[coreboot] Experiments with disabling the ME on Sandybridge x230

Trammell Hudson hudson at trmm.net
Tue Sep 13 05:44:36 CEST 2016

On Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 11:58:43AM -0600, Trammell Hudson wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 06:13:16PM +0000, Peter Stuge wrote:
> > > If I just erase the first 4KB of its region (0x3000, starts with "$FPT"),
> > > coreboot boots up fine and reports that "WARNING: ME has bad firmware".
> > > My Linux payload initializes without any complaints.
> > 
> > Does it stay operational for more than 30 minutes? [...]
> > Does it resume after more than 30 minutes from power-on? And from suspend?
> Yes, it has been operational for the past few hours and I'm able to
> suspend it with 'systemctl suspend' and resume with the lid or power
> switch. [...]

I wonder if the 30-minute timer is an optional feature.  I see that there
is an ME configuration variable for "Intel(R) Anti-theft BIOS Recovery Timer"
that will "enable a stolen platform a 30 minute window to allow a FW/BIOS reflash
before the system is powered down".  The Lenovo ME image has this set to false,
but perhaps other systems have it set to true or default it to true if the
ME flash image is corrupted.

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