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  • Patch Lady – late to the microcode party

    Posted on June 5th, 2020 at 22:53 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This occurred the other day on my Lenovo Laptop that I was seeing why I wasn’t getting 2004.  So I kicked a “seeking”… you know where you make it check for updates.  And it offered up to me https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4497165/kb4497165-intel-microcode-updates

    with the slightly confusing title of 2020-01 Update for Windows 10 Version 1909 for X64 based Systems (KB4497165).  So it appears to me that this only gets on machines that “seek”. If you never seek it never gets pushed.  Does that sound about right to everyone who has already seen this for months?

    I received the same experience tonight on another computer.  Once again I was seeking to see if I’d get 2004 and sure enough this January patch is offered up and installed.

    As someone joked … apparently it’s like the USA tax refunds – they are VERY much delayed by the lack of IRS employees able to work from home.

  • KB 4497165: Another Intel microcode update, another round of AMD stupidity

    Posted on May 20th, 2020 at 07:44 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    While most of the Windows fanbase sat mesmerized by a very tiny mention in the Build conference — Project Reunion will bring together UWP and Win32! Windows Subsystem for Linux will be faster! PowerToys gets a 1990s-era keyboard remapper! — Microsoft re-released KB 4497165, the “Intel microcode updates.”

    Microsoft seems to re-release  that patch from time to time, with no seeming rhyme nor reason. The KB article itself says it was last updated on February 25 (see the footnote “As of February 25, 2020, the update for these select products (CPUs) are available through Windows Update.”). Yes, the download notice (screenshot) says 2020-01, which doesn’t seem to correspond to anything. No idea why it’s coming out now and, as usual, Microsoft hasn’t said a thing.

    These Intel microcode updates, in case you missed the original sturm und drang, are a never-ending series of stopgap changes designed to minimize (but not eliminate) the threat of Meltdown and Spectre infections. While those of you in charge of banks, brokerage houses, and RSA encryption crackers should be concerned about the threat, normal Windows users needn’t worry. In spite of all the press and hoopla, there’s never been a garden-variety Meltdown or Spectre exploit that targets “normal” users.

    In addition to re-releasing the patch with no comment and no advice, I see that many people running AMD processors are getting KB 4497165 installed as well. It actually appears on the installed patches list. That isn’t supposed to happen – the patch is only for Intel processors – but, hey, this is Microsoft.

    My advice? Unless you’re at risk (clandestinely decrypting those political missives, eh?), forget about it. The patch doesn’t seem to hurt performance in any measurable way, so if you get it, don’t worry about it.

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