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Linux Bricks Some UEFI Samsung Laptops

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  • #16
    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.

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

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

      Comment


      • #18
        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.

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        • #19
          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.

          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, 11:02 PM.

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          • #20
            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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            • #21
              Originally posted by destroyerzx1 View Post
              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.
              I used to get this all the time on my ThinkPad X31. Never really bothered to permanently fix the issue though. Newer kernels finally did if for me anyway somewhow (after breaking more of the X31 and then finally stopping the 3D support it did have).

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Sidicas View Post
                Of course.. That's exactly true. IMO, these hardware devices should be recalled.



                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.



                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.
                Agreed. My one and only Samsung purchase has been a real pain in the arse despite its impressive hardware specs (i9300) to do anything with. Just about everything in the app-store now is 'add-supported', and the pushy kind, random crashes and dysfuntional software with limited usage options anyway (wtf am I to do with a media player that doesn't play much?) and the usual vendor lockdown (in my case, Optus) with extremely slow updates just makes it all the more a massive waste of money to have. Add to that the un-Linus style FU to the mod community with regards to support from and your mod options start to dwindle away and you're looking at an awesome piece of hardware with little use to anyone who isn't a Apple junky (so why would they buy anything else if they were!). Feel like a peacock, all colour and flare with no damn use (taking in to consideration my rxpectations and my personal experience)!

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by stiiixy View Post
                  Agreed. My one and only Samsung purchase has been a real pain in the arse despite its impressive hardware specs (i9300) to do anything with. Just about everything in the app-store now is 'add-supported', and the pushy kind, random crashes and dysfuntional software with limited usage options anyway (wtf am I to do with a media player that doesn't play much?) and the usual vendor lockdown (in my case, Optus) with extremely slow updates just makes it all the more a massive waste of money to have. Add to that the un-Linus style FU to the mod community with regards to support from and your mod options start to dwindle away and you're looking at an awesome piece of hardware with little use to anyone who isn't a Apple junky (so why would they buy anything else if they were!). Feel like a peacock, all colour and flare with no damn use (taking in to consideration my rxpectations and my personal experience)!
                  root it and throw AOKP on it. so far is the best rom as far as stability and customizations, really looking forward to trying out the ubuntu phone

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                  • #24
                    I got a sense of deja vu from the early 90's, when badly configured X could fry your CRT...

                    The problem was fixed by manufacturers by making sane hardware that can deal with out-of-spec signal.

                    Entirely Samsung's fault

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Sidicas View Post
                      Two words can describe these Samsung devices.. GARBAGE HARDWARE.
                      One word can describe this SAMSUNG company.. SAMSUCK
                      They sure make their best to validate Sturgeon's law.

                      Originally posted by Sidicas View Post
                      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.
                      Actually, trusting other people (people that actually USE the hardware instead of a pool of lobotomized jellyfish with typewriters that are being fed crap for spewing something that sorta works as quickly as possible, because there's always the next big thing that needs to get FUBARed ASAP) to provide free and open code that doesn't suck is completely reasonable, but trusting them to do so without ANY DOCUMENTATION whatsoever while breaking EVERY SPECIFICATION out there is a completely different story. So yes, they WERE begging for this to happen - in fact, they actually DID THEIR BEST to MAKE SURE IT HAPPENS.

                      Originally posted by Sidicas View Post
                      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.
                      Well… actually THEY DO
                      Last edited by »John«; 01-31-2013, 05:36 AM.

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                      • #26
                        I am inclined to think that this is a design flaw in Samsung's firmware and/or hardware. Ideally, the hardware should protect the firmware from damage unless a firmware update is being done.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by destroyerzx1 View Post
                          root it and throw AOKP on it. so far is the best rom as far as stability and customizations, really looking forward to trying out the ubuntu phone
                          Contract's null and void if I even look t my phone, hence the annoying despair with regards to this phone (which was supposed to replace my N900) and my lack of foresight to look up anything in regards to modding this model. I'm gonna do it anyway =D

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Pawlerson View Post
                            I'm not so sure about this:

                            http://www.h-online.com/open/news/fo...14372428/read/

                            In such case uefi is worthless and dangersous anti-Linux troublemaker.
                            A suffeciently advance virus could load kernel modules that cause hardware errors, however this is true in any OS.

                            But since UEFI works on most other laptops, or at least doesn't brick them, we can take away that either the Samsung guys dis something incredibly stupid in their firmware, or the kernel devs did the same in thier driver. However since this bug bricks the board it's going to be a PITA to troubleshoot without samsung support.

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                            • #29
                              I heard M. Gerrit half/year ago on a Linux summit per youtube: He already said, you are able to shredder your PC doing with efi. Due to bad efi-bios implementation, but also due to errors by the Linux code, because there are no barriers doing wrongly.
                              I do have a mac mini with an age old apple efi 2009. I use refit to start. I would like to change to the new follower refind. But I hesitate: Never touch a running system.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Sidicas View Post
                                Two words can describe these Samsung devices.. GARBAGE HARDWARE.

                                It's 100% Samsung's fault. Not only did they make crappy hardware,
                                Then you obviously never used a Series 9. Those things are THE BEST ultras out there, full stop. period.


                                Originally posted by Sidicas View Post
                                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.

                                And don't you Linux nerds take pride in being your own tech support? What happened now? Did the Linux users find out that their esteemed kernel and driver devs, who were supposed to be capable of writing better code than evil corporations, are really too stupid to the point that their 'top-notch coding' resulted in a driver bricking a notebook? It's so damn obvious that the 'samsung-laptop' kernel driver is at fault, if disabling it during kernel compile time solves the issue.

                                Plus this is a damned old bug that was first filed in August last year. What were the devs doing? Sleeping? Did it take 3 dozen sudden bricks to force them out of their beds?

                                Blame, blame, blame. That's what Linux nerds are good for, except when it comes to blaming THEMSELVES.
                                Last edited by Sonadow; 01-31-2013, 09:57 AM.

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