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Thread: Linux Bricks Some UEFI Samsung Laptops

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 89c51 View Post
    Stupid engineers is the problem. Not UEFI.
    Agreed - there's not really anything fundamentally wrong (or evil) with UEFI itself, beyond being somewhat over-complex.

    The problem is that, perhaps as a result of that complexity, it's been badly implemented on a lot of hardware, and also that the manufacturers are only testing it with the software they expect it to run on. And since we're talking about laptop hardware, that software is Windows.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by locovaca View Post
    Flashrom can brick just about any board. So most systems fall into your wide-casting net.
    Yes, and so they can be argued to be faulty systems, can they not?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delgarde View Post
    Agreed - there's not really anything fundamentally wrong (or evil) with UEFI itself, beyond being somewhat over-complex.

    The problem is that, perhaps as a result of that complexity, it's been badly implemented on a lot of hardware, and also that the manufacturers are only testing it with the software they expect it to run on. And since we're talking about laptop hardware, that software is Windows.
    Uhuh, and you are saying there is nothing fundamentally wrong in UEFI? Do you have a serious face?

    We don't have to even go to mess of not being able to install and run software you want on hardware just because of UEFI. And all that bullshit how "it is possible IF blabla IF blabla IF, and IF You just do this and that and pray" is just bullshit because people should never ever have problems what UEFI delivers.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delgarde View Post
    Agreed - there's not really anything fundamentally wrong (or evil) with UEFI itself, beyond being somewhat over-complex.
    You might count being too complex as being fundamentally wrong though. Even simple stuff like today's BIOS/ACPI gives us soo much headache because it's never ever implemented to spec, and hardly tested.
    Scale this up to UEFI complexity and you know it's gonna be bad.

  5. #15

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    I had got a black screen on an acer laptop which was quite frustrating but if you press the FN key then the brightness up button, it would show the startup ubuntu desktop. it reads the lowest dim setting as off instead of what it should be. don't know if thats the same for these samsungs but its worth a shot.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by locovaca View Post
    Flashrom can brick just about any board. So most systems fall into your wide-casting net.
    No... you should not be able to write to Flash Rom simply by probing ioports and the like, while loading drivers. That you can brick a system just by knocking on doors to configure hardware certainly does mean that system is seriously flawed.

    A similar case several years ago... lmsensors could brick some IBM Thinkpad laptops while probing for sensors. While the software developers quickly blacklisted the hardware and put up dire warnings, it's not their fault that it was trivially possible to corrupt firmware.

  7. #17
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    I think locovaca was talking about the flashrom utility, designed specifically for programming flash roms :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flashrom

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by moilami View Post
    Uhuh, and you are saying there is nothing fundamentally wrong in UEFI? Do you have a serious face?

    We don't have to even go to mess of not being able to install and run software you want on hardware just because of UEFI. And all that bullshit how "it is possible IF blabla IF blabla IF, and IF You just do this and that and pray" is just bullshit because people should never ever have problems what UEFI delivers.
    Are you referring to Secure Boot? UEFI was around long before secure boot, there are many machines out there that support UEFI without supporting Secure Boot, and Secure Boot is an optional part of the spec (only "mandatory" if you want Windows 8 Logo certification - a Microsoft requirement, not a UEFI one).

    My Linux server uses UEFI just fine. In fact, it makes things easier with GPT partitioning on 3TB hard drives.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by uid313 View Post
    Maybe it is the Samsung laptop that is bad if it can get bricked so easy?

    If software can brick the system, then the system is faulty to begin with.
    Of course.. That's exactly true. IMO, these hardware devices should be recalled.

    Quote Originally Posted by locovaca View Post
    Flashrom can brick just about any board. So most systems fall into your wide-casting net.
    Maybe 10 years ago when people didn't know how to make hardware that could work around a bad firmware flash, but it's not true anymore.. Even if you yank the plug on an Asus board while the BIOS is updating, you can hold down a key combination and it will load the BIOS from a removable media instead of trying to use the corrupted BIOS.. I can confirm this works due to my dog getting too excited and tripping over a power cable during a BIOS update.. It was even possible in boards that aren't branded "DUAL-BIOS".

    In fact, when I was helping out other customers on NewEgg's tech support site.. Somebody came to the forum who had decided to use a 3rd party utility to flash a BIOS to his motherboard that wasn't even the right BIOS for the Asus Motherboard.. It flashed OK but then the board wouldn't power up, but the key-combo worked to get his mobo to install the correct BIOS from removable media. Surprise surprise, he used the 3rd party utility because Asus's BIOS updater refused to flash the wrong BIOS to the board. Yet he was still able to recover his hardware.

    It's not hard to make hardware that's idiot-proof.

    Dell's BIOS recovery is even easier... You just put the disk in and it will install the BIOS from the disk automatically if the currently flashed BIOS is corrupted.

    Insert the diskette into the diskette drive of the malfunctioning computer. Then turn the computer on.

    The computer automatically regenerates the BIOS from the diskette.
    On the overwhelming majority of Android devices and tablets these days, even if you have a bad firmware flash, you can put the device into a mode such that the PC can write directly to the device's memory allowing you to flash it remotely,... simply by holding down a couple buttons while the device is powering up..

    Any device that bricks from software, is a defective hardware design. There is ZERO excuses. This is 2013 and customers don't need to put up with crap hardware and they can vote with their wallet.

    Two words can describe these Samsung devices.. GARBAGE HARDWARE.

    It's 100% Samsung's fault. Not only did they make crappy hardware, but they trusted other people to provide the linux support for their hardware instead of doing it themselves.. They were practically begging for this kind of problem to happen.

    I'm so glad I didn't buy a Samsung ultrabook now, was really close to buying one last month. I'll probably still buy a Samsung phone though, as they don't brick.
    Last edited by Sidicas; 01-30-2013 at 11:02 PM.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    I think locovaca was talking about the flashrom utility, designed specifically for programming flash roms :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flashrom
    Oh, sorry, I was fixated on the accidental corruption of firmware, like what is occurring with the samsung-laptop module. Of course a utility that is written to support various chipsets' firmware flashing functions can make paperweights, as can a motherboard vendor's bios flash utility if the process doesn't complete properly.

    (I have heard of coreboot and knew there was a flashing program but didn't clue in on the name)

    Thanks

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