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ForestCat

AW19/CH341A Question

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Hi,

      For clarity, this a circa 2013 model P19E, which I'm assuming is what folks refer to as the Alienware 18.

 

Keyboard/logo lights up, no video/POST, eventually a beep every second or so continuously.  This seems to have occurred spontaneously, during normal use, NOT a CMOS settings or h/w change.

I sincerely believe I've tried every permutation of the standard bricked BIOS procedures, ie removing batteries, ram, cpu, gpus, power button 30 seconds, shorting CMOS battery, hot swapping one SODIMM during the reboot window, etc.

What I HAVEN'T tried is a different CPU, don't have one.

The mobo isn't completely dead, ie the core logic knows whether there is ram, a cpu, etc installed and beeps appropriately.

If there is way to 'blind flash' this thing, I haven't been able to find it.

 

Here's the questions:  Has anyone successfully resurrected one of these with the steady beep every second symptom by attaching a CH341A to the BIOS chip and flashing it with something stock/safe?

Conversely, any value in buying one of the 'pre-flashed' BIOS chips from ebay and soldering it on?

Is there anything less drastic anyone can suggest before I get medieval on this thing?

 

There so much more info out there on the M18 series, P19, not so much.  I hate to give up on this beast.

 

Thanks for reading.

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So it's just a single beep code?

 

I have resurrected a few single beep M17x R4's using a forced BIOS flash with a USB. The process should be the same with the 18 but I haven't seen a specific guide on how to do it with the 18 and I believe you have to name the flash file something specific for it to work.

 

https://www.alienowners.com/threads/alienware-m17x-r4-1-beep-error-code-solved.8519/

 

I have a CH341A but I've never bothered trying to work out how to use it. 

 

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One guy says he just created a bootable USB with the A05 BIOS, ran it and it fixed it for him. 

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Thank you for the feedback, guys.  So, was the info I'd read re: the AW18 USB being non-functional in this single repeating beep bricked state false?  That would be great, I'll try the A05 on USB, do you know if there's any key combo trick, etc at boot to make that work?  I don't know if my keyboard is communicating with the mobo at this point, and not even sure how to test that.  Haven't been able to find any P19E service literature re: secret key combos/service modes at power on, etc.

 

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The post I saw didn't have much information unfortunately.

To do the force flash on the M17x R4 you have to put the USB drive in the e-sata port, remove the system battery and hold END while plugging the power in (from memory) but I don't know what this other guy did. It's possible that he just plugged the USB in and it started the flash but I wouldn't want to say for sure. it's always possible that doing the flash wrong will permanently brick your board. 

 

 http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/alienware-18-bios-1-beep-fix.817521/

 

If you do get the blind flash to work it's important not to disrupt it too early. It can sit there beeping like mad for an hour sometimes. Just walk away and leave it until you are sure it's done

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There's just not much out there on this.  What I tried:

 

Main Battery removed.

VAS10A05.fd on an 8g FAT32 USB Stick

Held down END while plugging in AC

Fans full speed,

Power switch fading in-out while blinking steadily.

After a few seconds, started seeing some activity on the USB stick's LED, was hopeful.

No beeping of any kind.

After a short time, USB LED was solid & stayed that way.

After about 10 minutes of zero apparent activity, held down power switch to turn off.

Reboot, still 1 beep every sceond or so, no video.

The FD file was only about 9 meg, thinking that was not the BIOS image I need, but no idea where to find it.

 

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Not sure sorry, I've never done it on an 18.

The FD file needs to be renamed to an HDR file so that could be part of your problem. I'm just not sure what you have to rename it to. With the M17x R4 you rename it M17R4.hdr but the 18 will have it's own name to use.

Maybe it doesn't matter what you call it, just as long as it's a .hdr

Wouldn't want to say for sure, you'll have to do all this at your own risk.

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Thanks, man I appreciate your time.  I'll try to post over there.  Doesn't 9meg seem too  small for a BIOS hdr file?

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Couldn't really say. There probably isn't a lot to a BIOS file but I'm no expert. 

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