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  1. #1
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    VI Extreme - BIOS 1704 leaves motherboard vulnerable to exploit

    The 1704 BIOS leaves the motherboard vulnerable to ME firmware exploit and the Aquantia AQC-107 NIC doesn't function correctly with ME firmware 11.10.0.1287 and Windows driver v2.1.17.

    I recently took delivery of an Asus Rampage VI Extreme motherboard which came with the 1704 BIOS already loaded. I checked the BIOS section on the boards support page and noticed there was an ME firmware issue that was around. Looking at the details for the BIOS I discovered:

    ROG RAMPAGE VI EXTREME BIOS 1704
    - Improve system performance and stability.
    - Fixed RAID card issue.
    - Updated ME FW to ver. 11.11.60.1561
    " Before running the USB BIOS Flashback tool, please rename the BIOS file R6E.CAP

    To me it seems that the BIOS contains the updated ME firmware, so I thought there was no need for me to bother with the individual update. I used Easy Flash 3 from inside the BIOS and flashed from a USB dongle. I sorted out my settings and ran CPU and Memory at stock speeds, installed Windows 10 then started to configure my network. I found that when using the Aquantia 10G NIC, I was unable to print anything with the v2.1.17 driver. Switching back to the one which is bundled with windows works fine. So i contact Aquantia about the problem.

    I then decided to install a few Asus programs. Dual Intelligent Processors, RAM Disk and RAM Cache. I setup my fans and started using the PC. Once I had the RAM Disk and RAM Cache working, I started having strange crashes and reboots. I quickly re-installed Windows and didn't bother with the Asus programs. Everything ran sweet but the Aquantia still didn't work.

    installed a few Asus programs. Dual Intelligent Processors, RAM Disk and RAM Cache. I setup my fans and after setting up the RAM Disk and RAM Cache, I had nothing but seemingly random Windows blue screen crashes.

    I had trouble finding MEI Drivers for Windows and discovered a program that would check the system for it's vulnerability to the ME firmware exploit. I ran the program and to my surprise, my system was vulnerable. I then went to the BIOS page for the motherboard, downloaded the ME Update Tool which updated the ME firmware to 11.11.60.1561. Subsequently I have discovered that the Aquantia now allows me to print with the v2.1.17 Windows driver. I wonder if the other Asus programs will work without crashing windows now. I'm not sure if it's worth trying them.

    The BIOS notes mention the Flashback tool so I thought that perhaps using EZ Flash 3 was the reason that the ME firmware hadn't been updated with the 1704 BIOS. I had trouble getting the Flashback function to work as my SanDisk 32Gb USB3.0 dongle doesn't seem to be compatible, even with a 100Mb FAT32 Primary partition for the BIOS to sit in. Fortunately I have a USB 2.0 SATA Hard Drive caddy which the Flashback tool was able to support and was happy to flash from that.

    As a test, I went into the BIOS and switched to BIOS 2 to use with Flashback. I wanted to upgrade that BIOS also, to one which was free from the known exploit and figure out if EZ Flash 3 was the reason my ME firmware was left unchanged. After all, the Asus website states that the 1704 BIOS has "Updated ME firmware" in the changes notes.

    BIOS 2 had BIOS 1004 and also had the ME firmware 11.10.0.1287 if I remember correctly. It wasn't an 11.11.x bios anyway. I used the Flashback USB port and upgraded the BIOS using my USB 2.0 Drive. I remember seeing something about v1.03 generic USB something or other. It's a shame my USB 3.0 dongle doesn't work.

    Even this method left me with the old vulnerable ME firmware. I had to let windows load and ran the ME Update Tool to update the ME firmware to a safe version.

    Why does Asus state the BIOS contains the ME firmware v11.11.60.1561 when a BIOS update through Flashback or EX Flash 3 leaves the ME firmware unchanged?

