Several M18x owners are having issues with Windows Aero/Transparency effects turning off randomly. We are also having problems with aero effects being re-enabled after exiting a benchmark like 3dMark (the program sets aero to windows 7 basic during the bench). Here is a link to the notebook review forums where a number of users are experiencing this problem. As I stated on that forum, we all seem to have various setups with different CPUs, GPUs, type/size of memory, type/size of hard drive, different drivers, and we're using various versions of windows 7. That being said, I strongly believe this to be chipset or bios related.
M18x Aero issues on Notebook Review Forums
Great news Chris. Thanks for the update and your continued help and support on here and on NBR. All you hard work and effort certainly is appreciated by all of us.
Chris - here's an update...
Are the engineers focusing their attention on a revision to OSD as the cure for this problem? As near as I can tell, they don't need to be searching for the cause of the Aero bug on the M18x any more. I don't know if others have disabled OSD, and if they have, what their results are looking like.
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Alienware 18 | M18xR2 | M18xR1 | M17xR2
I received my AW M18X while I was on vacation. I have had it up and running for two days now and have had the BSOD about 4 times now. It seems to happen when I am restarting the computer. I gave up and set the computer back to the system settings and got the same error at least twice.
I can't believe this. I expected much more from a $2800+ computer :(
Yes. They are aware if the OSD issue.
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Still holding strong since 08/23... I have zero evidence of an Aero bug with OSD not loading automatically with Windows. Since I have not uninstalled OSD, I have lost no functionality with manual on-demand OSD launch capabilities. Things are rock-solid if OSD is not running in the background.Hopefully, an updated version of OSD will be released soon. I'm OK with waiting as long as there is thorough testing to be certain the update functions properly and does not break something that was working fine before.Chris - I am willing to be a beta tester for an updated release of OSD if Dell/Alienware is looking for testers.
Hi Chris - is there anything new to report on the status of an updated OSD to cure the problem with Aero?
As mentioned already, I am a willing beta tester if the need exists.
Thanks for your assistance.
Please also note that the Aero disabling by itself also exists in Alienware m17xR3. Mine is equipped with nVidia GTX 580M and it happened on my first boot after taking it out from the box, last week. When Aero is disabled, the only way to get it back is to restart. Logging off and in again has no effect. However in my case, uninstalling Alienware Respawn seems to make the problem from appearing less frequent. Maybe both the OSD and Alienware Respawn need to be checked up.
Also, I don't think I'm alone in this as there are also reports in external forum regarding this matter for Alienware m17xR3
Hmm, can't edit post...
Anyway, my system is a 3D system, so integrated Intel GPU is disabled.
Nicholas - below your post, to the right of "Report Abuse" you will see a tiny pencil icon. Click on that to edit your post.
Is it rather obscure and I did not notice it at first myself.
As far as AlienRespawn goes, you can disable SoftThinks Agent service and that will cure dead space at the top edge of the display and it does help reduce the issues with OSD causing Aero to crash. You don't have to uninstall AlienRespawn. Look at this post for more details about that: LINK.
After being forced to flash the vbios on my G73 I've decided to try an M18...... and then I find this thread. Is the fix posted here working for everyone's Aero issues? Does it fix BSODs? Is the M18 still worth what I was getting ready to spend for fastest processor and 580s SLI?
Why was flashing the vBIOS on your G73 such a big deal? OSD (On Screen Display) has a bug that causes Aero to stop working. Alienware is working with Compal (the ODM) to get an updated version released. So, in the meanwhile there's a simple workaround. Run MSCONFIG, go to the Startup tab and uncheck OSD. Browse to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Alienware On-Screen Display\AlienwareOn-ScreenDisplay.exe" and create a shortcut to launch OSD manually when there is a need for it. Reboot. Done.I think the M18x is worth every dime. You won't find anything built better or that looks as good, and anything that performs as well will cost you substantially more from a boutique vendor like FalconNW or Eurocom. The anodized alloy chassis is wickedly sick.For anyone that does not like the idea of flashing firmware, be it a vBIOS or system BIOS, dealing with minor bugs or mucking around with drivers, then owning a cutting edge mobile gaming system probably is not the ideal situation. High performance computers are similar to high performance cars. They require more care, more tuning and tinkering. That's part of the fun for some of us.If that is the type of experience you are looking for, then I highly recommend the M18x. It's head and shoulders above the G73. I also highly recommend a 3 or 4 year Complete Care warranty package with Next Business Day onsite service and accidental damage coverage. I would not dream of owning a system this expensive without that warranty and it has paid for itself more than once every time I've purchased it. If you want something that just runs a little better than average, does a decent job of running games, and requires nothing but pushing the power button, then something mainstream like an XPS 17 is a better fit.
Thanks BJFox. That's a different perspective I hadn't thought of. The G73Jh was my first foray into PC gaming. With my limited PC knowledge I considered myself fortunate that I flashed the vBIOS successfully. A few found themselves with a brand new brick on their desk. That made it kind of a big deal for me. I would like to be able to push the power button and play but I'd also like to play my favorite FPS on max setting with an insane frame rate. Anyway you've given me something to consider. Thanks for the reply.
Dvoraak - you're welcome, buddy.
Sounds like you may be in transition from having limited to lots of PC knowledge. The fact that you rolled up your sleeves and did it shows me you're on the path to awesomeness.
For the record, having a new laptop turned into a brick would not make anyone happy, gamer, geek or otherwise.
Thanks for the note on the "edit post" feature. The icon is too small.
Regarding the Aero being disabled, you guys are dead right that it is Dell OSD software. I tried 3D Vision with HTML5 (in Firefox) and Aero keeps being disabled. Then I disable Dell OSD and everything works fine now.
So as for that, it seems like not only M18x is haunted by this problem, M17x has the same problem... maybe same Dell OSD software.
It certainly is... a major inconvenience. The M18x does not operate as it was intended to operate without it. I expect Alienware/Compal will release a new version that fixes the OSD bug. Hopefully, that will be very soon. I know they are working on it.
I've offered to beta test an updated version of OSD. Is anyone else out there willing to jump in with me so we can possibly expedite a new version release to the general Alienware population?