Update on DPC Latency for Alienware M17x Customers


Since I first blogged about DPC Latency and the Alienware M17x, we’ve been working toward a solution. Since then, some of you may have read Engadget’s update post on the topic last week. Thanks to everyone who responded and sent me their service tag. It helped us understand exactly what everyone had done to try to resolve their difficulties, and confirmed a lot of what we already knew.

I’m very happy to share that engineering has discovered a solution for the DPC latency issues on the M17x.   This process will resolve the DPC latency problem on all machines with a Dell factory image. Dell can’t guarantee that this solution will resolve issues on machines that have been modified by their owners.

Update 2/23: As readers of NBR and Engadget may already know  (see Update 2 in Tim's post), we've sent some Aliens out to claxdog's house to check on the behaviors some people are seeing in the field. They were able to compile some data that should help them get to the bottom of what else is causing this. When I have more details to share, I will.

Without further ado…

If you’re one of those who suffer from DPC latency issues, a quick run of DPC latency checker will likely yield you results similar to this:

If this is you, and you need the issue resolved immediately, follow this three step process:

  1. Make sure you have BIOS revision A03 installed. If not, upgrade to BIOS revision A03. Click on the previous link to download it.
  2. Run the mass storage controller utility. This will completely uninstall the existing mass storage control driver and install the Windows native mass storage controller driver.
  3. Make sure to install the Alienware wireless card driver, found here for the AW1397 WLAN or AW1510 WLAN, or here for the AW1520 WLAN.

Following this process has consistently yielded the following results using DPC Latency Checker in the lab:

As you can see, all red is gone.

If you’ve followed the above steps exactly, whatever issue you’re experiencing isn’t likely to be caused by any DPC latency resulting from the factory configuration, or DPC latency at all in many cases. As I said before, Dell can’t guarantee that third party software will behave itself after you install it.

Either way, if you’ve confirmed you still have a problem after following the above steps, run the DPC Latency Checker. If you’re still getting DPC latency spikes for some weird reason, and I seriously doubt you will be, let me know here in the comments or send me a private message with your service tag number.

Update 3/19 – A few days ago we made a beta driver from nVidia available to folks on notebookreview.com, and so far, the results have been pretty positive. If you're a customer who's seeing DPC latency problems and have the nVidia graphics cards on your m17x, you may want to give this a shot.

M17x nVidia Beta Driver

Bear in mind this is a beta, and as such it is still a work in progress. If you opt to try it, please remember the following:

  1. Make sure you've done the 3 steps outlined in the blog post above.
  2. Read the release notes carefully.
  3. Remember that this is a beta, so results may vary.

I'll post back here when there are any changes, or when a finalized version of the driver is released.

Update 3/22: For those of you who haven't already heard, an updated driver release for this specific issue has been posted on. Reports are that it's working well, with the only DPC latency spikes when a CD/DVD is ejected remaining. This specific behavior is still being investigated, but will be resolved in the future, and is fairly minor and easily avoidable.

For those of you who have swapped to ATI cards for this issue, our friends at NotebookReview have started a thread about specific issues you may encounter.

Thank you everyone once again for all of your patience regarding this issue.

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  • HotSauce68

    Hi John

    unfortunately this has not solved the nvidia gpu's upclocking /Downclocking i still have the same issues that i have previously mentioned to you.

  • nickkmet


    I just ran the script. DPC Latency has actually worsened for me since doing this. Personally at this point I'm a bit confused how the in house engineers can get such good results while the rest of us can't. I still trust you guys to figure something out, but this fix seems to do little more than what many of us have already done manually, without positive results.



  • Dequiallo

    Start some music, and launch a game.  That's all it takes to see the problem.  The mystery is how the computer was ever released in a state like this.

  • Inferno199

    Oh dear another "fix" that doesnt work. Cant wait for another one.

  • DELL-John B

    If the fix doesn't work for you, first please verify that you've tried the following steps, in order:

    1. Verify you have BIOS A03 installed.
    2. Run the script.
    3. Uninstall and re-install the latest Dell posted WLAN driver.

    After you've done all that, contact me with that information, and send me your service tag. I'll be compiling that because I know my engineering friends are going to want all that information.

  • claxdog

    Same boat here a03 bios ran script uninstalled and reinstalled wlan driver worse than before.

  • lacbalbin

    hi john

    1. Yes, definitely running A03
    2. Done
    3. Ok, already had the driver but reinstalled anyways

    I still have problems
    I can not believe what is happening

  • Dwarf King

    Even the Bios A03 did not work I still get red spikes. When are Dell realising that it will have to replace this system with a new one or gives us a refound? We do not wish to wait for any more so called solutions. We just want what we paid for.  We need to be able to use our laptops now and not six months later. How many times do we have to reinstall these drivers? Read the comments here. 

  • rotsuw


    All you have to do to get those massive spikes is one of the following

    1- Run a video or audio file.

    2- play a game

    3- run a video on youtube…..

    Do any of the following and post the latency checking readings, i bet you a $100 we will see at least 2 red bars every minute.  Of course you will not see any red spikes with the laptop setting idle doing nothing…….. it doesn't take an engineer to figure this out…

    Seriously now…

    Are you kidding me!?!?

