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hutcha4113
2 Iron

Alienware R4 - Reload of Windows 7 - System Freezes

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So I am on my 4th attempt at installing Windows 7.  I should preface it by advising I was having some issues with the previous OS install.  The system did crash a couple of times - also generating an error on disk 2 in the RAID.  After the crash, Windows update would no longer work.  I tried several things, but eventually decided a reload would be best.

The initial load works fine - However I usually have to try the windows install once, at which point it will fail at about 97%.  I then have to reboot, go back into the windows install - delete and re-create the partion.  Each time I have done that, the installation has then worked.

Once I am able to get into Windows, I start the driver installation.  I have downloaded all the latest ones off Dell Support.  Process - I install one driver (chipset) reboot.  Then install the 2nd driver - reboot.  On the 3rd driver installation - it always fails.  The driver installation will fail/freeze - it starts and then just hangs.  If I force the PC to shut down - it will no longer boot back into windows.

I have tried following this driver installation order -> http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kcs/document?c=us&cs=04&docid=536192&docl....

It does not seem to matter which installation I do.  It always (which is very strange) fails on the 3rd driver installation.

I am thinking I have something wrong in the Hard Drive sub-system.  I have tried the firmware update for the drives - but that always fails too.

I am going to try breaking the RAID to see if it makes a difference.  But any help would be great. 

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hutcha4113
2 Iron

Re: Alienware R4 - Reload of Windows 7 - System Freezes

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In my experience (I work in IT) a hard drive either fails in the first 6 months (as mine did) or it lasts for years.  Seems to be the pattern.

I agree though - it would have made my life much easier if I could have found some logs/alerts, etc. to tell me what was happening.  

Oh well - 3 image attempt - maybe this one will be good...hahahahaha.

10 Replies
morblore
5 Rhenium

Re: Alienware R4 - Reload of Windows 7 - System Freezes

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I am thinking I have something wrong in the Hard Drive sub-system. 

 

 



Hello

That's kinda what it sounds like. Try to scan the drives for errors. There are a few tools out there that can do it or you can hit F12 and run the pre-boot system test. Run the full scan and it will test the drives. It can take a long time depending on the size of the HDD's.

I think redoing the raid is also a smart idea.


Good luck and I hope you fix it

Morblore

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Area-51 Cosmic Black/Windows 8 64-bit Pro/BIOS A11
Intel Core i7-980x Extreme Edition @ 4.0 ghz/Intel 160gb X-25M SSD Raid-0
6GB Corsair Dominator GT 1866 DDR3/PNY GeForce GTX 680 SLI/ATI TV Wonder

 

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: Alienware R4 - Reload of Windows 7 - System Freezes

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If installing with a RAID already setup in BIOS, you might try using f6flpy-x64.zip from a USB drive.

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?ProductID=2101&DwnldID=21852&lang=eng&iid=dc_rss

Of course, your RAID and HDDs have to be perfect.

You could always try breaking the RAID and quickly installing Win-7 to each as stand-alone drives (to test them each separately).

 

 


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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hutcha4113
2 Iron

Re: Alienware R4 - Reload of Windows 7 - System Freezes

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I hope I fix it too....lol.

I had a thought last night - when I am installing the drivers I always do the Chipset first, and Intel Management framework.  So thought I would try a different order in case - I mean - why it starts to fail on the 3rd driver install is beyond me.

I tried it - but same thing. 

I have also reset the RAID, and put it to Mirror just see what would happen.  I ran a chkdsk but it did not see anything on drive.  I guess I will try the PSA tool and see if it shows anything. I was able to get Windows updates to go last night, so I am going to continue installing and see what happens.

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hutcha4113
2 Iron

Re: Alienware R4 - Reload of Windows 7 - System Freezes

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Well, it appears to be working now, but I have no idea why.  On my last installation I changed the order of the install - and did not install the Intel Management driver.  That did not seem to make a difference, as the PC froze again when installing the USB drivers.  This time however I let the machine sit on the USB 3 installation, rather than hard setting it.

It was a little sluggish after, but once I had all drivers installed/plus windows update, everything seemed fine.  I was able to finish the installation last night.

So I am at a loss.  I have never seen a machine do something like this.  I will monitor my Hard Drives as I still think there is an issue there.  As mentioned in previous posts, I would get an error on the Intel SATA Boot ROM - drive 2.  I could clear the error with the Intel Management software.  PSA check did not show anything.

If the error comes back, I will open a support ticket.

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hutcha4113
2 Iron

Re: Alienware R4 - Reload of Windows 7 - System Freezes

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Well, the OS ended up becoming corrupt again, after the last fresh install.  Opened a ticket with Support.  We are going to replace the hard drives.  Pretty sure there is a hardware fault somewhere.

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: Alienware R4 - Reload of Windows 7 - System Freezes

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Yes, I have seen bad HDD that don't throw a SMART error (but it's rare).

However, I don't think I have never seen a bad drive pass a manufacturer supplied long Surface Confidence test.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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hutcha4113
2 Iron

Re: Alienware R4 - Reload of Windows 7 - System Freezes

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In my experience (I work in IT) a hard drive either fails in the first 6 months (as mine did) or it lasts for years.  Seems to be the pattern.

I agree though - it would have made my life much easier if I could have found some logs/alerts, etc. to tell me what was happening.  

Oh well - 3 image attempt - maybe this one will be good...hahahahaha.

Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: Alienware R4 - Reload of Windows 7 - System Freezes

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In my experience (I work in IT) a hard drive either fails in the first 6 months (as mine did) or it lasts for years.  Seems to be the pattern.

 
In my experience, harddrives fail any time they feel like it. This applies to all computer parts.
 
Actually, this applies to all parts in all machines.  


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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hutcha4113
2 Iron

Re: Alienware R4 - Reload of Windows 7 - System Freezes

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Ok. So the same issues are appearing, as the last time I installed.  I will get to the 3rd driver install - and the PC will start freezing, etc.  I usually have to hard reset.  I have also just had my first chkdsk on the PC boot up - which was happening before my last OS crash. 

So I am thinking that it is not the hard drives.  (Maybe it is RAM?).

Here is the setup of my PC, in case I am doing something wrong.

2 * 3TB drives in RAID 0 -> 5.1 TB usable.

I am doing a UEFI boot off DVD and installing with the Dell CD.  (Interestingly the first install failed at about 90% - which it did the last time I did a reload).  Checking the drive once Windows loads, it is showing as a GPT partition, which it needs to be correct (drive over 2TB)?

Going to try getting all the drivers installed - but if it fails again, not sure what to do.  The bad thing is the PSA tests, and Alienautopsy are not showing anything.

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