Alienware M17x R4 Windows 8 INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE after windows update

Alienware Club

Alienware Club
Share your Alienware experiences and join in the conversation with other Alienware users.

Alienware M17x R4 Windows 8 INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE after windows update

This question is answered

Hi There,

I sincerely hope you can help. I've rebuilt this bugger a number of times and I still get the same issue.

I've just recently purchased an Alienware M17X R4 and LOVE IT. However I can't seem to upgrade the thing to Windows 8 pro.

I've done a clean install of Win 8 pro using various guides on the dell community & support site using the recommended drivers.

Now here's the funny thing..

When I do a clean install with the recommended drivers it works all the time. The OSD works with all the buttons etc. No issues..

Note that I'm not using the standard Alienware AMD drivers for my GPU as I just go direct to catalyst 13.6 beta but I'm not sure if that effects it.

No issues until I run windows update to bring it up to speed with all the latest fixes.

After the reboot for the update, it BSODs and gives me an INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE.

I've done with with both dual boot (with windows 7) and single boot (W8 only) and I get the same problem.

Always after the update.

Now when it BSODS, I can get into the recovery console (after Shift-F8) a number of times and I can run Windows 7 and see the W8 partition no problems.

So the machine itself and it's hardware is FINE as I'm running it now in W7 Mode.

Has anyone encountered this problem? I've made backups so I can go back to pre-updated windows 8 and try solutions.

Hope you can help.

Thanks

Verified Answer
  • Thanks for the advice.

    It looks like it was an incompatibility between the Catalyst 13.6 beta (and 13.4 release) drivers from the AMD site with the AMD WDDM 1.2 driver. Installing the 9.002 driver from dell does fix stuff but I'm assuming I can't benefit from the newer release ones on the AMD site. Oh well..

    The 13.4 works fine UNTIL you install the WDDM which then gives you the INACCESSBLE_BOOT_DEVICE upon reboot. However without the WDDM driver it works well until you run the metro apps (sorry, I'm not sure what they're called now), then you start getting weird artifacts.

    with regards to my Disk 0 I've got 4 partitions.

    1) the OEM Partition

    2) The System Reserved Partition (which I'm assuming is the boot partition)

    3) Windows 7 System Partition

    4) Windows 8 Partition

    You've actually answered one of the questions I was going to ask you. I have RST installed and I am running RAID but I think that's just because I followed the installation instructions on the dell community site for layering the drivers. I have no need to run RAID since I'm just running the 2 drives as 2 seperate drives. I don't need RAID to span or mirror or anything. I'm assuming RST is only useful IF you plan to use RAID so I might uninstall RST and switch to AHCI. I *MAY* need to reinstall but what's one more time eh?

    BTW. I do use the default Windows Imaging software but instead of Acronis I use Paradox. Between Acronis, Paradox and Shadowprotect the seemed to be the market leaders. I know that Acronis has cloud backup but I have enough spare drives lying about to not need it.

All Replies
  • Try turning off Windows-8 Fast Startup.

    www.eightforums.com/.../6320-fast-startup-turn-off-windows-8-a.html

    If doing a Dual-Boot. Win-7 must be installed first. Check BCD with EasyBCD.


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Thanks for that.

    Didn't work. I refreshed the win 8 partition back to the pre-updated state and turned off fast boot. No joy. Still did the same thing.

    The EasyBCD thing was a good idea though but didn't reveal much.

    I'm assuming with EasyBCD, It needs to run on the "primary" partition? In this case the W8 partition?

    Because when I run it on there, it shows me the BCD information but when I run it on the W7 parition it says it can't find the Boot Config store.

    I've even tried rebuilding the BCD but no job..

    I think I'm on the right path though. ONE of the updates that W8 seems to be corrupting the BCD.

    One of the sites I've found seems to elude to the fact that there is a fix..

    http://www.qliktips.com/2012/11/fix-windows-8-boot-issue.html

    However, it's a slow and painful process. I may even start installing the updates 1 by one to see which one it is..

    Thankfully the W7 partition seems uneffected so I'm at least able to game..

  • sdfonechan
    I'm assuming with EasyBCD, It needs to run on the "primary" partition? In this case the W8 partition?

