Is the Intel® Management Engine interface driver present on the Z83-4?

#1
Can anybody confirm that the above driver is present, installed and working please. It seems to be missing on mine. The reason this is important is that this driver controls if you are able to access HD audio when using WASAPI. Here are further details of how to check.

To check if the management engine driver is installed, follow the steps below:

Open Windows Device Manager.
Click Start on the Windows taskbar.
Right-click My Computer.
Click Manage.
Click Device Manager listed on the left pane.
The Device Manager will appear in the right pane.
Scroll down and click the + icon that appears in front of System devices to expand this section.
Scroll down and look for the entry, Intel® Management Engine Interface.
If this entry is listed, the management engine driver is installed on your computer.
If this entry isn't listed, the management engine driver is not installed and you should check with your computer or motherboard manufacturer if this driver is available for your computer or motherboard. Not all computer or motherboard manufacturers provide this driver.
 
#3
Why in the world would anyone actually WANT this driver installed? This is simply a welcome port for anyone with the software to login to your computer at any time, bypassing any security firewalls in place. The management end software can even turn your computer on remotely.
 

ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#5
Can anybody confirm that the above driver is present, installed and working please. It seems to be missing on mine. The reason this is important is that this driver controls if you are able to access HD audio when using WASAPI. Here are further details of how to check.

To check if the management engine driver is installed, follow the steps below:

Open Windows Device Manager.
Click Start on the Windows taskbar.
Right-click My Computer.
Click Manage.
Click Device Manager listed on the left pane.
The Device Manager will appear in the right pane.
Scroll down and click the + icon that appears in front of System devices to expand this section.
Scroll down and look for the entry, Intel® Management Engine Interface.
If this entry is listed, the management engine driver is installed on your computer.
If this entry isn't listed, the management engine driver is not installed and you should check with your computer or motherboard manufacturer if this driver is available for your computer or motherboard. Not all computer or motherboard manufacturers provide this driver.
Hey pdoth :),

Sorry to hear your problems are persisting :(.

Again, obviously my N42C-4 has some differences to your Z83-4 but I had a brief scan through things today for you. The drivers that seem to handle HDMI audio on the N42C-4 is the Intel® Display Audio package.

Is this present on your Z83?

The Intel® Management Engine Interface is also not present on my N42C-4 for example. As previously discussed, currently my audio is all fine & working well (1803) & I can set WASAPI: Default as the primary audio. My N42C-4 & AVR can handle any format including DTS:X & Atmos.

Am busy juggling several different systems at the moment & testing various projects too, so it was literally a very quick scan through. Didn't have time to double check things, just noted what was present.

Check it out, this could also be a factor affecting your audio. It may pay off to also check &/or uninstall/re-install the actual Intel display drivers as well. Again, from a brief scan around the 1809 update seems to have affected countless systems that use HDMI audio :(. You're not alone!!

My N42C-4 almost began self updating to 1809 today as well. I immediately took a system image before it could proceed any further & paused/deferred the update in Windows settings as well but I won't know if I caught it in time until I next boot my N42C-4.

Hope you make some progress :).
 
#6
why so aggressive ?
@pdoth explained why he wanted this driver , whether hes right or wrong about that i dont know
Sorry - did not want to seem aggressive - I did not see the part where the relative merits of enabling this Intel "feature" were explained.

I intentionally have non Intel/AMD chipsets and older processors in my servers to avoid this security risk. It is just a matter of time before there will be a very large exploit - if there isn't as we speak.

Though it was my understanding that all processors since i3 have the "host" processor on chip and are coupled with the enabled chipsets.

There was and exploit a while back and Intel provided a utility to test for the presence of the various components of the entire Vpro system. I only have the Unix version of the utility but it is no doubt still available.
 
#8
Sorry - did not want to seem aggressive - I did not see the part where the relative merits of enabling this Intel "feature" were explained.

I intentionally have non Intel/AMD chipsets and older processors in my servers to avoid this security risk. It is just a matter of time before there will be a very large exploit - if there isn't as we speak.

Though it was my understanding that all processors since i3 have the "host" processor on chip and are coupled with the enabled chipsets.

