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Matthew Garrett Has a Fix To Prevent Bricked UEFI Linux Laptops 74

Posted by timothy
from the and-it-can-be-yours-for-free dept.
hypnosec writes "UEFI guru Matthew Garrett, who cleared the Linux kernel in Samsung laptop bricking issues, has come to rescue beleaguered users by offering a survival guide enabling them to avoid similar issues. According to Garrett, storage space constraints in UEFI storage variables is the reason Samsung laptops end up bricking themselves. Garrett said that if the storage space utilized by the UEFI firmware is more than 50 percent full, the laptop will refuse to start and ends up being bricked. To prevent this from happening, he has provided a Kernel patch."
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Matthew Garrett Has a Fix To Prevent Bricked UEFI Linux Laptops

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  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @04:24PM (#43264919)

    Something like this should never have gotten through testing. Samsung must have tested using only a single OS or a closely related family (ie, Windows) - and that is no way to test if a piece of code is going to behave under all circumstances.

  • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @04:48PM (#43265037)

    ---The UEF Interface seems to work just fine with Win OS and iOS. How is that a bios problem?

    Samsungs implementation of UEFI is the problem, not the UEFI specification. No, it's not a 'bios' problem, UEFI replaced bios, but Samsung seems to have done something odd in their implementation of UEFI.

    "---Gee wonder why the great mass migration to Linux hasn't happened?

    Well sure, that has always been an issue. Linux apparently isn't important enough for companies to bother testing for it, which means it only works with contrived hacks, which means no one uses it, which means companies don't think it's important enough to bother testing for it.

  • If it's bricked... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 24, 2013 @04:48PM (#43265043)

    Just sue on the small claims court.

    You pay like 35 pounds to issue the legal challenge, and you almost automatically win because the problem is due to a defective product.

    Samsung on the other hand will have to show as represented by some lawyer, and has to pay everything.

    If it doesn't show, they will get a decision by default, which is almost the same...

    Why do you think companies do replace items like that instead of flatly refusing?

    Because they can't afford the bad publicity and the continuously court auditions.

    Besides, don't even try to do a class action... is way more fun to have the company to run amok between 1000 court rooms almost at the same time...

    BTW i'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advise. :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 24, 2013 @05:40PM (#43265343)

    procedure. Some ARM chips have bootstrap code that will talk to a usb device (i.e. looks like a serial port, sort of), and there is a program that lets you load the initial software no matter what's in flash. That usb port might just be a header or a bunch of pads on the cpu.

    With other devices you have to go into a jtag port, (i.e. a header or perhaps just solder pads) load a tiny program into ram, and use THAT to program the flash.

    If they build them with empty flash, there has to be a way to do the initial load. If they build them with programmed flash, it might not be possible without unsoldering the flash chip(s) or something like that.

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