InSpectre is a Free Lightweight Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerability and Performance Checker

Written by Jon Sutton on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 12:42 PM

Getting your head around Meltdown and Spectre protection is a tricky process. If you’ve been led to believe that a simple Windows update was all that was needed, think again. Fortunately, a man by the name of Steve Gibson has done everyone a huge favour and released his freeware InSpectre Meltdown and Spectre Check utility.

The InSpectre download itself is ludicrously lightweight, weighing in at 122KB and doesn't need to be installed. It instantly informs you whether you’re vulnerable to either the Meltdown or Spectre CPU vulnerability flaws, as well as providing some light feedback on the system performance impact. It also provides a little breakdown on each of the individual flaws that need to be tackled, as well as recommendations on where to look for the latest security updates.

I booted it up to immediately be told that yes, I am still very much at threat from both Spectre and Meltdown on this particular PC. It’s recommended I download more Windows 10 updates, as well as ensure the latest motherboard BIOS updates and CPU firmware are installed.

Once patched up the performance section is updated with the performance impact. This is going to vary depending on which OS you're using and which hardware you have. Older processors and operating systems will suffer greater performance degradation after Spectre and Meltdown fixes.

In terms of ease-of-use, it doesn’t really get much better than this, and it certainly beats trawling through your registry files or Windows updates to see if you’re protected.

Handily, once you’ve got Meltdown and Spectre Protection installed, InSpectre also lets you enable the disable the protection at will. This could be great for identifying any potential performance impact, such as if you’re struggling to obtain playable frame rates in a particular game after installing the fix. It may not be the fix’s fault whatsoever, but this at least provides a decent process of elimination method.

The InSpectre tool is available to download free of charge directly from Steve Gibson's own Gibson Research Corporation here. Now you'll have to excuse me a moment while I go and frantically update my PC.

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02:59 Jan-24-2018

I watched a video of an IT Tech going on about this and apparently, it the big servers like Cloud Amazon and that kinda thing that will be hit by the slower performance. Normal/gaming pc's won't be affected. But never say never

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19:52 Jan-19-2018

So according to this; I'm not vulnerable to meltdown, but I am vulnerable to spectre, and my performance is good.

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15:10 Jan-19-2018

It says my laptop is vulnerable to Spectre but not to meltdown, is spectre more harmful than meltdown or what?BTW havnt checked my main pc, when i do i will report if there are lower performance.

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15:24 Jan-19-2018

You need to update BIOS to fix Spectre exploit.

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16:49 Jan-19-2018

but there is no fix for Spectre yet

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03:55 Jan-20-2018

with my main PC says it is vulnerable to spectre and meltdown but my perfomance is good so..

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11:11 Jan-19-2018

Does anyone know why motherboard manufacturers aren't going beyond Broadwell/Haswell to Ivy Bridge/Sandy Bridge motherboards like the H61/B75 series ? Are they out of support because they're more than 5 years old or some other reason ?

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10:51 Jan-19-2018

What can i do for my 2010 laptop with 1st gen intel cpu and amd gpu that is on legacy driver and no updates for bios or gpu driver.

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11:09 Jan-19-2018

Did you run this program ? What are the results ?

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21:27 Jan-19-2018

Yes
Yes
Good
Fpr my laptop ofc. Buti cant enable protection

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11:56 Jan-20-2018

This program won't let you enable protection until you have the fixes/patches installed. There are two ways those fixes are being released. Both of which are needed. One is through Windows Update, the other through BIOS update. For old systems, we might have to wait until the end of the month to see updates, if any. There is still a chance that our motherboards won't see BIOS updates, but the Windows Update seems likely.

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21:11 Jan-20-2018

I see. Well my laptop is a sony vaio whick sony quit from laptop market since 2012 and no chance for bios update. i run windows 7 for my laptop and i will keep my windows update always up to day. Hope for a solution soon.

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03:21 Jan-20-2018

i would sooner suffer than lose 30% performance of my cpu

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21:14 Jan-20-2018

i would choose to steal your data? steal your saved pass than lose performance? i have pass from my bank acc from my paypal, i am not sure

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08:37 Jan-19-2018

performance is good

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04:15 Jan-19-2018

Not vulnerable to Meltdown, Not vulnerable to Spectre. Performance is slower. :(

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19:33 Jan-18-2018

what if this thing give us the virus

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21:07 Jan-18-2018

Don't be silly. The press has covered it. It's legit.

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17:13 Jan-18-2018

Yikes, my CPU is not vulnerable to Meltdown but vulnerable to Spectre and my performance is SLOWER!...


Still no word from Asus if they gonna update their Z97 motherboard BIOS.

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20:15 Jan-18-2018

No word from AsRock about the z77 boards either, I feel like we will just be left in the wind but you probably have a slightly better chance than I do.

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10:40 Jan-19-2018

Well for my asrock z370 i have the update since 12/1/18
Maybe they take it slowly to update their older motherboars

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02:10 Jan-21-2018

I'll be surprised if they even bother.

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22:54 Jan-18-2018

No word from MSI for Z97 boards either

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13:22 Jan-19-2018

Thats strange,i have the same cpu and im not vulnerable to meltdown,but vulnerable to spectre also,and on my end it says that performance is GOOD

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14:52 Jan-19-2018

Maybe Windows related, I am still on Windows 7.

