Quantcast Critical error. Help! :(

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  1. #1
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    Default Critical error. Help! :(

    Just moments ago, my m17x crashed. Refused to boot. The only thing there just before the windows logo was a bleeping underscore and a black screen. Never got to the windows logo.

    Here's the error code I got from the F12 > diagnostics.

    Error Code 0146
    Msg: Error Code 2000-0146
    Msg: Hard Drive 0 - self test contains previous error(s).

    =(

    Btw, is the international technical support line toll free?
    This one: 00353 (0)906 456500

    I'm not sure which number to call. If it helps, I'm from Malaysia.
    Saw this page but I can't find Alienware anywhere.
    Technical Support Phone Number List

    Thanks! Would appreciate any help I can get.

    A few weeks ago, I updated my BIOS from A06 to A09. VBIOS too. After that, I got an error since I didn't reset my Hard drives to Raid configuration. Worked fine after I reset it though. Did that little accident gave me this? Sigh.

    I tried tapping F8 to get to the recovery screen, and hopefully save some data. Too bad it didn't work, no matter how many times I tap the button. =.=
    Last edited by ShimmerArc; 4th November 2010 at 01:43 PM.
    Nebula Red M17x-R2, i7 QM740 1.73GHz, CrossFireX Dual Mobility DDR5 HD5870s, 8Gb DDR3 RAM, 2x320G 7200RPM in RAID 0 [Ordered: 20/7/10, delivered: 5/8/10]


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Critical error. Help! :(

    You can try booting from a USB stick to see if that works, preferably windows 7 installation. The reason I recommend doing this first is to so you can determine the following,

    1. HDD is still good
    2. Motherboard is still good
    3. RAM is still good.

    You can have DOS base diagnostics on the USB too if you boot from DOS Memtest works still I think. Remember to change the boot settings in BIOS though.

    If it's memory issues it'll usually beep and get pass your point of crashing. If it's hard drive, you should see the BIOS looking for a boot drive to run off of. If not, then it might be software related that's preventing the Windows boot up, RAID configurations could be the problem too. If it's motherboard, then call Dell and send it back for repair/replace

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Critical error. Help! :(

    I'm a newbie when it comes to technical stuff. Did you mean booting from a USB which has windows 7 preinstalled on it? If so, how do you install windows 7 on a USB?

    "You can have DOS base diagnostics on the USB too if you boot from DOS Memtest works still I think. Remember to change the boot settings in BIOS though."

    DOS base diagnostics? I'm afraid I have no idea what that is. Do I need to install that on the USB pendrive as well?

    "If it's hard drive, you should see the BIOS looking for a boot drive to run off of."
    You mean during the DOS base diagnostics? Or during the PSA diagnostics?

    In any case, did you mean ~ install Windows 7 on a USB flash drive, then boot the PC via the USB > run DOS base diagnostics (installed in USB) ?

    Oh, and you mentioned RAID configurations may cause problems. I think that could be the culprit since I got a red error screen the day I updated my BIOS to A09. For some reason, the update didn't reset my RAID configuration and left it un-RAIDed, so when I booted my comp, well, things didn't go very well. Thanks to reborn (from this forum), I did manage to get it back to working condition by resetting the settings through the BIOS setup. But then ... it worked perfectly fine for the past few weeks. Sighs.

    I really hope I won't have to replace my hard drive. D:

    Thanks again The0ne, for taking the time to read my loooong post.

    Update: Public holiday in Malaysia today. Dell isn't picking up my phone. *sob*

    Update2: Come to think of it, is reformatting the computer a viable option? What is RAID anyways? Seems to be more trouble than its worth. Does an un-RAIDed hard drive perform significantly slower than a RAIDed HDD?
    Last edited by ShimmerArc; 4th November 2010 at 10:35 PM.
    Nebula Red M17x-R2, i7 QM740 1.73GHz, CrossFireX Dual Mobility DDR5 HD5870s, 8Gb DDR3 RAM, 2x320G 7200RPM in RAID 0 [Ordered: 20/7/10, delivered: 5/8/10]


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Critical error. Help! :(

    Is booting from a USB drive really neccessary? Can't I just boot it from the Windows 7 CD?

