ME downgrade fails

my board is Asus z97 pro gamer
me firmware in latest bios is 1.5MB
I have manually updated the firmware to 1.5MB
now i cant go back to any firmware except 1.5MB
it fails says its not supported by the platform even if I extracted it from the original .CAP bios file
the ME test program show no problems - all pass (unless I didn’t use the switches right)
but I’m guessing this is not optimal
this device seems to be disconnected (don’t know if its ME’s fault) Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family Thermal Controller - 8CA4
it load only when I’m using siv and no recourses are allocated to the device because its having a problem
so any quick fix to go back to original bios ME firmware ?
I’m not so good in hex editors and such



You can’t downgrade your ME firmware because the Asus Z97 Pro Gamer bios, as well as other Asus motherboards bios, have the descriptors locked.
Unluckly your motherboard has not the second eeprom as backup, so you can only fix this using an Eeprom SPI Programmer (like the EZP2010), unplug
che bios chip, reprogramming it with the official asus stock bios file, and replacing into the socket.

You could try to use the attached file using the syntax command FPTW64 -DUMPLOCK and tell me what it says. If it reports FF FF at the end of each descriptor region
then it’s possible to downgrade ME, if it says 08 or 09 it is locked and you can’t downgrade via software. (511 KB)

Lock Settings.
Host CPU master: 00 00 0B 0A
ME region master: 00 00 0D 0C
GBE region master: 18 01 08 08
FPT Operation Passed

I’m guessing its not software programmable right ?
is it hard to unlock it I mean desktop can emulate everything but not a bios programmer ? :stuck_out_tongue:
thanks for responding

EDIT by Fernando: Quoting codes inserted (for better readability)

Yes, the 0B 0A / 0D 0C / 08 08 values indicate that the bios descriptor regions are locked. The ME Region, particularly, can’t be downgraded even using the USB Bios Flashback procedure.
You can do it only via an external SPI Eeprom programmer.

so, even if a new bios comes out, with newer ME then what I have, it will not update the ME ?
and btw where one gets a SPI programmer ?
and what can one do with it ?

will this help with programing ?
Intel 28F320C3 Flash Update Device Driver v6.4

EDIT by Fernando: Missing quoting codes inserted

will this do ??…=spi+programmer
and how the hell do I use that ??
do I need to take the chip out or will it work with usb like stated ?

EDIT by Fernando: Quoting codes corrected

You can simply buy a “CH341A programmer” (on Ebay) or the EZP2010 (which is the one I’ve always used so far).
A newer bios or a new ME Firmware could fix your issue but I think a SPI flash programmer is a tool you can’t miss
and which let you to always recovery any bad flash.

Once you have the programmer, you’ll find software inside it which is very easy to use it.

Yes, it is the one I’m currently using.

Hi again.

I’ve replaced ME bin file with a new one modified for your motherboard and inserted it in both and Bios zip file.
Try the ME_Flasher using this syntax :
and press enter, and see if it flashes properly. After rebooting check if this fixed your issues. Otherwise, rename the .CAP inside the bios file
and do an USB Bios Flashback.

If none of the above methods works, you’ve to use the eeprom programmer. (1.42 MB)

Z97-PRO-GAMER-ASUS-2203.ZIP (5.58 MB)

it flashed the BIN file didn’t see any confirmation the system auto restarted but it looked ok
it didn’t fix the Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family Thermal Controller - 8CA4 not connecting

EDIT by Fernando: Unneeded parts of the fully quoted text remove (to save space and for a better readability)

Try to right click that device for uninstalling, reboot and see if it appears again with that error.

@genesys :
@Sylar76 :

Off topic:

Please stop fully quoting the previous post(s) and avoid unneeded blank lines. This saves space and improves the readability of your discussion.


Sorry mate. I’ll take care of that.

any idea ? what can be done ? — Flash Devices Found —
W25Q64BV ID:0xEF4017 Size: 8192KB (65536Kb)

Warning: Not all of the file data will be written to flash because
the file is longer than the flash area to be written to!
File: "2203.cap"
File Length: 8390656
Write Length: 1560576

Do you want to continue? Y/<N> or q to quit : y

PDR Region does not exist.

Error 25: The host CPU does not have write access to the target flash area. To enable write access for this operation you must modify the descriptor settings to give host access to this region.

First you have to remove the Capsule header (you can do this using UEFI Tool and extracting the Intel Body Image from the .CAP bios file).

Anyway, the Error 25 is indicating descriptor flash regions locked so you can’t dump or flash any bios inside the eeprom bios chip.

You have to use an external SPI Eeprom programmer.

btw how is it that the firmware update can succeed with same Me version flashed but not with lower version ?

Because the bios and/or the ME Region sometimes allows to flash the same version or the updated one, but that’s not the rule.

Because the older firmware may have a lower Version Control Number (VCN). Check the ME thread, section B. You can use ME Analyzer to check the VCN.