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kylezo
Beginner
1,010 Views

Removing AMT Functionality

Ok I hate to open this can of worms, but I am a non-business oriented end-user and I want to completely remove AMT functionality from my computer, including all associated software, processes, services, etc. I uninstalled everything but then everytime I start the machine up I get a "Found New Hardware" installation wizard. So I tried to disable the devices in question (PCI Simple Communication Controller PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2A44 - Intel Management Engine Interface and PCI Serial Port PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2A47 - Active Management Technology - SOL [Serial Over Lan]) and the prompt still came up each startup. So I went looking for the drivers only for these 2 devices and HP Business Support linked me to a 'SoftPaq' that included all the software and services (I should have guessed, even though I explicitly asked them if this included the software and services and they said no). Of course, it also included the drivers.

So, I am back to square one (ok well, not really, the REALLY hard part was removing all that ActivClient crapware from my machine). Any advice on how to get this off my computer completely? Installing the device drivers would be fine if it didn't come with all the software and services.

As it stands, with HP support, my case has been 'escalated' to a Supervisor and I should expect a call within the next 24-48 hours. I thought I would ask around here.

So, any ideas with this?

Thanks,
Kyle
0 Kudos
19 Replies
Adam
Beginner
1,010 Views

You can probably use Revo Uninstaller to get rid of the crapware and then uninstall the drivers.

Then reinstall it by using the Add/Remove Hardware wizard and NOT the supplied installation utility and it should only install the drivers and not the crapware.

And what do Canned Worm have to do with all this?

kylezo
Beginner
1,010 Views

Quoting - Adam Kachwalla

You can probably use Revo Uninstaller to get rid of the crapware and then uninstall the drivers.

Then reinstall it by using the Add/Remove Hardware wizard and NOT the supplied installation utility and it should only install the drivers and not the crapware.

And what do Canned Worm have to do with all this?


Well, you basically described what I alreay tried...the problem is, when using the uninstall add/remove programs to get rid of that stuff, it also uninstalls and removes the drivers from my system. So when I am running the Add/Remove hardware wizard, there's no path to point at for the drivers.


I suppose I could try pointing to the SoftPaq.exe...I don't know :S

Thanks for your help!

Adam
Beginner
1,010 Views

If it removes both drivers and the "crapware" that's OK - you can just reinstall the drivers to the Add/Remove Hardware wizard.

Also with the SoftPaq.exe file, can you extract the files from inside it (try using 7-Zip or something) - pointing Add/Remove Hardware to SOFTPAQ.EXE will not work.

kylezo
Beginner
1,010 Views

Quoting - Adam Kachwalla

If it removes both drivers and the "crapware" that's OK - you can just reinstall the drivers to the Add/Remove Hardware wizard.

Also with the SoftPaq.exe file, can you extract the files from inside it (try using 7-Zip or something) - pointing Add/Remove Hardware to SOFTPAQ.EXE will not work.


The only thing I'm not getting is where the drivers are gonna come from after I've uninstalled. What do I point the Add New Hardware wizard to? Extract the softpaq and point it there?

Thanks again for the help and sticking with me!

edit: ::FACEPALM:: Why didn't I think of this before? I'm just going to try going into device manager, locating the driver files it lists in Driver Details, copy them, remove EVERYTHING, then point the wizard to the copied driver files.

That should work...
Shmuel_G_Intel
Employee
1,010 Views

Quoting - kylezo

The only thing I'm not getting is where the drivers are gonna come from after I've uninstalled. What do I point the Add New Hardware wizard to? Extract the softpaq and point it there?

Thanks again for the help and sticking with me!

edit: ::FACEPALM:: Why didn't I think of this before? I'm just going to try going into device manager, locating the driver files it lists in Driver Details, copy them, remove EVERYTHING, then point the wizard to the copied driver files.

That should work...


Hi Kylezo!

