Skip to main content
Share Your Experience: Take the 2024 Developer Survey
122 votes
Accepted

How can a processor be made faster with a "software" update?

Modern processors are much more complicated than one might think. They are incredibly complicated, nearly beyond the comprehension of a single person. Expanding on a short remark by "horta", one might ...
Ale..chenski's user avatar
  • 12.8k
100 votes

How can a processor be made faster with a "software" update?

A variety of software issues at both the operating system and appplication levels are causing suboptimal performance. Eight-core Ryzen processors consist of two core complexes (CCXs) each with four ...
bwDraco's user avatar
  • 46.2k
67 votes

What exactly is microcode and how does it differ from firmware?

The origin of the word firmware is a mid-point between hardware and software - software embedded on hardware. It refers to software that is stored in non-volatile memory (such as ROM, EEPROM or Flash ...
thomasrutter's user avatar
  • 1,948
45 votes
Accepted

What firmware/hardware mechanism enables force-shutdown?

Is the universal force-shutdown mechanism built in at a hardware or firmware level? Both the motherboard (hardware) and the BIOS (firmware) are involved in the process. The actual switching of the ...
DavidPostill's user avatar
  • 158k
33 votes
Accepted

Why do firmware and drivers have to be separate?

No, both types of software usually are running on a different type of machine. Firmware is running on the processor/controller on the peripheral device, the driver is running on the CPU of your ...
jvb's user avatar
  • 3,190
31 votes
Accepted

AMD fTPM - What does this firmware option do?

"fTPM" is a type of TPM that's implemented in system firmware instead of using a dedicated chip. The TPM is a tamper-resistant "secure element" used to protect cryptographic keys (...
grawity_u1686's user avatar
27 votes

What exactly is microcode and how does it differ from firmware?

https://wiki.debian.org/Microcode CPU Microcode Processor microcode is akin to processor firmware. The kernel is able to update the processor's firmware without the need to update it via a BIOS ...
julian's user avatar
  • 378
19 votes

brother printer firmware update password reset

I spent many hours doing a variety of factory resets and trying the password above, "access". Apparently, Brother pushed out a firmware update recently which changed the default password on many ...
John's user avatar
  • 415
17 votes

On consumer grade laptops what is the significance of “RAID ON” option in the firmware?

Assuming that the laptop uses an Intel chipset (and CPU), the "RAID" option does more than just RAID. It also enables other parts of Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST), especially Intel ...
Bob's user avatar
  • 61.8k
15 votes

On consumer grade laptops what is the significance of “RAID ON” option in the firmware?

AHCI and RAID are mutually exclusive in the BIOS, but not in operation. In effect, enabling RAID also enables AHCI. In other words, you may see RAID as a superset of AHCI. In tests run by Dell, no ...
harrymc's user avatar
  • 484k
13 votes
Accepted

How to update samsung's SSD firmware?

Go to https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/download/tools. Go to the "Samsung SSD Firmware" section. The links there to go to standalone ISO images which you can either burn ...
Mikko Rantalainen's user avatar
10 votes

Why do firmware and drivers have to be separate?

Firmware runs on the device using the hardware of the device directly. One way to look at it, is the firmware is an API for the OS, it does not matter what OS the computer runs, if it receives x ...
Luke Attard's user avatar
9 votes

How can a processor be made faster with a "software" update?

http://wccftech.com/amd-ryzen-launch-aftermath-gaming-performance-amd-response/ 1) Early motherboard BIOSes were certainly troubled: disabling unrelated features would turn off cores. Setting ...
Naib's user avatar
  • 264
9 votes

Unable to execute "TPM 1.2 Update" on Ubuntu (XPS 13 9350): This TPM is Owned

Attention: If you encrypt your disk with TPM the following steps will clear the encryption keys and you'll lose your data (thanks @Simon Richter)! I encrypt my disk with Ubuntu's encrypted home & ...
hb0's user avatar
  • 251
8 votes

What are the differences between Host Protected Area (HPA), Device Configuration Overlay (DCO), and service area of a HDD/SSD?

