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Faulty Microsoft Driver Saps Intel Core Duo power

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the chink-in-the-armor dept.

Bug 268

Critical_ writes "Tom's Hardware recently discovered a bug in Microsoft's ACPI driver implementation under Windows XP SP2 that causes a loss of more than one hour of battery time when connecting any USB 2.0 device to an Intel Core Duo based system. Apparently Microsoft, Intel and ODMs have known of this problem under a confidentiality agreement since July 12, 2005 via (a still private) Knowledge Base article KB899179. The bug lies in the asynchronous scheduler component inadvertently being left running causing Windows' internal task scheduler (ITS) to treat it as a running process involving the attached device. This in turn prevents the ITS from powering down the processor into one of the ACPI sleep states causing the system to use more battery power. At this time there seems to be no fix. Strangely, single-core systems and AMD systems are not affected. This leads one to wonder if it is truely a software problem or if there a much larger hardware problem that may affect Core Duo equipped Apple systems."

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And thanks to the confidiality agreement (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14587876)

You'll never know if you're being asked to buy broken hardware or broken software.


Seems best to stay away from both companies.
Why can't they just be honest and say "this is the problem and this is what we're doing about it"

Re:And thanks to the confidiality agreement (5, Insightful)

MadTinfoilHatter (940931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588030)

Why can't they just be honest and say "this is the problem and this is what we're doing about it"

Because they don't want people to know there is a problem, and that they're not doing anything about it, maybe?

full disclosure of bugs (4, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588090)

I'm not sure you can label the product as "defective". Software is too complicated to be labelled "defective" just becuase it has bugs. Moreover, I'm not sure you could legally require Microsoft to reveal every bug they know about, especially since the software you bought carried a prominent notice in the EULA saying, roughly "This software is not guaranteed to work; if it fails to function in some way it's not our problem -- you shouldn't have relied on it in the first place". They never promised the ACPI driver will actually work. Note that the GPL carries a similar clause.

That said, I'd rather rely on free software to function as advertized. When the big pieces fail (kernel, web broswer, ...) fixes are usually quick since many experts are working transparently. When small pieces fail (my favorite editor) I can fix them myself and submit a patch.

The other solution, of course, is to pay for warranty. The problem is that no-one is willing to guarantee Windows will work, and that includes the hardware OEM -- I'm sure the people who make the laptop will say that they can't warranty someone else's OS.

Re:And thanks to the confidiality agreement (1)

Jasin Natael (14968) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588197)

What is it that Slashdot has against mainstream OS's? Now that Mac OS X is finally gaining some marketshare, we see FUD warning people to avoid it because of the Intel chips. I thought that everyone was pro-switch. There's no evidence that this is a hardware bug, or if it is, that OS X's (Or any other *BSD or *NIX's) implementation of the USB stack is vulnerable.

If it is a hardware bug, though, it reminds me of an old joke:

How many Hardware Engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
None. It can be fixed with a software patch.
Jasin Natael

Disgusting Insensitivity (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14587887)

from the chink-in-the-armor dept.

Maybe CowboyNeal has been in the living in the basement for too long, but everybody else knows that saying "chink" is very offensive to Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian people.

I know it's an old phrase, but niggardly is a word that most people do not use anymore either because of the racist connotations.

Especially the tech world, where there are many Asian people, this use of the word chink is amazingly insensitive of CowboyNeal.

This greatly offends me as an Asian-American. Slashdot should be ashamed of themselves for this. They wouldn't use the word nigger, or spic, or kike, or honkey would they?

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (3, Informative)

csirac (574795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587920)

Maybe CowboyNeal has been in the living in the basement for too long, but everybody else knows that saying "chink" is very offensive to Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian people.

"Chink in the armour" is an outrageously common phrase in the English language.

My thoughts when I read it? "What does armour have to do with battery runtimes...".

The first thoughts of racist association did not enter my head until I read your comment. I'm from Australia, though, and if people are going to be racist there are much worse words that can be used.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (3, Informative)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588065)

I guess it depends how you read it.

Chink in the armour - An asian in the armour, so clearly your defences are now screwed
Chink in the armour - A slight defect/damage to the armour.

Define in Google says

* offensive terms for a person of Chinese descent
* tinkle: make or emit a high sound; "tinkling bells"
* a narrow opening as e.g. between planks in a wall
(more here but unneeded).

I guess when people can't do a simple check on a word they must run around screaming racist/sexist/whatever, just to make sure we don't miss their ignorance.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588083)

The first thoughts of racist association did not enter my head until I read your comment.

Me neither. The problem comes in when words (which often have multiple meanings, like "chink") that are offensive in one context are presumed to be unusable in all contexts. And if we went along with that, we'd have to shrink the dictionary by 50% at least. Personally, I think that people should just develop mental armor without any chinks in it and not be so blasted sensitive.

