I have a few XenServer VMs all running CentOS 5.5. Some are 32-bit and others are 64-bit.

Every time they boot, the following message appears:

Applying Intel CPU microcode update: [FAILED]

Does anyone know why this is happening and how I can fix it?

3 Answers 3


This probably happens because the OS is running inside a VM and therefore can't apply CPU microcode updates. As for how to fix it, I have no idea. Does this message prevent any meaningful work or does it merely disturb you? In the latter case you can safely ignore it.

  • This sounds very sensible, a virtual machine should neither need nor be able to apply microcode updates as that (I would have thought) should be handled by the host.
    – Mokubai
    Apr 2, 2011 at 21:39
  • "As the virtual machine is running on virtual CPUs there is no point updating the microcode. Disabling the microcode update for your virtual machines will stop this error: " centos.org/docs/5/html/5.2/Virtualization/…
    – phuclv
    Jul 1, 2015 at 4:43

If you want to prevent the Intel CPU microcode from starting at boot, you can disable it as follows: (Run the command as root)

# chkconfig microcode_ctl off

This will prevent the microcode service from trying to apply the update at boot, since it will fail on your VMs every time.


On a CentOS 6 installation, microcode_ctl doesn't seem to be invoked via the /etc/init.d (chkconfig) mechanism any more. I achieved the same effect by uninstalling the package:

# rpm --erase microcode_ctl

(I know the original question was centOS 5.5, but a search brought me here...)

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