When you remove a driver suite through Add/Remove Programs, it will uninstall the apps, docs and drivers included, you are right.
But this will not wipe the driver files from the rest of your computer :). If you have the drivers in a folder in your computer (or in a recovery CD), you can still point the Windows Device Manager to the location and install only the drivers (usually *.inf or *.sys) of the devices.
I am not acquainted with the SotfPack, but probably looking at the files it include (maybe compresssed?) will show you the drivers.
It will work for Intel AMT drivers too: Both the SOL and the MEI driver can be installed without accompanying apps (* see note at the end).


Regarding the other problems you mentioned:

1) OEM software. New systems usually come preinstalled with OEM software (like your ActivClient apps). While these are intended to facilitate use of a specific device (or to increase security, stability or ease of configuration), they can annoy users at times. Not everyone wants to remove them, but many power-users prefer they systems 'clean', using alternative solutions.
Glad you managed to solve this part of your problem.

2) Intel AMT.
In order to disable Intel AMT completely, you can enter your BIOS setup and look for an Intel AMT menu (not always existent, but many BIOS present it). If you find it, you can simply 'disable' Intel AMT, its devices and features.

(* note): Be aware that you will be missing any important features these apps provide: privacy, connectivity etc. But since you say you are not using any of Intel AMT features, then it may not matter :)

(* note 2): I answered this in the blog post as well: link.

Please let know if you need any more help!
Shmuel
Adam
Beginner
1,010 Views

Quoting - kylezo
Quoting - Adam Kachwalla

If it removes both drivers and the "crapware" that's OK - you can just reinstall the drivers to the Add/Remove Hardware wizard.

Also with the SoftPaq.exe file, can you extract the files from inside it (try using 7-Zip or something) - pointing Add/Remove Hardware to SOFTPAQ.EXE will not work.


The only thing I'm not getting is where the drivers are gonna come from after I've uninstalled. What do I point the Add New Hardware wizard to? Extract the softpaq and point it there?

Thanks again for the help and sticking with me!

edit: ::FACEPALM:: Why didn't I think of this before? I'm just going to try going into device manager, locating the driver files it lists in Driver Details, copy them, remove EVERYTHING, then point the wizard to the copied driver files.

That should work...

Yes. Extract the SOFTPAQ and then point it to the directory that you extracted the files to. There should be an OEMSETUP.INF (or something like that) there.

>Thanks again for the help and sticking with me!

kylezo
Beginner
1,010 Views

You guys have been insanely helpful. Since I am of course a bit noobish, I didn't realize at first that the hardware wizard would be looking for .infs, not .syss as I had installed. So I tried it my way, and of course it didn't work because I had only salvaged the .sys files. So I explored the HP provided softpaq .exe using IZArc (which I happen to like a bit more than 7-zip :P ) and found the relevant .infs fairly easily. Everything was utter cake at that point. Looking back this seems like a really simple solution, but, in any case, I am glad I got it done with.

As a side note, early in this process, and I'm not sure if I mentioned this in my original post, but I checked the BIOS settings for the AMT functionality and they were all disabled (with the exception of one setting which had 2 options that aren't enable or disable at all). This didn't seem to have much effect at all on my system O.o

Well, it was a learning process indeed...now time to make an optimized disk image and finally start using my new computer!

As another aside, and this is a bit off-topic, but HP also included a set of security tools on this computer that are seemingly impossible to remove...that is to say, I had no trouble uninstalling them, however, there are tons of leftover registry entries and my homepage button in IE7 says HP Protecttools Security Manager still! Those finks!

Thanks again, guys, you have been awesome!

Kyle

Adam
Beginner
1,010 Views

Quoting - kylezo
You guys have been insanely helpful. Since I am of course a bit noobish, I didn't realize at first that the hardware wizard would be looking for .infs, not .syss as I had installed. So I tried it my way, and of course it didn't work because I had only salvaged the .sys files. So I explored the HP provided softpaq .exe using IZArc (which I happen to like a bit more than 7-zip :P ) and found the relevant .infs fairly easily. Everything was utter cake at that point. Looking back this seems like a really simple solution, but, in any case, I am glad I got it done with.

