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Update your BIOS

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Putting this here because probably the most people will set it.

 

Due to the crisis in the computing industry over Meltdown, Spectre, and the like, operating system developers have been working diligently with academia, CPU developers and hardware manufacturers to provide solutions.  Some of these solutions require both hardware changes in the form of CPU microcode and software changes in the form of operating system and other subsystem mitigations.  Despite what might be reported in the press, this work is ongoing.

 

Probably everyone is familiar with the warning from motherboard providers: "Do not update your bios unless you are experiencing a problem."  However some changes in the latest OS releases require corresponding bios updates.  AMD is particularly affected because they don't typically provide "early microcode update" as part of OS start up like Intel does.

 

Case in point:

 

Everyone has to decide for themselves whether to attempt bios update, and take responsibility if something fails and you brick your motherboard.  But particularly if using Virtual Machines, we highly recommend keeping your bios updated, especially for AMD platforms.

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Thanks for posting this as it made me research what was going on with my ASUS bios.  I hadn't installed the latest one released in April because it said 'beta', but after researching I learnt that ASUS (irresponsibly in my opinion) had labelled it beta when it was a full release, because they didn't want to encourage out-of-warranty users to install, rather than just saying 'install at your own risk'.

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Updated my X10SLL-F from a 2014 BIOS to a 2018 one.

 

It made my Intel Pro 1000PT Quad NIC stop working! (New BIOS seems to have fixed a bug where previously the bottom slot would negotiate pci-e v1a but now negotiates v2, and the 1000PT doesn’t work with v2!

 

New NIC inbound! Other than that the flash went fine and everything working...

 

Edited by Interstellar

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I was happy to buy UnRAID and install it on my home server and it worked great.
My expectations was to get long term support and happy usage with no problems so I leave my home server place for few years.

But with 6.6.0 release any of VM stoped to work at all, and according to your recommendation the only way is to update BIOS?
My motherboard Gigabyte GA-P43T-ES3G will never get new BIOS update and I'm currently on latest one.

I'm not able to get physical access to it and don't want to replace server just to make UnRAID works.

Please provide option to disable "software changes in the form of operating system and other subsystem mitigations" and keep VM alive on new updates.

Edited by IGHOR

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1 hour ago, IGHOR said:

I was happy to buy UnRAID and install it on my home server and it worked great.
My expectations was to get long term support and happy usage with no problems so I leave my home server place for few years.

But with 6.6.0 release any of VM stoped to work at all, and according to your recommendation the only way is to update BIOS?
My motherboard Gigabyte GA-P43T-ES3G will never get new BIOS update and I'm currently on latest one.

I'm not able to get physical access to it and don't want to replace server just to make UnRAID works.

Please provide option to disable "software changes in the form of operating system and other subsystem mitigations" and keep VM alive on new updates.

 

Im not up to date with the changes that cause your issues, but if it’s a change for newer hardware then you might be SOL.

 

Cant keep putting effort in supporting 10+ year old platforms.

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1 hour ago, IGHOR said:

I was happy to buy UnRAID and install it on my home server and it worked great.
My expectations was to get long term support and happy usage with no problems so I leave my home server place for few years.

But with 6.6.0 release any of VM stoped to work at all, and according to your recommendation the only way is to update BIOS?
My motherboard Gigabyte GA-P43T-ES3G will never get new BIOS update and I'm currently on latest one.

I'm not able to get physical access to it and don't want to replace server just to make UnRAID works.

Please provide option to disable "software changes in the form of operating system and other subsystem mitigations" and keep VM alive on new updates.

Updates aren’t automatic. If you installed an update remotely and it broke something, that’s on you. This is server maintainance 101. 

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Have an ASUS Z370-a motherboard and always keep my BIOS up to date.  Just hate that I have to reconfigure my BIOS each time and virtualization is off by default.  However, never had a problem with Unraid or VMs because I like to keep everything crisp and new :)

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Can any Asrock X399 users confirm the latest BIOS update (3.30) has the AGESA 1.1.0.1A update?

AGESA 1.1.0.1 seems to leave a few things broken from what I've seen and the 'A' update addresses these issues.

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1 hour ago, tjb_altf4 said:

Can any Asrock X399 users confirm the latest BIOS update (3.30) has the AGESA 1.1.0.1A update?

AGESA 1.1.0.1 seems to leave a few things broken from what I've seen and the 'A' update addresses these issues. 

