A03 Bios bricked my M15x

Discussion in 'Alienware M15x' started by MaDDoGG, Jan 8, 2010.

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  1. NiklasBrock

    NiklasBrock Notebook Guru

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    I am still able to eject cd´s if u just spam the eject touch buttom while bios is posting message..
     
  2. NoMyNaMe

    NoMyNaMe Notebook Guru

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    Hi Nsaghead, does the M15x BIOS have a Crisis Recovery Mode?

    Could you advise if we can manage to get it fix using this mode? I read that the M17x has it.
     
  3. ozoc

    ozoc Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thank you, I'm pleased to see Dell is reaching out to customers to start to address this.

    Ironically this is why I bought my leading edge notebook from Alienware/Dell as it has the support organization in place to fix this sort of issue if it occurs
    - I didn't expect the problem to be caused by a BIOS upgrade
    - but being on the bleeding edge I expected something to fail :)

    That said (and being a techie geek) I would be interested in knowing what the root cause is when you dscover it
    - I also assume you have ruled out the crisis BIOS recovery (as if it worked it would save you a fortune in sending folks out)
    - I would feel safer on future BIOS updates if I knew there was a crisis recovery mode and how to use it
    - maybe that at least should be something that comes out of this
     
  4. LinkRS

    LinkRS Notebook Consultant

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    Hi HisSvt2,

    Thanks for the link:D I was hoping to get a copy of this before they come and tear into my computer. I am extrememly paranoid about an inept tech coming, or even worse a tech that is careless and scratches the case or some of the components.

    Rich
     
  5. ehl1

    ehl1 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Mainly a bump
    But can folks please post their experiences with the repair (which will happen Monday or Tuesday for some folks in the US, I presume)

    Would be good to hear about the experience...
     
  6. dwend

    dwend Notebook Evangelist

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    Good thing you guys have dell, not original Alienware.
    Area-51 m15x
    Original Alienware Employee, when you did call.
     
  7. SillyHoney

    SillyHoney Headphone Enthusiast

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    Ok guys, sorry to hear you guys are having that stupid problem. I couldn't believe this thread is growing up to 27 pages in just a few days :eek:

    Can someone shorten this long story for me? So basically your M15x(s) are just bricked? Dead? Cannot turn it on? Not function at all? No way to fix it yourselves? Something similar to a bricked PSP?
     
  8. ehl1

    ehl1 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Long story short:
    1) Dell/AW release A03 BIOS on Friday Jan 8 - mainly fixes the Enter key problem which was mapping to the numeric keypad enter key and causing problems in some games - mainly NFS. The file (in contrast to the A02 update) is a Windows-executable Phoenix phlasher

    2) Many of us (assuming this had been QA'ed/tested extensively) downloaded it on day 1 and ran the update. It appears to run through fine and our machines shut down. Folks wait variable periods of time to restart (with no clear instruction from Dell that waiting beyond 5 mins for it to self-restart is required or normal - still unclear).

    3) Upon restarting, the machines are dead. You can get early POST-behavior, the AW splash screen, but then you go to a black screen with a blinking cursor in the upper left corner (the "BCOD")

    4) You can enter BIOS setup (F2) and see it says A03 BIOS with either 0.96 or 1.00 EC, you can make changes and save, but no matter what you try (including changing boot order to USB stick or to CD-ROM) you get BCOD

    5) You can hit F12 either once (to get the boot order quick screen) OR hold down F12 to get to the BIOS diagnostics program - same thing, BCOD.

    6) Per AW/Dell rep posting above, the only solution is motherboard replacement for those with "failed BIOS update" - there is no crisis boot sector mode in the BIOS, no other backdoor keys to get us to boot into something/anything to rescue our machines.

    7) We have 1 (one) report of a successful A02 to A03 update with no proof from the poster (and some skepticism amongst many of us). The Dell/AW rep claimed that others had success (thereby very gently implying that all of us with bricks had done it incorrectly, though again with what appears to be 99% failure, you have to wonder where the blame should really lie...)

    8) The update was pulled from Dell's support site just about 24 hours after it went up.

    9) We are all now waiting for appointments with techs to come replace the MB and are worried because if you read the service manual, you see that you literally have to remove every single part of the machine and then re-assemble it and we are all skeptical that the techs (who are Dell not AW techs) will know what they are doing. And if we do have an issue, we will have to file another claim with Dell, and who knows how many cycles we will go through to get our machines right.

    And most of us feel this is not our fault. Not at all.
     
  9. kuhanchi

    kuhanchi Notebook Enthusiast

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    I think the people who did not affected is the people that dint know about the bios update,the people who read NBR forum before doing the update and the people who get the m15x with the A03 bios!

    so far oni see 1 person succesful with this bios update but do not know wether he is telling the truth or bluff,would like to see anyone else with succes A03 bios update
     
  10. SillyHoney

    SillyHoney Headphone Enthusiast

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    Oops! Can't believe it could be that worse :eek:

    Yeah, I don't think we can go wrong with a BIOS update unless the problem is already lying in the BIOS itself, like in this case

    Well they are not even Dell tech, just some guys out there and most of them have never even see an Alienware in real.

    Of course it's Dellienware's fault. I couldn't believe they can release such a bad BIOS. I mean, their tech dep must be gone through trial and error so many times before approve the BIOS...

    Thank you ehl1, your post is very informative and I can see a whole picture now.
     
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