KB4078130 disables the latest Spectre updates on Windows 7, 8.1, 10

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read
download KB4078130

It seems that the story around Microsoft’s Spectre updates is a never ending one. The company recently released a new Windows 7, 8.1, 10 update (KB4078130) to disable the previously released patches.

As a quick reminder, at the beginning of January the Redmond giant rolled out a series of updates aimed at patching the CPU vulnerabilities that made computers vulnerable to the Meltdown and Spectre cyber threats. Unfortunately, the first wave of updates did more harm than good, causing many AMD-powered computers to crash.

As a result, Microsoft quickly pushed two more updates, this time aimed at fixing the issues triggered by the previous patches. Unfortunately, these update didn’t quite do the trick, so the company decided to release KB4078130 in order to disable Spectre patches. Sounds complicated, isn’t it?

 Microsoft rolls out KB4078130 following Intel’s recommendations

On the official patch notes, Microsoft informs that the decision to deploy KB4078130 was taken following Intel’s recommendations.

Intel warned that the latest Spectre updates caused “higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior” and added that this could often lead to “data loss or corruption.” Microsoft reached the same conclusions and the company decided that it’s best to disable the respective patches.

Our own experience is that system instability can in some circumstances cause data loss or corruption. […] While Intel tests, updates and deploys new microcode, we are making available an out of band update today, KB4078130, that specifically disables only the mitigation against CVE-2017-5715 – “Branch target injection vulnerability.” In our testing this update has been found to prevent the behavior described.

You can download KB4078130 from Microsoft’s Update Catalog.

Microsoft is not aware of any issues affecting this patch. For the time being, users haven’t reported any issues after installing it, so it’s pretty safe to state that the patch is stable.

If you encountered any issues after installing KB4078130, tell us more about your experience in the comments below.

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