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m18x: Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader - problems :(

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#1
First time use and problems already before I can have any fun!

Here is what optical drive I had installed on the m18x:
Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BR-ROM, DVD+-RW, CD-RW)(slimtype BD e DL4ETS)

Full system specs can be viewed HERE.

Okay so the first thing I had on mind when I had this loaded up for the first time was to create restoration DVD's. Ok inserted a blank DVD, went in nice, no loading.... very odd.

Optical drive doesn't show up on 'computer', other than the 'C' drive HERE

However it shows up perfectly fine in Device manager HERE

Short keys to eject work fine, except the disc doesn't eject HERE


And device manager tells me that no drivers are installed HERE

Dell don't have optical drivers as I'm told they use Windows drivers apparently.
I've updated all windows updates, I've tried downloading/updating drivers for this optical drive via device manager - no use (HERE).

I've tried uninstalling from device manager and so on, still no difference. I don't really hear any noise from the drive from a reboot either if that helps.

So what can I do??
Anyone else had this problem, or know where I can get the drivers for this optical drive?

Any help would be great.

What's ticking me off further is I've ordered a Corsair GT 240gb SSD as well, so I'm not going to be able to install jack without this drive working.
Which also bring me to another point, is it possible to install windows using an external USB DVD drive? (hopefully the above problem should be solved before that even happens!)

Thanks
 

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#2
You can install Windows off USB sticks too, but somehow I feel like your Optical drive is faulty. Have you contacted Dell about it?
 
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#3
Nope I bought this from Hidevolution.com, but apparently (according to them) I'm covered from Dell UK even though this is from the US.
I have no idea how that works, but I sure damn hope it does!

My Corsair 240gb GT has arrived as well. P!ssed off I'm stuck with this problem on arrival. While I wait for this problem to be solved I might install windows 7 ultimate onto the ssd via the usb stick method.

Is there a possibility that all the bloated pre installed sh!t that come with this laptop could affect the drive?

Either way I'll have this ssd installed and running later and see what happens, though I doubt It'll make a difference because everyone is pointing towards a faulty drive.

Cheers
 
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tigger

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#4
Cant you go to pcworld and buy a slim type sata dvd/rw and slot that in the optical bay for now? They are £19 btw
 
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#5
I've never fitting an optical drive in a laptop. Indeed they're cheap and I'm sure they easy to install.

But I don't want to risk voiding the warranty, but if it won't I might give it a go!
 

tigger

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#6
It shouldn't void the warranty, usually there is an external screw, then the drive should just slide out of the bay, reverse to fit other drive.

Scratch that, just realized its a slot loader :S the drive from pcworld will not fit. Sorry.
 
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#7
LoL, I'll just install Windows via usb and see what happens :)
Time to watch some educational Youtube videos hah. I'll be off to buy a usb stick as well. More uncalled for costs :(

Now you see it's not the laptop that's really at fault it's these guys at Hidevolution who did the installations, and man I'll be writting up a nice thread telling others about my experience with them, because so far everything has been going tits up.
Waiting over 4 weeks was bad enough (!!!)
Just do a bit of Googling on them and you'll see the problems some people have had. Major shit customer service being the biggest highlight.

Anyways *sighs* time to sort this crap out.
 

tigger

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#8
I'm guessing it cost you a fair whack too.
 
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#9
Hi Moyt,
have you been to the driver support page for the m18x?
get there via the Dell site, key in your service tag and it will come straight up.
the optiarc in the m17x im posting from has had a firmware update not to sure if this is relevant to the m18 and your drive but dell offered the firmware updates for all models of drive that the m17 shipped with
these machines are fiddly but reap great reward if you persevere and get things setup properly.
 
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#10
I'm guessing it cost you a fair whack too.
It sure bloody did!
If the nature of my job didn't involve me travelling the UK, I would have settled for a nice desktop PC before.
Actually I was going to buy a Desktop PC, but for some extremely bad bad baaaad & craaaazy reason I opted to buy from Hidevolution.
I've splashed more money on a 240 GB Corsair GT ssd which is now in front of me (now also useless with no optical drive working), and to top that I'm getting 16gb of Kingston Hyper X 1866MHz DDR3 memory in the post soon.
All in time for the arrival of a lovely faulty Alienware. :p And certainly not Dell's fault!

I just knew I'd have to deal with something sh!it like this well before it arrived, and unfortunately after I made my big payment. That's one long story in itself, I won't bother telling that one!


