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 Forum index » Off-Topic Area » Security
Booting Linux CD *bricks* Samsung UEFI laptops
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Sky Aisling


Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 906
Location: Port Townsend, WA. USA

PostPosted: Sun 03 Feb 2013, 00:42    Post subject:  Booting Linux CD *bricks* Samsung UEFI laptops
Subject description: Makes some Samsung laptops unusable - So article says
 

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this.
Please advise if there is a more appropriate posting place.
Thank you.

Booting Linux instead of Windows 8 *bricks* some Samsung laptops

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/02/booting-linux-instead-of-windows-8-bricks-some-samsung-laptops/
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Bligh

Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Posts: 484
Location: California

PostPosted: Sun 03 Feb 2013, 01:07    Post subject:  

There is a blurb on tuxmachines today.
h-online.com: On Thursday morning, Linus Torvalds merged two changes into the main Linux development tree which mean that the samsung-laptop kernel driver will no longer be activated when Linux is booted via UEFI (1, 2). This should resolve the problem of some Samsung laptops being irreparably damaged when Linux is booted using UEFI.
Cheers
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Sky Aisling


Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 906
Location: Port Townsend, WA. USA

PostPosted: Sun 03 Feb 2013, 01:14    Post subject: Booting Linux instead of Win 8 *bricks* some Samsung laptops
Subject description: Linus Torvalds merged two changes into the main Linux development tree
 

Thanks, Bligh

I saw that also.

Quote:
On Thursday morning, Linus Torvalds merged two changes into the main Linux development tree which mean that the samsung-laptop kernel driver will no longer be activated when Linux is booted via UEFI (1, 2). This should resolve the problem of some Samsung laptops being irreparably damaged when Linux is booted using UEFI.
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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10557
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Sun 03 Feb 2013, 02:51    Post subject:  

Good that Linus T. acted upon it but too late for those
unfortunate to not suspect such could happen.

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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10557
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Mon 04 Feb 2013, 14:40    Post subject:  

Is it only on Samsung?

I thought of buying this Acer they build under their
Packard Bell trade name. A kind of Sister Company. ?

http://www.elgiganten.se/product/datorer-tillbehor/barbar-dator/PBNXC1FED012/MoreInfo

Text in Swedish the google search for it give priority to
Sweden so fail to find what it is named in AngloAmerican countries.

It have Win 8 and Intel Celeron 1000M CPU 4GB of DRAM
and are 64bit architecture and it has 500GB HD
but maybe that one is not NTFS due to the Win 8
using other format now?

Most likely it has the famous UEFI boot thing?

It does not cost much some 3000SEK
which is very cheap for that much computer?

Now can one install puppy frugally on it?
Would it allow me to boot with a dual boot
Grup4DOS maybe ?

Would it get bricked if one try?

Should I start a thread in Beginners?
I have to buy it within say 24 hours so
hope somebody can give advice or else
it get sold out fast.

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8-bit


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 3364
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb 2013, 13:27    Post subject:  

If the laptop/desktop has a CD/DVD-rw drive, it seems like one could boot a multisession version of Puppy and save back to the CD/DVD without bricking the PC.
Am I wrong in that thinking?
Or will UEFI allow the media to boot at all?

I have a Toshiba laptop running Windows 7 64bit and I am able to boot a Puppy DVD and use it with no problems.
But I do not know if it uses UEFI.
How would one check the laptop to see if it does?
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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10557
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb 2013, 14:12    Post subject:  

I am too lazy to find out.
But I made a phone call
to the biggest chain that sell
computers among other things

elgiganten.se and they are selling
a Packard Bell Easy Note TE
that is 64Bit and Intel 1000M CPU
with 4gb RAM and ms win8
and the typical answer from them
was that one lose the warranty if one
change anything on the computer.

they had not even heard of UEFI
so not very encouraging.

I will wait and only buy when the
android computers without fan comes along.

Maybe an ASUS Nexus 7 if that one
could be run as a kind of "desktop in disguise
to connect keyboard and mouse and external
big Screen and so on. nexus 7 seems to allow
that one root it and install linux? I know too little

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Flash
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Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11025
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb 2013, 16:24    Post subject:  

According to this article, just booting Linux from a live CD will brick late model Samsung laptops with UEFI BIOS. This would include multisession Puppies.

