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HOW TO Lake processors

HOW TO Lake processors – 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-generation processors released since mid-2015 or so. Older computers and motherboards may never get Spectre-proof CPU microcode. Install the Spectre CPU fix Fortunately, installing a Spectre CPU microcode update for your motherboard BIOS is much more straightforward than finding it. Start by downloading the BIOS, then unzip the files (right-click > Extract all) onto to a blank flash drive. Before you update your BIOS, back up your computer. Updating your BIOS isn’t as fraught with danger as it was in years past, but you’re still tinkering with the very backbone of your computer. If something goes wrong – say, if the power goes out while you’re in the middle of the process – Bad Things can happen. It’s better to be safe than sorry. All sorts of free backup options exist, but paid-for Windows backup software offers more features, fewer limitations, and generally better interfaces. Either works, though. You probably don’t want to use a new online backup service, however, as the initial upload of your data to their servers can often take several days. They’re a solid option for regular backups though. You really should be backing up your data regularly in this era of rampant ransomware and flawed CPU firmware. From here, all that’s left to do is install the updated BIOS. The process varies from motherboard to motherboard and manufacturer to manufacturer, but in general, you’ll need to reboot your PC, watch for the motherboard’s splash screen, then press the designated 102 TECH ADVISOR • MAY 2018 Worldmags.net

HOW TO An example of BIOS options button to enter the BIOS. (Some motherboards, including the Gigabyte board I’m using, include an option to boot directly into a firmware flashing tool on the splash screen.) From there, you’ll need to find your motherboard’s firmware update tool – sometimes called a flashing tool – and point it toward the BIOS update stashed on your flash drive. Updating your BIOS should only take a few minutes, but be very careful to not to shut off your PC while it’s going on, even if you’ve backed up your data and have a spare Windows image handy. When the update runs its course, your PC will reboot, and you’ll be able to use it normally, but now with those helpful Spectre exploit protections in place directly in your CPU firmware. Worldmags.net MAY 2018 • TECH ADVISOR 103

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