ejn63
Diamond

Re: Will there be a Meltdown/Sceptre microcode update for Dell XPS 8500?

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Any microcode update -- no matter who delivers it -- can brick a board.  That's why it's better for them to come from the hardware manufacturers.

Microsoft's track record with driver updates is poor -- and its potential for damaging systems with microcode updates would be immense.

 

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