How to Use USB Intel Microcode Boot Loader for Spectre Mitigation
Spectre is a serious security vulnerability that affects many Intel CPUs. It allows a malicious process to steal sensitive information from another process on the same computer. To protect your system from Spectre, you need to update the microcode of your CPU, which is a small piece of software that controls the behavior of the processor.
However, not all CPUs receive microcode updates from Intel or Microsoft. If you have an older CPU or an unsupported operating system, you may be left vulnerable to Spectre attacks. Fortunately, there is a workaround that can help you update your CPU microcode using a USB flash drive and a tool called Intel Microcode Boot Loader.
Intel Microcode Boot Loader is a free and open-source tool created by Eran "Regeneration" Badit from ngohq.com. It uses the Intel BIOS Implementation Test Suite (BITS) and the Syslinux bootloader to automatically detect and apply the latest microcodes for your Intel processor. This way, you can boot your system with the updated microcode and be protected from Spectre.
How to Use Intel Microcode Boot Loader
To use Intel Microcode Boot Loader, you need a USB flash drive with at least 25MB of storage and a motherboard whose BIOS supports booting from USB devices. Follow these steps to create and use a bootable USB flash drive with Intel Microcode Boot Loader:
Download the latest version of Intel Microcode Boot Loader from here.
Format your USB flash drive with FAT32 filesystem.
Extract the archive to the root directory of your USB flash drive and run install.exe to make it bootable.
Enter the BIOS/UEFI settings of your motherboard and assign the USB flash drive as the first boot device. Enable legacy boot mode if necessary.
Reboot your system with the USB flash drive inserted. The boot loader will automatically update the microcode and load your operating system.
You can check if your CPU microcode has been updated by using a tool like CPU-Z or HWiNFO64. Look for the microcode revision number and compare it with the latest version available from Intel.
Benefits of Using Intel Microcode Boot Loader
Using Intel Microcode Boot Loader has several benefits over other methods of updating CPU microcode, such as:
It works with any Intel CPU from 1996 to 2018, including those that are no longer supported by Intel or Microsoft.
It works with any operating system, including Windows 7, 8, 10, Linux, etc.
It does not require any modification of your BIOS/UEFI ROM or installation of any software on your system.
It does not affect the performance or stability of your system.
It is easy to use and does not require any technical skills.
Intel Microcode Boot Loader is a handy tool that can help you protect your older CPUs from Spectre vulnerability. By creating a bootable USB flash drive with this tool, you can update your CPU microcode every time you boot your system and stay safe from potential attacks. If you have any questions or feedback about this tool, feel free to leave a comment below. ec8f644aee