New Alienware M14x R2 disk read error

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New Alienware M14x R2 disk read error

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Hello Dell Community,

Recently (1 week ago) I purchased an Alienware m14x R2 at an official Dell retail shop in Hong Kong, the first day after several reboots I got "A disk read error occurred" press ctrl + alt + delete to restart. After that, it did not occur anymore. But today I got this error again, and unfortunately now it will not go away. What could the cause of this be? I've run diagnostics in the bios but no errors showed up. What should I do?

Thank you

All Replies
  • Do all of the drives appear in the bios? Have you moved ownership of the service tag into your name yet? If not, take it back to the store and have them fix it.

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
    Quick link for Manuals and Drivers

  • Hi Chris, Thanks for your reply!

    Yes, I  think I have moved ownership to my name. When I click on "my account" and check the warranty status it shows my latest purchased laptop, which is the Alienware m14x r2.

    I went back to the Dell shop, and they coulden't find the problem. In the end they replaced my HDD drive and it seems to be booting just fine. They gave me the old HDD to backup and return to the shop within 1 week.

    Although right now I have the feeling I am unfortunately encountering another problem.

    When I boot up the laptop, it shows the drives names and a message that tells me the following:

    "Press <CTRL-I>  to enter the configuration utility" ...... <- dots appearing and loading

    Which I guess should be normal, but the loading on this screen takes much longer than before, which is about 5-10 seconds.

    Now on the same page where it says RAID volumes it shows my SSD drive of 32GB, under name it says "Dev_cache" and under status it says "disabled" and under bootable it says "No"

    I have the feeling the Dell repair service disabled my SSD and installed windows 7 on the HDD? But I'm not sure about this.

    In the same page under "Physical devices" it mentions my 750GB HDD , STXXX, type: "Non-Raid Disk"  and under it the  32GB SSD is mentioned again, Samsung SSD , type: "cache disk (0)".

    As I remember before they replaced my HDD, this menu did not mention anything related to a Dev_cache and having bootable "No".

    Could it be that they disabled my SSD drive and installed the operating system on my HDD? The bootup feels slower than before. How would I be able to check this?

    Any help would be much appreciated!

  • *bump*

    Is anyone able to identify the above issue (last post) regarding the SSD? I would really like to know if I should take my Alienware back to the Dell shop tomorrow or not. Why is my ssd on disabled mode and states "no" under bootable? Is the os installed on my HDD after I took it back to the Dell shop for repair? (see first post) This is a weird issue because I purchased my Alienware M14x with SSD included, so the repair should know that they shoulden't have installed os on HDD? How am I able to check this issue? I have the feeling my SSD was defect already during first purchase and instead of replacing SSD they disabled it, and installed a new HDD?

    Thanks for reading :)

    Picture that I took just now for more info regarding the issue:

    Purchased specifications:

    3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7-3820QM Processor(2.7GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.7GHz, 8MB Cache)

    Windows® 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit Multi-Language(Traditional/Simplified Chinese/English)

    16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 8GB)

    32GB mSATA SSD and 750GB 7200RPM Hard Drive

    14.0" (35.56 cm) WLED HD+ (900p) display (1600X900)

    2 GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce®GT 650M using NVIDIA Optimus™ technology

    Blu-ray BD-ROM / DVD +/-RW Combo Drive

  • AlexGen

    *bump*

    Is anyone able to identify the above issue (last post) regarding the SSD? I would really like to know if I should take my Alienware back to the Dell shop tomorrow or not. Why is my ssd on disabled mode and states "no" under bootable? Is the os installed on my HDD after I took it back to the Dell shop for repair? (see first post) This is a weird issue because I purchased my Alienware M14x with SSD included, so the repair should know that they shoulden't have installed os on HDD? How am I able to check this issue? I have the feeling my SSD was defect already during first purchase and instead of replacing SSD they disabled it, and installed a new HDD?

    Thanks for reading :)

    Picture that I took just now for more info regarding the issue:

    Purchased specifications:

    3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7-3820QM Processor(2.7GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.7GHz, 8MB Cache)

    Windows® 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit Multi-Language(Traditional/Simplified Chinese/English)

    16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 8GB)

    32GB mSATA SSD and 750GB 7200RPM Hard Drive

    14.0" (35.56 cm) WLED HD+ (900p) display (1600X900)

    2 GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce®GT 650M using NVIDIA Optimus™ technology

    Blu-ray BD-ROM / DVD +/-RW Combo Drive

     

    Hello.  It's late so I'm sure Chris is sleeping.