Now, having said that I remember watching a movie with my father, when I was maybe 8 years old, and in it the protagonist (a spy) steals a tank from a Chinese military base to make his escape (apparently he wasn't a very good spy.) In any event, unbeknownst to our hero one of the base solders was clinging to the outside, waiting for an opportunity. My Dad got that gleam in his eye, and said, "uh oh ... looks like he's got a chink in his armor." My mother made him apologize for that one. Not that it mattered: I didn't get the joke anyway.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588084)

The first thoughts of racist association did not enter my head until I read your comment.

That is because you probably aren't Asian and haven't heard that term hurled at you by racists.

It's easy from your point of view that is an acceptable phrase, but when I heard it, it offends me still because people have called me chink in a derogatory manner since I was a child.

BTW, it's funny how even the moderators are this insensitive, because my original comment was modded troll, yet the responses rebuting it are "insightful". Interesting mods there, and maybe shows something about the moderators.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588163)

If you take that phrase to be derogatory, you're looking too hard for insults. "Chink" in the English language is defined as "a narrow opening, such as a crack or fissure." That use is far more common than the derogatory form. You cannot just take words out of context and claim that they're offensive when clearly they weren't being used in such a way. "Chink in the armor" has nothing whatsoever to do with Asians. The fact that you construe a perfectly innocent word (at least in this context) to be offensive is your own problem.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588186)

I'm Oriental as well. So what are you, a dirty chink, a nip/jap or a dog-eating gook?

Get off your high horse, you over-sensitive riceball chinaman. My friends and I revel in calling each other chinks, gooks, saying "Me so hor-nay!", "Ah-so", etc. We laugh at it because it's funny and choose not to be offended by it. Once you let simple words get to you that have a perfectly valid use in the English language, then you have become part of the Politically Correct problem.

As well, I've been calling myself Oriental, *not* Asian. I find it hilarious when other Orientals get offended by that term, and I have yet to understand why. That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. One person had the gall to say, "Well, its because Oriental is a term that was made up by the white man to call us." I was like, "Uh, actually, there's the term Oriental and the term Occidental, each with valid meanings."

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588277)

The term "oriental" has a hug freight of ideological baggage, basically painting every culture in the entire geographical swath from Giza and Istanbul to Kushiro and Kupang as effeminate, devious, and inscrutable for 2500 years. Read Edward Said's book on "Orientalism" to see why it is usually offensive when applied to a person or style (as opposed to the simple geographical usage). Comparing this to an idiot who doesn't understand that "chink in the armor" or "chink glasses" has nothing to do with being Chinese reveals a great deal of insensitivity to language.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588146)

"Chink in the armour" is an outrageously common phrase in the English language.

In fact, as someone living in the UK, I hear it far more often used in that context than in the racist one.

It sounds like grandparent poster has become overly sensitive to the word because he's heard it in the racist context a disproportionate number of times.

That doesn't mean anyone should stop using it in the ok context though.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (4, Informative)

Anonymovs Coward (724746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587949)

Maybe CowboyNeal has been in the living in the basement for too long, but everybody else knows that saying "chink" is very offensive to Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian people.

I know it's an old phrase, but niggardly is a word that most people do not use anymore either because of the racist connotations.

Don't be ridiculous. A "chink" in English (including American) is a small crack or a weak spot. And a "niggard" is an English word meaning a miser. It dates back to Middle English, and before that to Scandinavian languages. Neither word has anything to do with racism.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14587963)

Chink is also defined as a narrow slit or crack, aka a small imperfection. "Chink in the armor" is fairly common in the English lexicon. CowboyNeal probably intends it to mean something like "from-the-sratch-in-the-new-paint-job-dept."

So I think you're reading something into it that's not there, so hop off that soapbox already.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (0, Redundant)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587982)

personally im offended that you are offended at the word chink in this context
unless the context included a sammuri warrior its a perfectly valid statement

Besides bypassing the whole derogitory term issue isn't chink only "proper" to refer to a chinese person (janapese and korean persons would be more offended that you think they are chinese than that you used the term)?

Note to self buy more zellgel

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588000)

Especially the tech world, where there are many Asian people, this use of the word chink is amazingly insensitive of CowboyNeal.

This greatly offends me as an Asian-American. Slashdot should be ashamed of themselves for this. They wouldn't use the word nigger, or spic, or kike, or honkey would they?


I agree. To celebrate, I'm going to go open a cold one and watch Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips [wikipedia.org] on my bigass American TV.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (2, Funny)

Nutria (679911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588164)

on my bigass American TV.

Sarcasm, right?

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588010)

I'm sorry, there must be a spic on my screen. Isn't Arnold Schwartzanigger a fan of Canadian honkey?
I enjoy watching it too sometimes, unless it's a nice windy day out, then I'd rather be out flying a kike.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588107)

Screw you, troll!
Nigger doesn't have anything to do with racism. Nigger is slang for negro. Negroes aren't human, so you're probably thinking of speciesism or something.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (1, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588183)

Why do so many chinks have to act so niggardly all the time? :-p

(coming from someone of korean descent)

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588239)

You're an idiot. The word "chink" as used here has as much to do with the derogatory term for a Chinese person, and the word "niggard" has as much to do with the derogatory term for a person of African descent, as the Chinese surname "Ho", or the old Wade-Giles transliteration of the word for river, has to do with a derogatory street-slang term for women derived from the slang word for a prostitute. Shall we force all people with the last name "Ho" to change their names because they are calling women prostitutes?