There was and exploit a while back and Intel provided a utility to test for the presence of the various components of the entire Vpro system. I only have the Unix version of the utility but it is no doubt still available.
Completely agree re the security risk but according to Intel I have to install MEI in order to get the HD drivers. At the moment I cannot use WASAPI because these drivers are missing.
 
#9
Hey pdoth :),

Sorry to hear your problems are persisting :(.

Again, obviously my N42C-4 has some differences to your Z83-4 but I had a brief scan through things today for you. The drivers that seem to handle HDMI audio on the N42C-4 is the Intel® Display Audio package.

Is this present on your Z83?

The Intel® Management Engine Interface is also not present on my N42C-4 for example. As previously discussed, currently my audio is all fine & working well (1803) & I can set WASAPI: Default as the primary audio. My N42C-4 & AVR can handle any format including DTS:X & Atmos.

Am busy juggling several different systems at the moment & testing various projects too, so it was literally a very quick scan through. Didn't have time to double check things, just noted what was present.

Check it out, this could also be a factor affecting your audio. It may pay off to also check &/or uninstall/re-install the actual Intel display drivers as well. Again, from a brief scan around the 1809 update seems to have affected countless systems that use HDMI audio :(. You're not alone!!

My N42C-4 almost began self updating to 1809 today as well. I immediately took a system image before it could proceed any further & paused/deferred the update in Windows settings as well but I won't know if I caught it in time until I next boot my N42C-4.

Hope you make some progress :).
Hi ArcticWolf, I do have a quick update on this following your last reply.

I loaded up Kodi 17.6 to see if that made any difference. No, nothing changed at all. I then took the step of fully updating to 1809 to see if this made any difference. No, nada. It still only shows none HD drivers present and it still has video issues (stuttering and echo) when I load up WASAPI.

I have also had a reply back from Minix confirming that the Z83-4 does NOT have HD drivers on its CPU. Not sure why they said 'CPU' when I was asking about the Intel GPU?? But, according to them the Z83 cannot run HD drivers.

Now that is strange because before kodi v18 updated its self I was running WASAPI in glorious HD 5.1 sound. My question therefore is - "where have they gone" and, "how do I get them back"? It seems I can't down load these drivers from anywhere. I think I am pretty much at the end now of finding an answer to this. Looks like I either have to put up with it or dive into the credit card again. I just find it hard to believe that it was all working before but now something has changed and maybe gone for ever :(
 

ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#10
Hi ArcticWolf, I do have a quick update on this following your last reply.

I loaded up Kodi 17.6 to see if that made any difference. No, nothing changed at all. I then took the step of fully updating to 1809 to see if this made any difference. No, nada. It still only shows none HD drivers present and it still has video issues (stuttering and echo) when I load up WASAPI.

I have also had a reply back from Minix confirming that the Z83-4 does NOT have HD drivers on its CPU. Not sure why they said 'CPU' when I was asking about the Intel GPU?? But, according to them the Z83 cannot run HD drivers.

Now that is strange because before kodi v18 updated its self I was running WASAPI in glorious HD 5.1 sound. My question therefore is - "where have they gone" and, "how do I get them back"? It seems I can't down load these drivers from anywhere. I think I am pretty much at the end now of finding an answer to this. Looks like I either have to put up with it or dive into the credit card again. I just find it hard to believe that it was all working before but now something has changed and maybe gone for ever :(
OK, that's frustrating :(.

Before spending money, you could try a fresh install of the official Minix Windows image. Worth trying before giving up & everything should be as it was when you first received it.

Z83-4 here.
https://theminixforum.com/index.php?forums/neo-z83-4.62/

Z83-4 Pro here. https://theminixforum.com/index.php?forums/official-firmwares.114/
 
#11
I thought I would relate my experience using the Z-84 as my AV system player with Kodi, as I went through MANY iterations before I finally got the 5.1 sound piece of it reliably working. My system primarily consisted of the Z-84 and an older (HDMI 1.4) Samsung surround receiver.

Everything was HDMI all the way with the receiver having both HDMI inputs and outputs.

The first challenge was realizing that the Win 10 OS treats the sound capability the same as hardware - it must sense the 5.1 sound at boot time or it will default to the analog stereo settings. When the Win 10 control panel is configured the computer must have retrieved the capability over the HDMI in order to have 5.1 as an available configuration option.

