7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 26, 2018 7:41 PM by dnorcott

    Help! Clarification on Intel Management Engine Interface components



      System Dell XPS 8700 Bios A13, SMBIOS 2.7,  HAL "10.0.17134.1", System BIOS Version: 64.13

      Motherboard: DELL 0KWVT8, Chipset: Intel Z87 (Lynx Point),

      Intel Core i7-4790, Step C0,  Codename Haswell-DT Refresh, SSPEC: SR1QF 

      Inspectre reports CPUID: 306C3 and Meltdown Protected YES Spectre protected YES, Microcode update available YEs CPUID: 306C3


      OS Microsoft Windows 10 Home (x64) Build 17134.165 (1803/RS4)



      1) In NO IMEI documentation regarding the IME or the Microcode updates can I find reference to i7-4790 or Z87 (Lynx Point),  or Haswell-DT Refresh. 

      Some driver software indicates "Intel Xeon E3 1200 v3 4th generation" but this could refer to supporting components.

      A CPUID of 306C3 is reported by Gibson Research Inspectre utility this does point me to what I believe to be the correct  processor group,

         ?? Is the CPUID all I need to identify my CPU for  updates and is always valid


      2) I reloaded the Dell chipset drivers Intel 8 Series Chipset Driver v10.1.1.7 (A00) June 27, 2015 

         and the Dell IMEI driver Intel AMT HECI Driver and then let windows update to version
  Also installed KB4100347: Intel microcode update based on CPUID of 306C3.  Then went

         through drivers on Device Manger and updated anything I thought remotely applicable

         ?? Is there additional software that IME is dependent upon and what services are involved.

        ?? I see mention of INF updates but assume must be part of chipset update as can find none for my XPS 8700


      3) The Intel Management Engine Interface always fails upon install. Many, Many posts on this problem no solutions.

         Driver STATUS: This device cannot start. (Code 10) STATUS_DEVICE_POWER_FAILURE

         EVENT LOG: Intel(R) Management Engine Interface driver has failed to perform handshake with the Firmware

         (FWSTS0: 0x1E000042, FWSTS1: 0x60002106).

         This is preceeded by an information STATUS: The Intel(R) Management Engine Interface is being reset.

         The acutal problem (status 10) appears to be the fact that it can not interface with the firmware. 

         My last bios upgrade failed indicating it could not communicate (but appears to have installed correctly)

         with the ME firmware. Bios Versions A12 and A13 came out this spring (last prev updated 2015) both bios updates appear

        to be related to Spectre.  I know I did  not have this problem prior to April for sure and I believe the IME problem  started with the bios updates.

        The HWINFO utility reports under SMBIOS DME/Intel vPro:

         Intel ME status: Enabled, Intel ME Version: v9.1, Build 1006, Hotfix 26,  BIOS ME Support: Not Supported.

        ?? Should IMEI work on my system when I have NO BIOS ME Support?

         ?? Currently have disabled since not running anyway.  Can I leave it disabled without causing problems otherwise slow boots as attempts to reload IME drives..

         ?? Is there any possibility incorrect configuration  could be causing this type of problem. 


        Also a quick block overview of the IME relation ship between components (BIOS, FIRMWARE, MICROCODE) would be appreciated.


      Thanks in Advance


        • 1. Re: Help! Clarification on Intel Management Engine Interface components

          Here are at least partial answers to your questions...


          1. No. The CPUID identifies only the processor. This has nothing to do with the ME.
          2. The Chipset Device Software (a.k.a. INF Update) package is not tied to the ME either. In actually installs no drivers; it provides INF files the optimally configure the operation of Microsoft-supplied drivers to support the various interfaces (other than the ME) that are provided by the chipset (PCH component). The Intel Management Engine Consumer software (what Dell is calling HECI driver) package installs driver-level support for communicating with the ME. It also installs support for a number of necessary software services, such as that for High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). The ME can also support a number of optional services, such as that for Intel Platform Trust Technology (PTT, a firmware TPM), but these services typically require the installation of a separate software package before the service is activated.
          3. No, your ME should be operating and not disabled; too many capabilities (especially platform power-on and initialization) depend upon it operating correctly. It is unclear why yours is not operating properly. Many BIOS implementations will have a place in their BIOS Setup capability where you can see the version of the ME firmware that is running. If this is displaying an error or is not displaying a valid ME firmware version number, it typically indicates that the ME is not operating at all and that there is a problem with the ME firmware (which is packaged with the BIOS firmware). In this case, you need to perform a BIOS Recovery operation to get it working again. Contact Dell for help with whatever BIOS Recovery process they are supporting.
          4. Here are rough explanations for the interrelationships:
            • Microcode is contained within and run by the processor. You load Microcode updates in order to address errata (and vulnerabilities, such as Spectre) in the Microcode built into the processor. Normally, Microcode updates are installed by the BIOS during its POST (Power-On System Test) processing. Since some (slimy) board manufacturers have refused to update the Microcode updates contained within their BIOSs for older products, other means for Microcode updating have proven necessary. For example, many Operating Systems, such as Linux and Windows, have facilities for loading Microcode updates. Note however that, if errata affects the ability for an Operating System to be securely loaded, only microcode updates contained with the BIOS will be able to address these issues.
            • BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is the name for the firmware that traditionally has supported the initialization of the processor and platform, supported O/S load and execution and thereafter provides runtime services that (amongst other things) support processor and platform operation.
            • Completely separate from the BIOS firmware is the firmware that supports the operation of the Management Engine. While updates to the BIOS firmware and the ME firmware are typically packaged together -- and (somewhat incorrectly) referred to simply as a BIOS update (when it should really be called a Firmware Update) -- they remain totally independent of each other. While both play (sequenced) roles in the power-on and initialization of the platform (and especially the processor and memory), they operate completely independently of each other and their interactions outside of this are only through established protocols.
            • Many people, because the ME is implemented as a black box (for security reasons) and because some vulnerabilities have been discovered, are mistrustful of it and some have asked for it to be disabled. The ME cannot be completely disabled, however; as it plays a necessary role in power-on and initialization of the processor and platform. Some facilities for stopping ME operation after this role is complete have been implemented, however.


