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News Linux blamed for Samsung laptop deaths

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 31 Jan 2013.

  1. Bakes

    Bakes New Member

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    It shouldn't be possible to damage hardware by simply writing to the wrong memory locations. Don't play the incompetent developers argument; it's a core principle of hardware design. Sometimes stuff throws out invalid data; sometimes that might end up going to a part of the operating system. At worst, this should end up with a system crash.

    It's irritating that this seems to be both the fault of Samsung and the interfering Linux module.
     
  2. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Its not like we are talking installing Linux, loading Linux from a thumb/CD drive bricks it.
    What to say any of the many Linux based tools wouldn't do the same, I'm thinking drive imaging software like Acronis, Macrium, Etc.
    Like others have said there should be some safe guards in place not to allow this to happen, you cant write a incompatible BIOS file to a ROM unless you go to a lot of trouble for example.
     
  3. r3loaded

    r3loaded Well-Known Member

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    And this is what happens when manufacturers cut corners to save on costs - they miss on essential verification and validation testing of both hardware and software. I'm guessing they only performed tests with Windows.

    I'm interested in knowing exactly how the laptops were bricked - did the flaw simply corrupt the chip storing the system board's UEFI code, or did it cause physical hardware damage? The former is easily fixable with a firmware update, the latter would point to a very serious hardware flaw that could potentially be exploited by malware.
     
  4. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    My guess it changed something in the area where BIOS settings are stored and it messed up the values in a way the UEFI boot didn't expect, so it errored out durring the POST sequence - resulting in a unbootable laptop. Signs that it could be fixed by simple BIOS update (Samsung is working on it) suggest that.
     
  5. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    Article said that Samsung replaced the motherboard. I'm assuming if it just needed a BIOS reflash they would have done that instead, but no telling anymore. It may well be that a new motherboard costs less than a technician's time to actually diagnose the problem.
     
  6. Bakes

    Bakes New Member

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    When they say they replaced the motherboard, it doesn't mean they threw the old one out.

    For the end user, replacing the motherboard is the easiest option; for Samsung, they can take out the chips that work and use them to make a new motherboard, or since they know the problem (some of the flash memory onboard) they could just remove those chips and replace with new ones. It wouldn't be done in the same step, because that'd take ages, the motherboard would have to be returned to the factory and posted back, it would just be a logistical nightmare.
     
  7. asura

    asura jack of all trades

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    Exactly keep the now flawed motherboard for testing and give the user a shiny new one.
     
  8. wbdog206

    wbdog206 not me

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    I thought the same at first.
     
  9. Gradius

    Gradius IT Consultant

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    FATALITY!

    Ok, couldn't resist.
     

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