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De-Spy and free Dell M4400 Workstations [core/libreboot]

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  • De-Spy and free Dell M4400 Workstations [core/libreboot]

    I've got a Dell M4400 workstation laptop. According to the service tags, the Intel AMT/ME is disabled. Reading up on it I'm not sure if that is true.

    Newer laptops have https://github.com/corna/me_cleaner
    Some laptops with the same chipset support core or libreboot.

    I'd like to port one of the above to this model or at the least disable the ME permanently in a verifiable fashion.

    I'm not asking to do this labor with everyone else's hands so to start with, I found https://libreboot.org/docs/hcl/gm45_remove_me.html
    I extracted the .ROM file from the A29 bios. Its under 2MB, looks ok. The dell utility will also drop .hdr and some other files.

    First things first to try to de-claw the factory bios there needs to be a way to flash it back without the packed dell exe. WinPhlash complained about the extracted ROM and wouldn't even back up my bios. Is there another utility?

    I'm going to try the tools from: https://www.coreboot.org/Motherboard_Porting_Guide and see if they work. Now I don't have an ICSP but I'm replacing the current 4400 since it overheats daily with another so plan to have a sacrificial laptop to test on.


    Any, thoughts, hints, experiences?




  • #2
    Flashrom will not work it appears and the ME is present. AMT shows in hardwareinfo along with network support... ouch.


    Full flashrom log: http://pastebin.com/p8t9nzk4

    Chip is some Macronix but it won't identify which one. Seems like there are 2 options.

    1. Get an ICSP
    2. Figure out how to flash a modified bios with the dell utility.

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