Peppermint OS

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: VinDSL on December 21, 2017, 09:25:04 pm

Title: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: VinDSL on December 21, 2017, 09:25:04 pm
Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts the BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops

Quote
Following reports of BIOS corruption on a number of Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba laptops, Canonical is now discouraging users from downloading Ubuntu 17.10 "Artful Aardvark" from its website.

The bug, which is labeled "critical" by the team behind Ubuntu, can cripple the BIOS on over 20 devices, as acknowledged in this report. This issue also affects other versions of the popular Linux-based distribution, including the older Ubuntu 16.04 "Xenial Xerus" -- in the "OEM" and "HWE-EDGE" packages.

SOURCE: https://goo.gl/6d9B75


(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL-Opera Snapshot_2017-12-21_221626_bugs.launchpad.net.png)

SOURCE: https://goo.gl/21wyH4
Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: pin on December 22, 2017, 12:54:50 am
Oops! Not good [emoji29]
Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: PCNetSpec on December 22, 2017, 03:13:32 am
Yeah there's messages on all Ubuntu 17.10 (and flavour) download pages telling people with Lenovo and Acer systems not to download it.

And Ubuntu are promising a "respin" of their ISO's soon.
Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: pin on December 22, 2017, 03:20:42 am
@PCNetSpec
Do you think it would be necessary to avoid any particular kernel down the road?

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Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: PCNetSpec on December 22, 2017, 03:23:48 am
Yeah, stay away from hwe-edge for now if you have a Lenovo, Toshiba, or Acer .. but by the time we roll onto 4.13 this should all be sorted.

[EDIT]

Here's as good of an example as any I've seen why a rolling release model, or offering a "do-release-upgrade" path is IMHO not a good idea .. both offer scope for breakage and lull the user into a false sense of security where they may not back up their data first.
Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: pin on December 22, 2017, 03:27:47 am
Thanks, appreciated [emoji106]
I've actually moved my daughter's system over to 4.13.0-19 last week, but she's on a HP... so, probably safe. I was thinking about doing the same with my PM7, but didn't had the time.

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Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: PCNetSpec on December 22, 2017, 03:38:34 am
At the end of the day Canonical (and by extension Linux) are catching the flak for this, but it's really a hardware/firmware bug .. there should be NO way software can kill hardware, if it can IMHO it's ALWAYS a hardware issue.

This should be being fixed by Lenovo, Toshiba, and Acer not Ubuntu .. otherwise malicious code authors will leverage the BIOS vulnerability.
Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: pin on December 22, 2017, 04:38:13 am
Totally agree! Building good hardware should always be step one but, ...
Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: PCNetSpec on December 22, 2017, 04:50:06 am
Weirdly nobody seems to be laying blame at Insyde's door, yet an Insyde BIOS and the Intel SPI driver seem to be common denominators.

Even if the Intel SPI driver is involved IMHO it's still a BIOS bug .. as I said software shouldn't be able to kill hardware, PERIOD.

This all very reminiscent of the early UEFi implementations by Samsung being corruptible .. which was also eventually shown as a BIOS bug, not a Linux one:
https://www.bit-tech.net/news/tech/software/linux-samsung-deaths-2/1/

If ANY software can kill hardware, it's the hardware that's at fault... the software just exposed that fault.

{EDIT]

So much for UEFI making us all safer eh ?
Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: VinDSL on December 22, 2017, 08:06:04 am
I added myself to the 'Notified of all changes' bug mail on LP, last night.

(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL-Opera Snapshot_2017-12-22_090121_bugs.launchpad.net.png)

I'll keep an eye on it.  ;)
Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: VinDSL on December 23, 2017, 07:32:30 am
Starting to see certain Dell Inspiron models popping up in the bugs mailing list now ...  :'(
Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: PCNetSpec on December 23, 2017, 07:43:31 am
I'm pretty sure I've seen a few Dells mentioned in other places, but I'm also pretty sure it was mentioned that the Dells can be recovered .. the Dell BIOS recovery procedure is said to make the BIOS writeable again.
(don't take that as gospel though .. I'm just repeating what I've read, I have zero inside knowledge)
Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: christianvl on December 23, 2017, 05:10:36 pm
I'm pretty sure I've seen a few Dells mentioned in other places, but I'm also pretty sure it was mentioned that the Dells can be recovered .. the Dell BIOS recovery procedure is said to make the BIOS writeable again.
(don't take that as gospel though .. I'm just repeating what I've read, I have zero inside knowledge)
I've chosen a Dell computer because they're one of the few companies that sell computers with Ubuntu pre-installed. I just thought that hardware support would be way easier. Maybe that's related to an easier bios recovery? Thankfully I've never had that kind of trouble.

