Shared publicly  - 
Hm, who would have thought that just randomly poking memory of a laptop would brick it.  Long ago Samsung told me that it was just fine to be doing this, and that there would not be any problems (I based the samsung-laptop driver on code that Samsung themselves gave me.)

Turns out, it wasn't true, which is sad.  Yes, the real solution is to fix the BIOS.  If you have this hardware, just blacklist the samsung-laptop driver and all should be fine.

I just tested this on a 900X3D Samsung, running latest version of Ubuntu, and no problem happened at all.

So I don't know what is happening here to the people who are reporting problems, very strange...
Ed Liddle's profile photoWian Potgieter's profile photoChristopher Crocker's profile photoDavid Ford (FirefighterBlu3)'s profile photo
So we're back the usual Truth that the problem with UEFI is not Secure Boot but it's vendors who write crappy firmware...
Who would have thought random poking could brick a laptop?  Probably at least the people who bricked a Thinkpad with lm-sensors...
And there we go again with talks of "restrictions" when instead it's just a matter to replace and try to standardize (badly, I'd say at this point) a firmware...
HOLY CRAP!!! I just bought the 700c7 17" and installed ubuntu on it. Luckily I disabled the UEFI boot. So I guess I dodged a bullet there. But as far as I know if samsung tries to update the bootloader that can only be done in windows. 
Another point for Coreboot I guess.
No problem so far with the gnu/linux on my ultrabook and I use UEFI. (N900X4C with Windows8 and Arch Linux x86_64)
I have sympathy that poking about in BIOS memory might cause it to screw up somewhere in boot, should it be possible to do it unrecoveverably though? I guess most bioses are going to get into a mess if they let you screw around with overclocking etc, and it's pretty inevitable that bioses memory layout is going to change over time.
What was the check that it was running a suitable BIOS version to screw around with - because without that it was going to happen sooner or later.
It would be nice if the BIOS would at least get you to a keyboard prompt before doing anything with configuration values, but perhaps it relied on the data to configure the display.
Is this an Ubuntu-only issue? Or for all Linux OS's?
+Dawn Rhummy I have no idea, sorry.  Blacklist the samsung-laptop driver if you are paranoid, but I can't duplicate this here, so I really don't know.
Does noone remember the intel e1000e incident of a few years back. Where kprobes + e1000e cards meant you were getting bricked cards left and right. I remember reading the thread on LKML about it where the guy from intel said he literally had a box of the cards sitting next to him trying to debug the problem. The funny part is everyone was trying to blame at the time for the failures and it was a horrible  bug with kprobes and intel not mapping its firmware into memory read-only.
Just some kind of the galaxy S3 SOD but on a laptop :)
My 900X  Samsung laptop is working fine, but never tried it with UEFI.
+Stephen Hemminger
 Which 900x do you have? And which distro? How did you disable UEFI prior to installing? Did oyu disable fastboot as well? Do you have the samsung-laptop module?
Never seen Windows brick a laptop? I tried to put XP on my Acer Netbook and it bricked that!

I haven't yet tried to do a "blind bios update" which might fix it ...
+Paul Jacobs That's a particularly ignorant comment when you consider that these systems are designed in partnership with Microsoft, from the hardware to the firmware. The fact that Linux runs on as many machines as it does is nothing short of phenomenal. Compound the complexity that often "working with Windows" is interpreted as being functionally complete, even if that means violating a specification in order to deal with an issue with Windows. An occasional failure such as this, especially in which the original code came from the manufacturer, is hardly worthy of such trollish criticism.
sad part is, even if samsung fix the BIOS ( at least NP300E5Z ) there is no sane way to upgrade existing without useing MS windows and on top of that you can not upgrade it without use battery with at least 30% charge, even if you are on AC anyway :D
+Dawn Rhummy
well no option in BIOS itself, also no way to download ROM without the tool samsung provides.
I have a Samsung np550, it is dual booting windows 8 and arch, both using uefi. Using rEFInd boot loader; no issues so far, haven't black listed anything.
+Paul Jacobs Your link is about crashing Apple apps. That has nothing to do with Unix. The Apple OS may be based on BSD, but it's a completely separate beast. And this has to do with user space applications which all use a user space library that has a bug in it. Nothing to do with the kernel, and nothing what so ever that has to do with Linux or Unix. The article even says that Gimp (on Apple) isn't affected. Your post shows exactly how much of a giant ignoramus you are.

With this post, I've exceeded my quota for responding to trolls.
I'd suggest using CSM mode (i.e BIOS emulation option) instead of UEFI for now. AFAIK, they haven't found a specific set of conditions that will brick it...
+Darren Hart - Agreed, it's very strange Linux runs on as many machines as it does. 
David B
I have a Samsung laptop and I like it.
Add a comment...