    "If you’re able to get as far as getting into the Windows 7 installation chances are your memory and hard drive(s) are okay."
    I'm using another computer to access the internet. My m17x refuses to go into windows. Normally it's Alienware logo > Miscellanous stuff with black background > More miscellanous stuff > Windows 7 logo > login screen. But I can only get til 'More miscellanous stuff' before it hangs. Only shows a flashing underscore. :/

    I mean when you try to boot your laptop as it is right now you should see Windows complain that it can’t find the boot drive and/or that you need one. This is typically a software problem unless the hard drive is dead


    Oh. I don't have that problem. At the miscellanous stuff with black background (just after the alienware logo), I get a green message attributed to the HDD that says Bootable. O.o

    Anyways, if I were to reformat my computer, will I be able to set it to RAID if I want to?

    Update: Just read the wiki section for RAID. Uh. Well. Too technical for me. :/ What's the best setup for a 2x320gigs HDD? RAID 0? RAID 1? No RAID? Reliability and performance wise, which is better?

    Update2: Assuming I pass all 3 tests. Motherboard, HDD and RAM. What happens next? Just curious.

    Update3: The Alienware Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit CD isn't compatible with my USB when I tried configuring it via the cmd prompt.
    Last edited by ShimmerArc; 5th November 2010 at 05:59 AM.
    Nebula Red M17x-R2, i7 QM740 1.73GHz, CrossFireX Dual Mobility DDR5 HD5870s, 8Gb DDR3 RAM, 2x320G 7200RPM in RAID 0 [Ordered: 20/7/10, delivered: 5/8/10]


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Critical error. Help! :(

    I'm running RAID0 with dual WD 320GB HDD and haven't had any issues on running it on teh R1. Setting it up was a bit more difficult than it needed to be, but that was because I didn't have the drivers I needed. Or the drive.

    According to comments in this http://forum.notebookreview.com/alie...idnt-come.html thread (which talks about configuring RAID in R1 and was written by me) the process for the R2 is very straight forward and easy to do assuming there is nothing wrong with your system.

    Assuming you pass all 3 tests, then I would recommend re-installing your OS either from your CD or your restore CD (if you have one).

    If you can boot off your CD and get the install/recovery options then I'd say go for that. Don't worry about booting off the USB, just go from teh CD and let us know what happens. At worst it fails durring the re-install and then you know you've got bad hardware. At best it goes without a hitch and everything is happy and peachy king.

    Also, make sure you aren't over clocking. Turn that off and see what happens.
    ASUS G73JW-ROG 17.3-Inch Full HD LED Display
    Intel i7-740QM, 16GB DDR3, Nvidia GTX 460M 1.5GB GDDR5, 2x 500G 7200RPM/4GB SSD, Blue-Ray Burner, PLUS Dog Tag, Backpack, and a really b**ch'n mouse!

    Dellware M17X
    Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9000, 8GB DDR3 1333, dual 260M, 2x WD 320GB HDD - on its way to the dust bin of history.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Critical error. Help! :(

    Forgive me, so use to booting off USB drives now. Yes, you can boot off CD and it'll be much easier hahaha.

    The "green" message in regards to your HDD might be due to your RAID configuration. This, I'm quite positive, is coming from the BIOS as normal messages aren't usually colored. The Alienteam probably has some old school DOS geezer, like me, that likes to use colors

    If you are going to reformat, my suggestion would be to take RAID 0 off and see if you computer can install Windows 7; you don't even have to complete the installation IMO. If you are not getting any errors, switch back to RAID 0, using the link by the poster above me, and install Windows 7.

