Hi There and Thank You for posting your question on our Forum. Ajith has just posted a blog addressing your problem - check it out here.
And here are the basic steps as well:
You can certainly upgrade the firmware to 2.6 and it wont ask you for ME password. Please follow the instructions from Lenovo to perform the firmware upgrade.
Regarding the ME password issue, there is no such thing as a master password that can bypass the login to ME. I have recently tried the process of resetting the ME settings to factory defaults on a Lenovo T61 laptop and blogged about it here. Depending on the type of platform and the BIOS implementations, the options to resetting factory defaults varies. Let me know if the instructions in my blog worked for you.
Thanks for using the manageability forum.
Thanks for your compliments. We are glad that you got the answers to your questions.
From an architecture perspective, AMT is an application running on top of ME. So even though you will see the ME version as 2.5.18.0000, AMT can have different version than this. To verify the AMT version, you can do it in two ways. You can using GetCoreVersion API from a remote system. Another way is to configure AMT in SMB mode, login into the webUI (http://AMT-IP-Address:16992) and check the AMT FW version on the system status screen (shown in small font at the bottom of the screen).
If you do not want any manageability options, select NONE for manageability options in ME settings. Hope this answers your questions. Let us know if you have further questions.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, AMT and ME are two different firmware elements and can have seperate versions for them. When we ask for the firmware version, we are interested in AMT firmware version which is 2.6 in your case. So hopefully this answers your question.
Configuring AMT does not increase your system performance but it sure does help out a lot with remote management of the device. In order for you to use AMT, you will need to connect it to the network and access it via another machine. If you are using it for home and will not be connecting it to network, I would not configure any AMT options, it will not add any value.