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Alienware M17x R1

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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July 31, 2012 3:57:35 AM

So, I recently purchased a used m17x r1. Knew it was not functioning ahead of time.. (got it cheap)
At first, it wouldn't boot to bios, got past that. Now I have an issue that I'm not sure of a workaround.

I cannot boot windows from the install disc..gives me the
PXE-E61 Media Test Failure... check cable
PXE-MOF exiting Nvidia boot agent
Operating system not found..

Now I've also received a bsod when booting win 7 from an external. It boots to the point where the colors swirl then it shuts off.

I've looked high and low. Tried setting up raid, changed it to ahci, rearranged the ram, moved the hdds around, etc.. nothing.
I don't know if its an mbr issue, or something with the hdds, but you would think if i put a new drive in, it would boot?
Everything else is fine. I've run the diagnostic from the boot menu, and nothing turned up.

It has 2 500gb WD 7200rpm drives, q9000 cpu, sli 280m, 2x2 gigs ram

I could be missing some things at the moment..frustration has taken over :/  But thats what I have for now.

If anyone has any suggestions, please throw em out there.. I'm looking for anything to get this up and running.
Thanks!

More about : alienware m17x

a b D Laptop
July 31, 2012 4:18:07 AM

Disable network boot on your bios. Select DVD drive as boot device. Boot with DVD drive with installation disc in.
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July 31, 2012 4:55:34 AM

Pyree said:
Disable network boot on your bios. Select DVD drive as boot device. Boot with DVD drive with installation disc in.


I have network boot as the last option in boot order. Wouldn't it run through the rest of the options until then? I'm not certain how you disable the network boot, other than move it to last.
I also have the dvd drive as the first boot device and still get the error.

Thanks for the help
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a b D Laptop
July 31, 2012 5:40:43 AM

Yes. If you have it in correct boot order, then I guess the installation DVD or the DVD drive is not working.

Did you try booting from USB?
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July 31, 2012 5:50:06 AM

I have tried booting from an external hard drive with a fresh copy of 7 installed on it as well. I can get it to the load screen where the colors swirl but then it crashes. I have not tried putting the windows 7 install info on a flash drive and trying to install from there. I feel as if it's a hard drive issue, but I've tried other drives and no luck. I don't see that it would be the bios or mb seeing that I can get into the bios. Both the hard drives are showing up in the bios too. You think installing from a USB would make a difference?

Thanks again!
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a b D Laptop
July 31, 2012 6:01:46 AM

Window 7 won't work on external HDD. You have to install it on SATA HDD.

Use Ubuntu or W8 if you want OS from external HDD.
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July 31, 2012 1:30:19 PM

Pyree said:
Window 7 won't work on external HDD. You have to install it on SATA HDD.

Use Ubuntu or W8 if you want OS from external HDD.


Well, I would prefer it to be on the hdd's in the laptop. But I pulled a hard drive from another laptop with windows 7 already installed to see if it would boot with that. I ran it as external and tried booting from usb, and also put it in the laptop and tried booting with the hard drive, I still get the same issue where it crashes when it tries to load windows. I'm just not sure what steps to take now for troubleshooting or to at least get windows to boot so I can work with it from there.

I have not tried installing ubuntu yet, would it make a difference compared to 7, or vista(Not that I want to use vista, but that's the recovery cd that came with)?

Thanks Pyree

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a b D Laptop
July 31, 2012 2:02:19 PM

W7 can not be run on a USB HDD. You need W8 or Ubuntu. These 2 OS lets you run a computer where the OS is installed on USB drive.
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August 1, 2012 2:21:56 AM

Pyree said:
W7 can not be run on a USB HDD. You need W8 or Ubuntu. These 2 OS lets you run a computer where the OS is installed on USB drive.


Any chance the error would be from the sata driver missing from the hard drives even though there is no windows installation available, or the disc drive driver as well?
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a b D Laptop
August 1, 2012 9:02:35 AM

Not likely, if bios picks up the HDD and the DVD drive, W7 are pretty good with drivers. I have yet to had a SATA storage device needing driver yet.
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August 2, 2012 4:46:12 AM

Pyree said:
Not likely, if bios picks up the HDD and the DVD drive, W7 are pretty good with drivers. I have yet to had a SATA storage device needing driver yet.


Would it make sense that the mobo or optical drive would be bad and that would be the reason for the pxe errors? Just trying to eliminate certain things so I know what I might have to replace. Thanks again!
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a b D Laptop
August 2, 2012 5:12:05 AM

Could be. But I though the bios pick up the HDD and DVD drive. So I assume they are ok.
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!