    The BIOS notes make it seem that the latest BIOS contains all is needed to keep the motherboard free from this well publicized exploit.

    In my experience, the ME FM BIOS note is totally untrue and leaves Asus looking negligent in their handling of the situation.
    Last edited by Dingleweed; 03-27-2019 at 03:39 AM. Reason: Changed erroneous v11.0.0.1287 to v11.10.0.1287

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    thanks for your information.

    I updated my bios 1401 to 1704 and the ME firmware is still the old version 11.11.50.1466

    Edit:
    i remember this is not the first time that the bios description says "new ME firmware.."
    but it wasn't included.
    Last edited by Mappi75; 03-30-2019 at 07:20 PM.
    Intel Core i9-7980XE @ Noctua NH-D15S | ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme | MSI GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z SLI | G.Skill 128GB RAM, DDR4-3200, CL14 | Samsung SSD 960 PRO 2TB | 2x Samsung SSD 840 PRO (512GB) + 2x Samsung SSD 830 (512GB) | Plextor PX-L890SA | Corsair AX1500i Titanium | Lian Li TYR PC-X2000F @bequiet Silentwings USC |

    Intel Core i7-6950X @ Noctua NH-D15S | Asus ROG Rampage V10 Extreme | MSI GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z | Kingston 128GB RAM, DDR4-2666, CL15 | Seasonic 1.000 Platinum |

  3. #3
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    It's quite odd. What do Asus mean by it?

    Has any BIOS release ever actually updated the ME firmware?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingleweed View Post
    It's quite odd. What do Asus mean by it?

    Has any BIOS release ever actually updated the ME firmware?
    none that i've ever seen for x299

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingleweed View Post
    The 1704 BIOS leaves the motherboard vulnerable to ME firmware exploit and the Aquantia AQC-107 NIC doesn't function correctly with ME firmware 11.10.0.1287 and Windows driver v2.1.17.

    I recently took delivery of an Asus Rampage VI Extreme motherboard which came with the 1704 BIOS already loaded. I checked the BIOS section on the boards support page and noticed there was an ME firmware issue that was around. Looking at the details for the BIOS I discovered:

    ROG RAMPAGE VI EXTREME BIOS 1704
    - Improve system performance and stability.
    - Fixed RAID card issue.
    - Updated ME FW to ver. 11.11.60.1561
    " Before running the USB BIOS Flashback tool, please rename the BIOS file R6E.CAP

    To me it seems that the BIOS contains the updated ME firmware, so I thought there was no need for me to bother with the individual update. I used Easy Flash 3 from inside the BIOS and flashed from a USB dongle. I sorted out my settings and ran CPU and Memory at stock speeds, installed Windows 10 then started to configure my network. I found that when using the Aquantia 10G NIC, I was unable to print anything with the v2.1.17 driver. Switching back to the one which is bundled with windows works fine. So i contact Aquantia about the problem.

    I then decided to install a few Asus programs. Dual Intelligent Processors, RAM Disk and RAM Cache. I setup my fans and started using the PC. Once I had the RAM Disk and RAM Cache working, I started having strange crashes and reboots. I quickly re-installed Windows and didn't bother with the Asus programs. Everything ran sweet but the Aquantia still didn't work.

    installed a few Asus programs. Dual Intelligent Processors, RAM Disk and RAM Cache. I setup my fans and after setting up the RAM Disk and RAM Cache, I had nothing but seemingly random Windows blue screen crashes.

    I had trouble finding MEI Drivers for Windows and discovered a program that would check the system for it's vulnerability to the ME firmware exploit. I ran the program and to my surprise, my system was vulnerable. I then went to the BIOS page for the motherboard, downloaded the ME Update Tool which updated the ME firmware to 11.11.60.1561. Subsequently I have discovered that the Aquantia now allows me to print with the v2.1.17 Windows driver. I wonder if the other Asus programs will work without crashing windows now. I'm not sure if it's worth trying them.

