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Alienware 17-R3, blue screen error, bad pool header

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Hi,

I recently purchased Alienware 17-R3 (Intel 6700HQ, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10) When I'm using my computer it automatically restarts leading to windows blue screen saying bad pool header. Please help me to solve this problem.

Thanks & Regards,

Rukshan

1 Solution

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Syric
2 Iron

RE: Alienware 17-R3, blue screen error, bad pool header

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3/29/2016 Edit: PLEASE NOTE THE DRIVER VERSION #'s listed below are in relation to my Alienware 17 R3 GTX 980M laptop. If you have a different model, than it is very possible that your DRIVER VERSION may differ from my model!!!!

I strongly recommend you install the latest versions of these two programs BEFORE YOU INSTALL DELL'S SUPPORTASSIST:

- Dell Foundation Services version 3.1.3300.0, A00
- Dell Digital Delivery version 3.1.1002.0, A00

Now install Dell's latest version of Support Assist by:

Dell's SupportAssist latest version (as of 3.25.2016) is 1.2.6793.01. You can download it directly from Dell @ : Dell Support Assist . YOU MUST UNINSTALL ANY/ALL PREVIOUS VERSIONS PRIOR TO DOWNLOADING THIS LATEST VERSION!!

Then make sure you've updated (note: your latest version may differ depending on your model!):

- BIOS to version 1.2.8
- Killer Ethernet E2400 Driver (DO NOT DL from Dell. DL directly from Killer's website for LATEST version stability and support to prevent BSOD conflict issues!!!!!!!!!!! CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!!!! Download here >>>>> Killer Home Page (you need to look up your specific product)
- Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework Driver version 8.1.10603.192, A01
- Intel Management Engine Interface Driver version 11.0.0.1173, A02
- Intel Chipset Device Driver version 10.1.1.7, A00
- Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver version 14.6.1.1030, A01
- Intel HD Graphics Driver to version 20.19.15.4390, A07
- (optional if you have nVIDIA) Geforce GTX 960M/965M/970M/980M/690M/780M Driver version 10.18.13.5940, A03

Enjoy your stable system! Report it to us if it's not!!

All,

I've been pursuing this BSOD issue related to SupportAssist, and went as far as to report and work with PC DOCTOR on trying to find a resolution to it (i.e. gave them crash logs, memory.dmp file, etc.). Long story short, I received an email reply back from them on 3-24-16, which informed me that a new version of SupportAssist would become available on 3-25-16.

Guess what? I think THEY FINALLY FIXED IT! I've downloaded SupportAssist version 1.2.6793.01, and I've ran Express Mode, Stress Mode, and Extended Mode successfully! No BSOD. No crashes. No errors. I've ran various scenarios:

- Ran immediately after DLing w/o reboot. Successfully worked w/o BSOD.
- Ran after closing my lip and letting the laptop "sleep" for a few hours. Returned, fired up SupportAssist, and once again ran all tests w/o issue, and tested other menus, options, etc. within the program for stability. All good.
- Shut down laptop; left off for a few hours. Fired it back up, booted, and re-ran all 3 tests again and played around w/ various options/menu/etc. All successful. No BSOD.

My testing is only 3 days in. I will provide another update once I'm past a week w/ a stabile system. However, all this looks promising consideration before ALL of us w/ this issue couldn't even keep SupportAssist on our laptop because it would eventually lead to BSOD whether we ran it or not.

If it truly is fixed - YESSSS! All the hard work, frustration, and patience has finally paid off for us.

(BTW: This may resolve BSOD issues for multiple Alienware laptops w/ Support Assist - 15 thru 18 series (i.e. 17 R2 R3 , 15 R2 R3 , 14, 18 R3, etc)

77 Replies

RE: Alienware 17-R3, blue screen error, bad pool header

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Hi, 

Try running an ePSA/Diagnostic test on the system to check the main hardware components, click here to view a Dell article that explains how to run this test. Let us know if you receive any errors. Can you provide more information on the blue screen? Is there an error code?


Alienware Arena

Alienware-Rodrigo
Dell | Alienware Technical Support
#IWork4Dell
Opening your case does not void your warranty! Check out Alienware Artificial Intelligence
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Syric
2 Iron

RE: Alienware 17-R3, blue screen error, bad pool header

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ALIENWARE-RODRIGO / OP - Please see the two posts I've created specifically regarding Alienware 17 R3 BSOD & the way I've resolved them. There is an issue with the DELL Ethernet drivers & Intel Thermal Drivers. Needs addressed asap!

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RE: Alienware 17-R3, blue screen error, bad pool header

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Hello Syric,

Thank you for confirming this. We will review the posts.


