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Last reply by 05-11-2014 Unsolved
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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Alienware m11x R1 freezing issue

Recently, my Alienware m11x R1 that is exactly one year old has been experiencing an issue where it has been completely freezing up. Randomly, no matter what I was currently doing on the computer, or even if I was not doing anything and the computer was idling, the screen would freeze and hold whatever image it was currently displaying, and the computer would become otherwise unresponsive. No cursor movement, no response to keystrokes or ctrl-alt-del, and the HDD activity light would not flash, indicating that there was no current activity at all. The only way to get it out of this state was through a hard reboot by holding down the power button.


Originally, upon my first call to tech support, this was diagnosed as a video driver issue, and several methods were tried. First, the nVidia 263.08, A02 drivers (download package R297688) from the m11x drivers page on support.dell.com.

The next day, the issue repeated. I contacted support again, and that is when this service request was created. The diagnostic steps attempted were as follows:

Uninstall the 263.08 driver and install the latest stock driver from the nVidia website. This did not work because of the switchable graphics platform of the m11x. It was determined after trying several different driver packages that there was no way to make the standard nVidia driver work with the switchable graphics of this system.

Ran the hardware diagnosis tests from the BIOS. The system passed all tests.

Install the nVidia beta driver 197.12, P03 (download package R264266) from the m11x drivers page on support.dell.com. Again, this solution worked for about a day before the freezing issue occurred again.

Now, I have determined that this issue happens the most (but not exclusively when) I have a download running through the Steam program. This leads me to believe it might be an issue with accessing the hard drive, somehow. As mentioned before, the freezing still happens even when Steam is not running, however, it happens more often when Steam is open and there is an active download. I don't know if that helps diagnose the problem or not.

If anyone has any insight as to the cause of this issue, it would be greatly appreciated. I'm getting a callback from support on Monday, and I'm just trying to collect information to make the troubleshooting process easier.
Replies (18)
2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Hi there, still any problems with the computer i can help you and anybody else on this post. Step 1 enter the bios using the button F2 on the boot screen. Step 2 on the second tab go on to it and disable the wifi card. Step 3 save and reboot the laptop voila I hope this help and if you need internet use Ethernet or probably buy a cheap USB wifi reader :) hoped this helped!

I just saw your reply.  I'll try your steps to see if anything shakes out.  Sounds like others did not see anything wrong when they ran the diags, but are still having the problem.  Has anything else been determined with regard to this problem?  My machine is still regularly freezing up, same problem.  Once it froze in the middle of a Skype video call and the machine was outputting a very strange continuous modulated sound that was the other caller's voice at the moment the system froze.  As usual, I had to hold down the power button and reboot cold to use the system again.  No events in the log.

Anyway, I will give your troubleshooting steps a try.  Are you still out there watching this thread if I do this?

Same here.... my MX 11 randomly freezes. Ran all the utilities mentioned in various posts and all result in a passing grade.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

I have been having the exact same problem as everyone here around one year after I got the laptop. Sometimes the laptop just froze up in the middle of my gaming session or working hours or even when I left it idle for a period of time. Mine is the M11x R2 model though.

It's a little sad that I got this issue (aside from the broken hinge problem which I've already fixed myself) with my M11x because otherwise it would have been a perfect laptop that is powerful enough for my gaming and other needs for at least a few more years.

Now, I'm quite reluctant to buy another alienware laptop even though their specs and designs are more attractive than ever.

I would really appreciate a solution to this problem if there is one.

Dell, please tell me you are reading these posts... this is unsat! What do you as a company plan on doing about this? The problem's not on the users end, we've done everything your tech support has instructed us to do, updated our drivers countless times, and done our own troubleshooting. Stand by your product, and solve this issue! I dont think thats too much to ask for from those of us who've spent a small fortune for these machines.

I too have been having this issue since I bought my m11x, almost 2yrs ago. Towards the end of my 1 year warrenty, I finally got Dell to switch out the HDD, they did a remote diagnostics and told me it was a bad HDD. 2 months later, which was 1 month after my warrenty was over, it was still happening. I read about the broadband drivers being the issue from several different forum sites, but I can't find a link to the new drivers anymore. I agree with the above statements, these are supposed to by high end gaming systems, and to have something like this going on for as long as it has, is unacceptable. And the way dell/alienware has chose to handle it has made me look elsewhere for my next mobile gaming solution.

So, dell support, if you still monitor this post, we would all like a fix to this. Otherwise, why should we continue to keep an interest in these products. I was so proud of my m11x when I first got it, I would show it off to everyone. Now, when I'm gaming with people, and I continually crash, and everyone has to wait for me to reboot, they all say, "I thought Alienware was top of the line. How come you're sucks so much?".  And all i can do is shake my head and tell them to avoid this product.

I'm sure I'm speaking for everyone, when I say they would appreciate to know what to do about that Problem, as well.

wdbjr66

Please send me a PM with your service tag, phone number, and  the link to this thread, I'll get back to you.

Karen M.
Dell | Alienware Technical Support Alienware Arena
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I ran the PSA test and passed-no error codes generated.  I downloaded HD Tune and ran the test.  Again, test passed.

2727.Screenshot.jpg

Ditto for me.  I've been having this problem since the machine was about a month old (18 months ago).  Everything described happens to me as well.  Most of the time the freeze is when the machine is idle but not always.  Sometimes I can go weeks without a freeze but today it's happened three times in a row.  At first I blamed the Alienware-specific applications and tried disabling those and then re-installing them. Nothing I've tried has worked and like others the only thing you can do is a hard reboot.

 I thought these were supposed to be high-end machines.  Dell should come up with a fix or replace these computers.  They've already lost at least one sale--I recently needed to buy an ultrabook for work and I wouldn't even consider a Dell because of this.  I have a new Lenovo on the way.  

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