Area51m - boot from USB DOS for BIOS update

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by gpc, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. gpc

    gpc Notebook Consultant

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    Hi all,
    I have a problem. I have been in touch for some time with Dell support to find out why my AlienFX functionalities disappeared after the last update of the control center. After a lot of digging around, it turned out that my A51m has a firmware 1.8.3, which is not supported any more and it is known to cause these issues, and it needs to be downgraded to 1.7.3.
    I ahve been told to follow a Dell video with the instructions, which involve creating a DOS USB disk with Rufus, copy the BIOS program and run it. With the little issue that, apparently, the PC can't boot from DOS. In the BIOS, even disabling secure boot, the option is stuck to UEFI and the DOS USB is not recognised. Also trying to add manually the entry doesn't work. Booting from Win10 advanced boot doesn't work either.
    Is anyone else aware of this issue? Any solution around?
    Also, does anyone know if the update (well downgrade in my case) program Alienware_Area-51m_1.7.3.exe really needs to be run from DOS? When they made an attempt to reprogram it they did it through the shell, so I am not sure if it is really necessary.
    I have seen that there is a thread about downgrading Area51m, but it looks a lot more complicated than what they say to do, I'm not sure if it's the same thing...
    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Spartan@HIDevolution

    Spartan@HIDevolution Company Representative

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    I used this guide to downgrade to BIOS 1.5.0 which is the best BIOS then I immediately disabled Firmware Capsule updates in BIOS to prevent Windows update from updating my BIOS and I also uninstalled Dell Update and SupportAssist to stop them from nagging me to update

    Area-51m BIOS / VBIOS Collection (mirrors)
    Force downgrade Alienware Area-51m Bios (or any alienware) to locked lower versions
     
  3. gpc

    gpc Notebook Consultant

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    Oh ok, thanks, that is the discussion I saw. Ok I'll give it a try. Dell wants me to ship my laptop to Germany to change the motherboard because they say it's broken, while I'm pretty sure it's just a BIOS issue... so I want to try this first.
     
  4. gpc

    gpc Notebook Consultant

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    Oh it worked, fantastic. There should just be a warning about the automatic reboots during the BIOS flash because I have lost a few years of life around the third-fourth reboot with black screen :D
     
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