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Old 3rd July 2019
Prevet Prevet is offline
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Default Is this old computer safe to use?

I've been given a Hewlett Packard PC from 2010, but Intel issued a security advisory on it, and say they can't fix it.

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In response to the recent Intel Security Advisory regarding Software/Side Channel Analysis, Kernel Memory Leak, we're investigating the options for providing BIOS updates to fix this issue.

Intel branded desktop motherboards were discontinued in 2013. We no longer have the motherboard-specific BIOS source code, build environment, and tools to build new BIOS
releases with the microcode update for some discontinued products.
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us...op-boards.html

Can it be used online with OpenBSD installed on it, or is it only fit for scrap?
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Old 4th July 2019
shep shep is offline
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One option to investigate is swapping out the motherboard. HP's reputation for long term support is no better than Intel's but I would also check their site for Bios updates

Last edited by shep; 4th July 2019 at 02:38 AM.
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Old 4th July 2019
jmccue jmccue is offline
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Well with OpenBSD disabling SMT by default (assuming it has it), I would say you are safe
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Old 4th July 2019
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I've never updated a BIOS in all the time I've used computers.
I mainly use Linux, but have used OBSD at various times.
I use a 2008 Toshiba Satellite regularly on the internet with no ill effects.
Most of my other computers are from 2010/11, & I've never had any trouble with them on the internet either.

Edit: As long as you are running an up to date system, I don't see any problems, as the kernels have patches to cover the microcode problems.
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Old 4th July 2019
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ibara ibara is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
Can it be used online with OpenBSD installed on it
Yes.
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Old 4th July 2019
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Thanks everyone. Thats good news. I would have hated to get rid of it. Almost 10 years old and it still looks brand new.

The only thing it might need is an AMD video card. It says on the side it has NVIDIA card, but the video card slot is empty. Whatever is doing the graphics is part of the Intel motherboard.
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Old 4th July 2019
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What does your dmesg(8) say? A 10-year old Intel desktop CPU will likely have integrated graphics on it.
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Old 4th July 2019
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It still has Windows 10 on it. In the System Information it says Intel HD Graphics. On the side of the case it says it had an NVIDIA GT220. I found ebay listings for refurbished AMD cards that say they work on this particular model so I'll try one of those.
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Old 4th July 2019
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Can you boot OpenBSD via CD or USB stick and capture a dmesg? That should tell you what Intel graphics chips it has. (For that matter, any Unix-like OS should tell you that.) The graphics may be perfectly good, allowing you the option to save a bit of money.
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Old 9th July 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdOp View Post
Can you boot OpenBSD via CD or USB stick and capture a dmesg? That should tell you what Intel graphics chips it has. (For that matter, any Unix-like OS should tell you that.) The graphics may be perfectly good, allowing you the option to save a bit of money.
Sorry I took a while to get back to you. I just tried it with an OpenBSD 6.5 CD and at VGA1 it says Intel HD graphics 2000 rev x09.
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Old 9th July 2019
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Thanks for the report. I looked at the online man pages for intel(4) which is the X video driver, and for inteldrm(4). It indicates that "Intel(R) HD Graphics: 2000-6000" are supported. I think this means it should work both as a high-res framebuffer wsconsole as well as in X. However, I hope that a more experienced expert will weigh in if this is not the right or full story.
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Old 10th July 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdOp View Post
Thanks for the report. I looked at the online man pages for intel(4) which is the X video driver, and for inteldrm(4). It indicates that "Intel(R) HD Graphics: 2000-6000" are supported. I think this means it should work both as a high-res framebuffer wsconsole as well as in X. However, I hope that a more experienced expert will weigh in if this is not the right or full story.
Yup.
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Old 12th July 2019
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I just installed OpenBSD on it and it works better than it did with Windows 10. Thanks everyone.
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Old 12th July 2019
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That's great news. Now you get to have lots of fun!
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Old 16th July 2019
Sherrant Sherrant is offline
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I am using a sony vaio laptop from 2008 that is running like a champ right now, I say go for it.
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Old 19th July 2019
raindog308 raindog308 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prevet View Post
Sorry I took a while to get back to you. I just tried it with an OpenBSD 6.5 CD and at VGA1 it says Intel HD graphics 2000 rev x09.
For posterity, you can also run the 'dxdiag' program in Windows to get a nice overview of the system hardware, especially graphics/video card/display-related hardware.
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