Supposedly, Samsung is already working on a fix. No word on whether they will fix bricked laptops for free.
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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10557
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Thu 12 Dec 2013, 15:42    Post subject:  

This text is too old but is about Linux and Samsung.

Quote:


How to survive a UEFI BOOT-OF-DEATH on Samsung laptops
Matthew Garrett reveals the software surgery needed
By Gavin Clarke, 22nd March 2013


So we need to find a more recent text on the progress
that Samsung has made?
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/22/uefi_boot_memory_full/

Some owner or he tries to help a relative with Samsung laptop
made a thread about it very recently.
Here it is http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=90707

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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2496
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 13 Dec 2013, 05:18    Post subject:  

One of the comments I saw on a forum suggested that if Samsung is able to write UEFI code that allows easy bricking of it's product then there will probably be future viruses that do the same thing with other manufacturers UEFI versions too.

No UEFI for me.
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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10557
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Fri 13 Dec 2013, 06:29    Post subject:  

greengeek wrote:
One of the comments I saw on a forum suggested that if Samsung is able to write UEFI code that allows easy bricking of it's product then there will probably be future viruses that do the same thing with other manufacturers UEFI versions too.

No UEFI for me.


Sure one can bye used equipments from those
that upgrade to latest them wanting to be like friends Smile

But AFAIK new computers will only be Win8.1 and further
or be Apple comuters and they have EFI so easy for them
to add the UEFI already knowin EFI.

So whom are going to make the Desktops, Laptops, Pads
that you want to buy?

Just me curious no criticism we think rather alike on
the problems with UEFI I have decided to not buy UEFI
machines until they have made some agreement to allow
easy ways to put Linux frugal on them and that is not
something they want.

And if they do it then each Distro will have it's own
unique Certification that cost enormous amount of cash
so only Ubuntu and Suse Linux and Debian? will pay?

Puppy using root will be frowned upon and maybe illegal
in the future. I am very pessimistic but reality almost always
are much worse than my pessimistic predictions.

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Ted Dog


Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 2313
Location: Heart of Texas

PostPosted: Fri 13 Dec 2013, 11:53    Post subject:  

No EFI is not the anti Linux boot loader. It is widely used on commercial server hardware. And unlike the personal computer or consumer market, linux has considerable pull on hardware manufactors who make money on the high end models.
That is how RedHat got the master level key rights for hardware used with windows 8 ( BUT NOT ARM based ) Now RedHat could have been evil and hoarded the master key which is what Microsoft may have be lead to believe. However, did not work out that way.... Razz
It will not be a heartache as discussed here. However companies without a share of the server market will most likely have buggier UEFI till it has been worked out. I do not recall Samsung having a server class models so they should have more issues then say a Dell which does have a better reputation on tbe high end.
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2496
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 13 Dec 2013, 14:36    Post subject:  

Ted Dog wrote:
No EFI is not the anti Linux boot loader. It is widely used on commercial server hardware. ...
It will not be a heartache as discussed here. However companies without a share of the server market will most likely have buggier UEFI till it has been worked out. .
I believe it does spell heartache for those of us who have enjoyed up till now the ability to build or modify our own operating system of choice. UEFI draws the line between the Big Boys in the corporate world and the small guys who are into DIY.

What are the chances of each Puppian going cap-in-hand to the larger distro manufacturers and getting permission to have a key? This is a sad time indeed for individual tinkerers.

Just for the record I will post here the communication I have had with Dick Smith Electronics (major New Zealand and Australian electronics and computer supplier) earlier this year:

my original complaint:
Quote:
Hi, this complaint concerns all Dick Smith stores. You are currently in breach of the Fair Trading Act by selling PCs with crippled BIOS (UEFI) without informing either your staff or customers about the restrictive and dangerous practice of including UEFI. When I ask DSE staff what UEFI is they do not have any idea. When I look at the products you are selling none of them carry any warning that they are not true PCs - that they are "locked down" and could be destroyed by trialling a different operating system. Customers have been aware for years that Mac computers only support their own operating system (ie it is common knowledge). By contrast, it is also common knowledge that a PC traditionally allows the user to have much greater flexibility and choice, which is why they have become so popular. Unfortunately DSE have not made it public that the new range of PCs which contain UEFI bios have lost a significant part of those traditional PC functions. DSE is currently selling PCs with crippled functionality, and is failing in it's duty to fully inform the customer and highlight the faulty products. Please correct this immediately so that customers do not get caught out when they try to restore or replace the operating system. DSE has an obligation to inform all customers, prior to purchase, of this loss of functionality.