Alienware Arena

Alienware-Rodrigo
Dell | Alienware Technical Support
#IWork4Dell
Opening your case does not void your warranty! Check out Alienware Artificial Intelligence
I can't always reply to PM's, if you need extra assistance visit: YouTube Logo Facebook Logo Twitter Logo

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Syric
2 Iron

RE: Alienware 17-R3, blue screen error, bad pool header

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Alienware-Rodreo:ePSA/Diagnostic test

I hope it goes toward a resolution! Some additional things for you to all knew:

- I have 2 Alienware 17 R3 in my possession. I've observed both of them having said BSOD issues I've outlined in my other 2 posts (one regarding the Killer Ethernet drivers & the other regarding the Intel Thermal ones), so it's not an isolated experience with just one laptop.

- I've ran the ePSA/Diagnostic test. The 30 min followed by the extended 3-5 hr one. No reported hardware issues or any other issues reported/found. All tests were successful.

- When I do a factory restore, & do NOT upgrade the Killer Ethernet & Intel Thermal Drivers...I experience zero crashes/BSOD. And, i did the driver updates in recommended Dell order... Further isolating the issue to be with these 2 drivers (latest version of them as of 2.9.2016)

- also I replaced the ram with the ram from my other identical model & ruled out it being a bad memory nodule (in addition to mem tests) 

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ameade
1 Copper

RE: Alienware 17-R3, blue screen error, bad pool header

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Rodrigo,


I too am suffering from this, from the day I got the 17 R3 Laptop.  FIrst time was before any updates (other than maybe Windows) while copying my Steam library from my desktop to the laptop over a wired connection (220 GB).  It crashed about 1/2 through.  The second time (same day) I was opening up one of the Alienware programs and it crashed.

I've had the machine less than 4 days, and it's crashed more times than I can count.  Last night, I tried to get into the support app on the laptop, and everytime I went to register it, it would crash.  Twice with the BAD_POOL_HEADER and once with an iaStor error.

The ePA test (pre boot) ran just fine (short and long).  But your other diagnostics online will occasionally work, but more often then no, crash with the same error.

Right now, I have to say this machine is a lemon.  I've spent more time running your tests and rebooting than I've actually spend using the machine for what it was purchased for.  I'm not a happy customer right now.

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Syric
2 Iron

RE: Alienware 17-R3, blue screen error, bad pool header

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Ameade,

I feel your pain - I'm suffering with similar issues. I've spent more being a DELL guinea pig/non-partisan beta tester for this $2000+ machine than I have actually used it for what I want: gaming/business! Unacceptable for a brand that is supposed to be their top of the line product.

Dell ..if your listening: I want compensation for this fiasco.

yangdenghui
1 Copper

RE: Alienware 17-R3, blue screen error, bad pool header

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Sric,

I  am suffering with this similar big "bug"! My laptup is 15R2 which I've got it no more than 2weeks. Everyday I will suffer BSOD issue for 3-5 times and it always said"BAD_POOL_HEADER"! I just can't believe a new computer has so big problems!

I am considering to return the order! And I WANT COMPENSATION FOR MY LOST WORK!!!

RevLayne
1 Nickel

RE: Alienware 17-R3, blue screen error, bad pool header

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Hello guys,

Same problem here with a brand new Alienware 17 R3.

Specs: i7 6820 HK, 16 GB of RAM, GTX 980M, SSD + HDD, 4K display.

I have 1 to 3 BSOD each day, saying "BAD_POOL_HEADER". It seems that IastorA.sys is responsible for the crash.

This happens even with the latest drivers from DELL. I even tried to update Intel RST (the ressource that uses IastorA.sys) to the lastest version on the Intel website, but things are not improving.

I'm getting tired of this very expensive laptop: I've never really used it, I keep debugging it.

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BabyOx147
1 Nickel

RE: Alienware 17-R3, blue screen error, bad pool header

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Welcome to the club Smiley Sad. Same exact laptop, same BSOD, same driver responsible (iastorA.sys).

What got me relatively stable is uninstalling Dell Support Agent, Dell Support Assist and Dell System Detect, and updating all drivers to their latest versions.

It is, I believe, Dell Support Agent that is the culprit. That's the nasty little bugger that temporarily freezes your system, and spins your fans in the background at startup. My guess is that it's performing some type of system check or process in the background that is creating the BSODs.

Even in my (relatively) stable state, I dare not install Dell Support Assist. If I try to run it I BSOD every single time. Otherwise I still get an occasional hang due to the Intel 530 graphics drivers, but it's not nearly as bad as it used to be. 

Bear in mind this is my own personal experience. YMMV. I don't think anything definite has been figured out yet as to what's causing the BSODs on so many of these Echo laptops..