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There is new A09 M18X R2 bios out that contains fixes and new IRST OROM so if this can be unlocked it can be just flashed over the A08 to A09 Unlocked likes :)

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No, it won't be possible to get directly from A08 to a modified A09, the reasons stay the same.

And A09 isn't downloadable so far.

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BIOS A09 unlocked added to the first post. Dell finally included the 11.6 IRST option ROM. Don't forget to install the corresponding IRST driver. Load the defaults after flashing.

You can only flash this coming from A03 or earlier. Downgrade by using the recovery method and then flash by using the included tools.

It should also be possible to directly flash to A09 by using the USB recover method.

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Thanks for your efforts svl7 :) I have a question not relating to this BIOS, I picked up a gtx680m a little while ago and now when my laptop boots it has your name and some other stuff that flashes up right after I turn it on, any way to blank all that out ?

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BIOS A09 unlocked added to the first post. Dell finally included the 11.6 IRST option ROM. Don't forget to install the corresponding IRST driver. Load the defaults after flashing.

You can only flash this coming from A03 or earlier. Downgrade by using the recovery method and then flash by using the included tools.

It should also be possible to directly flash to A09 by using the USB recover method.

Hmm... wonder if this will successfully flash from the unlocked A03 with 11.6 currently applied on my R2 board.

Does anyone that has flashed it care to post feedback as to whether I should even bother with this? What value, if any, does it offer compared to svl7's unlocked A03 with IRST 11.6 OROM?

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For one it comes with an updated Microcode, but you can update that yourself as well in A03... Else, not sure whether you'd notice a difference as I already included the latest IRST orom in the A03 mod. There are probably one or two small fixes somewhere else as well, but A03 seems to work nicely if you ask me, and the EC of A09 is the same as in A08.

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Hmm, thanks for the info, Brother svl7. I may as well just stay on the unlocked A03 because it works really great, already has the right OROM and I have zero interest in anything relating to the UEFI and Secure Boot crap.

Do you have any idea what the CPU microcode influences, or how it differs from the previous version? It would be interesting to know if it improves performance in any way. I may ask you to walk me through updating the microcode at some point after my 3920XM arrives.

It's unfortunate that we get so little detail from Dell/Alienware on these firmware updates. I don't like the idea of assuming I will benefit from something when inadequate technical information is provided.

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Not sure how exactly the microcode update works with the bios, but there's another, simpler way which should do the trick. Let me know if you need to update it. The microcode consists of very low-level instructions for the CPU and is responsible to interpret higher level code and tell the circuits what to do. Whether you can actually see a performance difference in the end, I don't know. It might just fix some issues which you probably never encountered, or the performance increase could be very small.

I think it's great that Dell finally got back to posting some more detailed information on the BIOS updates. For all other BIOS of the current AW line there has never been something which came distantly close to a change log. It could be more detailed, I totally agree, but it's already nice to see an improvement.

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Hi,

Just a quick question guys. I've successfully gone down to A03 stock bios and now upto svl7's unlocked A09 bios. Brilliant. However this is all new to me and I don't have a clue where to go from here to Overclock. My CPU is 3740 QM (running at 2.7 GHz) and i'm running 2x7970's in crossfire. Can anyone point me in the direction of a guide or settings just to set me off on this exciting journey of tinkering with my M18X R2.

Sincerely Thanks

Chris (cwiggy78)

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Here's some information, it's about the M18x R1, but the bios and available settings are very similar. (Massive wall of text warning) http://forum.techinferno.com/alienware-m18x/1491-2920xm-overclocking-guide-detailed-results.html

Also this: http://forum.techinferno.com/alienware-m18x/1054-alienware-m18x-stock-bios-xm-guide.html

And check the benchmark thread, there should be some info as well.

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Hi,

Just a quick question guys. I've successfully gone down to A03 stock bios and now upto svl7's unlocked A09 bios. Brilliant. However this is all new to me and I don't have a clue where to go from here to Overclock. My CPU is 3740 QM (running at 2.7 GHz) and i'm running 2x7970's in crossfire. Can anyone point me in the direction of a guide or settings just to set me off on this exciting journey of tinkering with my M18X R2.

Sincerely Thanks

Chris (cwiggy78)

Hi Chris. This should be helpful, too. Most of it will carry over to the M18x R2. All of it will conceptually, but you will need to find the sweet spot for the settings for your system.

