You may recall our extensive coverage of Intel’s buggy Spectre 2 patches that were causing random and spontaneous reboots in over 800 CPU models. It’s gotten so bad that Microsoft was forced to issue KB4078130 – an emergency update to disable the Intel Spectre 2 mitigations that were causing the spontaneous reboots.
Spectre Variant 2
Colloquially known as Spectre 2, it is more accurately known as Spectre Variant 2, Google Project Zero Variant 2 (GPZ Variant 2), or officially as CVE-2017-5715.
After deploying the Spectre 2 patches in their new microcode updates, Intel started receiving reports of “higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behaviour“.
Microsoft confirmed this, stating further that their “own experience is that system instability can in some circumstances cause data loss or corruption“.
KB4078130 : Update To Disable Mitigation Against Spectre, Variant 2
Unwilling to wait for Intel to fix the problem, Microsoft decided to issue KB4078130 – an “out of band” or emergency update. All it does is disable the mitigation against Spectre 2.
Their tests proved that this update is sufficient to prevent the random and spontaneous reboots experienced by the affected Intel processors.
- Intel Server / Workstation CPUs With Reboot Issues (487 SKUs)
- Intel Desktop CPUs With Reboot Issues (173 SKUs)
- Intel Mobile CPUs With Reboot Issues (221 SKUs)
The KB4078130 update covers the following Windows version :
- Windows 7 SP1 (client and server variants)
- Windows 8.1 (client and server variants)
- Windows 10 (client and server variants)
Where To Download KB4078130
This update is not applied automatically because it’s meant only for Intel systems affected by these reboot issues.
You will need to download and install it manually at the Microsoft Update Catalog.
For Advanced Users Only
If you are a system administrator, or a 1337 techie, Microsoft is making available a new registry key to manually disable and re-enable the mitigation against Spectre 2.
- Instructions for Windows administrators – KB4073119
- Instructions for Windows Server administrators – KB4072698