    1. I've never seen that. I usually run it from where-ever. Current laptop config is XP32/Win7-64/Win8-64 ... and I run it from Win7.

    2. How exactly did this machine get built-up? What order were OSes installed and to what partitions? What partitions do you have currently? Is this system UEFI based?

     


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • All Fresh installs. I installed Win 7 first so I have a stable platform to work on. Drive 0 was split in to 2 major partitions (not counting the win7 boot part and Dell's OEM partition of course) . The I installed Win 8 in the unassigned partition. Granted after installing it, I blindly selected all of the updates.

    I'm running 2x1TB HDD drives on UEFI legacy mode. Since I'm running ONLY winOS with no SSDs I'm assuming UEFI Secure boot partition might just be useless in my case (correct me if I'm wrong). There is NO raid config as I'm running the 2 drives as 2 separate drives.

    If you can advise me on a better / more efficient set up, I'd be a happier man.

    However, I *THINK* I've found the culprit. I've been batch installing updates to make sure that certain updates take before uninstalling the next batch and I've noticed that one of the updates is an "Intel Mobile Express Chipset SATA RAID controller update" that comes from the windows update feature. THAT update MAY be causing the boot corruption issue. I've been avoiding it so far and the system seems stable.

    Any advice you have would be most appreciated.

  • oh boy was I wrong.

    I found the culprit. It's the AMD WDDM 1.2 drivers that windows update wants to install are causing the inaccessible_boot_device BSOD.

    There *MAY* be an incompatibility with the catalyst 13.6 beta drivers I have installed. I'm going to remove the 13.6 drivers and go back to the windows default and see if the WDDM 1.2 installs properly.

    Thank GOD for Windows 7 file recovery tool

  • sdfonechan

    1. All Fresh installs. I installed Win 7 first so I have a stable platform to work on. Drive 0 was split in to 2 major partitions (not counting the win7 boot part and Dell's OEM partition of course) . The I installed Win 8 in the unassigned partition. Granted after installing it, I blindly selected all of the updates.

    2. I'm running 2x1TB HDD drives on UEFI legacy mode. Since I'm running ONLY winOS with no SSDs I'm assuming UEFI Secure boot partition might just be useless in my case (correct me if I'm wrong). There is NO raid config as I'm running the 2 drives as 2 separate drives.

    If you can advise me on a better / more efficient set up, I'd be a happier man.

    3. However, I *THINK* I've found the culprit. I've been batch installing updates to make sure that certain updates take before uninstalling the next batch and I've noticed that one of the updates is an "Intel Mobile Express Chipset SATA RAID controller update" that comes from the windows update feature. THAT update MAY be causing the boot corruption issue. I've been avoiding it so far and the system seems stable.

    Any advice you have would be most appreciated.

     
    1. Sounds ok I guess ... a list would be better to visualize. Not sure how you kept Dell OEM partition as first partition and got Win-7 to write small "System Reserved" partition.
     
    2. Yes, I wanted to make sure or recommend you were using Legacy Mode if UEFI. Not sure how "Legacy" that makes it ... for instance, on BIOS systems you can only have 3 bootable Primary Partitions (that includes little Diag or whatever partitions in the front). Never actually done a Dual-Boot on UEFI system, only BIOS
     
     
    3. Sounds like Intel-RST. I never use it if possible. If running on a factory build-up you are stuck with it (because it can't really be uninstalled). But on clean installs, I never install it. I have some notes in my Favorite Thread #1.
     
    Try this ...
    Running Intel-RST in OS:
    UEFI: Legacy
    HDD Mode: RAID (actually single-disc RAID or non-RAID disc mode)
     
    NOT Running Intel-RST in OS:
    UEFI: Legacy
    HDD Mode: AHCI

    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • sdfonechan

    oh boy was I wrong.

    I found the culprit. It's the AMD WDDM 1.2 drivers that windows update wants to install are causing the inaccessible_boot_device BSOD.

    There *MAY* be an incompatibility with the catalyst 13.6 beta drivers I have installed. I'm going to remove the 13.6 drivers and go back to the windows default and see if the WDDM 1.2 installs properly.