    The BIOS notes mention the Flashback tool so I thought that perhaps using EZ Flash 3 was the reason that the ME firmware hadn't been updated with the 1704 BIOS. I had trouble getting the Flashback function to work as my SanDisk 32Gb USB3.0 dongle doesn't seem to be compatible, even with a 100Mb FAT32 Primary partition for the BIOS to sit in. Fortunately I have a USB 2.0 SATA Hard Drive caddy which the Flashback tool was able to support and was happy to flash from that.

    As a test, I went into the BIOS and switched to BIOS 2 to use with Flashback. I wanted to upgrade that BIOS also, to one which was free from the known exploit and figure out if EZ Flash 3 was the reason my ME firmware was left unchanged. After all, the Asus website states that the 1704 BIOS has "Updated ME firmware" in the changes notes.

    BIOS 2 had BIOS 1004 and also had the ME firmware 11.10.0.1287 if I remember correctly. It wasn't an 11.11.x bios anyway. I used the Flashback USB port and upgraded the BIOS using my USB 2.0 Drive. I remember seeing something about v1.03 generic USB something or other. It's a shame my USB 3.0 dongle doesn't work.

    Even this method left me with the old vulnerable ME firmware. I had to let windows load and ran the ME Update Tool to update the ME firmware to a safe version.

    Why does Asus state the BIOS contains the ME firmware v11.11.60.1561 when a BIOS update through Flashback or EX Flash 3 leaves the ME firmware unchanged?

    The BIOS notes make it seem that the latest BIOS contains all is needed to keep the motherboard free from this well publicized exploit.

    In my experience, the ME FM BIOS note is totally untrue and leaves Asus looking negligent in their handling of the situation.

    Upgrading to BIOS 1704 has made my R6E really unstable with an i9-7980XE/128GB RAM.

    I'm attempting to roll back to an older BIOS version but EZ Flash 3 says it's an invalid BIOS file. I cannot get the USB flashback to work either.

    Any assistance would be really appreciated in this matter!

  6. #6
    ROG Enthusiast Array Georgia PC Specs
    Georgia PC Specs
    Laptop (Model)Microsoft New Surface Pro
    MotherboardASUS Rampage vi Extreme
    ProcessorI9 7900X
    Memory (part number)Corsair Dominator Plattinum 3466c16 128gb
    Graphics Card #1Asus Strix Gtx1080ti -oc
    Graphics Card #2Asus Strix Gtx1080ti -oc
    Sound CardOnboard
    MonitorAsus PG29Q-Dell U3011Ultrasharp-Dell U2713H
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    Storage #2Intel ssd dc s3520-240Gb x 4 raid 0 / Intel ssd 730 x 2 raid 0
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    Power Supply2 X Corsair Ax 1200i Titainium
    Keyboard Asus Rog Claymore
    Mouse Asus Rog Gladius 2
    Headset Astro-A40 Gen3 MixAmp TR pro
    Mouse Pad Asus Rog Sheath
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    Quote Originally Posted by jillybean View Post
    Upgrading to BIOS 1704 has made my R6E really unstable with an i9-7980XE/128GB RAM.

    I'm attempting to roll back to an older BIOS version but EZ Flash 3 says it's an invalid BIOS file. I cannot get the USB flashback to work either.

    Any assistance would be really appreciated in this matter!
    Hi jillybean,you are not alone, i have the exact same issue as you,
    doesn't matter what i try i cannot revert back to any recent bios.
    Just about ready to throw this mobo in the rubbish bin.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Georgia View Post
    Hi jillybean,you are not alone, i have the exact same issue as you,
    doesn't matter what i try i cannot revert back to any recent bios.
    Just about ready to throw this mobo in the rubbish bin.
    For now i'm running off the 2nd bios, which is on 1301.
    Do you have that as an option for now?

    This whole thing is a total mess!

