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AES-NI support in TrueCrypt (Sandy Bridge problem)

Discussion in 'Windows OS and Software' started by Skywise, May 31, 2011.

  1. Skywise

    Skywise Notebook Consultant

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    Here's the original post that started this:

    For now what we know is that:

    • Some laptops have an option in the BIOS that lets you enable/disable AES-NI. Check this first before doing anything else.
    • You can test if your system supports it using not only Truecrypt as described above, but also using CPU-Z or Intel's Processor Identification Utility
    • A list of CPUs supporting AES-NI can be found here.
    • If your CPU is listed as supported, you may need a patched BIOS to enable it.
    • On some setups the BIOS update also needs to embed the latest microcode update for the CPU in order for it to work.

    Don't hesitate to let your vendor know AES-NI is a feature you want if it doesn't work on your laptop. If you have contacts at hardware and review web sites, try bringing it up (politely) with people who run them, in an effort to give this more exposure. Also have a look through this thread, as people have been posting links to modified BIOSes for certain systems. Using a such a BIOS is at your own risk however, and the risk of bricking your computer is very real if you do it wrong.
     
  2. Pitabred

    Pitabred Linux geek con rat flail!

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    There's often a BIOS switch to enable that feature, and it's usually disabled by default... have you checked that?
     
  3. Skywise

    Skywise Notebook Consultant

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    No BIOS switch or option, I checked. G73s normally don't come with a AES-NI capable CPU either, so I doubt Asus will add support for it. This is rather annoying, as AES-NI was a large reason for me to upgrade in the first place.

    EDIT: Long shot - would it be possible to use UEFI to set/bypass it?
     
  4. hxkclan

    hxkclan Notebook Consultant

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    I though AES-NI was allways enabled. It's enabled on my i7 620m, and there is no way to disable it. Why would they disable such feature on a ''pretty highend'' processor, that doesn't make sense. I don't even think there is a bios option at all to enable/disable aes-ni.
     
  5. newsposter

    newsposter Notebook Virtuoso

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    is your 'upgrade' processor a real production chip or is it an engineering sample?
     
  6. Skywise

    Skywise Notebook Consultant

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    I bought the computer already configured from XoticPC, so I assume it's a production chip. I just got it, so I don't see a reason why it would be an engineering sample.
     
  7. newsposter

    newsposter Notebook Virtuoso

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    I'm unclear here....

    Was your laptop factory configured (from Asus) with the 2720 or did XoticPC 'upgrade' the machine with a CPU they themselves installed in their shop?
     
  8. FredFlint_

    FredFlint_ Notebook Consultant

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  9. Skywise

    Skywise Notebook Consultant

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    Upgrade. AES-NI is simply not detected by anything that it should show up as. CPU-Z specifically does not list it. Is there a way to check if it's an engineering sample, beyond opening up the laptop and removing the heatsink? (though I doubt that's the issue - I figure Xotic wouldn't be stupid enough to do that)

    EDIT: Ran the Intel CPU ID check and it says AES-NI is not supported, but it also doesn't say anything about it being an engineering sample, like it should if that was the case.
     
  10. newsposter

    newsposter Notebook Virtuoso

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    So what CPU *does* CPUID and/or the Intel CPU check say is installed?
     
  11. FredFlint_

    FredFlint_ Notebook Consultant

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  12. Skywise

    Skywise Notebook Consultant

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    2720QM. As for the Intel Demo, it starts up, but runs in SSE mode. If I try to change to ippCpuAES, it just shuts down.
     

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  13. newsposter

    newsposter Notebook Virtuoso

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    Well, I think we've established that there is a problem and that you should probably send the machine back to where you got it.
     
  14. FredFlint_

    FredFlint_ Notebook Consultant

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    Intel did not put AES in the last i7 quads, maybe the CPU dose not have it?
     
  15. Skywise

    Skywise Notebook Consultant

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    Yes, but we haven't determined whether it's limited to the CPU I got, or the combination of Asus G73SW + CPU. Sending it back is rather useless (not to mention costly given that it would involve international shipping) if it turns out to be a BIOS issue (or something else specific to the laptop model) and can't be fixed by swapping out the CPU.
     
  16. newsposter

    newsposter Notebook Virtuoso

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    Again, you are going to have to ask XoticPC. They sold you the modified rig......
     
  17. Zero989

    Zero989 Notebook Virtuoso

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  18. FredFlint_

    FredFlint_ Notebook Consultant

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    You may need to get the latest OpenSSL dll or some Windows update depending on which lib the software is using.
     
  19. newsposter

    newsposter Notebook Virtuoso

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    whaaaaa huh?
     
  20. Skywise

    Skywise Notebook Consultant

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    Definitely not openssl or anything like that, since it affects all software that's supposed to be able to utilize it. For all points and purposes AES-NI simply doesn't exist on my CPU. I will give you it's remotely possible something is somehow blocking it, maybe a damaged system file or something, but highly unlikely.
     

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