Author Topic: WARNING - Samsung laptops can be bricked by installing Linux in UEFI mode  (Read 696 times)

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Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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WARNING - Samsung laptops with UEFI can be bricked by installing Linux in UEFI mode

See here:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-cdimage/+bug/1040557?comments=all
and in particular:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-cdimage/+bug/1040557/comments/122
article about it here:
http://www.itwire.com/business-it-news/open-source/58512-uefi-enabled-samsung-laptops-get-bricked-with-linux

Quote from: itwire
A number of Samsung laptops are dying after they are booted with a live-usb image of Ubuntu 12.04 using UEFI, according to information at the Ubuntu bug reporting site.

The problem was first reported to Canonical in August last year. It appears to be caused by a buggy kernel driver for the Samsung models in question.

Hence it appears likely that other GNU/Linux distributions may also be affected.

Senior Ubuntu developer Steve Langasek wrote on January 21 that the company had been in communication with Samsung BIOS engineers but had not yet been given a time or date when a fix would be supplied.

The bug report cited two models - the Samsung 530U3C and the NP700Z5C laptops. Other users cited additional models - the Samsung 300E5C, NP700Z5C, NP700Z7C and NP900X4C.

The first report from a user, in August last year, said he had selected the UEFI boot option and then tried to boot his laptop using the live-usb amd64 image from version 12.04.

The laptop started hanging with a black screen and when he could not get any reaction from it, he got it repaired under warranty.

However, when the same thing happened a second time, he decided to report the bug.

More reports flowed in from users thereafter. The bug report said it affected a total of 34 people.

One user said he had resolved the issue by removing the battery, and disconnecting the CMOS NVRAM battery; this had restored the laptop in question to the factory default.


Quote from: Launchpad Comment 122
> 1) This seems to be a BIOS bug in a small number of Samsung notebooks.
> Has it been brought to the attention of Samsung with a clear message
> that they should bring out an updated corrected BIOS immediately?

We have been in communication with Samsung BIOS engineers about this issue,
but have no ETA for a BIOS update at this time.


..
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 05:21:50 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline BkS

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Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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They reckon it's a Samsung UEFI firmware bug that's being triggered by something in the kernel .. so there's a good chance this may affect more than just Ubuntu.
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Yep, most likely. Guess I'll be staying away from Samsung laptops. Had my eye on an ASUS one anyway. :P
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