Samsung UEFI Bricking

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Re: Samsung UEFI Bricking

Postby JaZZyCooL on Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:36 pm

Actually, I am asking about Linux is I find it quite difficult to install on windows 8. Unless I find a guide which is quite easy to understand.
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Re: SUMMARY ?

Postby osvega on Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:16 pm

Thanks @srs5694 for the useful links.

Also, following links from there, I've discovered the amazing world of windows help forums, populated by a great amount of people concerned by the ability to rightfully backup the preinstalled win8 os, should the hdd die.

There, among the prepackaged answers from the moderators, I've discovered more amazing things, such like:
- this UEFI thing stores the M$ Product ID in encrypted form so OEMs "will buy the right amount of licences" (if you didn't notice, that there's no more a win sticker carrying that xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx number, a very useful embellishment for toilet seats so far), implying that you can't trasfer the os to any other computer as it is permanently tied to the BIOS.
- the suggested (3rd party) tools to extract that numbers report different results (tried it myself).
- if you buy the "pro" version of the os, it will also be tied to that motherboard as the Product Id extraction process from the BIOS is "trasparent" to the user during the online purchase as well during the installation process itself.
- if the os goes crazy your only resort is the recovery (partition), it will wipe all data but who cares.
- should you wipe the os and the recovery partition, you're stuck: buy the os again (see above) (or install linux ;) ).
- the installed os isn't your at all, you're just licenced to use it (dear linux fellow, from now on you can't claim money back for unused os, shouldn't the previous draconian anti-claim measures be enough).

Last but not least, I've found a new field appearing into the BIOS reporting the (wrong) purchase date that wasn't there the first day.

A unique id embedded into my machine and who knows what other personal data that I can't read but someone else can without me knowing is a surveillance dream that makes RMS absolutely right.

Personally speaking, because in one case the external hdd I used wasn't NTFS (it has personal data and I didn't want to completely wipe it in the process), or because I got severals errors codes from the tools (M$ or Samsung supplied) supposed to backup the thing to DVD or usb memory stick, the best I've accomplished is a mere DVD with ~300Mb on it (!) and a _very useful_ stick that will recover from the partition on disk exactly like using that partition itself.

Given the actual state of the situation I believe the best thing for me could be to buy another hdd to put into the notebook, install linux (CSM BIOS) on it and live happy (as I've been since 1995), eventually reverting to UEFI with the externalized original disk for the rare cases "when Wine is not enough" ( ;) ) and swap it back before reselling.
Last edited by osvega on Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Samsung UEFI Bricking

Postby osvega on Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:31 pm

@JaZZyCooL, from my undestanding so far, it's risky to install linux ALONG with preinstalled Windows8 on Samsung notebooks because a badly implemented UEFI, needed by preinstalled windows, makes the laptop prone to brick during the linux installation.

If you are willing to wipe Windows from the disk, set the BIOS to FastBios DISABLED, SecureBoot DISABLED and OsMode CSM OS, you'll be a happy penguin :D
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Re: Samsung UEFI Bricking

Postby JaZZyCooL on Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:29 am

Hey but I have a lenovo laptop with pre-installed windows 8 and I was able to install Linux mint alongside windows 8, but the only thing that is bothering me is that I am not able to boot into both OS with UEFI mode every time I have to boot to a particular OS I have to change the mode, for which I want to install refind to automatically detect the OS compatibility and boot into it.
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Re: Samsung UEFI Bricking

Postby osvega on Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:53 am

that's ok so, I haven't tried rEFInd myself.

I appreciated the suggestion but don't like the approach as should the system be recovered (win recovery I mean), the whole thing will not work again.

If only Samsung made a working BIOS (or working recovery utilities)...
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Re: Samsung UEFI Bricking

Postby ed2975 on Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:09 am

So does anyone have any news with this issue? Have there been any big developments or are we all still waiting for samsung to release something that works
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Re: Samsung UEFI Bricking

Postby srs5694 on Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:02 pm

The last I heard, there were two kernel patches to help:

  • The first prevents loading a Samsung-specific driver that triggered the bug and was very likely to brick the computer. This patch helps, but doesn't 100% guarantee that the computer won't end up bricked, since there are other ways to trigger the bricking.
  • The second prevents the kernel from writing more data to the NVRAM than is safe. This patch is likely to prevent any bricking in Linux, but it won't prevent bricking the computer from Windows or from any other OS.

I don't recall the kernel version numbers in which these two patches first appeared -- in fact, I'm not sure if the second has even been included in any mainline kernel as of yet. Because of this, and because the problem is not Linux-specific, I still recommend running recent Samsung laptops exclusively in BIOS/CSM/legacy mode, not in EFI/UEFI mode.

If Samsung has released a fixed firmware, I've not heard anything about it. Ultimately, a firmware fix is the best solution to the problem; anything else is just a workaround to a dangerous bug.
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Re: Samsung UEFI Bricking

Postby ed2975 on Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:19 am

Samsung released a bios update "P07ABK" for my NP900X4C-A06AU series 9, does anyone know if this addresses the bug aforementioned?
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Re: Samsung UEFI Bricking

Postby gryle on Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:12 pm

osvega wrote:@JaZZyCooL, from my undestanding so far, it's risky to install linux ALONG with preinstalled Windows8 on Samsung notebooks because a badly implemented UEFI, needed by preinstalled windows, makes the laptop prone to brick during the linux installation.

If you are willing to wipe Windows from the disk, set the BIOS to FastBios DISABLED, SecureBoot DISABLED and OsMode CSM OS, you'll be a happy penguin :D


Resurrecting an old thread, I have a Samsung ATIV4 that I want to turn into a make-shift media center. It's currently running Win8 and I'm quite willing to wipe the harddrive entirely. I've done this on other computers by having Linux use the entire harddrive during installation, thus erasing the Windows partition. Can I use the same procedure here or do I need to go about it another way due to the EFI bug?
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