NAACP (1)

theboogeyman (919406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588260)

I am a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Chinky People and I demand that Slashdot write an official letter of apology to all the people of Asian descent who were greatly offended by the use of such racist and derogatory language.

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588288)

Niggardly is only racist to ignorant folk [washingtonpost.com] . I hope this is a troll, does anyone actually feel offended by 'chink' in this context? Now 'gyp' I can understand, although here is an interesting article. [worldwidewords.org]

Re:Disgusting Insensitivity (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588302)

So you're saying we should be niggardly in our use of the word chink? Maybe clean up our language, make it spic and span, so it cracks like a cracker?

Aside from the fact that you're probably trolling, you're also probably a bitch. Too bad.

Why? (5, Insightful)

Stefman (37546) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587888)

Why does the last phrase target specifically Apple computers since the beginning mentions Win XP. Obviously, this affects XP laptops with a core duo.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

smalljs (896225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587900)

Well, if the problem exists in Apple's hardware as well, it just would lead one to believe that it's a problem with the processor rather than Windows. I didn't take it as a shot at Apple...

Apple using sockets? (2, Insightful)

Sad Loser (625938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588051)

I understood that macbooks will have socketed processeors (?? for upgrade).

So if I have to send my new macbook (delivery 15th Feb haha believe it when I see it) back for a newer faster processor sometime down the track I won't lose any sleep over it.

New MacBook - you've been had (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588075)

So, you bought a macbook? I guess you've got too much money in your hands. You could have a much faster Intel based laptop for half of what you've spent on that overpriced designer shit.

Re:New MacBook - you've been had (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588162)

At least is will work and be virus free.

--
crm114

Re:New MacBook - you've been had (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588181)

So, you bought a macbook? I guess you've got too much money in your hands. You could have a much faster Intel based laptop for half of what you've spent on that overpriced designer shit.

Well, jealousy gets you nowhere... ;-)

For the record, please take advantage of your infinite Anonymous Coward wisdom and find us some high-performance laptops which run MacOS X in a completely supported manner. Your budget is precisely half the cost of a new MacBook Pro.

Go for it, I know you can do it! Go, go, go!

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

goldn_64 (912464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587903)

Because the article also hints that it might not be only be a software problem, but that maybe there's a hardware problem too.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587906)

Beacuse if its actually a hardware issue, as the story suggests it may be, it may equally effect other OS's that follow the proper ACPI rules. Espcially if Intel and Microsoft are hiding these facts from other manufacturers.

That, and who around here cares about problems that effect only XP ? :)

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588047)

The problem is where does the failure lie?

My bet the problem is in BIOS, and not EFI. Since this affects only XP computers and those require bios to function. BIOS with ACPI has always been a poor hack. Windows Computers have always had a hard time returning from sleep with 100% accuracy. Maybe it wasn't windows fault but the bios underneath.

Wait did I just say it wasn't windows fault? damn I have got to get some sleep.

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

undeadly (941339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588253)

My bet the problem is in BIOS, and not EFI. Since this affects only XP computers and those require bios to function. BIOS with ACPI has always been a poor hack.

Yeah, listen to what OpenBSD developers implementing ACPI support thinks about ACPI [undeadly.org]

Also the ACPI spec blows other specs out of the water when it comes to unreadability. It's a classical spec in the sense that someone was bribed to go to Honolulu to "talk the spec over" and "reach a compromise". They don't even use spec language like shall and optional! It's deliberately vague so that everyone involved could agree. So Marco's engineering assessment is ACPI is a pile of camel pooh.

Re:Why? (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588044)

Ummm, because Apples use the same chip, and it might not be a software problem (if it was, they would have fixed it by now).

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588149)

(if it was, they would have fixed it by now).

Ummm, because Microsoft is well known for getting software fixes out quickly?

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588093)

Because nobody cares about another bug in Windows. But what if it's not in Windows, and it can affect the Mac?? Panic!

confidentiality agreement (5, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587892)

This sort of thing should not be permitted. We arent talking about R&D agreements here, this is a *currently selling product*. They are hiding the fact its known defective from the consumer.

Isnt this a basis for a class action fraud suit? If not, it should be investigated by the SEC at least.

Re:confidentiality agreement (5, Insightful)

dysk (621566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587960)

Isnt this a basis for a class action fraud suit? If not, it should be investigated by the SEC at least.
The SEC investigates fraud which victimizes shareholders. This is fraud against consumers, a much less important group.

Re:confidentiality agreement (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588038)

Yes, i agree, however these are both publically held companies, and disclosing known bugs would effect their stock value. Sooooo... SEC could be involved.

The class action suit part would be for the 'consumer side'.

Re:confidentiality agreement (4, Insightful)

shaka999 (335100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588058)

Would you sue ATI or NVIDIA for updating their drivers and getting more out of the hardware? Obviously there was a problem where the hardware wasn't being used to its full potential?

