You may see that the MAX_ERROR LED illuminates red after you power up your Altera® development kit. This is not board failure. Many Altera development kits have a MAX® II or a MAX V CPLD which has a design for Fast Passive Parallel (FPP) configuration using the Parallel Flash Loader (PFL) IP. When the configuration scheme is set to FPP, the PFL tries to configure the FPGA by reading the programming file from the flash memory device attached to the PFL. When the flash memory device is not programmed with any proper programming files for FPGA configuration, the design in the CPLD detects configuration error and turns on the MAX_ERROR LED.
Even if your development kit is a brand-new, the flash memory device may not be preprogrammed with any programming files in some cases.