DasChester
1 Nickel

Boot Loop after updating Bios A06 to A10

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I initially fell into a boot loop when I went into the "Boot Configuration Features" under the CMOS Setup Utility and disabled a "[Network:MBA v11.0.]".  This problem persisted with only getting mild success if I hard reset the CMOS on the actual Motherboard.  After finally trying to flash the A10 Bios with another copy of A10 through USB, the computer reset during the flash and I knew the Motherboard was spent at that point.

So I ordered a new replacement mobo.  MS-7543 ver 1.0, same everything.  I installed it with the same processor, cooling unit and Ram that I had been previously using with the old mobo.  Everything was going great, loaded Windows, Windows was actually working.  Connected to the internet, downloaded Windows updates along with Internet Explorer updates in preparation of downloading updated drivers and everything else.  Restarted a few times in this process as updates were applied, still no problems.  So, Internet Explorer is up to date, Windows is updated.  Time to update Bios from A06.  Download the A10, go to install and on first restart, I get stuck in the same boot loop.

The A10 Bios loads up and does a POST but from there just goes black for a couple seconds and Restarts to a new POST.  I can hit F2 and F12 to get into the CMOS Setup Utility and One Time Boot Options.  As soon as I exit either it almost immediately restarts.  I can make changes in the CMOS Setup Utility that will take after the restart.

I have had mild success getting out of the boot loop.  If I do a hard reset of the CMOS with the jumpers I can get through any one action up to a restart.  After a Hard reset of the CMOS, I can get windows to boot from disc (if I hit F12 and chose CD Drive as one time boot) and even install up until it has to restart. After a Hard reset of the CMOS, I can get a Pre-boot System Assessment to complete where as, if I'm normally stuck in loop, it would simply restart about 5 seconds in.

Please, help me.

Right now my next step is going to be All or Nothing with the new replacement Motherboard.  I would do a hard reset on the CMOS and attempt to Flash the Bios back to A06.  The fear being that it would just try to restart mid flash again and then it's another Bricked Mobo and still no working Rig.

Alienware Area51 - Bios A10

Intel Core i7 960 (3.2GHz, 8MB Cache)

6GB 1333MHz DDR3 3DIMM

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Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Boot Loop after updating Bios A06 to A10

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Try original 1333 memory in 3 slots.

Pull battery to reset cmos. load defaults. flash bios from outside Windows.


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8 Replies
Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Boot Loop after updating Bios A06 to A10

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Try original 1333 memory in 3 slots.

Pull battery to reset cmos. load defaults. flash bios from outside Windows.


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.
DasChester
1 Nickel

Re: Boot Loop after updating Bios A06 to A10

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Original memory sticks may be lost at this point, gifted to a friend.  The RAM swap was months ago and I haven't had any issues with it.  Found somewhere that said the motherboard can handle 1600 memory which I have kicking around.  I'm very apprehensive to attempt to flash the Bios as I bricked the previous motherboard doing just that.

I will do a Hard reset of the cmos, load defaults, and flash the bios through usb (provided I can get those as a boot option).  Here's the big questions:  What Bios do I load?  Service tag recommends A10.  A06 came on the motherboard.

Alienware Area51 - Bios A10

Intel Core i7 960 (3.2GHz, 8MB Cache)

6GB 1333MHz DDR3 3DIMM

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DasChester
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Re: Boot Loop after updating Bios A06 to A10

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Edit:  I will install a single 1600 stick, do a Hard reset of the CMOS, load defaults and flash the bios through usb.

Alienware Area51 - Bios A10

Intel Core i7 960 (3.2GHz, 8MB Cache)

6GB 1333MHz DDR3 3DIMM

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Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Boot Loop after updating Bios A06 to A10

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My guess is that to get the 2000 memory to work, you have to turn off XMP and manually slow it down to 1333 or 1600 (1333 would be better for now).

When you flash the BIOS, it erases those manual settings, goes to XMP/Auto, and memory and machine is un-stable again ... maybe even during flash.


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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DasChester
1 Nickel

Re: Boot Loop after updating Bios A06 to A10

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Tesla, I was hoping to get your attention and ultimate help on this matter so, I thank you.

I have tracked down my original memory sticks and I am going to trade my 12GB 2000MHz for my original 6GB 1333MHz back tomorrow afternoon.  I'll go through the hard reset of cmos and flash the bios while out of windows.

What version of bios should I load?  Go back to A06 that came on the oem replacement mobo or stick with A10?

Alienware Area51 - Bios A10

Intel Core i7 960 (3.2GHz, 8MB Cache)

6GB 1333MHz DDR3 3DIMM

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Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Boot Loop after updating Bios A06 to A10

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What version of bios should I load?  Go back to A06 that came on the oem replacement mobo or stick with A10?

 
Morblore might know . He's the Area-51 expert  
 
IIRC, there are a couple of different revisions of Area-51 motherboards. Like the Aurora-R1, when these x58 chipset machines started shipping in large numbers in 2010, they settled on a stable BIOS for a while. Not sure which it was for Area-51 (but I'm thinking it was A09 or A10).
 
That would make A06 almost beta or experimental. AFAIK, they didn't Rev the boards all the way to a new version (that would have had it's own set of Firmwares ... starting over at A01) while the older boards where still on their own path.
 
For the Aurora-R1, 2010 was shipping with A09 (and I'm still running it). Some users reported various USB and other problems after loading A10 and A11. This is in addition to the usual "bricking problems". So, I decided not to mess with it. I don't OC and my machine is super stable, so that's all I need/want.


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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DasChester
1 Nickel

Re: Boot Loop after updating Bios A06 to A10

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Tesla,

Sorry I never got back, but I tracked down my old ram, threw it in and it booted up.  Everything worked out great.  Thank you so much.  Went with A10 Bios, all is good.  Thanks again.  Turns out that the MotherBoard is only rated for certain speeds of RAM.  Found the following: "Up to 12GB at 1333Mhz, Up to 6GB at 1866Mhz, or Up to 12GB 1600Mhz" (of course also the stock 6GB at 1333Mhz).  So, that's my next step, find some 12GB at 1600Mhz and a couple of 120GB SSDs to really speed everything up.  Thanks again man, greatly appreciate it.

On a quick side note, going to set up a new thread asking this question:  What if I accidentally entered the wrong service tag with my new OEM replacement MotherBoard?  Let's say my real tag is "1234567" and when prompted I entered "1253467" instead.  Oops... So is it possible to reenter a service tag into your bios?

Alienware Area51 - Bios A10

Intel Core i7 960 (3.2GHz, 8MB Cache)

6GB 1333MHz DDR3 3DIMM

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Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Boot Loop after updating Bios A06 to A10

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I tracked down my old ram, threw it in and it booted up.  Everything worked out great.  Thank you so much.

You're welcome. At least now you know your motherboard is good (which is really good to know).

6gb RAM should be fine for most purposes. If you must try to upgrade it again, I would buy something closer to true required specs (but keep that old ram for testing later).

Here's a recent thread where Morblore was helping someone with Area-51 ram.

http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/p/19501472/20347405.aspx#20347405


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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