HowTo get rid of ME Recovery notfication on ASRock MB?

Hi all,

I have a ASRock Rack E3C236D2I motherboard I purchased for dirt cheap a couple years ago. It works fine, save for one annoying error during the boot process:

This message appears on every boot, even to go into the BIOS. Also occurs even if the ME_RECOVERY jumper in is the normal position.

More info on board:
BIOS Version - P.260
BMC Version - 7.12
Intel SPS Version - 4.1.4.54

With info gathered from reading this forum, I have compiled the following so that experienced members get as much information as possible.

I used CSME Tools v11 r41 to gather the following info for your perusal:

MEInfo

Error 86: Communication error between application and Intel(R) ME module (FWU client)

Error 81: Internal error (Could not determine FW features information)

MEManuf
Error 86: Communication error between application and Intel(R) ME module (FWU client)

Error 125: Internal error (Could not determine FW features information)

Error 117: MEManuf Operation Failed

MEAnalyzer 1.93
±-----------------------------------------+
¦ ME Analyzer v1.93.0 r170 ¦
±-----------------------------------------+

±---------------------------------------+
¦ SPI.BIN (1/1) ¦
¦----------------------------------------¦
¦ Family ¦ CSE SPS ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ Version ¦ 04.01.04.054 ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ Release ¦ Production ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ Type ¦ Region ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ SKU ¦ 2 ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ Chipset ¦ SPT-H B ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ Security Version Number ¦ 3 ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ Version Control Number ¦ 0 ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ Production Version ¦ No ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ OEM RSA Signature ¦ No ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ OEM Unlock Token ¦ No ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ Date ¦ 2017-09-25 ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ File System State ¦ Configured ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ Size ¦ 0x2F9000 ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ Flash Image Tool ¦ 04.01.04.054 ¦
¦-------------------------±-------------¦
¦ Chipset Support ¦ SPT-H ¦
±---------------------------------------+

Press enter to exit

running FPT with -I parameter
C:\Intel ME Tools\CSME System Tools v11 r41\Flash Programming Tool\WIN64>fptw64 -I

Intel (R) Flash Programming Tool. Version: 11.8.86.3877
Copyright (c) 2007 - 2020, Intel Corporation. All rights reserved.

Reading HSFSTS register… Flash Descriptor: Valid

— Flash Devices Found —
MX25L12875F ID:0xC22018 Size: 16384KB (131072Kb)

— Flash Image Information –
Signature: VALID
Number of Flash Components: 1
Component 1 - 16384KB (131072Kb)
Regions:
DESC - Base: 0x00000000, Limit: 0x00000FFF
BIOS - Base: 0x00800000, Limit: 0x00FFFFFF
CSME - Base: 0x00003000, Limit: 0x007FFFFF
GbE - Base: 0x00001000, Limit: 0x00002FFF
PDR - Not present
EC - Not present
Master Region Access:
CPU/BIOS - ID: 0x00, Read: 0x03B, Write: 0x03A
ME - ID: 0x00, Read: 0x02D, Write: 0x00C
GbE - ID: 0x00, Read: 0x009, Write: 0x008
EC - ID: 0x00, Read: 0x120, Write: 0x120

Total Accessible SPI Memory: 16384KB, Total Installed SPI Memory: 16384KB

FPT Operation Successful.

I do have BIOS and ME only dumps
I did look at trying to clean the ME region until I realized that the file system state is set to “configured” instead of “initialized”.
I have Server 2019 installed for test purposes and it has blue screened regularly with the even viewer stating that

Then it seem to try to reset, then disable the ME interface, causing the blue screen

This is all I can think of at 5am where I live (Trinidad and Tobago).
Thanks for reading. Let’s hope this can be resolved, else I’ll just toss this board out and get a SuperMicro one.

Edit by Fernando: Thread title customized

That smells hardware, if there’s a jumper and the error message comes independant of its position it might be some shortenend pin…

Otherwise: Tools for SPS are different, FPT from same generation CSME tools sometimes works, but FIT is completely different- and ME- tools are not to find for SPS. In addition the cleaning process might be similar, but not completely equal.

@lfb6 Thanks for that insight.

Well I have 3 choices then:

1) find an electronics guy and see if he can see anything obvious for a short on the board
2) live with board as is
3) replace board

@SaxitoPau There’s of course a 4th choice- extract the ME regoin from latest Asrock update, dump your bios, ‘exchange as is’ ME region in your dump, flash the complete firmware image back.

You might try to flash just the ME region with fpt from ME package 11, but as said, these are CSME tools, so I’d recommend to make a valid dump of the existing firmware before trying to write somthing this way.

Try a complete dump with fpt(w(64)) -d spi.bin, see what happens. Maybe you’ll have to change the jumoer for ME- recovery, maybe the CSME- fpt will not work at all. Otherwise try to save at least bios and GbE, the other regions don’t contain machine specific information and might be taken from a stock bios

[Edit] Just to calrify: That will possibly not cre the problem but there is still a chance that this is caused by a corrupt ME/SPS. Flashing a stock ME/SPS would confirm/cure this possibility or give you the security that this isn’t firmware related.

I am having the same issue as posted above and unfortunately this solution did not work for me. I was trying to update the SPS Firmware and moved the jumper on the motherboard to the ME Recovery and Security Unlock mode and the ME is now stuck in Recovery even though I have moved the jumpers back.

I was just thinking:
Is replacing the physical bios chip an option? Order a new bios chip and flash it with the latest BIOS/firmware before installing it on the board?
I’m just tossing out what is possible, even if not very probable, at this point.

For now the board has been prepped for use as a TrueNAS backup server. AS long I don’t have to reboot (and remember to press F1 each time I boot!) I should be fine.

After you place the jumper in normal mode, did you clear cmos?
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@boombastik Yes, I certainly did when I replaced jumper to normal position. I not even sure how many times I’ve reset CMOS.