As a side note, early in this process, and I'm not sure if I mentioned this in my original post, but I checked the BIOS settings for the AMT functionality and they were all disabled (with the exception of one setting which had 2 options that aren't enable or disable at all). This didn't seem to have much effect at all on my system O.o

Well, it was a learning process indeed...now time to make an optimized disk image and finally start using my new computer!

As another aside, and this is a bit off-topic, but HP also included a set of security tools on this computer that are seemingly impossible to remove...that is to say, I had no trouble uninstalling them, however, there are tons of leftover registry entries and my homepage button in IE7 says HP Protecttools Security Manager still! Those finks!

Thanks again, guys, you have been awesome!

Kyle

I had a little trouble comprehending that particular post (part of my diagnosis for HFA is poor comprehension) but here are my responses to what I understand:

You guys have been insanely helpful. Since I am of course a bit noobish, I didn't realize at first that the hardware wizard would be looking for .infs, not .syss as I had installed. So I tried it my way, and of course it didn't work because I had only salvaged the .sys files. So I explored the HP provided softpaq .exe using IZArc (which I happen to like a bit more than 7-zip :P ) and found the relevant .infs fairly easily.

No worries mate! And don't feel too bad about being "noobish" over here! This is really a place for developers to ask questions etc. You are doing pretty well there mate! We all started from somewhere! I started off by opening up EXE files in Dev-C++ to try and find out how that worked. Needless to say, that never actually happened ;)

I am the extreme example of "noob" when it comes to communication, social skills, etc.

Now I am writing an operating system.

As a side note, early in this process, and I'm not sure if I mentioned this in my original post, but I checked the BIOS settings for the AMT functionality and they were all disabled (with the exception of one setting which had 2 options that aren't enable or disable at all). This didn't seem to have much effect at all on my system O.o

These settings won't have any effect unless the actual system software supports it either in the form of the OS supporting it alone or in the form of device drivers (which is the case here).

Also note that the software has to access the BIOS for the information. Mostly with operating systems the BIOS is only used for initialization purposes; software can, and often do, bypass the BIOS (usually because it is really slow)

Well, it was a learning process indeed...now time to make an optimized disk image and finally start using my new computer!

Remember above I mentioned how my first attempts at decompilation were opening the EXE files in Dev-C++ to find out how they worked (without success)? Well I learned that the hard way.

Also I notice you mention imaging. Do you create an image after the install, so as you don't have to do that whole thing of install and reconfigure everytime you need to reinstall the OS? Or do you use that image thing as a backup? If you create it after install and use that as a medium for reinstallation I would recommend you use IMAGEX from Microsoft (it can even image a Windows NT 4.0 [Servicepack 5+] machine assuming it has at least 512MB of RAM) - you can get it via the Windows Automated Installation Kit. In any case don't forget to defrag before taking the image!

As another aside, and this is a bit off-topic, but HP also included a set of security tools on this computer that are seemingly impossible to remove...that is to say, I had no trouble uninstalling them, however, there are tons of leftover registry entries and my homepage button in IE7 says HP Protecttools Security Manager still! Those finks!

Might I recommend you dump Internet Explorer completely for Opera instead? If you don't like Opera, try Firefox. If you don't like Firefox, try Google Chrome. If you don't like Google Chrome, try Apple Safari. If you don't like Apple Safari, then try Opera. Etcetera. Internet Explorer is hazardous and toxic. In fact it shouldn't even be considered being called a "Web browser" - the only advantage I see for IE is to download Windows Updates (for Windows 2000 and XP only) - otherwise there is absolutely no advantages!

Now to clear up the registry crap (or at least... try to clear it up) there is a tool called Piriform CCleaner which I find works very well (it's free - no ads etc)

Also if you think HP was bad, judging by the above descriptions, you definitely don't want a Dell...

Thanks again, guys, you have been awesome!

No worries mate!

Now for the bits I don't understand:

Everything was utter cake at that point.

So did you get a cake for fixing the family computer or something? Or was it some funny type of indigestion?

Trevor_Sullivan
Beginner
1,010 Views

How about just disabling the Intel AMT interface through the MEBx?

