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Intel Management Engine N/A on z87 Maximus VI Gene

Level 7

Greetings ROG!
In order to rebuild my i7 4790k gaming rig, which was still acceptably running even modern games such as Elden Ring until the current Asus Z97m-PLUS completely stopped POSTing, I bought a used z87 Maximus VI Gene on ebay.

It arrived last week, in great condition and I bench-tested it first with the 4790k (which I confirmed is still okay by having placed it in my original Gigabyte z87) and one stick of my working G-Skill 8Gb F3-2400C10D and it did not POST, the Q-LED stopping at CPU. I figured that was to do with not having the BIOS update to support 4th-Gen processors, so I took out the k and put in my old 3rd-Gen Pentium G3420 and score! It POSTed, with no issues expressed by the Q-Code.

I attached my Windows 7 SSD and it booted fine and while I looked up how to properly flash it so the 4790k would work, I monitored the temps. Then suddenly, after a bit, it turned off by itself. I started it back up immediately and went into BIOS; nothing out of the ordinary at first glance; temps were normal and it functioned fine. I rebooted into W7 and everything was okay.

After doing more research into updating Windows Intel Drivers and using the Asus BIOS Updater in Windows to solve the 4th-Gen compatibility problem, I incidentally found that discrepancies within the Intel Management Engine can create a 30-minute shut-down timer. I went back into BIOS to find that this board's “ME Version” reads as N/A, as does the CPU speed and RAM frequency.


So I booted two different W7 SSDs and timed it. I booted my W10 SSD and timed it. I left it in BIOS and timed it: a shut down at ~30 minutes every time. I attempted to install Chipset drivers and IME drivers onto all three Windows drives and, of course, none of them will write to the board itself.

The only solution I've found is attempting to use a CH341A mini programmer to reprogram the Intel Management Engine into the board.

Does anyone have experience with this problem? Should I just return it or can this actually be fixed with a ten dollar device and a little bit of know-how? Any response is greatly appreciated.