Cleaning the ME data region on a system with dual mem ic's

Hello, I have the following problem:

I’m trying to restore a valid bios with a working ME (not in recovery state :slight_smile: ) on a dell 990 system. The problem is (I think ) that the system uses two mem ic’s (one 64k and one 16k) instead of a single flash memory ic. As far as I can tell, from observing an “original” flashing process, the descriptor region as well as the version logs ( or something like that - the manifest) are stored on the 64k ic and the ME is probably flashed on the 16k one. I suppose that this is the case because:

1. MEAnalyzer detects the ME version on the 64k chip, but isn’t detecting one on the 16k one.
2. The OEM flashing image (the A* BIOS versions from dell) flashes the BIOS region when the 64k chip is present and doesn’t when it is not.
3. The same image writes the ME region when the 16k chip is present and doesn’t when it is not.
4. The Flash System tools break with error 22 when I’m trying to load a working 64k image and says that it cannot write the BIOS region (as I suppose it is not present at all???)

Could the scenario above be possible? I am a complete dilettante in this area so I could be completely wrong…
I noticed that the Flash Tools for the ME version embedded in the memory (v7) are present only for a build(which is supplied with the A05 and A06 bios updates from Dell) and the build. Do the builds of the Flash Tools correspond to the builds of the ME in the BIOS images provided from Dell? Should I try and match them? I.e. should I try and find a ME version to match it to the Flash Tools one?

Would anyone help me please :slight_smile: ?

The Dell BIOS update includes the BIOS and GbE regions only, not the Flash Descriptor and ME. Based on the fact that the BIOS is 4MB and the ME 7 firmware used is around 5MB, that system probably uses one 8MB chip for FD (4KB) + GbE (8-16KB) + ME (~5MB) + BIOS Part 1 (2MB) and a second 2MB chip for BIOS Part 2 (2MB). You need to dump both of them, then merge the two files into one 10MB and input that at Flash Image Tool for cleaning. When it is done you should see 3 output files, the first 8MB, the second 2MB and a combined 10MB. You can then flash back accordingly.

990.rar (1.88 MB)

Thank you! This is exactly what I needed :). Initially, when I saw that the 8MB ic had vast regions of empty space, I suspected that Dell have split the system firmware in two for security reasons and were remapping on the go the 2MB ic into the first. All is clear now as you said that the full firmware is over 8MB.

Yes, it should be 10MB. That was done for cost-saving I assume (8MB too small but 16MB too large), not security. By default, all extra SPI space is added to the end of the ME region as padding. Provided that the FD is 0x1000, Gbe is 0x4000 & BIOS Part 1 is 0x200000, that means that the ME region takes the remaining space of 0x800000 - 0x200000 - 0x4000 - 0x1000 = 0x5FB000. Oh, also, thank you for using ME Analyzer.

It is an extremely useful tool! :smiley: I suspect you’re the author so you have my respect (and a little donation to the site as thanks alone don’t put food on the table!)!