That would cause all the devices to not appear in Windows ....

Trevor Sullivan
Systems Engineer
OfficeMax Corporation

Quoting - kylezo
Ok I hate to open this can of worms, but I am a non-business oriented end-user and I want to completely remove AMT functionality from my computer, including all associated software, processes, services, etc. I uninstalled everything but then everytime I start the machine up I get a "Found New Hardware" installation wizard. So I tried to disable the devices in question (PCI Simple Communication Controller PCIVEN_8086&DEV_2A44 - Intel Management Engine Interface and PCI Serial Port PCIVEN_8086&DEV_2A47 - Active Management Technology - SOL [Serial Over Lan]) and the prompt still came up each startup. So I went looking for the drivers only for these 2 devices and HP Business Support linked me to a 'SoftPaq' that included all the software and services (I should have guessed, even though I explicitly asked them if this included the software and services and they said no). Of course, it also included the drivers.

So, I am back to square one (ok well, not really, the REALLY hard part was removing all that ActivClient crapware from my machine). Any advice on how to get this off my computer completely? Installing the device drivers would be fine if it didn't come with all the software and services.

As it stands, with HP support, my case has been 'escalated' to a Supervisor and I should expect a call within the next 24-48 hours. I thought I would ask around here.

So, any ideas with this?

Thanks,
Kyle

Gael_H_Intel
Moderator
1,010 Views


I like Trevor's solution the best. :-)
kylezo
Beginner
1,010 Views

Quoting - Trevor Sullivan
How about just disabling the Intel AMT interface through the MEBx?

That would cause all the devices to not appear in Windows ....


Hmm, well, I would do that but...I had no idea about that functionality. :-O

As far as imaging goes, I am basically just making it for backup AND resore purposes. I create an optimized disk image using DriveImage XML, then make a bootable CD using Win UBCD, with DIXML installed on it, and keep the image on an external hard drive that I can restore from should the need ever arise.

I've got CCleaner, and it's not doing anything with the HP Protecttools stuff, but that's not a big deal, it's really only present in the registy (and the little home button thing). My homepage is set to about:blank even though it prepends HP Protecttools Security Manager to all the homepage entries. Just quirky behaviour but I doubt I'll ever change my homepage from about:blank anyways. There are a couple random entries which I'll probably just leave as they aren't doing anything nasty. The wierd thing is, I couldn't find any HPPT entries related to IE anywhere...I even tried uninstalling IE7 and reinstalling it, and that didn't do jack...didn't even change my configurations for the buttons or tabs! MS probably left all that info when I uninstalled anyways. I don't like firefox, plus theres this http://home.comcast.net/~SupportCD/FirefoxMyths.html

I've considered using Opera, but I kinda prefer to just keep stuff off my system since IE works perfectly well for me. Plus I use uTorrent for bittorrents anyways :P

So I guess Ctrl+P > manually extracting and installing drivers in this case :D I'm gonna go for it even though the problem is already solved for all intents and purposes.

Re: HP, Dell, OEM etc...I have never really had a problem with any of thebig guys...Support for whatever I need has always been pretty nice, and while some of the OEM software is a bunch of crap, at least Dell wins in this respect - my last notebook was a Vostro and it came with nearly nothing on it. That was pretty simple to clean up. This HP really came with very little also...which is why I've started getting notebooks from small business lines, I suppose :) The most difficult thing was building a BartPE bootable image from my Dell OEM cd....::shiver:: but to be honest, after manually editing all the configs, adding infs, etc etc, all I ended up having to do was use UBCD instead of Bart PE. That did everything flawlessly. So I'm just skipping to that step this time :P

Thanks again folks!
kylezo
Beginner
1,010 Views

Quoting - kylezo

Hmm, well, I would do that but...I had no idea about that functionality. :-O

[...]

So I guess Ctrl+P > manually extracting and installing drivers in this case :D I'm gonna go for it even though the problem is already solved for all intents and purposes.


