Acer Aspire P3-171 Intel Management Acer

Discussion in 'Acer' started by MrMogwai, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. MrMogwai

    MrMogwai Notebook Evangelist

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    Hello.

    I've got an issue with the laptop, it switches off after exactly 30 minutes, no matter the activity, after researching it across the Web I've pinpointed it to Intel Management being busted. It won't install from A Dr Support, neither directly from Intel, in both cases it says "device not supported". Can't do a rollback from 2.07 UEFI, but if someone could help me extract it I would be able to flash it with EEPROM flasher. Can anyone help?

    ME can't be installed, the laptop switches off after 30 minutes, stopwatch in hand. Does anyone know a way to fix that as well?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2020
  2. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Ask @t456 's help. I don't have any idea regarding Insyde BIOS used in Acer.
     
  3. t456

    t456 1977-09-05, 12:56:00 UTC Moderator

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    If you can make a dump of the current data on the eeprom with the programmer then it shouldn't be difficult to fix it. Just make sure to fetch the data from all SPI eeproms on the board while you have access; the ME can share storage location with the bios or it might have a separate chip.
     
  4. MrMogwai

    MrMogwai Notebook Evangelist

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    Thank you! I'll do it later this evening and post all the dumps :)

    I was able to read only one of the EEPROMs, the rest can't be recognized by my software (CH341A). There are 4 more chips to read, can someone provide a better one maybe, with greater library?
     

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  5. t456

    t456 1977-09-05, 12:56:00 UTC Moderator

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    Well ... whaddayaknow ... 1-in-5 chance and it happens to be the ME eeprom :vbsmile: .

    But just in case; have good experience with the sofi-tech SP series. They range from SP8-A to SP16-B with an increasing list of supported chips and are both multi-voltage (1.8V only for the model 16's). They also have F and FX versions, but these merely offer additional functions that are only useful for mass-production. To go all-out there's the XELTEK SuperPro 6100N (...).

    Let me make something tomorrow. Is the intent to have a different or the latest ME version for this system?

    And why suspect that bit of firmware and not the bios or ec? If the stock ME won't help then you might need that different programmer after all.
     
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  6. MrMogwai

    MrMogwai Notebook Evangelist

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    Well, the issue persisted for a couple of years now, and I myself did the BIOS update to 2.07 from if I recall 2.06, and nothing changed. Still shutdowns each 30 minutes. I've found, after long search, a thread on Acer forums with comprehensive explanation of the issue, about what is causing it and symptoms were the same - ME unavailable, unable to install, power-off in 30 minutes, and so on.

    If it's ok with you, I'd like to get the newest one, spares the update for now :)
    Would it be possible to get some insight on the process? How it's done, what needs to be accomplished?

    https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/comment/834221/#Comment_834221
    This is the summary post that led me to be 100% certain that it's the ME. Worth a read, especially that it affects all machines. I've seen a thread on Alienware forum about AW 15 I believe, where there was an identical issue.
    After the Intel ME disaster a couple years back there was an inrush of poorly made BIOS updates that sometimes wiped the chip, or at least corrupted it. I've seen a couple of threads around the forum about this issue, the problem was pretty universal among all manufacturers. Haven't found a universal solution though.

    Maybe if possible plug the ME from here? https://www.acer.com/ac/en/ID/content/support-product/4721;-;
     
  7. t456

    t456 1977-09-05, 12:56:00 UTC Moderator

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    Haven't gotten around to reading the thread yet, but could give these a try:
    Acer Aspire P3-171 - bios v2.07 and ME.7z

    Included a programmer-ready binary for the bios chip from Acer download in the link you provided. Might be useful once you have a programmer that can recognise that particular chip. Could also be that you simply have to desolder it first before hooking it up to the CH341A.

    There's two ME versions; current/old and the latest for this series. There was indeed something odd with the version you read out from the chip, so perhaps one of the new versions will help.
     
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  8. MrMogwai

    MrMogwai Notebook Evangelist

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    Thank you kindly! As soon as I get back from work I'll load it in! :)
     
  9. MrMogwai

    MrMogwai Notebook Evangelist

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    Well, there were some issues :/ I was finally able to load it in, and all I've got is a semi-bootloop, all it does is spin the fans for a second and it switches off :/
     
  10. t456

    t456 1977-09-05, 12:56:00 UTC Moderator

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    Ok, which one did you try?

    If the latest then also attempt the current/old version; this may not fix the 30-min. shutdown problem, but we then at least know the ME is workable. A cmos reset is also a good idea. Think this model has a pin-hole reset switch for that. A proper reset shows '1970-01-01' or similar for the system date in the bios.

    The Acer thread claimed the issue was due to the microcode being updated while the ME version wasn't changed and a specific combination of the versions was incompatible. If that is correct then flashing the bios eeprom with v2.07 binary in the link above + the v8.1.70.1590 binary to the ME eeprom would fix this. Windows also has its own microcode update file which is loaded during boot and can supersede the version in the bios; either delete this file (attach drive to another pc if non-booting) or boot the system without any drive at all. File is 'C:\Windows\System32\mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll' and deleting requires 'Take Ownership' first.

    The CH341A may not like the bios eeprom still being soldered to the board. Check the markings on the eeprom + 'CH341A' and verify that it is included in its 'supported devices' list or that another user has managed to successfully connect to that particular chip.
     
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