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How to Update Intel and AMD Processor Microcode in Windows


straycat19

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  1. A way to update your microcode from Windows should you be stuck waiting for an updated BIOS from the manufacturer and Windows only has old patches. Note that this is a software solution and does not modify the BIOS in anyway.

    Download the VMware CPU Microcode Update Driver from here . For those interested have a read at the linked page also. Extract the contents into a folder of your choice, for this demo we'll call it uCode.

    This driver has been written to use the updates provided by Intel and AMD.
    Intel's microcode update can be got from here. Please check down left column for latest version. Unpack and extract microcode.dat into the uCode folder.
    AMD's microcode update can be got from here. Again unpack and extract files to the uCode folder.

    The installer expects the microcode files to be present even if the CPU it's running on does not need them, ie both Intel and AMD files. Run install.bat from the uCode folder and the microcode files and driver will be copied to the Windows\System32\Drivers folder, the driver executed and micro code updated if the microcode files contain a newer version. If successful you should see the following
    [IMG]
    The installed driver should have updated the microcode and will now automatically update with reboots. The "uninstall.bat" can be run to uninstall it if not needed.

    Intel may only update the microcode.dat file once every 3 months or so, so what to do if a new critical patch is available but not included in microcode.dat.


    There's a number of utilities that can display microcode version in Windows, my favorite RWEverything, here it shows microcode version 0x1A
    [IMG]

    Or HWiNFO, be aware though that it only reads the microcode version once during start up so for instance if you have it running then run the VMware utility you will not see it update in HWiNFO unless you close HWiNFO and restart it. Example showing 0x1A again.
    [IMG]


    So thanks to VWware for providing an elegant solution and signed driver, I use my own driver but unfortunately it's self-signed. :(


    Just a little tidbit, Intel microcode is not an executable, is encrypted so any tampering will lead to rejection and one of Intel's most guarded secrets with supposedly just a handful of people inside Intel knowing how it works. Considering how powerful it is it should be of no surprise.
     
    NOTE:  I didn't write this article, I previously found it and had it in my Tech Notes.  I searched and found a copy by Dufus on NetbookReview.  Don't know if he originated it or copied it himself.  He had additional information on making your own patch which is not in my copy and I didn't add it.  That is probably too dangerous for most users to mess with.
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