  8. #8
    ROG Guru: White Belt Array cekeu PC Specs
    cekeu PC Specs
    MotherboardROG RAMPAGE VI EXTREME
    ProcessorIntel® Core™ i9-7900X
    Memory (part number)GSKILL DDR4 32GB (4*8) F4-3200C14Q-32GTZSW
    Graphics Card #1Zotac RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme Core
    MonitorASUS ROG SWIFT PG27UQ
    Storage #1SAMSUNG SSD 970 EVO NVMe M.2 1TB
    Storage #2BARRACUDA PRO (8TB) ST8000DM005
    CPU CoolerCORSAIR Hydro Series™ H150i PRO RGB 360mm
    CaseLian Li PC 011 WXC
    Power SupplySeasonic Prime Platinum SSR-1300PD
    Keyboard Corsair Gaming K70 RGB
    Mouse Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB
    Headset/Speakers Edifier Studio® R1800TIII
    OS Windows 10 Pro

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    if I have the CPU Intel Core i9 79xxX the 1503 BIOS is the best.

  9. #9
    ROG Guru: White Belt Array raju2529 PC Specs
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    Laptop (Model)R542UQ-DM153 ( X542UQ.305 )
    MotherboardAsus motherboard
    ProcessorIntel core i5 7200u @2.5Ghz
    Memory (part number)Adata 2400 Mhz 16GB
    Graphics Card #1intel Hd 620 graphics 1GB DDR3
    Graphics Card #2Nvidia GeForce 940MX 2GB GDDR5
    Graphics Card #3nil
    Graphics Card #4nil
    Sound CardRealtek HD Audio controller with codec 294
    MonitorLcd monitor
    Storage #1Samsung 850 Evo 250GB SSD M.2. 2280
    Storage #2Seagate 2TB 2.5inch. Toshiba 1TB 2.5 inch
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    Just visit this below page, you can update standalone intel ME firmware v 11.11.60.1561 or v11.11.65.1590

    https://www.win-raid.com/t596f39-Int...tem-Tools.html

    Please choose correct motherboard series and processor sku series and then downloa exact correct firmware , and then update .

    From last year onwards I updating firmware v11.8.65.3590 to intel i5 7200u from from that website , Updating fininshes within 60 seconds.

    But you need some technical skills to update , take precautionary measures .
    have a nice day

  10. #10
    ROG Enthusiast Array Georgia PC Specs
    Georgia PC Specs
    Laptop (Model)Microsoft New Surface Pro
    MotherboardASUS Rampage vi Extreme
    ProcessorI9 7900X
    Memory (part number)Corsair Dominator Plattinum 3466c16 128gb
    Graphics Card #1Asus Strix Gtx1080ti -oc
    Graphics Card #2Asus Strix Gtx1080ti -oc
    Sound CardOnboard
    MonitorAsus PG29Q-Dell U3011Ultrasharp-Dell U2713H
    Storage #13xSamsung 960 pro nvme 512GB
    Storage #2Intel ssd dc s3520-240Gb x 4 raid 0 / Intel ssd 730 x 2 raid 0
    CPU CoolerDual Custom Loop
    CaseCaselabes STH10 Fully Optioned
    Power Supply2 X Corsair Ax 1200i Titainium
    Keyboard Asus Rog Claymore
    Mouse Asus Rog Gladius 2
    Headset Astro-A40 Gen3 MixAmp TR pro
    Mouse Pad Asus Rog Sheath
    Headset/Speakers Audioengine B2
    OS Win 10 Professional x64
    Network RouterASUS Dsl AC-3100 ASUS RAPTURE AC5300
    Accessory #1 Cyberpower Ups
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    Accessory #3 Logitech g29

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    Quote Originally Posted by jillybean View Post
    For now i'm running off the 2nd bios, which is on 1301.
    Do you have that as an option for now?

    This whole thing is a total mess!
    Yeah running bios 2 which is 1503.

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