I am pretty much in the exact same boat, issues a), c), and 1) to 4) all found on my Alienware 15 R2.
I was hoping a new bios would be a real fix, but I laughed when I saw the new bios ask me for a restart as I know for sure most computers with 1.4.4 will NOT come back from a restart, that means the normal bios update process will not work.
Next, I tried was to do a bios recovery method with the CTRL+ESC hold and power cord plug in. It flashed the bios, but not ME.
Then I tried recovery with F12, also saw bios being flashed but skipped the ME.
Finally wanted to try the USB boot, but can't seems to find a DOS that let me run the EXE. The furthest it ever got was a statement telling me the update of bios is begin, but it just hang there ( I'm pretty sure it hanged as I left it running for 24 hrs, and still the same screen ).
With all that I've done, of course, BIOS is at 1.6.1, ME is still broken, and all the issues caused by the DELL 1.4.4 bios flash still exists, meaning I still do have a half broken computer.
I was prompted to install 1.6.1 the other day, and now I am having issues with my display on my 17R3. It keeps messing up.
I cannot understand why when I use Alienware update it suggests installing a bios from 2015...Alienware_15R2_17R3_1.1.5.EXE
Right, I got that from the Alienware update also and started to happen around month and a half ago.
Funny thing is I actually did try to "update" it when it first came out, and it indeed would not update due to the fact that it's a very old bios version.
Alienware Update no longer suggests installing the Alienware_15R2_17R3_1.1.5.exe BIOS from 2015. Thus this issue was recently fixed.
It is interesting that the Dell/Alienware Drivers and downloads webpage has updated the version 1.61 BIOS with a new release date of August 15, 2018. Not sure what is different in this release but it still won't install from windows as it just reboots and hang at a black screen just like BIOS version 1.44 or the previous version 1.61.
Service tag number <Service tag removed> tried to update bios on this laptop this evening and it is now bricked. It will light the keyboard after holding the on button for 30 or more seconds and fan turn on but nothing but a blank screen now. Have any ideals what to do next? About fed up with Dell/Alienware after this.
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Just to clarify, were you trying to update to 1.6.1? It seems like there is either something, or a whole lot of somethings, that are causing some of us to have no issues at all and other like yourself to seemingly continue to have issues with several new iterations of the BIOS updates that Dell puts out.
The biggest issue of all, is that this is NOT something that the Dell user community should be having to investigate to come up with the technical reasons why some systems fail, and others like mine seem to have had minor issues when 1.4.4 came out, but once successfully flashed (1.4.4) never had any more issues. I have successfully flashed all the way through to 1.6.1 with no problems at all.
There has got to me some difference either in our systems types, operating environments, BIOS settings, SOMETHING that sets those of you who are encountering multiple issue after issue even after flashing to new BIOS'.
Where are Dell? Has anyone in this discussion chain had ANY feedback from Dell that has suggested that they are looking in to this issue, or that they are aware of the problem and are working on a fix, or that they are going to help at all in the slightest?
1. Surely, there has to be some kind of logging written into the code for the BIOS update. There is no way (although I'm starting to have my doubts) a systems and software developer would send out a BIOS update without a verbose log file being generated SOMEWHERE in the system. Clearly this would have to be somewhere that the BIOS flashing utility would have to have write access to when it is updating the BIOS, which I'm unsure as to whether it does have any access to an NTFS partition, especially with extra added pains like BitLocker, to get access to write a log file to. This is something only Dell can answer (this one is to you, Dell. Can you possibly answer this one so that we can at least compare log files with each other to see where those of us succeed, and others fail, where there are any obvious differences?
2. With an issue like this that involves machines becoming bricked, and not just any machines, but Alienware machines.. which currently hold the top position amongst preferred gaming rig's both desktop and laptop. If an issue gets big enough and involves enough users, and gets enough attention, then no company in their right mind would want to risk any impact to their brand or that position. It's not like ASUS ROG and MSI aren't right up their backsides chasing closely for that top spot or anything, is it? They may retain top position if a big issue comes to light, but it may certainly impact the price they can get away with marketing their products at, if the competition start looking like they have better support and potentially less consumer complaints.
3. This is another one for Dell. Surely you must be tracking this as to how many users are affected, what systems they are running, what OS and version is involved, and if you were doing that, I would have expected more positive feedback from the users in this thread, but there doesn't seem to be any, which makes me uncomfortable. Can anyone from Dell give the people in this thread ANY positive feedback that this issue is being looked in to and that they aren't just being forgotten as customers?
I think dell's mentality is no warranty, means bye bye or buy our new models and throw your laptop in the bin.. I really think this is a marketing strategy by killing off old laptops so that we have to buy a new one.. I bet they think the sheeps will just follow what ever we do.. Good luck dell as your not the only one producting top of the line gaming laptops..
15R2 here also had the issues after updating to 1.4.4. Got the MB swapped by Dell under warranty and it came with 1.3.12. Think I may leave it there. Hopefully taking my old MB will help them further figure out what the heck went wrong.