[SOLVED] BIOS corruption - Microcode?


I have a problem of BIOS corruption and I’ve had to reset it twice within the space of 1 month. So I’m going to try to update it (Acer has an update but it’s windows only so I’ll have to flash it), but before I attempt this risky action, I am checking microcode as recommended in the arch file

The output from
$ dmesg | grep microcode
is this

[    0.000000] microcode: microcode updated early to revision 0x28, date = 2017-11-17
[    0.000000] Intel Spectre v2 broken microcode detected; disabling Speculation Control
[    0.695879] microcode: sig=0x306d4, pf=0x40, revision=0x28
[    0.696023] microcode: Microcode Update Driver: v2.01 <tigran@aivazian.fsnet.co.uk>, Peter Oruba

Does this mean that there is a microcode error? I read something about Linus going mad at Intel for screwing up Spectre but I don’t know if this is related.
I checked this link
and got this

intel-microcode (3.20180108.1+really20171117.1) unstable; urgency=critical
  * Revert to release 20171117, as per Intel instructions issued to
    the public in 2018-01-22 (closes: #886998)
  * This effectively removes IBRS/IBPB/STIPB microcode support for
    Spectre variant 2 mitigation.

 -- Henrique de Moraes Holschuh <hmh@debian.org>  Mon, 22 Jan 2018 23:01:59 -0200

intel-microcode (3.20180108.1) unstable; urgency=high

  * New upstream microcode data file 20180108 (closes: #886367)
    + Updated Microcodes:
      sig 0x000306d4, pf_mask 0xc0, 2017-11-17, rev 0x0028, size 18432

I understand from the link that my microcode is the latest one but could it have errors causing the BIOS issues or would that be unrelated? If it’s related, what can I do about it?

and this is my system information

System:    Kernel: 4.9.86-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 gcc: 7.3.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.12.4 (Gtk 2.24.31)
           Distro: Manjaro Linux
Machine:   Device: laptop System: Acer product: Aspire E5-573G v: V3.72 serial: N/A
           Mobo: Acer model: ZORO_BH v: Type2 - A01 Board Version serial: N/A
           UEFI [Legacy]: Insyde v: V1.15 date: 05/27/2015
Battery    BAT1: charge: 33.1 Wh 100.0% condition: 33.1/37.0 Wh (90%) model: SANYO AL15A32 status: Full
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core i7-5500U (-MT-MCP-) arch: Broadwell rev.4 cache: 4096 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 9580
           clock speeds: max: 3000 MHz 1: 2400 MHz 2: 2512 MHz 3: 2400 MHz 4

and this is the Acer BIOS update site - my computer is for Windows8

Thank you very much

Your microcode is not what is currently offered (nor is your kernel)…
sudo pacman-mirrors -f0 && sudo pacman -Syyu
Whats it say ? Updates I’d guess… you should do those.

I know I have a pending update but I did not apply it because I’m afraid it might cause BIOS to fail. The two times BIOS failed in the past month, I had recently done updates so I didn’t want to risk it.
I can see that intel-ucode is included in the update. So I should apply it? It will not have a risk of crash?

Well, if you want a different microcode than the one you fear is broken… probably yes.
Besides, if anything odd pops up from the updates you will be able to see it.
Until you do them, we wont know if it is because you are out of date or not.
(From what I can tell - it probably doesnt mean its broken … its simpy disabling the extra spectre stuff because its code that has since been rejected and replaced [by updates])

as far as I’m aware the linux intel-ucode contents is never actually written to the uefi firmware.

microcode updates are loaded systematically every time you start linux as part of the operating system boot process at the earliest stage as soon as the bootloader (normally GRUB) passes the boot commands to the system.

keep an eye on the Acer website for further ‘bios’ (it’s actually uefi firmware) updates correcting the screwed up earlier releases but applying the current intel-ucode from the manjaro repositories will not explicitly cause any corruption issues and should help.

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Yeah, its repeatable that you still want to do your bios/UEFI updates if you can.

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I updated and I’m running the recommended kernel 4.14 now.
Microcode looks fixed

$ dmesg | grep microcode
[    0.000000] microcode: microcode updated early to revision 0x2a, date = 2018-01-18
[    0.709463] microcode: sig=0x306d4, pf=0x40, revision=0x2a
[    0.709589] microcode: Microcode Update Driver: v2.2.

And yes I will look into updating BIOS because my version is 0105 whereas the latest Version is 0137

Thank you!

yes they did updates showing on their site, I will work on updating BIOS.

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