How does the shorter battery life make this defective? If the company had sold this as having a much longer battery life then failed to live up to it then that would be a problem. Just because the software (or hardware bug) isn't shutting down a processor doesn't make this a legal issue.

AMD Looking Good (2, Interesting)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587895)

Yet another reason to buy AMD. I dumped Intel back when I had a brandnew Celeron 400 and have never looked back. I see a class action lawsuit in the future :)

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Intel not suitable for business systems. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587936)

Indeed. At this point I won't recommend Intel products for home/personal usage, but more importantly I won't recommend them to my clients for business usage.

Most businesses relying on computer systems cannot afford to have downtime caused by nonsense such as this. A laptop unexpectedly running out of battery while writing an important email, or even dying during a presentation to potential clients, could prove to be a massive disaster.

Until things change an Intel, I will only recommend AMD-based systems, and possibly PPC- or SPARC-based systems. Business users need solidly engineered chips. Recent news would suggest that Intel no longer does that sufficiently.

Re:Intel not suitable for business systems. (1)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588151)

That might be going a little far. My laptop tells me I'm running low on battery power well before it actually runs out, so in your scenario it means I'm too brain dead to heed the warnings. As for your second example, well ... I'll just take the A/C adapter out of my laptop bag and plug one end of it into the wall, and the other into my laptop. I worry more about Windows crashing or otherwise acting dumb much more than I worry about the proc.

And I only buy AMD Opteron servers these days :-). Just because I like them more, and they're cheaper than anything close to equivalent from Intel. Dave

Keep in mind the "total solution" (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588228)

For a desktop system, I'll take AMD over Intel any day, especially one I've specced and built myself. I've got the parts for an Athlon 64 X2-based system on the way to my door from NewEgg right now. :)

For a pre-purchased desktop system, I'd prefer AMD over Intel, but unfortunately, prebuilt systems with AMD CPUs often aren't the nicest systems available. There are some (such as Sun's Opteron-based machines), but it's a lot harder to find a prebuilt system with high overall quality which contains an AMD CPU than with an Intel CPU. That's why my fathers' new file server is Intel-based - you can't get Dell PowerEdge systems with AMD CPUs. Say what you want about Dell, while some of their lower-end systems may be crap, my experience has been that their higher end servers and laptops are incredibly solid and well designed systems. The PE830 has one of the nicest internal designs I've seen in a long time, and both my father's Inspiron 8000 and my I8200 have been flawless for me. (Or at least, have been since I nuked XP from my 8200 and installed Win2k because XP's SpeedStep implementation is utter fucking crap compared to Intel's SpeedStep control applet for Win2k.)

When it comes to laptops, Intel is the only viable choice. Whether or not the Turion 64 is better or worse than the Pentium M, it's impossible to actually buy a high-end Turion 64 based machine from a reputable vendor. Every Turion-based system I've seen has been either from a small-time noname vendor or is an incredibly low-end system (crappy screen, crappy video card, etc). There simply are no Turion-based systems that can even come close to competing with IBM/Lenovo ThinkPads or Dell's higher-end Inspirons like the XPS M170, the 9300, and 9400. If there are, they are impossible to find.

Re:AMD Looking Good (2, Insightful)

goldn_64 (912464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587942)

Seeing that this problem is caused by Windows, I don't see the point of dumping Intel over it ;) It's like saying, hey that guy can't handle his car so his car must be useless.

Re:AMD Looking Good (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587993)

But that's not the whole situation here. AMD-based systems are apparently not affected, if the summary is correct.

So it's more akin to the driver being useless in one car, but perfectly fine in a very similar car from a different manufacturer. That would suggest that it is perhaps more of a problem with the particular model of car, as well as perhaps a problem with the driver.

Kinda First Post (5, Funny)

BasharTeg (71923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587897)

First post from a laptop running XP SP2 with a USB 2.0 device connected with the asynchronous scheduler component running preventing my CPU from entering one of the ACPI sleep states and thus draining my battery life.

Re:Kinda First Post (4, Funny)

vagabond_gr (762469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588122)

Last post from a laptop running XP SP2 with a USB 2.0 device connected with the asynchronous scheduler component running preventing my CPU from entering one of the ACPI sleep states and thus draining my battery life.

See you again when I find my charger.

Bullshit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14587901)

This leads one to wonder if it is truely a software problem or if there a much larger hardware problem that may affect Core Duo equipped Apple systems.

Or, you could drop the alarmist shit, and call it what it is: another problem caused by shitty Windows.

Submitter didn't RFTA (5, Insightful)

rosalindavenue (948022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587902)

Quote: "Since Microsoft's drivers are now believed to be directly involved, then all of Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro systems - which use the Core Duo processor and 945 chipset - should be unaffected by this issue. We have yet to attain access to a MacBook Pro to verify this." Why bring Apple into a conversation about a defective XP driver?

Re:Submitter didn't RFTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14587925)

why mention apple? because they are using the same chipset and chip as the winxp books.

It may not be the Windows driver. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588001)

It is suggested that it may not be the Windows driver that is purely at fault here. It is said that this problem does not manifest itself on AMD systems, for instance. Thus, it should be considered that the problem is more hardware-based, rather than just confined to the Windows XP driver. And when you consider that Apple is using such hardware in their recent systems, it is clearly obvious that they may be affected as well.

