Ubuntu 17.10 Temporarily Unavailable: A BIOS Corrupting Problem

Ubuntu 17.10 Temporarily Unavailable: A BIOS Corrupting Problem

Because of current reports about laptops with corrupted BIOS after the installation of the latest version, Canonical has temporarily disabled download links for Ubuntu 17.10 “Artful Aardvark”.

Lenovo, Other Laptops with Corrupted BIOS after Latest Canonical Install

The reports are mostly concerning Lenovo laptops. However, other vendors may be affected as well, as suggested but ongoing reports.

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The issue resides in the Intel ISPI driver in Linux 4.13 kernel which corrupts the BIOS for specific laptop motherboards. Thus, Canonical is moving forward to disable the Intel ISPI drivers in their kernel builds, researchers say. Fortunately, the company’s hardware enablement team has said this workaround. However, it won’t do much if the BIOS is already corrupted.

Users should note that an updated Ubuntu 17.10 release with the fixed kernel is forthcoming. But currently the download is discouraged due to issues on some Lenovo laptops:

The download of Ubuntu 17.10 is currently discouraged due to an issue on certain Lenovo laptops. Once fixed this download will be enabled again.

Unfortunately:

Many users are reporting issues with bios corruption with 17.10. This seems to stem from enabling the intel-spi-* drivers in the kernel, which don’t appear to be ready for use on end-user machines.

Your Motherboard May Need to Be Replaced

In case your BIOS are corrupted, you will probably have to replace the motherboard, especially if no removable flash chip is available. The problem is valid for several different lines of Lenovo laptops, Yoga and IdeaPad products inclusive. However, there are more reports concerning some Acer, Toshiba and Dell machines.

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As reported, when the BIOS is corrupted by the Intel SPI kernel driver, the effects range from being unable to save BIOS settings to no longer being able to boot from USB devices.

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer, focused on user privacy and malicious software. Enjoys ‘Mr. Robot’ and fears ‘1984’.

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