    For now, I would clean install these:

    http://ftp.dell.com/published/Pages/alienware-m17x-r4.html

    AMD HD7970M 8.973 Win 7 64
    AMD HD7970M 8.973 Win 7 64 driver

    AMD HD7970M 9.002 Win 8 64b driver
    Win 8 driver for HD7970M

    If hybrid video system, also the Intel (last, after the others). I would never run beta drivers (no reason to) and only install amd.com release drivers on a laptop if Dell authorizes it or others have reported it works perfectly.

    You should be backing up with partition tool like Acronis or Windows Imaging.


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Thanks for the advice.

    It looks like it was an incompatibility between the Catalyst 13.6 beta (and 13.4 release) drivers from the AMD site with the AMD WDDM 1.2 driver. Installing the 9.002 driver from dell does fix stuff but I'm assuming I can't benefit from the newer release ones on the AMD site. Oh well..

    The 13.4 works fine UNTIL you install the WDDM which then gives you the INACCESSBLE_BOOT_DEVICE upon reboot. However without the WDDM driver it works well until you run the metro apps (sorry, I'm not sure what they're called now), then you start getting weird artifacts.

    with regards to my Disk 0 I've got 4 partitions.

    1) the OEM Partition

    2) The System Reserved Partition (which I'm assuming is the boot partition)

    3) Windows 7 System Partition

    4) Windows 8 Partition

    You've actually answered one of the questions I was going to ask you. I have RST installed and I am running RAID but I think that's just because I followed the installation instructions on the dell community site for layering the drivers. I have no need to run RAID since I'm just running the 2 drives as 2 seperate drives. I don't need RAID to span or mirror or anything. I'm assuming RST is only useful IF you plan to use RAID so I might uninstall RST and switch to AHCI. I *MAY* need to reinstall but what's one more time eh?

    BTW. I do use the default Windows Imaging software but instead of Acronis I use Paradox. Between Acronis, Paradox and Shadowprotect the seemed to be the market leaders. I know that Acronis has cloud backup but I have enough spare drives lying about to not need it.

  • sdfonechan

    1. Installing the 9.002 driver from dell does fix stuff

    2. with regards to my Disk 0 I've got 4 partitions.

    3. You've actually answered one of the questions I was going to ask you. I have RST installed and I am running RAID but I think that's just because I followed the installation instructions on the dell community site for layering the drivers. I have no need to run RAID since I'm just running the 2 drives as 2 seperate drives. I don't need RAID to span or mirror or anything. I'm assuming RST is only useful IF you plan to use RAID so I might uninstall RST and switch to AHCI. I *MAY* need to reinstall but what's one more time eh?

    4. BTW. I do use the default Windows Imaging software but instead of Acronis I use Paradox. Between Acronis, Paradox and Shadowprotect the seemed to be the market leaders. I know that Acronis has cloud backup but I have enough spare drives lying about to not need it.

     
    1. FOR LAPTOPS, when at all possible, I use manufacturer's special and validated drivers. For me, just less problems. I want both, but I'll take reliable over performance any day.
     
    2. Must be an UEFI Feature. On BIOS systems, "System Reserved" doesn't get created unless the drive is blank (ie, no OEM partitions left on drive).
     
    3. You can have RAID performance setup with no RAID drive members. That used to be the same as AHCI. Hold to rules in above post and it should work. If you decide to clean install and leave Intel-RST completely off, then you can FIRST try changing BIOS to AHCI.
     
    No, Intel-RST does more than that. When installed, it replaces the main Microsoft HDD/SSD driver (a pretty major thing). 
     
    4. That's cool. Just sounded like you would be a good candidate for a commercial partition cloning tool.

    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Don't get me wrong. I love reliability (hell I owned a toyota for a goodly number of years) but when someone buys an Alienware, there are certain itches that need to be scratced. hehe.. So hence me playing around with it. But in the least I know that the standard AMD drivers (9.002 I think) work well enough. It just sucks that you can just blindly install ALL the updates and hope for the best. Maybe the next version ...

    Also, re the commercial imaging solution, I did purchase Paragon Hard Disk Suite as there were some reviews which stated Acronis installed some potentially devastating drivers to your HDD

    Anyway.. Thanks for the help.

  • Oh last question there seems to be one point of contention online. For machines with the 7970.. it's AMD drivers first THEN Intel GFX or the other way around?

  • I've heard it works like this:

    - Both un-installed

    - AMD (reboot) and then Intel (reboot).


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.