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Alienware 18 BIOS update question

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#1 czarboom


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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:29 PM


I have a Alienware 18, i7 windows 7, 16 RAM etc.  My BIOS shows up as X21.  When I go to the download site to update the chip-set (completed) and the BIOS, it only shows up AW18A05.  When I go to install it the installer states

"Dell does not recommend that you flash your BIOS to a previous version."

even though the new BIOS is from this month, and the current one is from Mar 2013  So here is the question,

1. What is the most current BIOS for the Alienware 18 here is the info from my computer below from msinfo32

OS Name    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Version    6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
Other OS Description     Not Available
OS Manufacturer    Microsoft Corporation
System Name   
System Manufacturer    Alienware
System Model    Alienware 18
System Type    x64-based PC
Processor    Intel® Core™ i7-4800MQ CPU @ 2.70GHz, 2701 Mhz, 4 Core(s),

8 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date    Alienware X21, 3/13/2013
SMBIOS Version    2.7
Windows Directory    C:\Windows
System Directory    C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device    \Device\HarddiskVolume2
Locale    United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer    Version = "6.1.7601.17514"
User Name   
Time Zone   
Installed Physical Memory (RAM)    16.0 GB
Total Physical Memory    15.8 GB
Available Physical Memory    12.8 GB
Total Virtual Memory    31.6 GB
Available Virtual Memory    28.4 GB
Page File Space    15.8 GB
Page File    C:\pagefile.sys

Secondly what is X21, and which should I be using?

My overall question is should I use X21 which is the current or install A05 which dell support site lists under my service tag?  I am asking this because I get a BSOD about once per week.  Especally when I go from pluged in to battery and back.  Might be something with the NVIDA dual card in it, dont know.  But after troubleshooting theBSOD code, microsoft and dell told me to update the drivers.  I did the chipset, and need to know about the BIOS thing. 

Lastly it takes about 5 mins for the computer to shutdown.  And I do mean 5 mins, not playing I clocked it at 4 mins and 30 secs.



"Never Stop Asking Questions, Question Your Environment, Question Your Government, above all Question Yourself.  We all lose when you Stop asking Why?

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#2 AngryRaisin


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Posted 26 March 2014 - 02:58 AM

BIOS are put out from the manufacturer - in your case Alienware/Dell - the most recent would be whatever you can download from their support website using your system tag.  It is rare but not unheard of for manufactures to make/have custom/beta bios to address certain issues/add features.  This sounds like what is going on with your system. You are kinda on your own when flashing the bios and usually I avoid it unless the bios documentation has a feature or fix that I specifically want. I generally look for bad software/hardware to solve bluescreen issue and would be more interested in your blue screen code than doing bios flashing.


For shutdown issues I would turn on verbose shutdown messages to see what is hanging up your shutdown.  You can turn off system restore and shutdowns will be much faster - but I do not recommend that unless you have full image backups of your computer.

#3 JohnC_21


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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:13 AM


Every time I did a search of alienware and X21 it was referring to a CPU multiplier. Download and run CPU-Z Under the motherboard tab should be the BIOS version. Does it list the BIOS version as X21?



#4 abauw


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Posted 26 March 2014 - 11:07 AM

could you post your speecy snapshot link? just to check something :wink:

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#5 dc3


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Posted 26 March 2014 - 11:34 AM

Upgrading the BIOS is something which you shouldn't do if your computer is running smoothly.  Usually the need to upgrade the BIOS is because new hardware has been installed which requires a new version of the BIOS to run properly.


You problem of BSODs and a lengthy shut down are more likely related to a software problem.


To get an idea of what is happening please do the following.  I know from a previous experience with you that you do not like posting a Speccy Snapshot, but this may have information which will help us get a better understanding of what is happening.


Please download and install Speccy to provide us with information about your computer.  When  FileHippo opens, click on Download latest version in the upper right pane.
When Speccy opens you will see a screen similar to the one below.
Click on File which is outlined in red in the screen above, and then click on Publish Snapshot.
The following screen will appear, click on Yes.
The following screen will appear, click on Copy to Clipboard.
In your next post right click inside the Reply to Topic box, then click on Paste.  This will load a link to the Speccy log.

Please download MiniToolBox  , save it to your desktop and run it.
 Checkmark the following checkboxes:
• List last 10 Event Viewer log
• List Installed Programs
• List Users, Partitions and Memory size.
• List Minidump Files
 Click on Go to start the scan.  Once it is finished highlight the text, copy it and paste it in your next post.

Please download BlueScreenView and allow the program to run.
When the scan is done you will see an image similar to the one below.  Please disregard the area highlighted in red, this image is used in another set of directions as well.
Click on Edit and then Select all.
Click on File, then Save Selected Items, save the report as BSOD.txt, click on Save.
You need to open Notepad, to do this go to All Programs, Accessories and click on Notepad.
In Notepad click on Flie, then Open, this will open in Library, if it hasn't opened Documents do so.  If it has opened Documents you should see a file which is titled readme, click on this, highlight the content, copy it and past it in your next post.

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