Force downgrade Alienware Area-51m Bios (or any alienware) to locked lower versions

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by S.K, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. MogRules

    MogRules Notebook Deity

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    Be careful if have gone to 1.13 on the Area51m R1 :oops:

    I went to 1.13 and noticed the physics score dropped so I decided to Guinea pig the roll back as no one else seems to have yet. Everything went OK right up until the machine rebooted after making the usual BIOS adjustments to prevent the auto update due to firmware capsule updates. The machine did it's usual 5 or so reboots after I rolled it back, the splash screen came up, I entered the BIOS, all was good until I made adjustments and restarted, after which the machine wouldn't boot past the rainbow keyboard. Screen stayed off, there was no activity other then it was getting really warm to the touch, even more so then when I game on it, like the CPU was plugging away but the fans were not ramping up. I power cycled the machine after about 20 minutes of inactivity and was greeted the same thing, black screen and rainbow lights.

    I plugged the roll back USB back in and powered down the machine and attempted the flash again. The machine booted up to the BIOS recovery and allowed me to do the BIOS flash again. Once again it did it's usual multi reboot thing and once the splash screen came up I entered the BIOS again and changed just the firmware capsule updates off this time and saved it. Once again the LCD stayed black and I had rainbow lights :oops::oops:. I did the flash back once again and this time, because the screen would come on every time at this point, I left it and let it do what it was going to do. The machine did the usual splash screen, then rebooted again and then it came back up but it was updating using the BIOS update that happens when Windows does it for you, so clearly it was grabbing it from the internet, not the usual blue BIOS update screen. This time the machine did manage to boot again successfully and it appears to be working again, but it's on 1.12 instead of 1.7.3 or 1.13.

    Maybe this was a glitch on my part, maybe something in the new 1.13 BIOS stops flashing back past 1.12, I don't know. I am done trying to give myself a heart attack today.

    Just a warning for those going forward, if you try to go back it may or may not work. If you do attempt to roll back and experience the same behavior then you may have to leave firmware capsule updates on and let it do the update to get it back.

    If you rely on 1.5.0 to use your machine your probably not trying new firmware updates anyways, but REALLY don't do it now.
     
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  2. MogRules

    MogRules Notebook Deity

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    Apparently I like to live dangerously.....I tried it again. Successfully back on 1.7.3 this time, so either I had a bad flash and when the machine updated to 1.12 it fixed that and allowed me to go back, or you can't go back from 1.13 to older version directly and need to possible go back to 1.12 and then further back from there, maybe it's a multi step process now.

    IF this happens to anyone else, make sure you have a hardline plugged in, I don't think that the Wi-Fi will work before Windows loads. Hopefully IF this happens to anyone else the machine will do it's thin and download / apply the 1.12 BIOS through the capsule updates and get it going again.
     
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  3. Dixon Pedraza

    Dixon Pedraza Newbie

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    Same problem here. I success downgrade my bios to 1.8.1 based on guides in this thread. but i not recovery the hability for make undervolting after downgrade. any way to recovery this options?
     
  4. Jake long

    Jake long Notebook Enthusiast

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    Alienware 17r4 BIOS 1.10
    Followed exact instructions. BIOS version used: 1.9.0
    Anddddd here is the result
    I'm glad I got away from the BIOS undervolt lock.
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. Game7a1

    Game7a1 ?

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    Had my BIOS updated from 1.9.0 to 1.10.0 by a Dell Technician. Followed the steps on the first couple of pages, and I am back to undervolt land with 1.9.0 on my 15 R3. Really glad this thread exists.
     
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  6. Riebart

    Riebart Notebook Enthusiast

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    What were the steps you followed to make this work for you? I'm trying to downgrade my 15R3 (Skylake) from 1.10.0 to 1.9.0, but I keep getting "ROM Image Signature is invalid. ROM Image update denied" when it boots into the recovery screen.

    I get this whether I use the 1.9.0 install EXE, or the 1.10.0 install EXE (extracting with /writehdrfile). If I download the recovery BIOS image for 1.10.0 directly from Dell's site (which isn't available for any previous version, oddly), it works. I do notice, though, that the 1.10.0 RCV file you can download form Dell is 16MB. But the HDR files that are written by the update EXEs are 8MB. If I peek into them with a hex editor, the 16MB file is exactly two 8MB files pasted together, and neither of those matches the HDR file written by the Dell 1.10.0 EXE.

    I'm kind of confused, and would love to get undervolting working again. Any hints would be great!
     
  7. Game7a1

    Game7a1 ?

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    I just followed the steps provided by S.K and luciela (because I had trouble making the Diagnostic Stick). I already had the 1.9.0 BIOS file since last year (as in, February of last year), so I wonder if they made changes to the BIOS file.
    In any case, I would first check if you are correctly making a Diagnostic Stick. I wonder if that might solve your problem.
     
  8. Riebart

    Riebart Notebook Enthusiast

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    Ok, I'll give that a few more shots, to make sure. Also, would you be able to send me the 1.9.0 HDR file that you used? I'm thinking that, for some reason mine might not be extracting correctly.

    Are you using SecureBoot, and UEFI, or did you disable them to do the rollback?

    I really appreciate your time to give me a hand!
     
  9. Game7a1

    Game7a1 ?

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    I will double check if I'm using UEFI, but I do believe I am not using Secure Boot.
    I can send you my 1.9.0 RCV file (I have already renamed it) if need be. Just PM me about it.
     
  10. devilhunter

    devilhunter Notebook Evangelist

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    This is rather important, I have updated to the latest bios trying to fix my HDD not available.

    I want to roll back to 1.5.0, can I do this normally now or I have to do it in steps?
     
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