    If you set up your RAID configuration properly and are still getting the error message before being able to do anything, there might be a more serous problem. But lets not jump to conclusions yet.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Critical error. Help! :(

    I just called Dell Technical Support and they recommend that I replace my HDD since I got the 2000-0146 error code.

    But the funny thing is, I ran the Diagnostics from the resource CD last night and it passed all the tests. So either the resource CD diagnostic isn't reliable / accurate or I'm not having a hardware problem, in this case, the HDD. Is that right?

    I'm confused. Should I try reformatting my system? I'm not very concerned about data loss since I backed up most of my files on an external HDD. Reformatting wouldn't hurt right?

    Btw, if I were to reformat, I get to reconfigure my RAID status of the HDD? Should I do that prior to or after reinstalling Windows 7?

    I appreciate all the help thus far. Thanks. =)
    Nebula Red M17x-R2, i7 QM740 1.73GHz, CrossFireX Dual Mobility DDR5 HD5870s, 8Gb DDR3 RAM, 2x320G 7200RPM in RAID 0 [Ordered: 20/7/10, delivered: 5/8/10]


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Critical error. Help! :(

    Well, I've been reading up on the error code 2000-0146 and it appears to be mostly dell related hahah It "appears" it might be software/bios related as well as hardware related, although I doubt the HDD is dying in that fashion.

    So before buying a new HDD backup your data and install windows 7. You can reformat if you need to during the installation. Make sure if you are going RAID 0 that you've properly set them up in BIOS before installing Windows 7. If you're unsure, remove RAID configurations (sorry, I don't know the BIOS options to specifically tell you what to turn off/on).

    Have fun!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Critical error. Help! :(

    Woot! I just reinstalled Windows 7 over my OS partition and (finally!) able to get into the OS itself. All of my old pre-crash data were stored in the Windows.old file so I'm backing everything up right now, things that were left out during my last backup, that is.

    Am going to reformat after backing up some stuff. Hopefully, all goes well. Will download the BIOS and VBIOS off the net instead of relying on the resource CD like I did when I first bought it. Clean install. Whoosh.

    I'm still a little perplexed about the RAID configurations though. Anyone care to shed some light on that? What should I do? Leave it as it is? Or should I un-RAID it for now? If I were to un-RAID it, can I re-RAID it later?

    Thanks again The0ne! =)

    UPDATE: Do I need to reupdate my BIOS and VBIOS after reformatting my HDD?

    UPDATE2: Actually, my rig is still under warranty, so I won't be buying a new HDD. But if my old one still works, I don't really plan on reinstalling all the drivers and stuff when the technician comes to replace it. The thing is, I'm not entirely sure. Test gave it green, all passes, but PSA diagnostic gave it an error 2000-1046, but I managed to reinstall windows 7 and got the OS to boot. @_@ What do you guys think? Software-related? Should I trade in my HDD for a new one? I've heard disastrous stories about Dell techs ruining more than they fix. :/ Now I'm worried. Plus, they are only coming on Tuesday.
    Last edited by ShimmerArc; 6th November 2010 at 02:16 AM.
    Nebula Red M17x-R2, i7 QM740 1.73GHz, CrossFireX Dual Mobility DDR5 HD5870s, 8Gb DDR3 RAM, 2x320G 7200RPM in RAID 0 [Ordered: 20/7/10, delivered: 5/8/10]


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Critical error. Help! :(

    Since Windows installed just fine your problem might have been software related. Some program must have changed something in your boot sector, like a virus

    In any case, good to hear you're up and running.

    1. You don't need to re-update the BIOS and VBIOS, they are unchanged.

    2. If you are up and running with a new Windows installation then I think your HDD is fine. Backup to be safe.

    As for RAID I highly recommend those that don't understand how it works to leave it alone. If you begin to configure your HDDs for RAID or remove RAID from them, you will lose your data. Unless you must squeeze the smallest, tinest performance out of your HDDs avoid RAID until you are more familiar with it. This is just my opinion on RAID of course.

 

 
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