Critical Windows update for Core 2s

Written by Tim Smalley

June 29, 2007 // 1:08 a.m.

Tags: #2 #bios #core #duo #intel #microcode #microsoft #quad #reliability #server #update #vista #windows #xeon #xp

Microsoft has released a critical update for Windows machines running processors from Intel's Core 2 and Xeon 3000/5000 families.

The update is recommended for 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003, along with the 32-bit versions of Windows XP.

Microsoft describes the patch as "a microcode reliability update is available that improves the reliability of systems that use Intel processors."

According to the Inquirer, the problem also affects Core 2-based systems not running Windows, and motherboard manufacturers are working to release urgent BIOS updates that refresh the microcode versions too.

Details on what the actual problem is are pretty light at the moment, but the Inquirer has been assured that there will be no product recall and that the problem - whatever it is - is fixable via either BIOS or Windows updates.

You can grab the patch from Microsoft's support site, and discuss the update in our forums.

Update 29/06/07 0100hrs GMT:
Intel's Nick Knupffer dropped into bit-tech's forums this evening to offer some more insight into this situation, as it's fair to say that there was very little detail out there at the time of publication. He said that the company publicly documented the erratum in April and that the issue has not only been fixed with recent BIOS updates, but also with the recent update to the various versions of Windows. He even went onto say that if you're using a recent build of Linux, there is a high chance that you are not going to need to do anything at all because the fix will already be implemented into the kernel.

This should give bit-tech readers that have bought Intel Core 2-based processors some peace of mind, and he stated that the issue was an incredibly rare one even if you haven't applied one of the fixes. Intel essentially issued the erratum for the once in a blue moon scenario that you're incredibly unlikely to ever encounter in order to protect its brand name. You can read his posts in full here and here.

Without doubt, we really appreciate Nick taking the time to come and explain the situation in more detail. It's commendable that Intel is not only upfront about potential problems with its processors, but also works to fix the problems as soon as it discovers them.

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