Hi Moyt,
have you been to the driver support page for the m18x?
get there via the Dell site, key in your service tag and it will come straight up.
the optiarc in the m17x im posting from has had a firmware update not to sure if this is relevant to the m18 and your drive but dell offered the firmware updates for all models of drive that the m17 shipped with
these machines are fiddly but reap great reward if you persevere and get things setup properly.
Thanks for the suggestion. Interesting, but unless you are really sure this will work I don't want to risk installing it. I'll get around to asking Dell and see what they suggest.

On another note what's the best way to check what GPU is installed without having to physically look? Because all I see in device manager is two lot's of 'AMD Radeon HD 6900M Series'.
I want something to show me that I have two lot's of 6990M 's.

Thanks
 
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#11
Ok someone explain how this HALF freakish solution I found myself through trial and error ended up working:

1. Go to Dell's website and download the latest BIOS driver..

2. It's same same BIOS that's already installed, but what the hell install it anyway in case the current BIOS might be corrupt.

3. M18x automatically turns off turns back on again, except the blu ray optical drive starts to make noise, so i rapidly press press the eject button on the boot up screen.

4. Wow the blank DVD shoots out!

5. Windows loads up, but still doesn't recognize the optical drive in 'computer'.

6. Reboot, go to BIOS, change the boot order to boot optical drive first.

7. insert windows 7 ultimate DVD (my own retail disc - nothing from Dell or HID). WINDOWS INSTALLATION LOADS UP!

So what does this all mean? Because outside Windows the optical drive clearly works.

Could it still possibly be the bloated crappy software that was conveniently put on for me in Windows??

My next step is to now make use of the Corsair 240gb GT. I'll install my retail Windows 7 Ultimate on that, and I'll know the answers then.

I'll give updates on my progress in case anyone else unfortunate ends up with this problem. Not to say it might work for them, and I'm not even %100 sure if this is even going to work for me yet. :wtf:

But first I need a break :D

(My next problem if the SSD installation works might be THIS)
 
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#12
Fine so far! Everything sorted, and then I noticed THIS.

Unless I'm going crazy or something that does say 6900m, when I should have two lot's of 6990m's because that is what I ordered and paid for.

Someone tell me I'm seeing this right...
 

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#13
That would be correct info. It works like that. That is how it's displayed.

If you're worried, download GPUZ.
 
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#14
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Frick

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#15
Ohh my word hidevolution.com those scamming fucks!:
GPU-Z shot
Ah, it's the driver then. Don't worry, it is a 6990m, it's just that the driver doesn't tell you exactly which 69xx card it is. :)
 
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#16
Ah, it's the driver then. Don't worry, it is a 6990m, it's just that the driver doesn't tell you exactly which 69xx card it is. :)
Really??? How can you tell??? Just by the specs?
Excuse my lack in telling these things.

Seriously I'm in the middle of writing an essay to PayPal to why they should be skinned lol.
Not only that, I sent Hid an e-mail to ask - if they're trying to f'n mug me off haha.

It won't matter either way because they've been ignoring my e-mails. I pay them for their amazing '1 Year Advanced Service Plan (adds Accidental damage protection)', and I get jack for it.
If only I told you guys how much shit I've had to go through with them. It took about a month just to get this damn thing delivered, and that was only because I escalated the PayPal dispute to a claim!
Only then they rushed off their arsses to get this shipped to the UK in 3 days! Rushed to give me more headaches as you can tell from all the posts above.
Anyways the story runs long (as if it doesn't already).

Sorry anyhow, ok so how can I get these drivers to tell me the right info? I want to see that magical model 6990m show up on my systems settings somewhere, because I still can't trust how this laptop has been built when it's done by those lot. Yes I've now become that paranoid!
It comes as part of the package when you buy from hid! :p
 

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#17
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#18
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6990M.57308.0.html

It says there that 6990 has 1120 stream processors. Don't worry, most of us have a strange ability to remember silly details like that.
Ahhh I wonder why they come up as different cards then, can only assume these GPU's aren't registered properly everywhere yet to display the right GPU names, or something like that.

BTW there was nothing at all wrong with the blu ray drive, it was the over bloated crap filled hard drive that originally came with it that caused the problems. New ssd in and everything shows up and works perfect.
Only concern so far for now is why it only install GPU drivers from Dell, but won't install the latest Catalyst drivers from AMD giving me this error every time I try:
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j226/junkster_photos/Alienware problems/GPUx2.png
 
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#19
That driver compatibility thing is extremely annoying. Intel released a new driver a few days ago for the HD3000 in the cpu and the computer says to download it from the manufacturer. And on the dell site the last version is from may or june. I was hoping for some improvements on the graphics front while on battery but then this happened.
 