My ASRock x399 Taichi is on BIOS 3.30.  In the BIOS the AGESA field reads: ThreadRipperPI-SP3r2-1.1.0.1.

 

The BIOS on the ASRock website is dated 8/21.

 

Is there a list of things fixed in the 'A' update?

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1 hour ago, tjb_altf4 said:

Can any Asrock X399 users confirm the latest BIOS update (3.30) has the AGESA 1.1.0.1A update?

AGESA 1.1.0.1 seems to leave a few things broken from what I've seen and the 'A' update addresses these issues.

Hw do we check that on unraid terminal? Since using cpu z to check on windows isn't gonna show it when its a VM. Anyway I don't understand what could be buggy tho, its just flawless for me. I am even able to asily passthrough my  built in audio, and USB controllers reliably. Even  my Xonar DX is still abl to be passed through nicely. Honestly cant see any issues with it.

 

Also running in NUMA mode now and its stable too.

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On 9/28/2018 at 4:13 PM, Smackover said:

Updates aren’t automatic. If you installed an update remotely and it broke something, that’s on you. This is server maintainance 101. 

Of course I have backup USB flash drive with old tested version of Unraid, that I can easy switch remotely.
And I'm able to downgrade Unraid to old version where is VM working fine of course.
But is it mean that I paid for single Unraid version? And I'll get no updates ever that works on my hardware?
It just because developers don't want to make config to make VM work on old BIOS?

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6 minutes ago, IGHOR said:

Of course I have backup USB flash drive with old tested version of Unraid, that I can easy switch remotely.
And I'm able to downgrade Unraid to old version where is VM working fine of course.
But is it mean that I paid for single Unraid version? And I'll get no updates ever that works on my hardware?
It just because developers don't want to make config to make VM work on old BIOS?

No, you get the same updates as everyone else. If an update breaks something on your specific hardware and you're offsite and cannot fix it, that's you're problem, not unRAID's. You come off as incredibly entitled. 

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9 minutes ago, IGHOR said:

config to make VM work on old BIOS?

VMs will work on damn near any motherboard / CPU out there.  Passthrough of hardware however is highly dependent upon motherboard version, CPU, CPU microcode, Kernel running, etc and it will NOT work properly under every situation.  This is completely out of Limetech's control.  

 

As others have said elsewhere for similar threads, you may need to update your system.  unRaid is not a magic bullet that makes passthrough work perfectly on every piece of hardware out there.  To be quite honest, you're lucky that it worked at all on a motherboard / chip that old.

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30 minutes ago, Squid said:

VMs will work on damn near any motherboard / CPU out there.  Passthrough of hardware however is highly dependent upon motherboard version, CPU, CPU microcode, Kernel running, etc and it will NOT work properly under every situation.  This is completely out of Limetech's control.  

 

As others have said elsewhere for similar threads, you may need to update your system.  unRaid is not a magic bullet that makes passthrough work perfectly on every piece of hardware out there.  To be quite honest, you're lucky that it worked at all on a motherboard / chip that old.

I use no Passthrough of hardware, and even preinstalled ELEC VM won't boot after update for me.
On old Unraid everything works fine and even USB Passthrough works good.

 

37 minutes ago, Smackover said:

No, you get the same updates as everyone else. If an update breaks something on your specific hardware and you're offsite and cannot fix it, that's you're problem, not unRAID's. You come off as incredibly entitled. 

This looks like not something specified to my hardware, but every motherboard that older than 6 years will not get BIOS update just because vendors give up on it, so they possibly will have same issue. So all motherboards older than 6 years become unsupported and impossible to make fix or config?

Edited by IGHOR

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1 minute ago, IGHOR said:

So all motherboards older than 6 years become unsupported and impossible to make fix or config?

Your mileage may vary.  But, 6 years is an eternity in the computer world. (And the copyright on the manual is 2009 and the earliest driver still available is 2008)

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I have an Asrock Z87 Extreme6 motherboard and Asrock provides Beta bios updates.  I'm sure they do this because they don't want to highlight the bios updates and encourage people to update and then have to provide support when people have issues with the update.

 

Try to find a Beta bios update for your motherboard if you haven't already.

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Thanks for the suggestion to update the BIOS.

 

Updated v2.1a to v2.2 on Supermicro X11SSM-F.