<param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UKIGn_V2Cg?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UKIGn_V2Cg?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="853" height="480" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

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Hi,

Any way that we can force the Esata recognition on the Alienware M18x R2, i mean when i plug a HDD/Player on the Esate, my Alienware M18x R2 doesn't detect it.

Any explain why ? (i already try to activate/desactivate many time from the Esata support option but it doesn't work at all, it only work when i plug a storage in USB mode under Windows and also when i use a command dos send under ms-dos 16, it detect the product but not on the bios and not under windows, this is pretty weird)

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@cwiggy78 - here is a newer video I just made specifically for the M18x R2 unlocked BIOS.

I decided the music is this one is too wuss-like, but it's too late and I don't feel like changing it. (Like the tunes in the old video better.)

<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBPm-f5vcpU?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="853" height="480" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true">

Here is the original video for the M18x R1 overclocker. :D Personally, I like the music in this one a lot more. The other is too "sissy" for my taste.

<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UKIGn_V2Cg?hl=en_US&version=3&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="853" height="480" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true">

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Nice vids man. I don't think im gonna need all that really, im gonna OC on the Stock A09 bios and crank it as far as i can. I could do 4.3ghz on stock voltage and net 10.4k physics score with that and only 1600 stock ram so i reckon i can do a lot better with tweaking even with the stock bios. It still allows TDP and short term wattage + VID flex adjustment so should be fine. See how i go as temps will be factor and maybe power, i think Johnksss has some extra secret power source he,s not telling us about ? Hahahahahaha :P

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Hello everyone!

just got my first ever alienware m18x R2 and being reading and try to learn how is done unlocking and overclocking on this monster machines.

I want to make sure I'm doing this right before I go ahead and mess with it.

I have A8 stock bios so to unlock I have to first downgrade to stock A3 by Recovery method mentioned on this post and then upgrade to unlocked A9 with same Recovery method mentioned previously. my question is do I have to flash unlocked A9 with same Recovery method or is it done differently. I've been looking this info bits there and there and could not find one full guide where it explains step by step.

thanks

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Hi Slv7, Again do you have any clue how can I flah the a03 unlocked downloaded from your post? Currently, I'm in the A03 unlocked download from the main page...I though they were the same thing, but obviously not......bummer... And now every time I try to load another version, it says ROM size does not match~ Maybe the usb method is the only good way to recover this?

Update:

well, I just tried the original A03 from dell, and it works...hum.. anyway, problem solved.

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my question is do I have to flash unlocked A9 with same Recovery method or is it done differently. I've been looking this info bits there and there and could not find one full guide where it explains step by step.

Once on A03 you can update the normal way by using the InsydeFlash utility.

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is there any mirrors to download A9 unlocked? can't wait for this minimum post requirements!

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Thanks to svl7. However, I would like to stay at factory unlocked A05 for a few longer. UEFI is not so magic that I cannot wait for. Someone said that new a09 may not recognise the drive so that the reliability may be verified over the time in terms of the A09 rather than your great work.

I am not sure how much this can help for the QM cpu, however my 3940XM should have a unlocked bios in order to perform its potential. Thanks again, wonderful man.

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Factory unlocked A05?? Can you explain a bit more? I'd like to get a dump of that bios.

Regarding how magic UEFI is... it's actually pretty awesome, but I think a lot of people mix it up with secure boot. UEFI is in use in the AW systems since The M17x R3 / M18x / M14x generation, so already quite a while. The whole bios is based on UEFI, of course with support for some legacy stuff, but the firmware itself is UEFI.

UEFI isn't the same as secure boot (which I'm not a fan of, not at all). To be precise UEFI is just an interface specification, it doesn't even say how the firmware needs to be built.

Secure boot on the other hand is a collection of protocols and methods which ensure that no untrusted code gets loaded / executed and that at the point when the firmware hands over the control of the system to the OS, only verified code has been loaded.

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BIOS A09 unlocked added to the first post. Dell finally included the 11.6 IRST option ROM. Don't forget to install the corresponding IRST driver. Load the defaults after flashing.

You can only flash this coming from A03 or earlier. Downgrade by using the recovery method and then flash by using the included tools.

It should also be possible to directly flash to A09 by using the USB recover method.

flashing directly to A09 using recovery method = fail for me ...

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