Sunday, April 17, 2011

Motorola Razr meets PCI Simple Communications Controller

I picked up a used Alltel-branded Motorola Razr v3b for $2 at a yard sale recently. After reeling for a moment that new this phone probably ran for $150+ and now lay abandoned among pots and pans and power tools and other discarded housewares, I decided to charge it up and see whether any ringtones and other crap were on the phone.

I installed Motorola Phone Tools in an effort to transfer the data to my PC.

However, upon connecting the phone to my PC with a compatible USB data cable, one new device appeared in my system's Device Manager, a "PCI Simple Communications Controller" whose driver failed to install.

I opened the Properties of the device and selected the Hardware Ids property from the Details tab.

I searched for hits on the top entry: 


This revealed that the device is the Intel Management Engine Interface, which lives on my Intel DP965LT motherboard. However, for whatever reason (perhaps just obsolescence) my Windows 7 Ultimate install couldn't find the appropriate drivers.

I downloaded the Intel® ME: Management Engine Driver for Intel 963/965 Chipset-Based Desktop Boards, but the installer supports XP and Vista, not 7. I found various forum posts that suggested working around this by trying to run the installer as administrator and in Vista compatibility mode, but this didn't work; the installer refused to run beyond copying the files to my PC at this location: 

     C:\Program Files\Intel Desktop Board\HECI_allOS_2.1.22.1033_PV 

I found another post that suggested attempting to update the drivers by having Windows search for drivers in the folder created above, and this did the trick. 

I right-clicked on the PCI Simple Communications Controller, clicked Update Driver Software..., then Browse my computer for driver software. I input the path to the drivers unpacked from the management engine package (C:\Program Files\Intel Desktop Board), then clicked Next:

The PCI Simple Communications Controller disappeared and in its place an Intel(R) Management Engine Interface device appeared instead under the System devices category:

When I again plugged the Motorola Razr v3b in via USB, this time the Driver Software Installation dialog reported success across the board, and Motorola Phone Tools could now properly communicate with the phone.

If nothing else, it'll serve me well as a spare digital camera, or maybe as a prop in some twisted video involving the destruction of formerly cutting edge electronics.

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