BIOS Flash Issue / Fans on full speed

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by V8200T5, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. V8200T5

    V8200T5 Newbie

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    Hi,

    I have the same issue as many others before me: The Alienware Update Application recommend a BIOS update and half way through the flash the system locked up with fans on full speed. The power button, keyboard, touchpad, etc. all didn't work and there was no way to power the system down other than opening the back panel and disconnecting the battery. After doing this, the system would not POST (presumably due to a bad/incomplete flash).

    I followed the instructions posted in the linked thread by Lord Zog:
    1. Do a bootblock recovery to flash the proper rom.

    2. If you have access to another machine, format a USB stick to FAT32.

    3. Run AW15A05.EXE /writehdrfile. (Or whatever version you used BEFORE you bricked, as usually the bootblock isn't updated, but with some BIOS updates, it can be, so your more safe to use the same version you had on the machine BEFORE it bricked from improper flash.)

    4. Now take this HDR file and rename it to AAP10.hdr. Put it on the root of the USB.

    5. Now make a copy of this file and rename it AMIBOOT.ROM (all caps) so now there's 2 files on the USB key, AMIBOOT.ROM and AAP10.hdr. (Unconfirmed if uses old AMIBOOT.ROM or the new filename I found.. New aptio platform we haven't really played with yet, so lets use both..)

    6. Now here's the fun part, you need the technical guide from dell and disconnect your MAIN battery, not the CMOS battery.. And unplug the PSU..

    7. Now, insert your USB stick, hold down END key, plug PSU back in with battery removed.

    8. It should turn on and after 5-10 mins, you should see USB activity.. Wait the FULL 10 mins. (Or until it shuts off on its own). Some have reported it took 2 mins when we were testing.

    9. After this, try to shut it down using POWER if it didn't on its own, but it should. Then turn it back on.. You should be back on your system.

    You don't need to flash again after, as this recovery will flash the complete ROM.. And don't' forget to reconnect your battery..​

    Unfortunately it didn't really work in my case because I didn't know what BIOS version was installed before the update and it didn't show on the screen in the Alienware Update Application.

    After following the steps the fans are back to normal speed but the system doesn't boot and beeps 7 times after cycling through the startup several times. Does anyone has a recommendation what else I could try to revive my Alienware 17 rs2?

    The only reason I ran the update in the first place was that after the latest Win 10 update the wireless mouse suddenly stopped working. I was a little too impatient to find the solution so I just left all updates checked which the Alienware Update Application recommended. The first was a touchpad update and the second on the BIOS update...
     
  2. jpowell490

    jpowell490 Notebook Evangelist

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    The mistake you most likely made is trying to update the bios from the Dell/Alienware update software. Is that what you did? Most of the time, it will not even start running. You have to download the executable and run it from your desktop or where ever you downloaded the file to.
     
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  3. V8200T5

    V8200T5 Newbie

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    Yes, after searching on Google for "Alienware Bios Update" + bricked or frozen, etc. I found that is what most people do because the Alienware Update Application recommends it. I really don't know why Dell is still doing that because it seems to happen even with newer BIOS versions...

    https://www.dell.com/community/Lapt...-R2-Freeze-on-BIOS-Update/m-p/5187021#M940455
    https://www.dell.com/community/Alienware/17-R2-BIOS-update-failed-bricked/td-p/7766020
    https://www.win-raid.com/t5895f54-N...t-bios-DUMP-with-working-dump-to-reflash.html
    https://www.dell.com/community/Alie...ienware-17-R3-BIOS-Update-Failed/td-p/5625065

    I will try to remove the mainboard battery for a full CMOS reset now but after watching some videos on YouTube I really wonder who designed this laptop. The battery is literally almost the last part you can remove after the wifi card, keyboard cables, display, handrest, mainboard, etc. etc.
     
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  4. V8200T5

    V8200T5 Newbie

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    I just tried using the BIOS_IMG.rcv on a USB stick to perform BIOS Recovery by press and hold the CTRL and ESC keys together while connecting the AC Adapter cable, and pressing the computer's power button.

    How to create an external USB key to perform BIOS Recovery:
    1. Plug the USB key into the computer.

    2. Press the Windows key + E to open File Explorer (also known as Windows Explorer).

    3. Right-click on the USB drive and click Format.

    4. Change the File system to FAT32.

    5. Check the box next to Quick Format.

    6. Click Start to being formatting the USB key.

    7. Copy the BIOS file to the USB key.

    8. Open Command prompt in administrator mode.
      • In Windows 10, Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 - Press the Windows key + X on the keyboard to open a power user menu and select Command Prompt (Admin)

      • In Windows 7 or Windows Vista - Click the Start button and type command prompt in the search box. Right-click cmd in the search results and select Run as administrator.
    9. In the command prompt window, type cd x: and press the Enter key, where 'x' is the drive letter of the USB key.

    10. Type dir and press the Enter key on the keyboard. You should see the name of the downloaded BIOS file.

    11. Type ren xxxxx.exe BIOS_IMG.rcv and press the Enter key.

      (Replace the xxxxx with the name of the downloaded BIOS file.)

      Note: Please include the space between xxxxx.exe and BIOS_IMG.rcv.

    My problem is that nothing happens next except that the laptop is cycling through several start cycles and then it goes back to beeping 7 times.

    When press and hold the END key though while connecting the AC Adapter cable the fans start spinning on max again, so right now I just have these two options:

    • CTRL and ESC keys -> goes to 7 beeps
    • END key -> fans spin at maximum speed
    At this point I'm beginning to doubt if the USB stick is actually being read because before the BIOS flash the USB didn't work!?

    Does anyone have more information what causes the USB issue?
     
  5. RatioKiller

    RatioKiller Notebook Enthusiast

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    I am not sure if this is your issue, however, the 7 beeps indicate that there is a processor and or motherboard failure.
     
  6. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    For .rcv based BIOS recovery, use guide by c69k. Helped me and others quite a lot when dell locked out undervolting and suddenly bricked my system mid-way with black screen.
    *OFFICIAL* Alienware 13 R3 Owner's Lounge
     
  7. Gumwars

    Gumwars Notebook Consultant

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    It is totally possible you had a hardware failure during the BIOS update, which would explain all of these issues.
     
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