Intel® Desktop Boards
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Why is the flashing red LED on DQ57TM motherboard?

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Super User

It is the 'U' location 'M' state. One LED is solid green and the other right beside the green is flashing red.

Super User
Super User

Page 30, section, defines the blink/on/off status of this LED.




Super User Retired Employee

If you boot up and Windows (or Linux) is active and you (still) see this LED flashing, it could be an indication that the Intel Management Engine (ME) is in a bad state. If this is NOT the case, you can ignore the remainder of this message.


If the ME appears to be in a bad state, go into BIOS Setup and, from the main scene, scroll down and select Additional System Information. In this scene, scroll down to the very bottom. There should be an entry near the bottom that provides the version number for the ME firmware. If this is displaying as or is blank (i.e. not providing a version number), then this is an indication that the ME is not operating. The typical reason for the ME not operating is because a bad BIOS update occurred and it deleted/corrupted the ME firmware.


You can attempt to recover from this state by reinstalling the latest BIOS using the BIOS Recovery method. For information on BIOS Update processes, consult Intel Desktop Boards BIOS Update Instructions and, for this case, Intel Desktop Boards Recovery BIOS Update Instructions.


To help you better, here are my step-by-step instructions for BIOS Recovery:


  1. NOTE: Read these instructions completely before starting. Follow all instructions EXACTLY.
  2. On some other Windows-based PC, make sure that you have the .BIO file for the BIOS release you wish to install.
  3. Insert a 32GB or smaller USB 2.0 flash drive into the PC. Do not use USB 3.0 flash drives.
  4. Format this USB flash drive using the Windows Format applet. Select to install the FAT32 file system (NOT vFAT, NOT exFAT; FAT32 only). You must also specify that the Quick Format option be Disabled (unchecked).
  5. NOTE: If FAT32 is not offered as a choice by the Format applet, your USB flash drive is too big; use another.
  6. Copy the .BIO file into the root folder of this USB flash drive. This should be the only .BIO file in the root folder of the USB flash drive.
  7. Properly eject the USB flash drive. Do not just yank it out. Do this from File Explorer or using the Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media System Tray applet.
  8. Power off the Desktop Board system.
  9. Remove the yellow BIOS Configuration jumper from the board. It will be the only yellow jumper; the rest will usually be black.
  10. NOTE: Remember the pins that this jumper was plugged into; you will need this information later.
  11. Plug the USB flash drive into one of the black USB 2.0 ports on the back panel of the board. Do not use blue or yellow USB 3.0 port. Do not use any front panel USB ports.
  12. Power on the system.
  13. The BIOS Recovery process should start automatically. You should see a progress report on your main monitor.
  14. NOTE: If you do not see a progress report displayed on a monitor, do not power off the system for at least 15 minutes. While it is rare, it is possible for the process to proceed without an onscreen display; you must give it ample time to complete, just in case.
  15. When the BIOS Recovery process is complete, you will be asked to power off the system. Do so.
  16. Restore the yellow BIOS Configuration jumper to the pins it was on previously. This should be across pins 1 and 2 of this (three pin) header.
  17. Remove the USB flash drive from the back panel of the board.
  18. Power on the board.
  19. Immediately begin pressing the F2 key, over and over (approx. once per second) until you see the BIOS Setup (or Visual BIOS) screen displayed.
  20. Verify, using the BIOS version string, that the BIOS installed properly. Stop if it isn't.
  21. Press the F9 key (followed by the Y key) to reset of the BIOS configuration.
  22. Press the F10 key (followed by the Y key) to save the BIOS Configuration and exit BIOS Setup.
  23. Once screen is cleared (goes black), begin pressing the F2 key, over and over, until you see the BIOS Setup screen displayed.
  24. Make any changes to the BIOS configuration that you desire (for example, disabling NUMLOCK) or that you require (for example, setting Boot Order, enabling UEFI, etc.).
  25. Press the F10 key (followed by the Y key) to save the BIOS Configuration and exit BIOS Setup.
  26. Test.


Hope this helps,



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Currently this desktop tower is booting up and seems to be functioning normally without any on screen alerts.

I was concerned that the continuous flashing red 'M' LED was not normal. I notice this flashing LED before shutting down to install an additional HD.

I am currently running Win7 and about to upgrade to Win10.