Resolve mei: Init hw failure or mei: initialization failed

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The Linux start process sporadically crashes for servers with the Supermicro Motherboards with the message mei: Init hw failure. or mei 0000:00:16.0: initialization failed.. This article shows how to solve this problem.

The article, Intel Management Engine Interface for the mei Linux Driver, has background information regarding mei drivers.

Error Messages

Error Message "mei: Init hw failure"

Sometimes, the server will crash during the start process with the message mei: Init hw failure. The problem occurs for roughly every fifth start attempt:

X9SCM-F-BIOS-1.1a-Ubuntu-12.04-64Bit-mei-init-hw-failure-Booterror.png

Error Message "mei 0000:00:16.0: initialization failed."

X9DR7-LN4F-BIOS-1.0-Ubuntu-12.04-64Bit-Kernel-3.5-mei-initialization-failed-Booterror.png

Affected Systems

The problem has been reported with the following systems (all newer Linux Distribution with mei driver in the Kernel are potentially affected):

System Error Message Solution

Servers with the Supermicro X9SCM-F Motherboard (1)

BIOS version 1.1a, IPMI Firmware Version 1.45
OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64 Bit with Kernel 3.2
mei: Init hw failure. Entry in blacklist.conf

Servers with the Supermicro X9SCA-F Motherboard

(no details on the affected BIOS version have been reported)
OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64 Bit with Kernel 3.2
mei: Init hw failure. Entry in blacklist.conf

Servers with the Supermicro X9SRL-F Motherboard

(no details on the affected BIOS version have been reported)
(no details on the affected OS version have been reported)
mei: Init hw failure. Entry in blacklist.conf

Server with the Supermicro X10SLH-F Motherboard

BIOS version 1.1a
OS:
  • SLES11 SP3
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64 Bit
mei: Init hw failure.
SLES11: Entry in modprobe.conf.local
Ubuntu 14.04: Entry in blacklist.conf

Server with the Supermicro X9DR7-LN4F Motherboard

BIOS version 1.0, IPMI Firmware 1.76
OS: Ubuntu 12.04.02 LTS 64 Bit with Kernel 3.5
mei 0000:00:16.0: initialization failed. Entry in blacklist.conf

(1) Note: We were unable to simulate the problem on other systems with the same main board (tested there with BIOS version 1.0c, 1.1 and 1.1a). Whether this problem an individual case for this one server was or will also occur on other systems with the main board, could not be determined with certainty.

Solutions

Entry in blacklist.conf

To solve this issue in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, add the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf:

blacklist mei
blacklist mei_me

Entry in modprobe.conf.local

To solve this issue in SLES11 SP3, add the following line to modprobe.conf.local:

install mei /bin/true

Further Information

Related articles

Intel Active Management Technology
Low Energy Server Temperature Sensors
Serial Attached SCSI