On February 25, Microsoft and Intel released a new version of the microcode updates for a mixed bag of CPUs (see table below) as KB5597165. As is typical for such updates, they’re avaible only through the Microsoft Update Catalog. (Be sure to hit the search button when you get there; although this URL comes pre-loaded with the right search string, the search won’t run unless you fire it off yourself.) I have a couple of Sandy Bridge Lenovo laptops (an X220 Tablet and a T520 laptop). But I was only able to update one of them: the T520 which is running 1909 (19363.693). Because the X220 Tablet is running Insider Preview Fast Ring (Build 19569.1000), I get an error messsage from the Standalone Update Installer on that machine that reads “The update is not applicable to your computer.”
What About the “Mixed Bag?”
Here’s what the list of processors covered by this microcode update looks like. You should have no trouble seeing why I call it a mixed bag.
|Year||Codename||Family name||Intel or other URL|
|2017||Denverton||Atom C (SoC)||https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/codename/63508/denverton.html|
|2011||Sandy Bridge||Core (mobile)||https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/codename/29900/sandy-bridge.html|
|2011-2012||Sandy Bridge E||Core (desktop)||https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/codename/63378/sandy-bridge-e.html|
|2012||Sandy Bridge EP||Xeon (desktop)||https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/codename/64276/sandy-bridge-ep.html|
|2013||Valley View||Bay Trail* (SoC)||https://www.techpowerup.com/178189/intel-bay-trail-platform-and-valleyview-atom-soc-detailed|
|2018-2019||Whiskey Lake||Core (Gen 8 desktop)||https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/codename/135883/whiskey-lake.html|
The really weird one is Valley View (which also shows up sometimes as “valleyview” or “ValleyView”). It’s not in the usual source for such info — namely, the Intel Ark. I had to turn to a third-party source to learn it was a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) released alongside the Bay Trail version of the Atom processors. But if any of your PCs fall under the specific make and model info available on the KB4497165 info page, and you’re running an applicable version of Windows 10 (1903 or 1909 32- or 64-bit), I’d strongly recommend downloading and installing this update. It’s only 2.4 MB in size and takes only a few minutes to install, after which a reboot will be required.
Why Install this Update?
There are any number of gosh-awful exploits to which unpatched microcode is subject. Read about them in the afore-linked KB document. The include different CVE database Items from 2018 and 2019 named MDSUM, MSBDS, MLPDS, and MFBDS. Any of them could completely compromise your system and spoil your day. Don’t let that happen: please patch instead.
Author: Ed Tittel
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.