BIOS Recovery in case you brick your M17x R3

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by LVNeptune, Aug 8, 2011.

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  1. LVNeptune

    LVNeptune Notebook Virtuoso

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    Creating this thread purely to add to my signature to help anyone who actually does accidentally brick their system. It is actually SUPER easy to fix.

    Download the BIOS you wish to restore to

    Download the BIOS editor application Download phoenixtool190.zip from Sendspace.com - send big files the easy way

    Use winrar to extract the BIOS exe to get the .fd file out of it and load it into the previous application. It will tell you what the recovery file name needs to be.

    In my case, the A04 recovery filename was PAR00X64.fd

    Copy the file to a usb stick formatted FAT/FAT32
    Unplug the battery from your Alienware
    Plug USB stick into eSATA port
    Hold the "END" key on the internal keyboard and while holding plug in the Power cable. The fans will kick up and it will start reading the file and initiate the reflash.
    It will beep about 20-30 times then shut off and reboot about 3 times.

    If it still doesn't work remove your GPU and attempt it again.

    PRESTO!

    Enjoy!


    EDIT: Removed the CMOS battery step, not required
     
  2. hteng

    hteng Notebook Consultant

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    thanks for the info, as for plugging the usb stick into eSata, do i need to use a usb <-> eSata converter ?
     
  3. ewitte12

    ewitte12 Notebook Evangelist

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    Sticky please. May need when I get to trying out modded BIOS :)
     
  4. LVNeptune

    LVNeptune Notebook Virtuoso

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    eSATA is USB and eSATA
     
  5. cheflo

    cheflo Newbie

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    Thank you for writing this, this thread gives me hope of getting my M17xR3 up and running again! However, the PhoenixTool creates two BIOS-files for me, BIOS0.BIOS and BIOS4.BIOS. Which one of these should I rename to PAR00X64.fd and put on my USB?

    Details about what I have done so far:
    1. I unzipped the phoenixtool190.zip and ran the program called PhoenixTool.exe.

    2. I chose to open the file PAR00MEC.fd which I had previously extracted from the A04-bios (M17R3A04-W64.exe).

    3. The program finishes and prompts me that "Recovery filenames are: PAR00X64.fd". When I click OK it runs for another two seconds and prompts me
    "Header (INSYDEHuranRiv SLIC) (x1)
    Pubkey (x1)
    Marker (2.1)(ALWAREALIENWRE) (x1)"

    4. This process creates two BIOS files, BIOS0.BIOS and BIOS4.BIOS. (It also creates a directory called DUMP containing a lot of small ROM-files). Which file should be renamed and put on the USB key? (The same files were generated when I tried with the A07BIOS instead.)


    EDIT: I tried both files now without success. I also tried renaming the original PAR00MEC.fd to PAR00X64.fd and put that on the USB stick, but nothing seems to work...

    EDIT2: SUCCESS!!! I had to remove my dedicated GPU (Nvidea GTX 460M) since I had fiddled with the bios setup of that unit. After that I could boot of the PAR00MEC.fd which I had renamed to PAR00X64.fd. (Something seems to be wrong with my GPU atm though so I'm trying to reflash with it in and then reinstall Win7, but at least my computer boots again. Thank you!
     
  6. Geoffxx

    Geoffxx Notebook Evangelist

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    slightly confused here

    why not just extract the .fd file from the bios and put it on the usb stick or does the editor do something to the extracted file ?

    I assume "previous application" is the bios editor right ?
     
  7. LVNeptune

    LVNeptune Notebook Virtuoso

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    ^ I never said to use the tool to create any BIOS files. you DO use the .fd file but you need to open it in the tool because it tells you the recovery name it HAS to be to run.
     
  8. Geoffxx

    Geoffxx Notebook Evangelist

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    ah right thx
     
  9. DeeX

    DeeX Liquid Hz

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    +1 Plus I would say 1^ for the vote for this as a sticky. Great info! :)
     
  10. juliant

    juliant Notebook Deity

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    +1 From me too. It should be sticky. When I had problem with my m17x R2 I had to make a bios recovery disk (or crysis disk) and it was a hassle to make it work + nobody explained how to go about the process. It took me few hours to figure it out on how to fix the bios on the machine.

    Thank you for your input. Highly appreciated!
     
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