All this was further complicated when I started playing 4k files as the Samsung did not support 4k - only 1080p @ 60.

I tried many things, some of which DID make a "hit or miss" difference, such as (biggest) the order of device power up (always power SOURCE last).

Nothing ever really functioned anywhere near 100% predictably until I bought a "smart splitter" with the EID function switches. I had one, an REI 4kX60 that functioned well MOST of the time, but finally found the Gofanco which really solved the problems. This splitter senses the connected device capability AND maximum resolution (1080, 4k, etc.) and channels the appropriate content to the necessary port.

Thus the splitter will down convert the 4k to the surround to 1080 so the receiver HDMI bandwidth is not exceeded - which is fine as long as it sends the audio! Everything has been "golden" since I added that splitter and remained so when I upgraded from the Z-84 to the U9-H.
 
#12
#13
I thought I would relate my experience using the Z-84 as my AV system player with Kodi, as I went through MANY iterations before I finally got the 5.1 sound piece of it reliably working. My system primarily consisted of the Z-84 and an older (HDMI 1.4) Samsung surround receiver.

Everything was HDMI all the way with the receiver having both HDMI inputs and outputs.

The first challenge was realizing that the Win 10 OS treats the sound capability the same as hardware - it must sense the 5.1 sound at boot time or it will default to the analog stereo settings. When the Win 10 control panel is configured the computer must have retrieved the capability over the HDMI in order to have 5.1 as an available configuration option.

All this was further complicated when I started playing 4k files as the Samsung did not support 4k - only 1080p @ 60.

I tried many things, some of which DID make a "hit or miss" difference, such as (biggest) the order of device power up (always power SOURCE last).

Nothing ever really functioned anywhere near 100% predictably until I bought a "smart splitter" with the EID function switches. I had one, an REI 4kX60 that functioned well MOST of the time, but finally found the Gofanco which really solved the problems. This splitter senses the connected device capability AND maximum resolution (1080, 4k, etc.) and channels the appropriate content to the necessary port.

Thus the splitter will down convert the 4k to the surround to 1080 so the receiver HDMI bandwidth is not exceeded - which is fine as long as it sends the audio! Everything has been "golden" since I added that splitter and remained so when I upgraded from the Z-84 to the U9-H.
Thanks for this info. This sounds interesting but, if you check under >'Computer Management', 'Device Manager' to view all installed drivers is there a driver listed there as: Intel(R) High Definition Audio HDMI ? because, as far as I can see if this driver is not installed you will be unable to get HD audio output on WASAPI such as DTS - HD, Dolby Digital - HD etc according to the official Kodi Wiki. This driver is not showing up on my Z83-4. I only have two - Intel(R) SST Audio Device (WMD) and Realtek I2 Audio.
 
#14
Whilst I'm on the subject of what 'should' be showing up in the various settings, when I look at my 'Display Settings' >'Advanced Display Settings' >'Display Adapter' properties instead of showing my TV is shows my AVR - Pioneer VSX330. Is this correct? However it also shows that the VSX330 is connected to Intel(R) HD Graphics adapter.
 
Last edited:
#15
Looking through the web I came across this. I wonder if it is connected to my issue plus how many others may be seeing this. Apparently this issues has proved problematic for more devices than Microsoft have/or are willing to admit. (the bold text is copied from the original post)
In September, Intel inadvertently released versions of their display driver (versions 24.20.100.6344, 24.20.100.6345) that accidentally turned on unsupported features in Windows. After updating to Windows 10, version 1809, audio playback from a monitor or television connected to a PC via HDMI, USB-C or Display port may not function correctly on devices with these drivers.

Microsoft is currently blocking devices with these drivers from installing Windows 10, version 1809, and we are working with Intel to expire these display drivers and provide a resolution in an upcoming release.

If you are running Windows 10, version 1809 and you are unsure whether your PC is affected, use the following direction to see if your device is affected. Once you’ve confirmed your device has the incompatible driver, please contact Microsoft support directly at 1-800-MICROSOFT or find a local number in your area.

A Microsoft agent can resolve the issue by running a file on your device that will turn off the feature that is incompatible with these Intel drivers.