Re:Submitter didn't RFTA (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588035)

There's a difference between people believing MS's drivers to be involved, and them actually being involved. Even assuming that they *are* involved, though, that doesn't mean that OS X's drivers won't exhibit exactly the same behaviour.

The most likely thing at the moment appears to be that MacBook systems won't be affected, but it'd still be nice to have some confirmation on that.

Re:Submitter didn't RFTA (2, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588060)

There are already none Apple Core Duo laptops around (but they are expensive), why not see if the problem exists under Linux on these devices? If it doesnt, then it isnt the hardware. Infact, you should be able to put the Intel iMacs into the same state and see if a larger than expected current is drawn from the mains.

Re:Submitter didn't RFTA (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588157)

Hooray! Finally, someone who knows how to test a hypothesis quasi-scientifically.

Microsoft Bugs CAN affect Linux and Apple (3, Informative)

essinger (781940) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588172)

What if the current ACPI driver isn't faulty but the previous one was? What if Intel relied on the previous driver to design the sleep functions for the Core Duo? Then Microsoft fixes the ACPI driver. Uh-oh. This kind of thing happens in software all the time. There does seem to be some evidence for this scenerio in the article.

The problem is only reported on the latest Service Pack.

The problem has been known for seven months but not "fixed."

The problem only occurs on the Core Duo.

Microsoft seems ready to take responsibility for the problem even though the evidence points to a hardware problem.

The following quote from the Intel rep -- "It is something we have asked our engineers to put a high priority on. At this time, we may be able to solve the problem through drivers, firmware and software. If there is no solution from a software persepctive, we will look into hardware fixes for future platforms to prevent this issue."

And this other quote pointing a finger at the reference implementation -- "All the vendors have to design their products according to the power management specifications. If one component is not working properly, the whole system may be impacted."

So even if the bug was a Microsoft bug it could still affect all other system using the hardware designed to run on Windows.

You'd think the authors might install Linux on the notebook to check.

So... (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587907)

the biggest thing I see here is to stay away from the AMD powered MSI Megabook S270.

That manages to last only 1hour 26 minutes without anything connected.
The intel variants clocked roughly 3 to 4 hours.

Re:So... (2, Informative)

Johan Veenstra (61679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588057)

"pre-production sample of MSI's Megabook S270. This is an ultra-portable notebook system with an AMD Sempron 3000+ CPU"

This ultra-portable has a much smaller battery (25Wh vs 50Wh), no wonder it gets half the battery life....

Re:So... (1)

ScriptedReplay (908196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588105)

the biggest thing I see here is to stay away from the AMD powered MSI Megabook S270.

That manages to last only 1hour 26 minutes without anything connected.
The intel variants clocked roughly 3 to 4 hours.


Well, look at it this way:

AMD Sempron: Battery 27.2 Wh Running time 1:26
Intel Yonah: Battery 49.8 Wh Running time 4:24
Intel Dothan: Battery 50.2 Wh Running time 3:08

So, aside from the fact that Semprons are not optimized for low power (CPU and chipset) the AMD laptop is in the same ballpark as the corresponding generation of Intel.

You hit the nail on its head! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14587910)

"Hmm... Microsoft, a bug, Intel, Apple and dual core in the same article. I wonder if this couldn't generate some tasty clicks? Quick, put it on the frontpage!"

therefore? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14587912)

windows has a driver issue relating to intel duo therefore there could be a much larger problem that could affect the apple dual core macbook... logic has lost me on that statement no correlation that i see. please help.

Comon.. (5, Insightful)

evilNomad (807119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587915)

"Strangely, single-core systems and AMD systems are not affected."

So once again we have a chance to bash Intel, perfect!

Did you ever stop to consider that maybe that specific state, which cannot be reached, is only utilized by the Core Duo? Maybe if AMD had a laptop dual core chip we'd see the same behavior.. But hey, if we can make Intel look bad because of a Microsoft bug, then we are two for two!

Re:Comon.. (1)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588045)

But hey, if we can make Intel look bad because of a Microsoft bug, then we are two for two!

Wait! I have hanging around a lot, but I guess I missed that we (/.) hate Intel now?

Hate list:

MS

SCO

BestBuy

Intel

/. Purgaory:
Google

Good list:

Apple

Linux

*BSD

OSS

IBM

Not Intel bashing at all. (1, Troll)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588048)

How exactly is it "Intel bashing" to point out that similar systems from other manufacturers do not suffer from the same problem? Indeed, following such a faulty train of thought one could easily argue that pointing out the higher stability of Linux relative to Windows 98 is "Microsoft bashing". It obviously isn't "bashing" in any way, but merely pointing out that one manufacturer's product is deficient when compared to another product from another set of developers.

AMD does have dual core chips available, and from another comment in this topic [slashdot.org] they reportedly work fine. So indeed, this may very well not be a problem with just the Windows XP driver, but may also be a problem with th Intel chips.