Nevertheless, I totally agree with you, unless you really know what you're doing and you can spare your computer (or either have the time to troubleshoot), you should go for a point release distro, most likely a LTS one.

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Title: Re: Oh Oh - Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops
Post by: VinDSL on December 24, 2017, 11:57:12 am
Lots of activity in bugs. Getting new mail every hour.

Here's an interesting one - has the ring of truth. Might come in handy.

Caveat emptor ...

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Feedback ...

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Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: PCNetSpec on December 24, 2017, 01:32:43 pm
There's a lot of people laying ANY issue in 17.10 at the door of this Intel SPI driver / BIOS bug...

As this guy was able to change settings in his BIOS I think he's one of them.
Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: VinDSL on December 27, 2017, 12:21:35 pm
Here's a plausible theory (and repudiation of the current thinking)  ...  :)


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Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: PCNetSpec on December 27, 2017, 04:41:15 pm
Cool, hopefully they're getting closer to the bottom now.
Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: VinDSL on December 30, 2017, 01:37:37 pm
Here's an odd one for ya. Probably just a coinkydink, but who knows ...

I had a hell of a time getting my 32bit circa 2004 Peppermint/Ubu test machine booted. I hadn't started it in a couple of weeks.

Figured out, my CMOS was scrambled - wouldn't boot - couldn't save changes to BIOS, blah, blah, blah. Sound familiar?  :-\

After a couple of hours or trial and error, I finally got to the login screen. First thing I did was:

Code: [Select]
Commit Log for Thu Dec 28 10:13:52 2017
Upgraded the following packages:
linux-generic-hwe-16.04-edge (4.13.0.19.26) to 4.13.0.22.28
linux-headers-generic-hwe-16.04-edge (4.13.0.19.26) to 4.13.0.22.28
linux-image-generic-hwe-16.04-edge (4.13.0.19.26) to 4.13.0.22.28

That worked a treat, so I subsequently decided to play it say (judging by the mail lists) and install the Linux 4.14.10 mainline kernel.

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Anyway, gotta love Linux. The old girl lives to fight another day  8)

(http://vindsl.com/images/VinDSL_Screenshot_2017-12-30_14:02:23.png)
Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: PCNetSpec on December 30, 2017, 02:10:56 pm
Yeah running hwe-edge 4.13 kernel at the moment probably isn't wise.
Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: VinDSL on December 30, 2017, 09:08:52 pm
Theoretically, the issue was fixed in Kernel Version 4.13.0-21

Of course, I had 4.13.0.19 sitting there, like a ticking time bomb ... 

Maybe I should file a bug for all the DFI LanParty PRO875B rev B1  (2004) users out there. LoL!  :D
Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: pin on December 30, 2017, 11:31:23 pm
[emoji847] Good to know that!! Totally unaware of this, I've actually moved my daughter's system over to 4.13.0-21 yesterday [emoji23][emoji23]

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Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: VinDSL on December 31, 2017, 03:45:23 pm
[emoji847] Good to know that!! Totally unaware of this, I've actually moved my daughter's system over to 4.13.0-21 yesterday [emoji23][emoji23]

Confirmation ...  ;)


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Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: PCNetSpec on January 01, 2018, 08:13:06 am
Oh that's cool .. 4.14.9 fixes already broken systems .. glad they found a fix :)
Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: pin on January 01, 2018, 08:17:07 am
Yeah! That's cool...
Looked in Synaptic today, but 4.14 is not available. Guess if one needs it, it would have to be compiled from source [emoji848]

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Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: PCNetSpec on January 01, 2018, 08:38:00 am
I'm assuming you could manually download/install it precompiled from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA
http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.14.9/
Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: pin on January 01, 2018, 08:40:52 am
Duh [emoji25]!!
Obviously...

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Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: Slim.Fatz on January 02, 2018, 01:24:14 am
Hi pin,

Yes, what PCNetSpec suggested works fine -- at least on the machines on which I have tried this.

Regards,

-- Slim
Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: zebedeeboss on January 02, 2018, 02:30:37 am
I'm assuming you could manually download/install it precompiled from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA
http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.14.9/
Hi All

but before doing so I assume you have to unload current proprietary drivers - reboot to nouveau - load the new kernel - reboot and then re-install proprietary drivers assuming all is working well...

Regards Zeb...
Title: Re: Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and now Dell laptops
Post by: PCNetSpec on January 02, 2018, 02:55:58 am
Yes Zeb that would be advisable.

That said, there no need to do this in Peppermint unless you've switched to the hwe-edge kernel track or have manually installed the 4.13 kernel some other way .. our default kernel is not affected.