To determine if your PC is affected

1. From the Start menu, type Device Manager in the search box. Select Device Manager from the search results.
2. Find and expand Display adapters.
3. Right-click on the Intel® HD Graphics device.
4. Select Properties.
5. Click the Driver tab.
6. Check your driver version. If the driver version is listed as either 24.20.100.6344, or 24.20.100.6345, your system is affected by this issue. Please contact Microsoft support for a resolution.
 
#16
Thanks for this info. This sounds interesting but, if you check under >'Computer Management', 'Device Manager' to view all installed drivers is there a driver listed there as: Intel(R) High Definition Audio HDMI ? because, as far as I can see if this driver is not installed you will be unable to get HD audio output on WASAPI such as DTS - HD, Dolby Digital - HD etc according to the official Kodi Wiki. This driver is not showing up on my Z83-4. I only have two - Intel(R) SST Audio Device (WMD) and Realtek I2 Audio.
I never had to look at lower level system drivers, etc. as "WASAPI" would always show up in the list of audio drivers as seen in the Win 10 control panel dialog for sound Kodi audio device list. This may be because when I first had problems I went to Intel site and got the Intel driver manager utility that searched hardware and installed what was the latest applicable drivers, particularly for graphics.

While the WASAPI would always be in the LIST of audio devices, it was not always available as a SELECTION. ONLY when I observed the power sequence as outlined above WITH the EID splitter did I have the options 100% of the time. Note also that I could test each speaker from inside the control panel sound dialog.

As far as the various flavors of multi-channel audio, I found out later by experimenting in Kodi with the "optimized" pass-through audio settings that in fact my Samsung surround system, manufactured in 2013, only supports a few formats. Basic Dolby Digital AC3 and DTS. DTS-HD, E-AC3, and True HD cannot be selected, as selection of any of these cause loud noise like a helicopter. I never knew about that last until I got this new splitter. It is interesting though that ANY program material with multichannel audio plays properly as 5.1 surround with these Kodi pass-through settings - even 7.1.

I will go back to my Z-83 and see what everything shows now in my current configuration, as I re-designed my system, changing to the new splitter and upgraded to an HDMI switch that supports full 4k60 HDR bandwidth and HDMI 2.2 (or possibly 2.0a). Thus I get the same external "load side" configuration on the HDMI for either player simply by changing the HDMI switch input.

I do remember that in the Win 10 sound dialog the list choice was the name of my TV - in that case HiSense. I have since changed from the flawed HiSense 55" to a much better LG 70".
 
Last edited:

ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#17
I will go back to my Z-83 and see what everything shows now in my current configuration, as I re-designed my system, changing to the new splitter and upgraded to an HDMI switch that supports full 4k60 HDR bandwidth and HDMI 2.2 (or possibly 2.0a).
This would be HDMI 2.0 a/b & HDCP 2.2, (easily confused, however ;) ).

Whilst I'm on the subject of what 'should' be showing up in the various settings, when I look at my 'Display Settings' >'Advanced Display Settings' >'Display Adapter' properties instead of showing my TV is shows my AVR - Pioneer VSX330. Is this correct? However it also shows that the VSX330 is connected to Intel(R) HD Graphics adapter.
Yes, if your Z83 is directly connected by HDMI to your AVR it may show your AVR as the display device. How Windows recognises specific devices differs greatly unfortunately. (You could try tinkering with certain settings on your AVR & it may then see your TV instead.) My N42C-4 is the complete reverse!! It shows my TV as my audio device & ignores my AVR yet all of the capabilities of my AVR are still recognised, but yes, it still shows my TV under display adapter. Despite this, everything works as intended.

Looking through the web I came across this. I wonder if it is connected to my issue plus how many others may be seeing this. Apparently this issues has proved problematic for more devices than Microsoft have/or are willing to admit. (the bold text is copied from the original post)
In September, Intel inadvertently released versions of their display driver (versions 24.20.100.6344, 24.20.100.6345) that accidentally turned on unsupported features in Windows. After updating to Windows 10, version 1809, audio playback from a monitor or television connected to a PC via HDMI, USB-C or Display port may not function correctly on devices with these drivers.

Microsoft is currently blocking devices with these drivers from installing Windows 10, version 1809, and we are working with Intel to expire these display drivers and provide a resolution in an upcoming release.