So I went into my BIOS, since Ctrl+P didn't do anthing, and in the security settings the AMT Prompt was hidden. So I changed it to be editable (options are Change/View/Hide) and when I went to the AMT Setup prompt field, it was set as disabled and grayed out. I was able to get to the MEBx by setting the Unconfigure AMT at next boot option, but that wouldn't let me do anything except change the password (which it wouldn't even let me do). I guess it doesn't matter but, why would it be functioning like this?
Trevor_Sullivan
Beginner
1,010 Views

I think I'm still failing to understand what you're doing with all this driver stuff, if your goal is to disable AMT.

  • What model of HP system is this?
  • What happened when you tried to change the MEBx password? (it has to be changed to a "strong" password FYI)
  • What BIOS and AMT versions are you currently running?
Also, I'd recommend never using an OEM operating system build. The first thing you should do when you purchase a computer is to reload the OS on it. You control what goes on it.

@Gael: Thanks :-P

Trevor Sullivan
Systems Engineer
OfficeMax Corporation
kylezo
Beginner
1,010 Views

Quoting - Trevor Sullivan
I think I'm still failing to understand what you're doing with all this driver stuff, if your goal is to disable AMT.

  • What model of HP system is this?
  • What happened when you tried to change the MEBx password? (it has to be changed to a "strong" password FYI)
  • What BIOS and AMT versions are you currently running?
Also, I'd recommend never using an OEM operating system build. The first thing you should do when you purchase a computer is to reload the OS on it. You control what goes on it.

@Gael: Thanks :-P

Trevor Sullivan
Systems Engineer
OfficeMax Corporation


Hey Trevor, all I'm trying to do is get AMT's services and processes off my machine, since I don't need or want them. The reason I'm dealing with the drivers (or, was, that is to say) is because once I uninstalled all the applications and software and services AMT comes with, the Found New Hardware wizard would pop up on every startup. I figure, install the drivers so Windows/the devices are happy, leave off the software and services, and I am good to go, no more prompt. This line of reasoning follows the fact that I noticed AMT was already disabled in my BIOS and even disabling the devices in Device Manager wouldn't stop the prompt. This is all in my previous posts, I think ???

  • It is an HP EliteBook 3960p
  • I don't remember the exact error message :S suffice to say it wouldn't let me change it from admin (that is default, correct?) to a similar password
  • I belive it's AMT v4.0 but I could be wrong...If my driver for HECI (MEI) says 4.0.1 does that mean it's 4.0? It's a very new system so, maybe 5.0.
  • BIOS Vendor Hewlett-Packard
    BIOS Version 68PCD Ver. F.0E
    Firmware Version 87.22
    BIOS Date 12/15/2008

I understand trepidation re: OEM OS builds. But, it's all I've got and I'm not gonna shell out an arm and a leg for XP and Vista since HP just gave me both free...they work for me well enough IMO. I barely had enough to pay for the machine as it is :P

So I was unable to get into the MEBx environment but things seem to be going fine with the whole install-the-drivers-not-the-software workaround.

Trevor_Sullivan
Beginner
1,010 Views

If you can get into the MEBx (you will need to set a secure password), you can go into the Manageability Feature Selection area and you should have the options of "ASF", "Intel AMT", or "None". If you select "None", it will halt execution of the Management Engine at an early state, which should prevent the devices from being detected during a Windows plug & play enumeration.

I haven't specifically tested this scenario, since I have no desire to disable AMT, but because the "Intel Management Engine Interface" and the virtual serial port device are both tied to the management engine, in theory, this should work.

Trevor Sullivan
Systems Engineer
OfficeMax Corporation

Quoting - kylezo


Hey Trevor, all I'm trying to do is get AMT's services and processes off my machine, since I don't need or want them. The reason I'm dealing with the drivers (or, was, that is to say) is because once I uninstalled all the applications and software and services AMT comes with, the Found New Hardware wizard would pop up on every startup. I figure, install the drivers so Windows/the devices are happy, leave off the software and services, and I am good to go, no more prompt. This line of reasoning follows the fact that I noticed AMT was already disabled in my BIOS and even disabling the devices in Device Manager wouldn't stop the prompt. This is all in my previous posts, I think ???

