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Need Help. Back into the game. Time to repair a fallen ship. M18X R2

  • 1

Is there anyone from the way beyond that can help me?   It's been probably about 7 years since I've had this laptop crash on me.    From what I remember, I did some bios mess arounds and it locked up.   It won't post, but it wil turn on and off immediately.  I was told to reflash a bios chip, and i'm wondering what files I need to do this. I have a chip programmer ready, unless there's another way to flash bios without desoldering on this laptop.

A video of my problem. https://youtu.be/M2V9jD8hJh8

Edited
Replies • 9
Lunar
  • 0

You can usually reprogram a chip while it's still on the board if you have the right equipment. Never done it myself though. 

You can usually do a blind flash using a USB drive. I have done this a few times on the old M17x R4 but never the 18. I'm assuming you mean the 18 as there is no M18x R3. It goes M18x R1, M18x R2 and 18. 

So the laptop starts to power on and then shuts down within seconds? Do you get the splash screen to enter the BIOS at all? Anything on the screen?


  • 0

I apologize.  The computer that isn't working right now is the Alienware M18X R2.   

When I push the power button on, all the lights and the fans turn on as it was about to start   Then about 2 seconds later it just shuts off, nothing ever appears on the screen.


Planetary
  • 0
Freezingwind said: 15h

I apologize.  The computer that isn't working right now is the Alienware M18X R2.   

When I push the power button on, all the lights and the fans turn on as it was about to start   Then about 2 seconds later it just shuts off, nothing ever appears on the screen.

Howdy FreezingWind,

I am not certain, but I believe that model was around when Dell/Alienware actually released a bad BIOS flash.  The BIOS update did not contain an updated boot block, but as part of the flash process it would erase the existing boot block anyway.  This effectively bricked the machine.  IF this is what your system is expereincing (sounds like it), there is no way to blind flash it back to working.  The onlly solution would be to externally reprogram the BIOS chip (since the system won't even get past POST, no way to flash), physically replace the BIOS chip, or replace the motherboard.  That is actually how Dell/Alienware fixed this problem for those of us that were impacted, they did a full mobo replacement.  I believe there was some chatter at this site about it.  I have been gunshy about Aliewnare BIOS updates ever since.  If you can externally flash a new EEPROM BIOS chip, and replace it, you should be able to get it to complete POST.  I would recommend you check the Dell support site and see if you can still download the most recent BIOS for that system, and use that to re-flash.  Good luck!

Rich S.


Lunar
  • 0

Wow, I'd never heard that one before. That must have caused some huge problems. I agree that a BIOS chip replacement is probably the best option at this point but you'd have to find a repairer that has the skill to do it.

I would have thought the machine would put out a beep code if there was a BIOS error. 

If there are no more options then you could try the blind flash method. Below is a link to the thread where I helped someone fix a BIOS corruption on the M17x R4. The same process should apply to the M18x but you'd have to name the file differently, maybe M18R2.hdr (without the x). Unfortunately Notebookreview was shut down so the link I posted in that thread with the original instructions is now dead. If your BIOS is bricked then there isn't much to lose by trying this but still do it at your own risk. It's still possible that there the issue is caused by something else.

https://www.alienowners.com/threads/alienware-m17x-r4-1-beep-error-code-solved.8519/

You could try removing the GPU's and the memory and see if there are any changes. 

edited

  • 0
MattB79 said: 2h

Wow, I'd never heard that one before. That must have caused some huge problems. I agree that a BIOS chip replacement is probably the best option at this point but you'd have to find a repairer that has the skill to do it.

I would have thought the machine would put out a beep code if there was a BIOS error. 

If there are no more options then you could try the blind flash method. Below is a link to the thread where I helped someone fix a BIOS corruption on the M17x R4. The same process should apply to the M18x but you'd have to name the file differently, maybe M18R2.hdr (without the x). Unfortunately Notebookreview was shut down so the link I posted in that thread with the original instructions is now dead. If your BIOS is bricked then there isn't much to lose by trying this but still do it at your own risk. It's still possible that there the issue is caused by something else.

https://www.alienowners.com/threads/alienware-m17x-r4-1-beep-error-code-solved.8519/

You could try removing the GPU's and the memory and see if there are any changes. 

edited 2h

 

I'm not sure how to embed a video in this forum, but this is what my problem looks like. https://youtu.be/M2V9jD8hJh8


  • 0

Well I have a eeprom usb programmer with a soic clip.  I should be able to connect and reflash the current bios chip or do I have to get a blank chip?  Also, the SLI graphics cards have been removed and it still no longer posts to bios.

edited

  • 0

Thank you both Matt and Link.  I was able to find a bios dump for my model hidden on a foreign website.   Was able to connect to my bios chip, erase and flash and now my computer makes beeps!   I should be able to have it up and running soon.  Thanks again!


Lunar
  • 0

Good result so far. Should be able to get it working from here, hopefully


Planetary
  • 0
MattB79 said: 18h

Good result so far. Should be able to get it working from here, hopefully

That's great!  Fingers-crossed :-)