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Thanks for the reminder, there hasn't been a BIOS update since 2016 for my MB, but when I checked, there was one less than a month ago that specifically includes microcode vulnerability updates.

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...updating the BIOS as solution for everything?... hmmmm...

The latest BIOS for my machine is from 27. Dec 2013... not realy helpfull... and i "dont want" to change my hardware as well...

But i dont use VMs and unraid itself is working fine - so there is no need for updates (yet) 😉

Edited by Zonediver

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@limetech  on 'slightly' older hardware where it is unlikely the manufacturer is going to provide an bios update - does disabling the various VM settings and hyperthreading (Intel) within bios provide adequate protection from spectre and meltdown? 

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From experience I can tell you it's very hard to brick a modern motherboard these days. Specifically gigabyte boards. Gigabyte puts a backup copy of the bios that can't be accessed by the user. Only able to copy it if and when you brick your motherboard and corrupt your primary bios. 

 

I had bricked my motherboard for a few days and about gave up until I found something like this:

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php/697533-GUIDE-Forcing-backup-BIOS-on-Gigabyte-motherboards

 

I found a very nasty flaw with z77-hd3 original bios firmware that would brick it and had nothing to do with trying to update it. Once I learned how to system restore the bios once its corrupt. I repeated it a few times, motherboard is still being used without any problems.

 

Similar thing happened when I was messing with DD-WRT on my Asus router. Thing was bricked for a few days until I uncovered a way to recover my router. 

 

Main thing is if you do brick something, don't lose hope. Spend some time searching online for a recovery method. Most tech within the last 10 years is fairly brick proof to the average user. 

 

Acps

Edited by Acps

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I have a Supermicro - X10SL7-F which I got as part of a system I bought from uNRAID (when they last sold servers).  I have been thinking of upgrading the BIOS off and on since I got it but confess that I am more than a little Chicken 💩 about it.  I'll begin researching it and do it.  For all I know the age of my BIOS is why I see weird things.

 

firefox_2018-11-08_20-21-55.png

Edited by storagehound
Adding a graphic

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Following this thread which I saw this morning for the first time, and some problems I had lately (no VMs),

I updated my bios for the first time (R1.0 --> R2.0), Supermicro X10SDV-4C-7TP4F board.

It went smoothly only after I figured out that when it reboots, doesn't mean it's finished, and I shouldn't intervene 😆.

Indeed stupid-proofed. 

Had to open manual and learn how to clear the CMOS.

Edited by Gico

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I've upgraded the BIOS on every motherboard I've ever owned and never bricked a single on of them, and I've owned more motherboards than I can count.  I once contracted a virus that infected my BIOS and reflashing the BIOS got rid of it so sometimes it's a necessity for various reasons.  I recently had an email account hacked and inadvertently opened an email from the hacker telling me he had installed ransomware on my PC and wanted me to pay him in bitcoin.  I immediately disconnected my PC from the internet and shut down the PC.  I pulled all of the data drives and copied them to my server using another PC and a USB docking station.  Once I had all of the data copied I wiped the drives and trashed them.  I installed a new OS drive in my PC and did a fresh install from scratch after reflashing my BIOS just to be on the safe side.  I installed new data drives in the PC and formatted and partitioned them as before and then copied the data from my server back onto the new drives. 

 

Of course, I changed my email password using a different PC since the hacker said he was using a program that would alert him if I tried to change my password.  What he didn't know was that I never open my email on my PC but always view it remotely on their server.  I have since received several more emails from the hacker that I immediately deleted without opening.  This happened about a month ago and my PC is working perfectly. I had to laugh because he also told me he got hold of my contact list from my email account.  I looked at the list and there were only a couple of email addresses from people I know.  The rest of them were probably put there by spammers.  I contacted the few people in the list that I actually knew and told them not to open any emails from me using that email address and gave them all my current address.  The irony is that the account that got hacked was an account that I don't use anymore.  What's funny is that I'm hoping he sends emails to the other addresses in my contact list and spams the spammers.  Now that would be true justice.

 

The point to all of this is that flashing your BIOS is a simple task and not one you should be afraid to perform.  Just follow the instructions posted on the download site for the latest BIOS file and you should have no problems.

 

I should also like to mention that I have since switched to using a password manager instead of the simple password that got hacked for all of my accounts.  It was far too easy for someone to crack but I was just too lazy to change it.  I can never remember long passwords, especially complicated ones.

Edited by captain_video

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