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December 21st, 2021 05:00

Aurora R8, BSOD loop, can’t recover Dell Recovery disk or Ubuntu USB boot

My Aurora R8 completely hard freeze crashed yesterday while I was playing VR. It automatically rebooted but is stuck in an endless Preparing Automatic repair and then BSOD loop with a sad face and incomplete text.

I tried everything

I can’t go into recovery mode, it just gives me a BSOD

created a Dell Recovery USB and that still gave me a BSOD

created a Ubuntu USB boot stick, stuck in a black screen

It really unfortunate to have computer problems in the holidays. It kind of sounds like my Main SSD just completely died, but I’m not sure. Any ideas? 

7 Technologist

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12K Posts

December 21st, 2021 05:00

Run diagnostics (tap F12 immediately at boot) and watch for any drive errors. Have you tried to download the media creation tool from MS which you can use to repair or clean install Windows 10 (assuming you are running Windows 10)? That tool is available here.

8 Posts

December 21st, 2021 06:00

What really bothers me is the fact that I can’t even go into Ubuntu, something that doesn’t require Windows or any of the system files from Windows. I just hope it isn’t something more serious, like a motherboard related problem 

8 Posts

December 21st, 2021 06:00

I have ran diagnostics before and the hardware seems functioning, though I haven’t done the full memory scan. 

I did create a bootable USB stick using media creation, but the screen got stuck in the Alienware screen. 

1 Rookie

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132 Posts

December 21st, 2021 06:00

That sounds a lot like the BIOS problem some of us had with the R10. On startup, we were getting the Alienware logo and endlessly spinning Windows dots (or The Zorin Linux logo when I tried a Linux boot USB).

Only a motherboard replacement fixed it. It was caused by an automatic BIOS upgrade.

8 Posts

December 21st, 2021 07:00

What about a rollback of the bios? 

I’m at work right now, but if I remember correctly, my R8 is on 1.0.17. It was functioning correctly before after doing changing in some settings because of the power button fiasco. 

8 Posts

December 21st, 2021 08:00

Sounds more and more like a bios upgrade that went wrong. It seems like there’s a new Bios 1.0.18 rolled out. My guess is that windows automatically forced the update while I was doing some heavy loads on the system. I’ll try to manually update the Bios and see how it turns out 

6 Professor

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6K Posts

December 21st, 2021 09:00

You can try a CMOS reset, see if that helps.

CMOS reset 

8 Posts

December 21st, 2021 17:00

I’ve reset the CMOS, updated the bios, formatted the M.2 drive to reinstall windows with the Dell recovery USB drive, tried using media creation and I still get BSODs. Surprisingly enough I get BSODs with an empty drive running recovery from USB. Sounds like a motherboard failure from a forced bios update. Honestly, I kind of gave up.

So I decided to simply buy a bunch of parts and build a custom PC instead. 

 

6 Professor

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6K Posts

December 21st, 2021 19:00

That is a good idea. I did the same thing to my R10. I never experienced issues with my R10, but I figured I would be better off upgrade wise to leave the Alienware environment behind and not wait until some BIOs update decides to provide me with odd behavior.

 

I now have many good things I did not have with my R10, like Resizable BAR support, wide range of memory support, proper bios recovery options including Flash BIOS button, Ryzen 5000 support, proper BIOS support for overclocking, no more fan errors, much better airflow, M2 4.0 x 4, and I am getting anywhere from 5-10% more FPS with the RTX 3080 OEM card and the same OEM processor and memory.

The performance increase is what get's me, because the only real difference is the motherboard. The other main components are the same.

I even switched to air cooling and my CPU is 10 C cooler performing the same tasks compared to my R10 liquid cooling.

10 Elder

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43.6K Posts

December 23rd, 2021 11:00

Has anyone tried a BIOS Recovery?  You may need to use the BIOS_IMG.rcv file available on the BIOS page for the R8   or for the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10. So download the file and save it on an empty USB 2-GB stick.

If BIOS Recovery says it can't find a BIOS image on your boot drive, power PC off, plug in the USB stick with the .rcv file and launch BIOS Recovery again. It should find the .rcv file on the stick this time and launch.

The Recovery will restart PC one or more times during the process. Just leave PC alone until it boots itself at the very end and you get safely back to your desktop.

10 Elder

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43.6K Posts

December 23rd, 2021 16:00

EDIT: My bad...There is a BIOS recovery option from HDD in BIOS for the R8. I missed it the first time.

But the manual doesn't say if it's enabled by default. And if not, then the recovery will probably fail because it won't find the required file on the HDD.

So that's why using the USB stick with the .rcv file on it may be the only way out of this mess...

1 Rookie

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132 Posts

January 2nd, 2022 21:00

I tried everything back when my R10 had its problems. Unfortunately, some BIOS versions are not possible to downgrade, due to "security issues". I also did the CMOS reset and even battery removal, the BIOS_img file thing, all to no avail.
And just last weekend, I got a Dell update notification that wanted to update all sorts of items, including BIOS to 2.2.4. I unticked that box very quickly.

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