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Alienware Area 51 x58 Overclocking Failure

jscott991

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Mar 7, 2013
Messages
6
Hi all,

I am the owner of an Alienware Area 51 x58 desktop from 2009 with intel i7 920 chips.

An APC battery backup recently failed and when it went down it caused the pc to restart several times. During the last restart, when I finally got the PC off the battery (which was making it's warning sound), a message came up during reboot that I have never seen before. It basically said that overclocking had failed and it wanted me to start the machine with the default values. I did so, and I haven't seen any message since.

But now I'm wondering if the factory-set overclocking has been turned off and needs to be turned back on. I have a few questions.

1. Did the Area 51 x58 ship overclocked to 3.2 from 2.67?

2. How do you turn it back on if it has gone off?

I read a very thorough posting on this at the Dell forums that said to turn it back on you needed to hit F2 during startup and then F9. Well I tried hitting F2 and it brought up the boot manager, but there was no F9 option and nothing about overclocking.

I tried to use intel's extreme turning utility, but pretty much everything was grayed out and I didn't understand it anyway.

I have never overclocked or tried to overclock before, so whatever overclocking was on was set by Alienware back in 2009.

Thanks for any help!
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
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Hi mate. Pressing F2 should get you into the BIOS. Use the arrows and go into the Advanced tab. There should be a heading called Frequency/Voltage Control. Enter this and you should see Level 1 and 2 OC settings. I would assume that level 2 would give you the best OC. Hopefully that works for you!
Good luck
 

jscott991

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Mar 7, 2013
Messages
6
Hitting "del" will get me into a very primitive BIOS manager, but not F2. F2 brings up the boot manager. I'm confused at what F2 does for everyone else.
 

MattyB

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That's weird. I just started up my old Aurora which also has the i7-920 and it's a little different from what I told you in my first message. Mine only has one level of overclocking but it gets it to 3.20. F2 is still the key to get into the BIOS though on this one. What BIOS version do you have? Maybe updating it will help out.
 

MattyB

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Jump onto the Dell website and install the A11 BIOS for the Area-51. If you haven't been on there before you go into the drivers and downloads section. You will be able to put in your service tag number and a list of downloads will come up. There will be a BIOS section. If you've never updated your other drivers its a good chance to get them all done. Hopefully the new BIOS will get you to where you need to be.
 

jscott991

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Mar 7, 2013
Messages
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I don't think I have a service tag and sadly Alienware's old site listed no drivers.
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
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Dell owned Alienware by that stage so all the drivers will be on the Dell site. I looked the Area-51 up on the Australian Dell site and all the drivers were there. I will roll myself out of bed in a minute and post the link for you. There should be a small sticker on the back of your machine somewhere with the service tag on it. The sticker may have fallen off by now though. You can usually find the number in the BIOS though

- - - - - Updated; Double Post Auto Merged - - - - -

Here you go. Alienware Area-51 Drivers and Downloads

Just to protect myself I will have to say that you do this at your own risk. It would be better if you had the service tag number to confirm the drivers specific to your machine but I don't see why these aren't the ones you need.
 

jscott991

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Mar 7, 2013
Messages
6
My motherboard is an ASUS P6T Deluxe. Their Bios flash utility doesn't work with Windows 7 64 bit, so this is a dead end. There doesn't seem to be a way to safely update the BIOS.

I still wonder whether this was overclocked to begin with. I think it was to 3.2 and I can't figure out how to do it again.
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
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Yeah that changes the game somewhat. Asus has this link on their site for BIOS updates. I've never had an Asus mobo though. I couldn't tell you weather your 920 came OC'd to 3.20. Looks like mine was at 2.67 but with the AW mobo it was easy to set it to 3.20. That was my only option though. I would think that having the Asus mobo, it would open up your options a bit.
http://www.asus.com.au/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1366/P6T/#download
 

jscott991

Member
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Mar 7, 2013
Messages
6
Yeah, that might be true. But I can't update the BIOS. Windows 7 64 says that their flash utilities aren't compatible and I'm not going to play with ROM files.
 
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