Regardless, we can't use faulty systems like these in production settings, regardless of who manufactures them. Even if it is just a problem with Microsoft's driver, I can't recommend this hardware to clients who do wish to use Windows, just because they will run into problems. So I'll just continue to recommend AMD-, PPC- and SPARC-based systems, which often just work.

Re:Not Intel bashing at all. (0)

evilNomad (807119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588064)

Sure you recommend that, but how are you going to explain, that even WITH this bug, the Core Duo has more power, and longer battery life than ANY of the others you mention? Had AMD owned a proper laptop chip i could understand you, but with their current lineup, pfft.. And besides, you would probably not notice a 10W increase in W on a desktop system, going from 70W to 80W isn't all that big a deal, but on a laptop it can mean a lot.. So you hate Intel all you want, but their new cpu is a damn fine laptop cpu, no matter how you twist it..

Re:Not Intel bashing at all. (2, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588094)

I'm not sure where you're getting the idea I "hate" Intel. Frankly, I don't have any feelings or emotions towards them. All I care about is providing stable systems for my clients. If a company puts out products that don't work, be it because of their hardware design or the software that runs on their hardware, I will have to avoid such products until I am sure that the problems have been resolved.

I think the problem might be that you don't have much experience when it comes to real-world systems. We're not talking about some college student writing an English report. Often times there are situations where executives are making presentations to potential clients for contracts worth tens of millions of dollars. It could be financially dangerous for such a company if a laptop that's supposed to give them 5 hours of life unexpectedly only gives 4 hours, especially while sending important emails or while doing a presentation.

The minor savings in terms of reduced power usage would never make up for a lost $45 million contract.

Re:Not Intel bashing at all. (1)

evilNomad (807119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588133)

All laptops i've used always give me warnings all the time, couldn't this oh so important CEO read the 30 minute warning and do something about it, instead of just keep working till it shuts down due to lack of power? With batteries getting worn out and such i do not see how in any case you can guarantee anything, what if the guy uses a lot of cpu intensive apps and therefore reduces the battery life compared to if he was only writing emails? If it was really that important, then why not ALWAYS calculate the worst case time? This bug is nothing more than a problem with a power saving feature, so it would still be well within a worst case estimate..

I am sorry but i find your logic flawed, and how switching from an Intel cpu that does between 3 and 4½ hours, to an AMD laptop that will do 2 hours will help you, is beyond me.

Re:Not Intel bashing at all. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588254)

It could be financially dangerous for such a company if a laptop that's supposed to give them 5 hours of life unexpectedly only gives 4 hours, especially while sending important emails or while doing a presentation.

thats like saying it could be financially disatourous if your SUV got 10mpg instead of 15 and as a result ran out of gas as you were driving to the presentation.

its true in a way but everyone knows the manufaturers estimates are unrealistic at best and avoid situations where they are running close to the line (doesn't you presentation room have mains?!).

It looks like a software problem. (4, Informative)

stikves (127823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587916)

I do not know the exact details, so accept this as a pure speculation.

It seems like a software problem. Think it like the "Weak Reference" issue in garbage collection. Since a system task is always demanding CPU the ACPI subsystem will of course not decrease the power.

Such things also happen in Linux world. For example the update daemon [tuwien.ac.at] causes disk activity every 10 minutes, which prevented the hard disk from spinning down. Since this was a big issue with laptops, it's now fixed in later versions (my system no longer has /sbin/update).

Re:It looks like a software problem. (1)

6800 (643075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587977)

Hummm... Well actually, until the root cause is found and disclosed, the causallity can not be positivly assigned.

I'd bet, eather way, a software fix or circumvention would be the solution as Intel ain't likely to change the chip unless it is a really big issue that can't be circumvented.

Re:It looks like a software problem. (2, Informative)

spitzak (4019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588291)

/sbin/update would cause power saving to fail on *all* systems, not just some mysterious new systems. This is as though somehow /sbin/update did not use power at all when running (due to some clever hack), and thus there was no reason to be removed from Linux, but when you get this new processor, somehow that new one causes the hack to break and /sbin/update starts using power.

This is great news. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14587919)

Great for Apple that is.
Who wants to bet their next marketing campaign is going to take advantage of this deficiency in Windows, like they did when W95 came out?

Re:This is great news. (2, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587989)

I bet they would not! They haven't used this kind of advertising for years - at least since Steve Jobs took over, I think. And that's good, the "Mac evangelist" thing would not fly nowadays.

AMD's Dual Core x2 4400+ problem as well (2, Informative)

dr ttol (674155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587924)

I just recently upgraded to X2 4400+ running Win XP SP2 and 2GB dual channel ram. OS is running off a 15k RPM drive, and storage is on 3 x 250GB 16mb cache drives. The motherboard is A8N32-SLI. Video card is eVGA nvidia 7800GT.

I can't run Windows for more than 24 hours before Outlook takes a hold of one of the CPU's. ending outlook process makes the system pick another process, usually explorer.exe, to take 50% of total CPU (or one whole processor). Shortly after, the entire system freezes.

Seems like AMD has a problem as well. So it could be a Windows issue with dual core processors.