    Looks like what they did was set the SSD as a disk cache. What it does is instead of you using a SSD for the OS and a Storage disk for large stuff that you have to move yourself it uses the SSD for recent, often used stuff and the rest goes to the HDD. This way there is no need to move large files from your SSD once it is full. Plus with a small SSD like you are using it will fill up fast. This way you get the best of both worlds. Big Smile

     

    Cache (Disk)
    A section of RAM that allows your
    computer to operate faster. Retrieving data from your hard disk is a slow
    process. A disk caching program helps solve this problem by placing recently
    used data in your disk cache. Next time you need data, it may already be
    available in the disk cache, so a time-consuming search of the slow hard disk is
    avoided.

    Another definition:

    A disk cache is a mechanism for improving the time it takes to read from or write to a hard disk.  Today, the disk cache is usually included as part of the hard disk.  A disk cache can also be a specified portion of random access memory (RAM).  The disk cache holds data that has recently been read and, in some cases, adjacent data areas that are likely to be accessed next.  Write caching is also provided with some disk caches

    Here is a do-it-yourself article on how to set it up from PCworld:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/248828/how_to_set_up_intel_smart_response_ssd_caching_technology.html

    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    Area-51 Cosmic Black/Windows 8 64-bit Pro/BIOS A11
    Intel Core i7-980x Extreme Edition @ 4.0 ghz/Intel 160gb X-25M SSD Raid-0
    6GB Corsair Dominator GT 1866 DDR3/PNY GeForce GTX 680 SLI/ATI TV Wonder

     

  • Thanks for your reply Morblor! Ah, I didden't think of the time difference :)

    I see, that's interesting! Thanks for making things clear! :)

    So I  suppose that I don't have to worry about the SSD saying it's disabled then? Because, before the HDD replacement, I used to have the same screen, and the booting process was a bit faster + as I remember, it didden't state disabled anywhere.  Is there any way to see or setup which programs the SSD will use? I suppose the RST software in the article you mentioned will help with that?  :)

    Btw, is there any way to skip that RST loading menu at startup, or is it a necessary process for booting up the 2 drives?

  • AlexGen

    Thanks for your reply Morblor! Ah, I didden't think of the time difference :)

    I see, that's interesting! Thanks for making things clear! :)

    So I  suppose that I don't have to worry about the SSD saying it's disabled then? Because, before the HDD replacement, I used to have the same screen, and the booting process was a bit faster + as I remember, it didden't state disabled anywhere.  Is there any way to see or setup which programs the SSD will use? I suppose the RST software in the article you mentioned will help with that?  :)

    Btw, is there any way to skip that RST loading menu at startup, or is it a necessary process for booting up the 2 drives?

     

    Your welcome :)

     

    Dell Chris-M should be up soon. I'm gonna hold off on my reply and let him take over. He has far more resources then I do and can answer your questions better then I can.

    In the meantime I would suggest you read up on it more so you have a better understanding of how your system works. It's always good to know this stuff Big Smile

    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    Area-51 Cosmic Black/Windows 8 64-bit Pro/BIOS A11
    Intel Core i7-980x Extreme Edition @ 4.0 ghz/Intel 160gb X-25M SSD Raid-0
    6GB Corsair Dominator GT 1866 DDR3/PNY GeForce GTX 680 SLI/ATI TV Wonder

     

  • Alright thanks :)

    Sure, will do!

    I did just check the RST software, surprisingly it says there is only 2mb available?! But I never even managed to access the drive :| ,  and I'm not sure if what it says is a good thing or not (accelerated device: inaccessible) :

    Maybe I should disassociate it in order to make the SDD work? :)

     

    Update: So I disassociated the SSD, and chose for an 18.6GB cache for acceleration (since the only two options were 18.6 and 64gb) and changed the acceleration mode to "maximized". I hope this won't affect the system in a negative way :) And I guess that was the way to go! Does anyone know if this a more recommend option than installing an OS on the SSD? I do work with video and 3d rendering software, so I guess it might indeed be  more helpful then having an OS installed on it? :)

     

    Update 2: Wohoo!, thanks a lot for that article Worblor!  I risked disassociating and formatting the SSD, the boot is extremely fast now, everything only takes a few seconds, and the RST loading screen just takes a second now too. Without the SSD activated, RST boot screen takes 5-10 seconds + about 1min boot time. Great stuff, SSD RST acceleration! Thanks a lot for all the helpful advice :) Finally I can enjoy my new laptop again Big Smile

  • Woot! That's why I wanted you to read up on it. You know what they say about teaching a man to fish:) I bet it feels pretty good doesn't it?

    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    Area-51 Cosmic Black/Windows 8 64-bit Pro/BIOS A11
    Intel Core i7-980x Extreme Edition @ 4.0 ghz/Intel 160gb X-25M SSD Raid-0
    6GB Corsair Dominator GT 1866 DDR3/PNY GeForce GTX 680 SLI/ATI TV Wonder

     

  • It sure does CoolYes