Computers are made by humans, and thus inherently prone to errors. This page describes known bugs for various models and brands
Affects: Intel i586 series (Pentium 1, Pentium MMX, Pentium Overdrive, Pentium MMX Overdrive)
This bug is caused by executing LOCK CMPXCHG8B eax (F0 0F C7 C8) By containing two opcode errors, an unallowed lock and a non-memory target, together with trying to cache the results, it confuses the cpu to enter a deadlock state, locking up the entire computer involved.
To fix this bug, the IDT entry containing the invalid opcode should be marked as uncacheable or writethrough to eliminate one necessary factor, or by marking the same page as not-writable which further confuses the processor, this time into the pagefault handler instead of into a deadlock. If paging is to be left disabled, the only workaround is to disable the cpu's caches, which is far from efficient. Further discussion of various solutions is presented here.
Edit: We can check, if the processor is Pentium through the CPUID instruction. Calling it with EAX=1 will return the CPU signature in EAX. We can extract the Family Number from the CPU signature and compare it with 5, because the Pentium belongs to Family 5.
For older K5 CPUs, the feature flags returned by "CPUID 0x00000001" in EDX are dodgy - bit 9 is used to indicate support for PGE (and not used to indicate support for the local APIC).
Affects: Cyrix 6x86 series
This bug is caused when several implicitly locked instructions are pipelined into an infinite loop. In effect when an instruction completes, the following locked instruction is executed directly afterward, maintaining bus lock and inhibiting interrupts. In an infinite loop, this will lock all interrupts on the processor, rendering it useless.
To fix this bug, one must write to the cyrix registers and set the NO-LOCK bit in CCR1, which disables all but the most essential bus locks. The downside of this is that read-modify-write atomicity is no longer guaranteed on multiprocessor systems. Source code that should prevent this condition: (untested)
MOV AL, 0xC1 ; 0xC1 refers to CCR1 OUT 0x22, AL ; Select Register IN 0x23, AL ; Load Contents OR AL, 0x10 ; Set No-Lock bit MOV AH, AL ; MOV AL, 0xC1 ; 0xC1 refers to CCR1 OUT 0x22, AL ; Select register MOV AL, AH ; Load new contents OUT 0x23, AL ; Write new CCR1 with No-Lock set