I also applied the "windows dual core hot fix" (google that), and set the registry setting from the KB article to 1, which didn't fix it, so I set it to 0, and that didn't fix it either. So, my system is stable for ~24 hours then kaput.

Re:AMD's Dual Core x2 4400+ problem as well (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14587969)

I have almost exactly the same hardware (except for the graphics card, I use a Quadro FX4000), and there is absolutely no problem.

I dual boot between Windows XP Pro SP2 for gaming and Windows XP Pro x64 for work, and both work absolutely perfectly. The only issue so far has been that of stable 64-bit driver, but that only pertains to the graphics card.

You might want to check your system for memory errors (if you are using cheapo RAM) or for a motherboard problem. Windows itself (assuming you arent using any broken drivers) works brilliantly with this hardware.

I have been running this system since November with only one or two reboots.

What about linux? (2, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587995)

Our quad opterons (two dualcore) appear perfectly stable under Linux. Have you tried that as a test to rule out hardware?

Re:AMD's Dual Core x2 4400+ problem as well (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588076)

I have two almost identical systems (only difference --4GB of ram) and have had no problem with XP or XP64. Infact Id say they're the best computers Ive ever owned.

A bug? Mircosoft? (0, Troll)

Skiron (735617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587941)

Bugger me...

min0s 2, troll) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14587962)

GAY NIGGERS FROM other members in

Only M$ can turn this into anti-Apple FUD (-1, Flamebait)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587971)

Bug in Windoze driver -> possible problem for Mactels. What next? "New Winblows worm possible threat to OS X?"

dual core laptop (0, Offtopic)

hey (83763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587983)

Yeah it evil and all but who has a dual core laptop?
I wish I did.

Yawn, non free sucks. (3, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14587991)

Strangely, single-core systems and AMD systems are not affected. This leads one to wonder if it is truely a software problem or if there a much larger hardware problem that may affect Core Duo equipped Apple systems.

Critical_ sees a typical Wintel bug and thinks Apple has a problem. It's an interesting thought, but not one to publish without checking.

APM [wikipedia.org] and ACPI, designed in part by Microsoft [wikipedia.org] , have always been secretive and buggy. Tricky hardware that constantly varies like Winmodems is the rule and I'm amazed the Linux works so well with any of it.

The only thing worse than the hardware has been Microsoft's software on top of it. While I'm able to keep laptops up for more then 40 days by using APM and hibernation or ACPI and suspend, my Microsoft using friends have to reboot. They tell me that their Word documents get corrupted on resume if the machine resumes at all. Cluster on cluster, all of their complex nasties designed to thwart competitors only bite them in the rear despite the fact they wrote the specs themselves and have hardware details no one else does. This is what to expect from non-free.

IBM cell based hardware running GNU/Linux is going to blow all of this trash into a distantly remembered nightmare.

Re:Yawn, non free sucks. (4, Insightful)

Critical_ (25211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588080)

Critical_ sees a typical Wintel bug and thinks Apple has a problem. It's an interesting thought, but not one to publish without checking.

I never concluded Apple had a problem. Rather I suggest it could be a problem because Microsoft's ACPI driver communicates with the ICH7-M Southbridge. If I am not mistaken, Apple uses the same southbridge on it's hardware. As the article repeatedly states, this issue can be anywhere on the chain from the southbridge, the Microsoft driver or even the attach peripheral. If it's purely a driver problem then why has it taken Microsoft and Intel 6 months of a non-working fix? Why are single core systems not affected by the same driver? Could this issue affect Linux or Mac OSX users on those platforms? Sure it could be a state-based issue but no one can really know until further testing takes place and Intel/Microsoft release more details.

Re:Yawn, non free sucks. (1)

mrm677 (456727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588235)

IBM cell based hardware running GNU/Linux is going to blow all of this trash into a distantly remembered nightmare.

You are seriously mistaken. The Cell is optimized for single-precision, floating-point workloads hand-coded to take advantage of the SPE units (which their "local memories" which is essentially just a programmer-managed cache). The Cell will be nothing special for typical integer workloads...in fact it will probably perform inferior to offerings from Intel and AMD. In fact any double-precision arithmatic is 10 times slower!!

Don't believe the IBM hype.

And do you really think that GNU/Linux applications will be re-coded to utilize the SPEs?! If so, you seriously underestimate the complexity of programming a heterogenous multiprocessor with programmer-managed memories.

 

God I wish I had mod points right now. (4, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588275)

"IBM cell based hardware running GNU/Linux is going to blow all of this trash into a distantly remembered nightmare."

No, it isn't. It's not even going to come close. It's not even going to exist, ever. 90% of the Cell's computing horsepower is in the SPUs, which are optimized for signal processing and geometry processing applications (namely, grinding away on lots of number crunching). No instruction reordering, floating-point only, and very limited branching functionality. The coprocessors are more comparable to devices such as Analog Devices' TigerSHARC or TI's TMS320 series than any general purpose CPU. Despite the insane floating point performance, you don't see TigerSHARC or TMS320 based computers, do you? That's because they are not suitable for general purpose computing in any way.

