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Intel Management Engine Interface - What is it? RRS feed

  • Question

  • When I did a clean install of Win 7 Home Premium 32 bit I discovered that there was an unidentified device in Device Manager with a yellow bang against it. I finally tracked it down to being the item in the subject line, but could find no driver.


    I attempted to read the Intel literature and Wiki entry about it , but was little the wiser for my efforts.

    It appeared that as a stand alone home user machine, my system had no use for it.

    However , today Windows Update has offered me an update classified as Important, namely a driver (I think) for this device.

    I would be grateful if someone could explain in simple terms what this device does and why I might need it.

    Does it perform some function in respect of Windows Update?

    --

    John

     

    Saturday, November 20, 2010 6:03 PM

Answers

All replies

  • It would seem your system has a motherboard with Intel chips and logically is would make much more sense if you posted your question on an Intel forum website.  There are prople using the Intel support forums that can break it down into simple terms, and, you will find a higher density of Intel users with the same question on an Intel website forum!

    http://www.intel.com/en_US/Assets/PDF/general/ug_Intel_MEBX.pdf

    And, according to posts on Tom's Hardware website, you need an Intel system driver for this.  Yes, Microsoft eventually receives these drivers from Intel and posts them in the Windows Update Catalog, but Microsoft does not write any drivers for third party hardware.

    I also see numerous links about Intel Management Engine doing a simple search of the internet:  https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=Intel+Management+Engine&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    Saturday, November 20, 2010 7:17 PM
  • Thanks,

    I did a Google search myself before posting my question. However the answers I came across were either highly technical or from those attempting to install drivers.

     

    I was curious as to why Windows Update classified this item as Important, whereas most driver updates that I have seen are classified as Optional.

     

    I wondered if it performed some function in respect of Windows Update.

    --

    John

    Saturday, November 20, 2010 8:15 PM
  • I would suspect that Intel classified it as "Important" because some critical feature in it was corrected.  Again, you would find out much more if you went to the Intel support forums and asked your questions there where the answers would be coming from people working much closer with the Intel things than anyone in a Microsoft forum.

    Here is a result of searching the Intel website for Intel Management Engine: http://search.intel.com/default.aspx?q=+Intel+Management+Engine+&c=en_US&method=text&input-submit=Search

    If you want information about Intel products, then go to the Intel website and look for it there.

    I don't think anyone wanting information about Chevrolet engine management would go to a Ford dealer and ask about it there!


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    Saturday, November 20, 2010 9:55 PM
  • Thanks for your help.

    I take it from your analogy that this device has no software  interface with Windows 7 and is not used by the OS.

    Apologies for asking my question in the wrong forum

    --

    John

    Saturday, November 20, 2010 11:00 PM
  •    
    Sunday, November 21, 2010 6:45 AM
  • Thanks, that was most helpful.

    I had come across this document before but had been discouraged from trying to read it by

    the statement in the Introduction:

     

    This user guide is primarily intended for Information Technology (IT) administrators
    and system integrators with experience in implementing complex computer and
    network installations. It is not intended for general audiences.

     

    I can see now why it is built into a Dell home user desktop machine!

     

    --

    John

     

     

    Sunday, November 21, 2010 12:58 PM
  •    
    Sunday, November 21, 2010 9:49 PM
  •  

     

     

     

    more generally, Intel® Management Engine (ME) and Active Management Technology (AMT) are blanket names for a state-of-the-art solution which Intel is marketing.   it mainly targets Enterprise and Government customers.  the technology gives them the ability to remotely monitor and control all computers in their possession.  it includes authentication and data encryption at the most fundamental level.  the technology is integrated into the hardware chips and firmware bios, upon which device drivers are applied, and then is further customized via a Software Development Kit (SDK ).  since it engaged prior to the O/S booting up, even Windows is unaware of much of its presence and background activities.

     

    you might recall a period when Intel CPUs contained a CPUID instruction which exposed its unique factory programmed serial number.  that was later removed in response to protest that it was at least an invasion of privacy.  for the home consumer market, it could obviously lead to various kinds of abuse.  this MEBX technology again touches upon that subject.  especially if you don't even know it's in your computer, and accept automatic updates for its drivers.

    Thanks very much for the information.

    I can't say that I find the idea of such a system on my PC very comforting!

    --

    John

    Sunday, November 21, 2010 10:35 PM