          Hope this helps,


          • 2. Re: Help! Clarification on Intel Management Engine Interface components

            Thank You


            I guess I do not ask my questions properly.


            Just to clarify about the CPUID,  what I was asking was (since can not find my CPU listed otherwise) can I use the CPUID to determine any and all driver/software updates applicable to my CPU without reservation.


            The INF question (and it looks like you answered it) any INF files required would have been in the chip-set update.from Dell


            I will attempt to get my IME working as soon as I can, I was asking if disabling (to improve boot speed) rather than leaving it stopped/unloaded was acceptable until fixed.  


            I have spent probably 30 hours or more researching the problem and do not hold much hope for fixing until see a new bios update (my system can not revert bios) from dell.  My next step is to post

            on the Dell site but I thought I needed a better understanding to give it one my crack before posting on Dell.   I believe I am one of many XPS 8700 owners with this problem and the only fix I have

            seen was to have NOT updated to the A12 and A13 Bios updates ( different XPS 8700 owners those that updated had problem those that did not update had no problem).


            I guess one of the unanswered questions I was attempting to ask was,  do the updates usually come as a group. Microcode, Bios Update, Driver Update and are interdependent.   I do not appear to have
            (working) BIOS support that I know of for the ME firmware (only HW INFO ) and there appears to be no place in my bios setup to related to it.   But I can pursue why there is no SMBIOS support.


            Thank you,  With your answer I feel a little more confident in perusing this.  I will update if and when I make progress.

            • 3. Re: Help! Clarification on Intel Management Engine Interface components

              Regarding CPUID, yes, it should establish all that you need to know. There is typically only one driver package truly related to the processor itself, namely the Intel HD Graphics package (which also includes the Intel HD Audio driver). In some cases, namely those where the processor is delivered in a SoC package, there may be a package providing Serial I/O drivers (i2c, SMBus, etc.) as well.


              For the most part, yes, Microcode and BIOS, Me and other firmware are delivered as a package. It is possible for a package to be prepared that updates only the Microcode or only the ME firmware, but this is not the common methodology.

              As I said, getting the ME running properly may require that you perform a BIOS Recovery process. I do not know what/how Dell delivers support for BIOS Recovery, so you will need to ask them.


              I can only repeat, the ME is important. It is necessary for copyright protection support and many other things. You need to contact Dell to have them address this issue.



              • 4. Re: Help! Clarification on Intel Management Engine Interface components

                Have been away for a 10 days and  am starting to pursue again now.  


                System went in for a memory problem (1 DDR3  replaced) and after it was returned I could no longer create bootable DVDs though previously created disks still booted. 

                Several months after the fact I started looking at the problem and was playing with Legacy and UEFI boots trying to resolve it.  Around that time I started developing system hangs (stuck_thread) which eventually I resolved by removing my AMD video card and using the on board Intel HD 4600 graphics.  Initially thought it was a driver/OS incompatibility and at one point I did a clean install of windows and there is a chance that I did a so with the UEFI DISABLED..


                So will do a clean install of Windows 10 again with bios defaults and see if problem still present or not and start from there.

                • 5. Re: Help! Clarification on Intel Management Engine Interface components

                  Change the BIOS setting to enable/use UEFI, save and reboot. Boot into the Windows installation image (on USB flash disk) and, when you get to the screen where you specify where to install Windows, you need to delete all existing partitions on the System drive and then tell Windows to install to the free space on the drive (and which now encompasses the entire drive). Only by doing this will you be guaranteed to have the existing (legacy) partition table deleted and a new GPT partition table for UEFI created.


                  Hope this helps,


                  • 7. Re: Help! Clarification on Intel Management Engine Interface components

                    Marked as answered will update with when/if I get the IMEI working.

                    Had planned to delete all partitions (plus disconnect all other HDs) during intall.

                    I have 7 partitions total on the drive. Four are labeled recovery and OEM,  but do not believe I have any OEM partions that would be valid.   I currently have a post on Dell forum to verify this before going ahead.