The Cell's general purpose "controller" CPU is an incredibly stripped down PPC core that has incredibly low performance compared to any standard general purpose CPU.

While it will have incredible performance for gaming and signal processing, the Cell is an utterly crap CPU for general purpose computing. Using a Cell in a normal desktop machine is like trying to cut a tree trunk with a cordless electric drill rather than a reciprocating saw. No matter how nice of a drill it is, it's going to do a shitty job compared to even the cheapest recipro saw, if it manages to do the job at all.

Good thing Dell is going AMD! (0, Offtopic)

pr0digy25 (915443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588007)

This thing could be bigger than the NSA ruckus.

Seems a great reason... (1)

HaloZero (610207) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588013)

...to not bother wasting nice new Apple hardware on Windows XP. Stop the dual-boot project!

I wonder how Linux handles the defect, dependant upon how much the defect lies in the hardware.

Heh (1)

ROFLMAObot (891386) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588040)

Atleast it'll keep a good to-be population of Mac Addicts charging their laptops instead of running amuck in the streets. Microsoft can consider it a "safety feature."

More info (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588071)

Se more info at:

www.niposom.com

YEAAAAHHHHHH... (5, Insightful)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588073)

This article really pinpoints to me one of the best things of all about Apple switching to Intel, REAL OS COMPETITION. Now at last if Windows seems dog slow, you can't claim it's the Intel chip... or when the Finder seems the suckage, you KNOW it's the Finder and not the PPC chip running at a lower MHz. Once we start seeing these systems getting into people's hands and they notice a real difference between the two OS' on the same hardware you can bet they'll be whining about it and performance will definitely be a focus for both OS venders. In the past they could have been lax about it... thinking "But what can they compare it to?" but now if they can show that Quartz drawing is 3x slower than DirectX or vice versa, you can bet there will be performance updates in the near future. This is better for all of us.

P.S. Linux doesn't really count in this manner because it gets ignored as a "geek OS" and not really something anybody can run.

heh (2, Insightful)

nexcomlink (930801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588088)

No offense while I am not a intel supporter or a mac zealot I find it quite funny that every time there is a problem with Intel everyone begins to bash them simply because of a list of problems. No problem simply do a recall. It's quite obvious to me that the Yonah chips where rushed because of Apple. Plus it states XP driver. Nothing related to Apple because they don't use "XP drivers". Or maybe these flaws are intentional so that Windows runs poorly on them. But I seriously doubt they would sacrifice there marketshare just for that. Also AMD has it's own flaws as well, instead of keeping your eye on one thing why not both? From what I read in another /. comment which gave a link to the AMD Duron with a list of 124 flaws. But correct me if I am wrong. Nothing is ever perfect and for you AMD lovers your chip is not perfect either. So live with it. I am pretty sure when you bought a piece of software you just never had to upgrade it right?

retard (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588147)

retard, read the fucking article. toms hardware suggests it could be the southbridge that is at fault. that southbridge is used in apple hardware. do you understand now fuckwit?

Re:retard (1)

nexcomlink (930801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588238)

"in the way the currently available version of the ICH7-M Southbridge communicates with Microsoft's ACPI driver," "The specific piece which Intel and Microsoft now say is responsible for the power drain is Windows' Advanced Configuration and Power Management Interface (ACPI) driver, which is a software component provided through the operating system." Seems like a driver issue to me so before you go on insulting people maybe try reading the entire article. Does not seem to be the southbridge at fault but how the ACPI microsoft driver talks to it. But this is a undergoing investigation so I will refrain from any such comments like yours.

May all of you... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588156)

...die from Tuberculosis.

MICROSOFT RULEZ!!!! HOMOS!!!!!

Bill Gates is your DADDY and you are all his little bitches!!!!

RE:^n Micro$hite (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588175)


What's new.................
 
Found a spot under my nose today and squeezed it, no pus came out but I left a nasty mark that I will have to wear for at least a couple of days. Such is the "shity" side of life. I hoped that this would stop when I was 16 but 20yrs later im still squeezing the little bstds even though I wash each day. Maybe I should try another OPERATING SYSTEM!

This is a Big Deal? (1)

MCraigW (110179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14588185)

So the big deal is that the processor doesn't sleep and may run your laptop battery down a tiny bit faster?

Okay, so maybe the big deal is that they were (are?) keeping this secret. If it is such a big secret, then why, and how, do we know about it?

Re:This is a Big Deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588241)

It only matters when you measure your (waisted) battery in seconds rather than hours, If I run MS it lasts a miniute or two but if I run a ram loaded (non-hdd) OS it can last 25mins which to me makes me form the view that if I had a fully charged battery that is normaly rated at 1.5hrs running the (normal) OS then I use a ram loaded *nix system that draws no HDD power it's going to last many many times more than twice the time at least, in fact its going to last until I reach the next poser point. ;-)

The fix... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14588214)

Add a key called USB to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es if it doesn't exist already
Add a DWORD EnIdleEndpointSupport
Set the hex value to 1

BTW, this affects ALL XPSP2, Home or Pro, single or dual core.
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