If you are running Windows 10, version 1809 and you are unsure whether your PC is affected, use the following direction to see if your device is affected. Once you’ve confirmed your device has the incompatible driver, please contact Microsoft support directly at 1-800-MICROSOFT or find a local number in your area.

A Microsoft agent can resolve the issue by running a file on your device that will turn off the feature that is incompatible with these Intel drivers.

To determine if your PC is affected

1. From the Start menu, type Device Manager in the search box. Select Device Manager from the search results.
2. Find and expand Display adapters.
3. Right-click on the Intel® HD Graphics device.
4. Select Properties.
5. Click the Driver tab.
6. Check your driver version. If the driver version is listed as either 24.20.100.6344, or 24.20.100.6345, your system is affected by this issue. Please contact Microsoft support for a resolution.
This was one of the articles I scanned through for your problem. I didn't post it up as I also read the replies & there were multiple instances of others with different driver versions having the same problems as well, (I thought this might confuse things further.)

Have you also tried reinstalling all drivers, (can't remember if you did this or not)? (https://theminixforum.com/index.php?threads/neo-z83-4-manually-install-the-driver.31/ ).

Were I in your shoes, at this point I'd back up anything important on the Z83 itself & start fresh with Minix's Windows image. As soon as you get it up & running, adjust the settings to pause/defer certain updates to stop the same thing immediately happening again. Configure your audio settings in Windows sound settings & see if your problems are resolved. Otherwise, you may need to wait for Minix to issue an official 1809 image.
 
#18
@pdoth ,

Noting once again that I'm presently using an N42C-4 which has its obvious differences to your Z83-4.....

....FYI, I've been dicking around with Kodi 18 on my N42C-4 for you today to see if I could recreate any of your problems etc. Basically, I've been having all sorts of weird issues with Kodi 18 on Windows!! From what I've seen today Windows Kodi 18 still seems to have some serious issues affecting some systems & it still needs more work!! It's constantly been randomly crashing all day for a start & I can't seem to recreate a definite cause either.

In Kodi 18 the WASAPI options are fully available for me to select, whether it be WASAPI: Default or WASAPI: [My Panasonic TV]. However, even with these options selected as with Kodi 17.6 (which works perfectly); Kodi 18 WON'T correctly passthrough audio if I set the "Adjust display refresh rate" to "On start/stop" or "Always", (obviously I have "sync playback to display" DISABLED & I have added all of the correct resolutions for my display & the source media to the whitelist), if you have this setting enabled in Kodi 18, have you tried disabling it?) If this setting is on with my setup/hardware, Atmos, TrueHD, DTS:X/DTS-HD & standard DTS are all being down mixed to PCM 2.0 stereo only by Kodi 18 itself! AC3 & possibly e-AC3 will passthrough correctly but that's it. I've tried multiple variables tinkering with Kodi 18 & if I leave the adjust display refresh rate OFF, Kodi will then correctly passthrough all audio normally including Atmos, TrueHD & DTS-HD. Additionally, if I set the adjust display refresh rate to ON, Kodi is also randomly locking my TV to V-FULL @ 4096x2160 (using the same file to test each time). If I then remove everything from the whitelist & again try to use the adjust display refresh rate, the display correctly syncs to the source media but as above, no audio passthrough. AAAGGHHHHHH LOL ;)!!

Kodi 18 is working perfectly on my U9-H for example, it's great. Kodi 17.6 also works perfectly on my N42C-4, no issues there either. Kodi 18 on my N42C-4 = a serious ballache at the moment lol.

Did you ever try the early suggestion of removing Kodi 18 & the re-installation of Kodi 17.6 to see if it still all works as before on your Z83? We discussed it as something for you to try in another thread you created but you didn't confirm if you have tried this or not.

Given what I've seen today, before you go ahead & start messing around with ripping out & reinstalling drivers that could actually be fine, or fresh installs, etc., etc.. Definitely try Kodi 17.6 again, see if your AVR & everything else works correctly again ;)!!!