A service area is a logical area on the hard-drive (residing on the platters) set aside by hard-drive vendors for internally managing the drive. These areas are outside the hard-drive's Logical Block ...
harrymc's user avatar
  • 484k
7 votes

What firmware/hardware mechanism enables force-shutdown?

Is the universal (I assume) force-shutdown mechanism built in at a hardware or firmware level? Without looking for references, there is a pretty simple logic here: they must work on the hardware ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 921
7 votes
Accepted

Run EFI files/scripts from [boot, virtual media] ISO

The below solution is implemented on Linux Mint 19 64 in Virtual Machine. Tools needed GParted – GUI tool to manage partitions. This is generally available in Live Linux CD/DVD. If you do not have ...
patkim's user avatar
  • 5,470
6 votes

What exactly is microcode and how does it differ from firmware?

[NB: this answer is specifically intended to address the recent edit and does not otherwise add to the several sound answers that have already been posted.] So, to reiterate: microcode (at least to a ...
Harry Johnston's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

How to flash firmware upgrade to Thinkpad Ultra Docking Station on Linux?

Thanks to all your answers, I finally was able to install the update: Downloaded Windows 10 from here. Created a new Windows 10 VM in VirtualBox on a 14 GB VDI virtual disk. Installed Windows 10 Pro ...
dirdi's user avatar
  • 3,275
6 votes

On consumer grade laptops what is the significance of “RAID ON” option in the firmware?

There is very little technical difference between RAID and AHCI mode, other than in RAID mode, the chips use different PCI IDs. The reason is that Microsoft Windows has generic drivers which would ...
Remember Monica's user avatar
5 votes

Make a USB drive read only

My best option is use DISKPART form windows DISKPART LIST DISK (To check which flash drive listed as disk in windows) SELECT DISK 1 (It should be disk 1 if you have single hardisk attached to ...
Prashant's user avatar
5 votes

Kingston SSD toolbox doesn't see new SSD

Make sure your SATA drives are not set as legacy/IDE-compatible in the BIOS (OnChip SATA Type must be set to AHCI) Make sure you allow UAC permissions for the toolbox when/if asked If those ...
Overmind's user avatar
  • 10.1k
5 votes

UEFI "replaces" BIOS and "connects with firmware" but BIOS == firmware so WTF?

Different people use terminology in this area in different ways, so there's not 100% agreement, and that can lead to confusion. That said.... Firmware -- This term generally refers to software stored ...
Rod Smith's user avatar
  • 21.9k
5 votes

How can a processor be made faster with a "software" update?

BIOS is generally thought of as firmware. BIOS can twiddle all sorts of bits in the hardware to change how the system runs So yes it’s entirely feasible for them to push out new firmware and for ...
horta's user avatar
  • 429
5 votes

What exactly is microcode and how does it differ from firmware?

I think the term "microcode" refers primarily to what the code does (it executes low-level instructions using even lower-level instructions), while the term "firmware" refers primarily to how it is ...
Michael Kay's user avatar
5 votes

What exactly is microcode and how does it differ from firmware?

"Microcode" was the original term, and referred to instructions which were used to implement an interpreter for a processor's "public" instruction set. But over time, with many variations in in ...
Daniel R Hicks's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How does Windows bootloader add option to open firmware setup?

UEFI firmwares with Fast Boot support the OsIndications EFI variable which contains a 64-bit bitmask. To request the firmware settings interface, Windows sets bit 1 in this variable (also known as ...
grawity_u1686's user avatar
4 votes

OpenWrt vs DDWrt

An important consideration these days is router security. Out of the three distributions, only the OpenWRT has a security advisories page: https://openwrt.org/advisory/start So basically from ...
nponeccop's user avatar
  • 249
4 votes
Accepted

Manipulating firmware of USB flash drives

You can modify the firmware of these flash drives quite easily with the many thousands of leaked tools. OEMs like Patriot, PNY, and other companies don't make the flash drives they sell. They just ...
Hydranix's user avatar
  • 981

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible