RE: M17x-R3, Nvidia 580M, Intermittent Problem (Crashes, 8-beep)
I have the same laptop as you, and my issues started happening around the same time..i.e. sometime in November.
I've been playing FFXIV: ARR since beta testing in July through November when all of a sudden my screen went black, then rebooted. I thought it was a fluke thing because it didn't happen again for a couple of days, then it started becoming a regular thing. Sometimes it would happen after playing for a couple of hours, sometimes before I even left the login screen.
At first I thought it was my hard drive. A couple of months before this started happening I put a SSD in and it was a little quirky. It would BSOD upon waking from sleep, and every fifth boot it would get stuck in the loading Windows screen. I called Alienware, even though it's been out of warranty for about a year, and they had me run AlienAutopsy, which I didn't know about. The HD came back as faulty, everything else passed, so I put the old HD in and reinstalled Windows/drivers/updates. My computer continued to crash, only in my game though.
All my temps are fine. GPU in the low 60s and CPU in the low 70s. I also ran memtest and AlienAutopsy again and everything came back okay. I played GW2 for a few hours and it didn't crash so I just assumed it was FFXIV, until I was checking my email a week ago and it happened while in Outlook. It was then that I decided to take it to a repair shop. Well, they ran all sorts of tests, stress tests, and played games on it without it crashing. Their diagnostic tools suggested that the video driver was causing the crashing, so they updated the video drivers. I thought this was strange because I was certain that I had already done that, although nvidia seems to release new drivers fairly regularly, so who knows. I went to the shop to pick up my laptop today and they had me play my game for a bit before I left. It played fine. I paid my thirty dollars, their fee, brought it home and played for a couple of hours with no issues. Then later in the evening I played for ten seconds and it crashed. I'm at a total loss. Tomorrow I will be contacting the shop again, but at this point I'm not sure what can be done, or rather, what they can do. I did run their "What Crashed" (not sure if that's the exact name) program they left on my computer and it was an nvidia 331 driver kernel responsible for the crash.
I will let you know what they say/do, and please do the same!