Intel AMT, Anti-Theft Technology, and other solutions interfacing with the Management Engine in the chipset commonly use a kernel level driver. Formerly called the HECI (Hardware Embedded Controller Interface), the driver is known by and commonly called the MEI (Management Engine Interface).
If you are using an OEM provider base operating system install, you likely have the MEI driver already. However, it is more likely that you have reinstalled or re-imaged your system with a corporate image. If you are getting a missing driver install prompt for "PCI Simple Communications Controller", this indicates that the MEI driver is missing from the system.
Shown below is a screenshot of the Device Manager with an "Other Device" missing a device driver.
There are 2 main ways to get the driver installed. The best option is to avoid Microsoft Windows Update provided drivers and utilize the OEM provided drivers
Option 1 - For 2010 and newer platforms, a base MEI driver is provided via Microsoft Windows Update similar to the example shown below.
Note: There are specific caveats with this approach as listed below.
Three key caveats with option 1.
- An incorrect driver version got released earlier in the year 2011. If your platform shows the MEI driver installed without expected functionality, check the driver version. If the MEI driver version is 1.x (such as the example below) or possibly 9.x, this is the incorrect driver. Remove from your platform and try the Windows Update again. (The incorrect driver was pulled from the Windows Update).
- The second caveat is that only 2010 or newer platforms are supported for Microsoft Windows Update download and installation of the MEI driver. For older platforms or situations where Microsoft Windows Update is not accessible, see the second option below.
- The third caveat is that only a basic version of the driver is provided. Solutions such as Intel® Anti-Theft Technology require the complete MEI driver from the OEM or Intel.
Option 2 - Most preferred. Download and install the MEI driver from the OEM website. The example below is from HP.com, and for those familiar with HP SSM, notice that this driver is SSM compliant.
For large scale or script installations, extract the files from the OEM provided package. In the software delivery script, use the command "setup.exe /s"
When the MEI driver is successfully installed and functional, it will look similar to the following Device Manager example