Category Archives: Windows

how to protect against the latest intel Processor Vulnerabilities

If you are concerned about the latest round of Intel Vulnerabilities then its important to remember that you can’t just mitigate them all with just the latest Windows updates. Several of these vulnerabilities have been addressed in Microcode updates that are normally included within the latest mainboard BIOS release. As we all know it can often take sometime for OEMs to release a new BIOS for a system and in many cases never.

Given the severity of these vulnerabilities Microsoft have made available a Microcode update pack for many of the affected processors, the microcode will be loaded at the OS level rather than BIOS level but for the majority of businesses and individuals this will ensure that your Windows installation is secure.  Its important to note that Microsoft has only released this updated Microcode pack for the latest Windows 10 build 1903, you will need to upgrade to this build before you can install it.

The Knowledgebase article KB4497165 provides information on which Microcode level you need to be running to ensure that you are protected

https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/4497165/kb4497165-intel-microcode-updates

The actual Microcode download link is here

https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=4497165

You can check which Microcode version you are currently running by launching Powershell and entering the following command

reg query HKLM\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\CentralProcessor\0

We are looking for the line “Update Revision”

After installing the latest BIOS or Microcode Update pack from Microsoft you should run the query again to check that you are running the updated Microcode version.  In my screenshots we can see that previously my Microcode version was AA and after installing the Microsoft Microcode update I am now running B4.

Alternatively you can just run regedit and manually browse to the relevant key to check your Microcode version

HKLM\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\CentralProcessor\0

This app has been blocked for your protection. An administrator has blocked you from running this app. For more information, contact the administrator.

I recently got this message when trying to update the BIOS on a HP Elite 8300 Small Form Factor PC.  I knew that the download was safe and needed to get the BIOS updated.  I worked around this block by launching a command prompt as Administrator, I then typed in the full path of the exe into the command prompt to launch it and this bypassed the block.

Unexpected system crashes and red screen of death (RSOD)

Having recently upgraded my system I kept finding that my computer would unexpectedly restart, games would crash out and after playing almost any game for 15-30 minutes I would get a Red Screen along with buzzing and then the computer would restart.

As with any issue the route cause and resolution might be different for you but I found that disabling XMP (Extreme Memory Profiles) completely resolved my issues.  XMP clocks upthe memory in your system, sometimes above what the manufacturer recommend so this would be classed as overclocking.

Other troubleshooting steps that you could perform if this does not resolve your issue

Check to see if any other components in your system are overclocked (CPU, GPU or Memory).

Check your system and component temperatures and ensure that all fans are running correctly.

Test your Hard Disk Drive using manufacturers or third party diagnostics software.

Test your Memory using manufacturers or third party diagnostics software.

Update the system BIOS

Update drivers (especially Chipset and GPU)

Realtek HD Audio Driver Revision History – Windows 8.1 x86 – x64 and Windows 10 x86 – x64

Realtek HD Audio Driver Revision History – Windows 8.1 x86/x64 and Windows 10 x86/x64

6.0.8720.1 –
6.0.1.8703.1 –
6.0.1.8668 – 28/03/2019
6.0.1.8531 –
6.0.1.8522 –
6.0.1.8480 –
6.0.1.8470 – 19/06/2018
6.0.1.8454 –
6.0.1.8447 –
6.0.1.8425 – 17/04/2018
6.0.1.8363 – 30/01/2018
6.0.1.8302 – 14/11/2017
R2.82 – 6.0.1.8186 –
R2.81 – 6.0.1.8036 –
R2.80 – 6.0.1.8004 –
????? – 6.0.1.7910 – 16/08/2016
????? – 6.0.1.7548 – 30/06/2015
R2.79 – 6.0.1.7541 –
R2.78 – 6.0.1.7512 –
R2.77 – 6.0.1.7503 –