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Bug Linux Hardware

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

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 Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @03:57PM (#43264785)

    more than 50 per cent full = fail is bad and Samsung needs to come out with a bios update to fix that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 24, 2013 @04:19PM (#43264891)

    Welcome to the world of supposedly "disposable" electronics. I seriously wouldn't be surprised if Samsung told people with affected devices to "buy a new one," or Apple if the situation were reversed. Apple might even go as far as to say something with real balls, like "it's your fault for how you're holding it" in the case of the iPhone antenna issue.

    It makes you wonder where it's all coming from resource-wise. One tablet, even a piece of shit tablet, requires a litany of rare earth minerals, petroleum for plastic, other ingredients in its does a desktop or a laptop. Some countries seem less attuned to the potential shortage than others...Canada, for example, recently eliminated the penny from its currency. I can see the point in that one, the penny has basically been devalued to the point of being worthless to most people...HOWEVER, to the telecom and broadband industry who both need the copper, it's quite valuable. It's also getting too expensive to extract it out of the ground -- how expensive? Enough to eliminate the penny entirely so that the copper can be put to better use.

    It's a shame that Slashdot doesn't cover similar topics very frequently!

  • by broken_chaos ( 1188549 ) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @04:25PM (#43264927)
    They didn't even test the UEFI nvram (not a partition) filling up. If they had, they would have seen that, oh, wow, it bricks the laptop entirely.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 24, 2013 @06:29PM (#43265629)

    As for the Mass Migration to Linux, that happened with Android, which is set to become the most installed OS this year.

    No. You're making the classic zealot's mistake of moving the goalposts to a different game. The "Great Mass Migration to Linux" was referring to desktop and laptops PCs, not phones, tables, or other hardware. Also note that while Android runs on the Linux kernel, it doesn't readily run GNU/Linux software.

  • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @07:08PM (#43265875)

    If they can, they weren't bricked in the first place. That's what "bricked" means.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @09:32PM (#43266765) Journal

    It was probably very well intentioned - to avoid the UEFI partition becoming full and causing errors.

    Are you not seeing the insanity of avoiding errors caused by being 100% full by bricking the device at 50% full?

    More broadly, for what possible reason would Samsung handle UEFI storage in such a fucked-up way? How many decades now have we had computers with some sort of mass-storage device that had to be treated sanely?

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