Help please - m11x re-install nightmare!

Discussion in 'Alienware M11x' started by moon angel, May 7, 2012.

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  1. moon angel

    moon angel Notebook Virtuoso NBR Reviewer

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    Warning, long ranty post, I apologise.

    Before I start, I'll say two things. Firstly, I'm sure I have probably done something wrong here and I should have used some Alienware software to do what I'm currently doing. Secondly, I've worked in IT for years, I am Cisco certified and know what I'm doing (or so I thought) with laptops.

    I have been having driver problems with my M11x. I am selling it and getting something else because using an external monitor with the HDMI seems to give texture and graphics bugs in a few games I've tried. I have of course tried updating drivers and things but it persists. That and a few other bugbears leaves me disillusioned with the most expensive laptop I have ever bought, so it's going.

    The problem is not that so much, the problem is the re-install. Being data security conscious I did what I always do and zeroed the main disk partition. Big mistake, or so it seems.

    I tried to launch the system recovery from the recovery partition but it said 'not enough free disk space'. Great. So let's try a CD.

    The M11x has no CD drive so I tried an external, but got a cd/dvd driver error. So I made a bootable USB stick and got the same. I then found this was due to USB3 not being supported on the windows 7 installer. I can't find an option to turn it off in the bios so had to plug in a usb hub that forces it down to USB1. I now have windows on my Alienware. The next problem (that's doing my head in) is that there are no drivers on there at all, for anything. USB, LAN, SD card, nothing is supported in any way, so I have no way of transferring drivers on to the system to get any of them to work. I was hoping to then install Alienware respawn an try to get it to re-install the recovery image, but now I can't even get the software on to the laptop. The only way I can find to do this is to remove the hard disk, put it in a USB enclosure, attach it to my netbook and move the drivers directly onto the C drive, then move the hard disk back.

    I've had machines with no internal optical drive before. I had a HP DV2 and had no issues like this. This has been a sour end to a laptop that has caused me a lot of annoyance for a £700 machine and I've resolved never to buy an Alienware again.

    Sorry for the rant.

    Can anyone offer any advice?

    Thanks
     
  2. hermitmaster

    hermitmaster Notebook Consultant

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    The USB port on the left side (USB 2.0) should work no matter what. I installed Windows and all the drivers from a USB drive several times.
     
  3. moon angel

    moon angel Notebook Virtuoso NBR Reviewer

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    Thanks hermitmaster. I'm trying this now. Your info has hopefully saved the situation!

    I've now bitten the bullet and removed the hard disk, put the drivers and alienware respawn installers on and have managed to write my recovery DVDs from the recovery partition.

    I note i won't boot from a USB DVD drive with it plugged into the USB2 port. I had to plug it into USB3, then with boot options open move the USB DVD from USB3 to the USB2 port, then select to boot from the CD/DVD and it's now finally going through the recovery. I note if you boot the recovery CD using USB3 port it just errors on opening.

    Is it just me or is this system just plain awful. I mean did anyone actually test any of this?!

    Edit: my HP mini 210 is still covering my posts and work on this and is still on battery charge number 1.
     
  4. Rishwin

    Rishwin Notebook Deity

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    Has using USB flash drives simply not crossed your mind, or are they not working in the USB3 slots? The port on the left is USB2, however from a fresh format and absolutely no drivers on i've never had any issues using the other 2.
     
  5. moon angel

    moon angel Notebook Virtuoso NBR Reviewer

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    Rishwin - I did! In the first post. Plugging it in to the USB3 ports meant I got a driver error. I didn't know at the time about the USB2 port so just used a USB hub to drop the USB3 to a USB2 speed and got windows on that way. Still, it's been a nightmare.

    The laptop is now re-installed with the factory image and is up for sale!

    Thanks for the help and advice.
     
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