What's more, Kodi 17.6 isn't exactly bad or obsolete!! It's stable, it works just fine on Windows & by all accounts it was working just fine on your Z83 before you updated to Kodi 18. How desperately do you need Kodi 18 & why lol? Under the circumstances, rather than going through a minor hell pulling your Windows system to pieces, wait for the next Kodi update that will hopefully fix these teething issues. Unfortunately, this is often the case when rushing to update to the latest software to then discover it's just not ready. I'm certainly going to be sticking with Kodi 17.6 on my N42C-4 for the foreseeable future given the infrequency it's used. I mostly use my U9-H for Kodi anyway mainly because it fully supports HDR, obviously that's just me ;)!

Apologies if this post seems a little disorganised, I was juggling 2 other jobs whilst testing Kodi 18 & typing this up lol :). I hope it's of some use & one way or another you can sort something out with the minimal amount of fuss :).
 
#19
ArcticWolf - as usual, most appreciate the help.

Ahh... where to begin?

First off, yes I did load up V17.6. Long story short, no difference mainly because I realised I had not deleted the Kodi 'user' file so all the original settings passed over from 18.0 including DirectSound and WASAPI. This seems to have included drivers for some unknown reason.?

I have got the .zip file for drivers but realised that ALL drivers are in this file and by loading it means that ALL settings and data will be wiped. I may still do this but, I stumbled on something else in the meantime which is interesting. Is there a way of extracting just the audio drivers from this file ???

Taking the advice from 'klapa' I downloaded and installed the Intel Driver Management Utility. After running it it came back with an 'out of date' driver - Intel(R) HD Graphic. So, I ran this...............

At first there was no difference, same old issues but, after a bit of messing around and changing a few settings I managed to get 5.1 working with, what sounds like 'better' audio.

I turned off: 'sync' and 'frame rate'. Selected 5.1 (instead of 2.0 as suggested in Wiki). Selected 'DirectSound - VSX330' under Audio Output Device but left 'WASAPI - VSX330' under passthrough, plus, left ALL options ticked including all HD codecs.

Whilst testing this new setup the only main issues I have now are:
1. Properties still show that ALL HD options are not available on the AVR (but seem to be working).
2. I am 'almost' unable to get any 4K video working any more. Picture freezes constantly and no, it is not a buffering issue as it worked perfectly before and there is no spinning clock showing buffering.

I have a feeling I have opened a rabbit hole that has no beginning and certainly no end.
 
Last edited:
#20
ArcticWolf - as usual, most appreciate the help.

Ahh... where to begin?

First off, yes I did load up V17.6. Long story short, no difference mainly because I realised I had not deleted the Kodi 'user' file so all the original settings passed over from 18.0 including DirectSound and WASAPI. This seems to have included drivers for some unknown reason.?

I have got the .zip file for drivers but realised that ALL drivers are in this file and by loading it means that ALL settings and data will be wiped. I may still do this but, I stumbled on something else in the meantime which is interesting. Is there a way of extracting just the audio drivers from this file ???

Taking the advice from 'klapa' I downloaded and installed the Intel Driver Management Utility. After running it it came back with an 'out of date' driver - Intel(R) HD Graphic. So, I ran this...............

At first there was no difference, same old issues but, after a bit of messing around and changing a few settings I managed to get 5.1 working with, what sounds like 'better' audio.

I turned off: 'sync' and 'frame rate'. Selected 5.1 (instead of 2.0 as suggested in Wiki). Selected 'DirectSound - VSX330' under Audio Output Device but left 'WASAPI - VSX330' under passthrough, plus, left ALL options ticked including all HD codecs.

Whilst testing this new setup the only main issues I have now are:
1. Properties still show that ALL HD options are not available on the AVR (but seem to be working).
2. I am 'almost' unable to get any 4K video working any more. Picture freezes constantly and no, it is not a buffering issue as it worked perfectly before and there is no spinning clock showing buffering.

I have a feeling I have opened a rabbit hole that has no beginning and certainly no end.
Indeed, if you uninstall Kodi from Windows you must ensure you check the box to remove the profiles directory or the old settings files will be left behind affecting any future installations.

Try uninstalling again (ensuring you remove the profile dir), then try another completely clean install with 17.6.

Failing that, until MINIX issue their own official 1809 image you may indeed be stuck in your rabbit hole or the possibility of messing around with a fresh 1803 image :(!!
 
Top