DSE reply:
Quote:
Good afternoon

Thank you for your feedback

The UEFI is an update to the computers traditional BIOS that had not
changed for many years and needed to be updated.

Dick Smith sells the computers products as supplied by the
manufacturers and do not modify them ourselves.

We do provide the the basic system requirement at the time of sale and
also most manufacturers do provide specifications on their website

Nigel F
Customer Liaison Specialist


my response:
Quote:
Hi Nigel,

the change to a UEFI bios is not due to any need to create an "updated
BIOS". It is for one reason only - so that the choice of operating
systems can be locked down by providers, and taken out of the hands of
customers.

DSE needs to inform customers BEFORE they purchase a UEFI based computer that the choice of operating system is now restricted. It is important that you make customers aware that the new bios format will reduce the resale value of the PC, restrict the future choice of operating system, and may also prevent the use of normal maintenance tools such as Hirens and other bootable antivirus checkers/restore utilities.

It is also likely to prevent schools from freely using such PCs as
educational tools for Linux and other operating systems etc.

DSE is not acting in the best interests of customers by failing to
highlight this major departure from previous designs. Your current
marketing campaign of "consult the Techsperts" encourages the public to
have confidence in the technical ability of your staff and my experience
is that the DSE staff are largely ignorant of the effects of UEFI on the
customer. This issue is likely to create a significant impact on all PC
retailers in coming months as it comes to the attention of consumer
watchdogs and I would advise you to bring this to the attention of your
management so that they can take steps to correctly train staff and
adequately inform customers in order to avoid negative outcomes.

Customers will not be happy to find that they have been duped and ill
informed.


and today:
Quote:
Dear DSE,
I still note that DSE is not informing it's customers of the significant restrictions that UEFI imposes on the PC products DSE is currently selling. This needs to be addressed urgently.

For example - if a parent buys their student child a Christmas laptop for use in their 2014 Information Technology studies it will be highly likely that the student will need to install other operating systems onto that hardware. If DSE has not advertised that the UEFI renders this hardware partially crippled such a gift would be frustrating and valueless.

The fact that the Win8 ready hardware 'locks in' the purchaser MUST be highlighted to ALL prospective customers so that they can make an informed choice.


I doubt it will change anything but at least DSE can't say they weren't warned...
.
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Ted Dog


Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 2313
Location: Heart of Texas

PostPosted: Fri 13 Dec 2013, 15:48    Post subject:  

yep if customers using linux did not already challenge this I'll be worse off now. But you are right about slowing down the tinkerer. FatDog64 got a signing key but I do not even know anyone at RedHat.
There is a back door method of a signed shimmed kernel with KEXEC patch which can be used to launch a unsigned kernel.. That happened very early and may be why RedHat is being some what sharing and good will toward other distros.
BUT major discussion at that transfer point between signed and unsigned kernel is underway. Lots of talk FUD style that can be used for rouge kernels. HOWEVER signed kernels are new. And have never been a issue for linux. so I expect the big hardware and software houses that already have deep roots with NSA are making this a bigger issue than reality.
Likewise, the push back from any one nations security demains press against worldwide efforts like linux are bound to backfire and risk exposure.
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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 4227
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Sat 14 Dec 2013, 09:00    Post subject:  

UEFI, couple of mentions: Those ONLY exits on 64bit systems manufactured over past year,or so.

In Puppyland, there are 2 official 64bit OSes mentioned in BarryK's notes. The FATDOG team beginning version 620 has done an excellent job of DOCUMENTING how to successful use FATDOG on a UEFI system. In fact, if you successfully setup and boot FATDOG620, it will do all of the work for both 64bit distros: Thus, allowing you to boot using Lighthouse64 version 602 on the same PC.

Another explanation which covers the steps, too, is these for OpenSUSE. The idea is that the process is the same, no matter.

Hope this helps

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