  • It is an HP EliteBook 3960p
  • I don't remember the exact error message :S suffice to say it wouldn't let me change it from admin (that is default, correct?) to a similar password
  • I belive it's AMT v4.0 but I could be wrong...If my driver for HECI (MEI) says 4.0.1 does that mean it's 4.0? It's a very new system so, maybe 5.0.
  • BIOS Vendor Hewlett-Packard
    BIOS Version 68PCD Ver. F.0E
    Firmware Version 87.22
    BIOS Date 12/15/2008

I understand trepidation re: OEM OS builds. But, it's all I've got and I'm not gonna shell out an arm and a leg for XP and Vista since HP just gave me both free...they work for me well enough IMO. I barely had enough to pay for the machine as it is :P

So I was unable to get into the MEBx environment but things seem to be going fine with the whole install-the-drivers-not-the-software workaround.


Shmuel_G_Intel
Employee
1,010 Views

Kyle, thanks for the nice feedback.
Trevor, thanks for the great hints you gave.

But it seems like there is some confusion on the thread. I have the impression that the problem was solved, even if we continue with the Q&A :)

Post #0 says that "Installing the device drivers would be fine if it didn't come with all the software and services.". Just as post #14.
Post #7 says "checked the BIOS settings for the AMT functionality and they were all disabled". In most systems, changing setting in MEBx will not have any further influence (in fact, most systems will not even show the MEBx prompt if Intel AMT is disabled at the BIOS).

Anyway, as of post #7, it seems like the Intel AMT part of the issue was satisfactorily solved :), and that the OEM part was god enough.
Kyle, if you set everything as disabled in the BIOS, then it is fine to remove the software. It seems to be that you managed to do that, and youhave installed the drivers for Device Manafer's sake. All is good then -- right? :)
Please confirm if all is settled now.

On the offtopic issue, the OEM builds and E are just personal matters: I like OEM apps and my main browser is IE :)
kylezo
Beginner
1,010 Views

Post #0 says that "Installing the device drivers would be fine if it didn't come with all the software and services.". Just as post #14.
[...]
Post #7 says "checked the BIOS settings for the AMT functionality and they were all disabled". In most systems, changing setting in MEBx will not have any further influence (in fact, most systems will not even show the MEBx prompt if Intel AMT is disabled at the BIOS).

Anyway, as of post #7, it seems like the Intel AMT part of the issue was satisfactorily solved :), and that the OEM part was god enough.
Kyle, if you set everything as disabled in the BIOS, then it is fine to remove the software. It seems to be that you managed to do that, and youhave installed the drivers for Device Manafer's sake. All is good then -- right? :)
Please confirm if all is settled now.

(wish I knew how to multi-quote)
Very correct, Shmuel, the issue has been solved! I suppose the Q&A is just continuing out of curiosity. The part about why the MEBx won't show up is very nice to know. Maybe I'll go back in the BIOS and enable it to get into MEBx and cut off the beasts' head!

On a semi-related note...

I was having a ton of trouble getting ActivIdentity/ActivClient stuff off of my computer. I even ran a custom command to stop and remove all services and then manually deleted some dlls and startup reg keys using Autoruns. All this to search through the registry and find this uninstall string:

HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUni nstall{AC194855-F7AC-4D04-B4C9-07BA46FCB697}

---MsiExec.exe /I{AC194855-F7AC-4D04-B4C9-07BA46FCB697}


running that at the command prompt actually gave me an official uninstaller. Thanks, HP, for not putting it in add/remove programs so I could run through 1000 hoops to get rid of it!

:P
Shmuel_G_Intel
Employee
1,010 Views

Quoting - kylezo

(wish I knew how to multi-quote)
Very correct, Shmuel, the issue has been solved!

Thanks for keeping us updates.
(And that registry entry is quite a bit of hacking/fiddling! Congrats! :))
Trevor_Sullivan
Beginner
1,010 Views

Edit: Wrong thread. Sorry!
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