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#20
Hello again Moyt,
The card you have is the card you paid for.
The people you bought the machine from did not build it..Dell/Alienware did.
What address was the machine shipped from when you got it?
you can customise a machine to your spec before it ships from the alienware/dell shopping site
then they assemble it then they ship it. this takes time if you bought it from a third party thay had to submit the spec to dell wait for it then ship it to you..but by all means shoot the middleman.
The ati catalyst drivers do not install because dell (and most other OEM`s) use custom card bios with modified ID strngs that is why the ones from dell install but not the vanilla ati ones
the same is true for the sli gtx280m`s in my m17x although you can modify the original (ati or nvidia) drivers to work.the oem will not support or warrant drivers they have not tested and verified fit for public consumption.

I am glad you have the new m18x up and running. I should think that your biggest issue no should be getting your games installed and enjoying it not waging war with hapless retailers.
 
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#21
@ zsolt, yes very annoying!

@ Craigo. I'm just glad to find out I've got the right cards! Because when I saw 6900m appear I was like :eek:
I never expect a gaming laptop all ready and lovely straight out of a box, but when you combine pre bad configurations with god awful customer service (if any) from the word go, that's when you get big problems.

This machine came from California shipped to the UK. On the assumption they had to wait a while for Dell to build this, and on arrival to their site they carried out further installations on the machine before sending off.
But you will never get updated to know what's going on, even when chasing up on things you'll be lucky to get a reply.

That's a real bad shame about not being able to use the latest drivers direct from AMD. Dell 6990m drivers date back to end of July, why the huge delay in testing AMD's latest drivers and making them useful for Dell users??
I'm tempted to go find the latest modified drivers for these cards and install them.

I've just installed 16gb's of Kingston Hyper X 1866MHz DDR3 memory. This machine is now beast, maxed out more than enough for myself and I haven't even considered tweaking any OC settings yet.
Worth the money? Hell certainly not compared to desktop PC's, but that's the price paid for a powerhouse on the go. Well I'm not even sure about that because this weighs a stupid amount, and it sure is a giant of a laptop.

You're absolutely right I should be having fun, playing some CoD, Metro, Crysis, GTAIV, benchmarking and all sorts.
But I've still to check out other features/functions on this machine, could more horrors possibly await me?? Haaa :p

Need to hook this up with a Rat 9, Asus 27" monitor and a g19 keyboard that's just lying about doing nothing as well :)
 
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#22
I've just installed 16gb's of Kingston Hyper X 1866MHz DDR3 memory. This machine is now beast, maxed out more than enough for myself and I haven't even considered tweaking any OC settings yet.

You're absolutely right I should be having fun, playing some CoD, Metro, Crysis, GTAIV, benchmarking and all sorts.

Need to hook this up with a Rat 9, Asus 27" monitor and a g19 keyboard that's just lying about doing nothing as well :)
Aaaw yeah. pics or it didn't happen :D be sure to make the back lighting the ugliest most horrible colour combo you can think of for any pics on the internet (i wish they had poo brown) no matter what else is going on in the thread this will get the most comments guaranteed ;)

what colour did you buy black,silver or red?

I would like to see some benches when you`re ready... plaese.

and did the hyperx default to 1866 or did you set it manaully?
 
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#23
Maybe I said too much:p

HERE crappy choppy video instead. I did this with my crappy HTC phone, so you'll really have to excuse the dire quality and so on.

As you can tell I had no coordination in making this, a quick 10 min job and upload for the sake of showing what's on the desk.
Lots of sorting out to be done, bigger desk needed and so on, because everything is a tip and all over the place.
And not to forget I turned on random colours flashing in that vid to make one puke for your viewing pleasure ;)
View it while you can because I'll be getting rid of the vid soon.:rolleyes:

'Stealth Black' colour m18x. I was thinking about red but it sticks out too much for my liking and silver not fussed about.

I've really made no use of the Bios advanced settings, especially the OC'n side of things. Memory is just set to auto not tried 1866 yet.
Unfortunately there's just not enough free hours in a day for me, I just have to get around to trying things one bit at a time.

If you got any benchmarks, games, or whatever in mind give me a shout and I'll try them out when I get more time.

Just waiting on 2 main things now for this m18x, MiniDisplay port cable and the Cooler Master NotePal U3.

Also if you can recommend some good tools to help me overclock outside the BIOS by all means list'em my way:)
Also a nice link to reliable modified graphics drivers would be nice. Another thing I've not got around to doing yet.

Thanks:D
 
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