Optional MS update toggles off Spectre patch to stop reboot issues
Microsoft has issued an optional patch for users who are suffering from random reboots or general instability following the recent round of patches for the Spectre vulnerability. Dubbed an “out of band” patch, the update won’t be rolling out through Windows Update. Instead, users will have to manually download the patch through the Microsoft Update Catalog.
Microsoft rolled has rolled out the patch due to a clash between its Spectre update with Intel’s own, separate, system BIOS update. The Microsoft patch roles back its Spectre protection in Windows only. The patch (KB4078130) disables system protections for the Spectre Variant 2, but should result in a more reliable and stable system. The Redmond giant advises that only users affected should download the patch, with systems running "Haswell" or "Broadwell" chips the most likely victims.
According to Microsoft, affected systems may in some circumstances be affected by data loss or corruption. The company also adds that it is unaware of any exploits that have targeted the Spectre Variant vulnerability to date. As soon as Intel issues a new BIOS update to address the incompatibility issues, users who download the patch will be able to toggle the Microsoft protection back on again.