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Alienware M17x R3 Reinstallation procedure

I have been getting a lot of questions related to this so I've crafted this post to share my experiences with everyone!

 When I was having issues with my SSD RAID problem I ended up with a 240GB SSD boot and a 500GB Seagate Momentus XT drive for data, games and VMs! So far this approach has worked well with no more hang ups or BSODs. This is how I installed everything.

SSD in HDD Slot 0, HD in slot 1 (there are many blog and forum posts that state you should install the SSD in slot 1, I did not find that it made any difference)

Changed boot mode to AHCI

Installed Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)

Made sure my data HD was drive D:

Manually changed Blu-Ray drive to E:

Disabled hibernation by running the following command from a Administrator Command Prompt: Powercfg -h off

Changed the location of the page file from C to D (no sense wasting HD space on the SSD)

Instead of incepting my AW resource disk to install the drivers I chose to download from the Dell website manually.

Installed drivers in the following order:

  • Intel Chipset (R289402)
  • Intel Management Engine (R290940)
  • Gigabit Network NIC (289538)
  • Wireless Network Card (R286897)
  • USB 3.0 (R289408)
  • Realtek PCIE (R289405)
  • Audio Adapter (R303928)
  • Synaptics (R289406)
  • Bluetooth 3.0 (R289410)
  • AW OSD Application (R299487)
  • Freefall Sensor (R289409)
  • WiMax Mobile Broadband (R286896)
  • Video Card - Intel (R303343)
  • Video Card - NVidia (R300038)
  • AW Command Center (R290173) - Install latest from Website do NOT use the Command Center on the resource disc
  • Installed Blu-Ray Software (had to get latest from Dell)
  • After installing all drivers and utilities I started the process of getting Microsoft Windows updates (careful to deselect any drivers. NOTE: always install drivers from DELL and avoid using drivers from Microsoft. I have had problems using drivers installed via Windows Update
  • Installed and updated anti-virus software
  • Install VMware Workstation 7.x
  • Restored my data
  • Installed Steam and restored my games and I was ready to go!


This configuration has been in place for weeks now with absolutely no problems! Hope it helps, let me know if you have questions. Feel free to comment and share your expereinces as well. 

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