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22:10 Jan-19-2018

Must be. I'm on Win 10 with that CPU and I got Yes, Yes, Good.

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17:13 Jan-18-2018

According to it, I'm vulnerable to Spectre only and as expected the performance states slower. Hopefully with future updates this does not start affecting game performance as I can not upgrade just yet anyway.

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15:28 Jan-18-2018

Warning headphone users: starting up InSpectre makes a loud noise... I jumped hard.

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10:20 Jan-20-2018

yeah, that noise was really unnecessary.

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15:26 Jan-18-2018

Just out of curiosity...... is this utility open source? From a trusted source? It does say right on the download page that it's been detected by Smartscreen filter as "malware"..... what reason is there to trust this utility?

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15:50 Jan-18-2018

"anti-virus scanners due to the program's use of a specific registry key used to enable and disable the Meltdown and Spectre protections" that's why? and does say don't get it other websites then that one.

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15:56 Jan-18-2018

you can always download the file and run a scan with multiple different anti-virus programs. I used Kaspersky and Malwarebytes. None detected it as malicious

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16:19 Jan-18-2018

I scanned it and gave it a go..... seems my system isn't protected, and a windows update is not yet available for some reason.

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17:28 Jan-18-2018

If I remember correctly Windows Update did have an update a week or so back, which had the patch fix. But it caused some problems in Haswell and Broadwell boards. You might want to do some research on how it affects your setup.

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20:13 Jan-18-2018

Nope.... for some reason the update just wasn't being pushed to me.... I even uninstalled my AntiVirus and Spyware protection to make sure incompatibilities with either of those weren't causing the update to be blocked, but to no avail.... finally I just decided to go to Microsofts site and manually download the update from there, and my PC is running just fine with it....... no idea why it wasn't being pushed out to me, but I seem to have this issue alot with major windows updates.

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21:12 Jan-18-2018

I don't think everybody gets updates at the same time. I think it's something to do with servers and load/traffic.

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22:37 Jan-18-2018

That I know..... but it's not that...... major updates don't get pushed to me at all, it can literally be weeks later with me left wondering where it is, if I want the update I pretty much always have to go download it from Microsoft....... minor updates on the other hand come through just fine...... it's a thing!

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15:09 Jan-18-2018

Vulnerable to Meltdown: NO
Vulnerable to Spectre: YES
Performance: GOOD


Thats what i got :/

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15:17 Jan-18-2018

i got the same thing bro..


update: apparently to fix spectre you gotta download your latest bios from your motherboard manufacturer, if theres a new one.

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15:46 Jan-18-2018

Yea just checked and no new updates for mine yet

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16:21 Jan-18-2018

same here :/ i just contacted asus support to know if they gonna release something for my board... i hope they do, the last bios update was on 2017.

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15:07 Jan-18-2018

it says that im vulnerable to spectre, what do i do o_O?

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17:40 Jan-18-2018

they sayed that there is no protection against spectre yet so we canot do anything

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17:58 Jan-18-2018

Do some research. A few things of note are that some updates come in the form of Windows Update and others via your motherboard manufacturer in the form of BIOS updates. Because some updates have been rushed out, there are some problems that those patches/fixes cause, you need to do a detailed study of what the performance hit is of the updates, for your setup. The great thing about this tool, Inspectre, is that once you have the patches installed, you can disable/enable the fix on-the-go, so that if the performance hit is big, for the kind of work you want to do, you can always disable it for a while.

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14:59 Jan-18-2018

For me,it says that my processor is protected from meltdown by design but not protected from spectre because i haven't updated windows yet.As far as the performance goes it just says that it's good

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15:01 Jan-18-2018

Should i expect any significant performance hits if i update?

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15:27 Jan-18-2018

With this program, once you have the update installed, you can enable/disable it on the go and log the performance delta to see how much of an impact it makes.

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14:44 Jan-18-2018

Perfomance good and no protection

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14:17 Jan-18-2018

Mine says performance is slower :/

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14:26 Jan-18-2018

same here :O

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14:32 Jan-18-2018

Yeah you two will run slower with those older CPUs. Have you noticed much difference?

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14:41 Jan-18-2018

Anyone know what 'slower' means in numerical terms ? For example, do they give any indication whether slower means like 30 %, more or less ... ?

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15:04 Jan-18-2018

I don't think they do, they're likely just triggering a call to the CPU and detecting whether it falls outside the normal range. For now, we know gaming performance isn't hugely affected (&#6010% even on older CPUs), but once more Spectre fixes roll out this could change.

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13:27 Jan-18-2018

I think I'm prote- gunshot

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13:09 Jan-18-2018

I'm protected against Meldown but not spectre

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14:36 Jan-18-2018

Did you install the Meltdown protection as a Windows Update ? And what does it say next to performance for you ?

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03:23 Jan-19-2018

don't think I have had the windows update yet, however it did say slower when i did the test

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07:20 Jan-19-2018

Possibly installed silently/itself ? Automatic updates enabled ?

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09:21 Jan-19-2018

my friend didnt update his windows for years now and he is protected against meltdown and good perfomance lol

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