What purpose does Intel AMT stuff serve, imbedded into system BIOSes, when the OEM decides not to fully implement? Why do they bother putting ME firmware on their chips at all? Why do they bother offering updated drivers and sometimes updated ME versions via a BIOS upgrade?
I was initially curious about two Asus and MicroStar based systems I had to work on, but in researching this, apparently there are plenty of vendors who decide to not provide the MEBx interface. There is no MEBx header upon booting, no Ctrl-P works, and trying to access tcp/19662 gets no response. I have no idea why they decide to not implement the MEBx interface, when they integrate ME into their system BIOS packages, and continue to provide updates to both the drivers and firmware! I have gotten half-assed answers from both vendors, so I decided to come here and ask.
Again, I am confused beyond the ability to ask a questions correctly. Please bear with my rambling.
Since in modern EFI BIOS setups allocated on your common 8Mbit SPI Flash ICs, this is all very structured. A block for the system BIOS, a block for the GbE firmware, and so forth. And a specific address range associated with ME firmware. I have flashed different versions into a running system BIOS by only flashing that range, probably the same way the proper Intel FWUpdLcl utility works. If I run MeInfoWin, it identifies the version I just flashed, and my system still operates correctly. (Granted, this is an OEM BIOS with that region extracted from the firmware BIN, not directly using an Intel ME firmware update image.)
I want to see if, without any assistance or approval from the vendor, if we can enable MEBx. I'm sure ME is already there. There's probably a single byte toggle or something equally easy to enable access. But I could be wrong, the vendors are only flashing it onto their BIOS chips because it's required due to chipset licensing and only enabling the parts necessary for compliance, and none of the code to hook to the hardware devices is there.
Also I understand Intel's position on information disclosure, so if this is something we don't discuss in public, please say so. Besides, reading compiled machine code isn't as difficult as it used to be. Although in paging through the ME firmware hex, I see embedded x86 executable code. No decoding necessary. I'll guess it's the html server and the various configuration utilities that a fully-deployed and activated MEBx uses. And that's my point. The firmware is there. I want to enable it. Why won't said vendor(s) enable it? Choice? Cost? Complexity? Customers? I really want to know.
Sidenote: in trying to research this, I found many, many posts by people that think AMT is bad/evil/wrong. Really?
I'm sure I just scared all the conspiracists: "He wants to voluntarily activate the Intel spyware!!? Is he crazy?!"
Yes. So thanks for reading the ramblings of a crazy person.
And thanks in advance for any illumination provided... it's dark over here.