    Is this the log awaited "fix" that we have been told about? 

  • scary_perry

    Not fixed. I think you folks are grasping at straws.

  • scary_perry

    Also, what OS did you test this on?

  • rlsny

    Hi.  I am going through these steps and have run into a snag.  Let me know what I should do next.  

    I had not made any changes to my system except to turn off SLI which seemed to help.  Mostly I was waiting for an official fix.  Now that this seems to be it I'm trying.

    I installed A03.  It seemed to go fine.  It rebooted but when Windows started back up it ended up with a blank screen – just a mouse symbol.  After trying a few times I thought maybe something was going on with the graphics cards (I have dual Nvidia 280s).  I went to the Bios menu and disabled hybrid graphics.  Sure enough it started up fine.  I went through the remaining two steps.   Installed the mass storage controller and WLAN updates fine.  

    So the computer is working, but my graphics cards are not on.  When I try enabling hybrid graphics I always get the same blank screen with just a mouse symbol.

    Could use some help.  Thanks.

  • kracs.knuckles

    John, I don't want to get upset about this, particularly because you are only the front person and not the engineers responsible for diagnosing this issue. Why the hell are they continuing to ignore the evidence provided by the community. Most of us from notebookreview.com have already been on the Windows storage drivers for ages.

    We have continued to post evidence of the GPU down-clocking issue (i.e. side-by-side DPC Latency + GPU-Z clocks) show the large spikes hitting when the cards change clock speeds. This happens allot, even when browsing the web or viewing on-line movies.

    Here's my evidence for you. Notice the GPU clock changes…

  • rubyboy79

    i get the feeling you guys are STILL TESTING THE ISSUE ON VISTA.


    and that screen shot was probably taken while idle.


    please get win 7 and try it out, the issue is much more obvious in windows 7

    i have a fresh windows 7 home premium 64 install, a03 bios, all dell drivers and nothing else installed except games which i use to test. oh and NO storage drivers installed.

    and guess what?

    this is an ss on idle



    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/sRQT0sTumhs&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/sRQT0sTumhs&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

    if you say that dell cant guarantee 3rd party apps will not cause the dpc then what is this laptop for if dell cannot guarantee it can run ANY GAME without stuttering due to dpc latency?

    $7000 paperweight anyone?

    There is NO REASON for us to keep waiting. its been over 6 months since you guys have discovered the problem and since you cant fix it, DO SOMETHING ELSE.  are you determined to make us wait till all our warranties expire so that you dont have to do ***?

  • element7791

    This is a wothless fix!  If you are reading this don't get your hopes up. 

  • Fr0stbite

    Ermmm, I get an error when running the Storage Manager Patch thing that say "Your system is not compatible with this patch" and my device manager says I have a Broadcom Wireless card not an Alienware Wireless card….. So no go….

  • thecore762

    Man, this has been going for months now, will there ever be a fix? This is frustrating, I am not sure what else to think.

    Half of todays updates from Dell are broken/not working.

    The new Command center causes your LED backlight to flash/some controls not working to change colors, its just plain annoying.

    I feel like spending 3000$ on a laptop was the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life, the alienware m17x is nowhere near for becoming a complete product.


    John, I hope you forward this to your techs, they need to test out products in and out to the smallest detail if you are planning to sell laptops at these prices.

    Just something dell/alienware needs to consider.


    You should check out the notebookreview forums, they are swamped with upset customers!


  • Meemoo

    I couldn't find the type of wireless card I had installed from inside windows either. The system just displays the name of the driver (broadcom). However if you log in to the Dell support site and enter your service tag, you can access the system configuration tab which will tell you exactly which card is installed.

  • Alek123

    Another day , another worthless fix i guess? When will this end? Soon our warranty will run out and it is not OK! We all put our trust in Dell and every time it has dissapointed us! Deleting comments and releasing non-working fixes every time will not solve anything. It's now or never , give us a working fix , or give us our money back , for god's sake!

  • Dwarf King

    I totally agree here. How do I make 3D programming on a lagging machine?

  • Dwarf King

    Sorry Dell but I think you should prepare yourself for another media storm in the northern part of Europe (Tv programs and confrontation with WLA (experts in court stuff ) People paid by the consumer department). You can not sell a defect product and then expect high paying customers to wait for months on a fix. It simply does not work that way. You sell a product and you deliver the product in the promised condition. If broken you fix it within a reasonable time limit. If you can not fix it within a reasonable time limit a substitute has to be offered. Simple marketing principles. Don't you have any experts in marketing hired?  Please feel free to use censorship here but it does not change the situation…   

  • Zoider

    I received the M17x as a fix to all the hardware issues that I had with my M1730.
    At least when I had my M1730, when it worked it worked.  This M17x can't even play an MP3 without stuttering like crazy.

    I'd love to see this fixed.   But, all I see is a constant final update that changes more frequently then the weather.

    Come on Dell.  Pull it together.

  • Dwarf King

    Dell you have to ask yourself this question "Will we stand for quality and good service or shall we be known as the firm who takes overprices for defect machines?". For each hour that goes without a fix or a replacement your reputation as a decent firm drops. Especially after we now know  that you have people with this machine that have been waiting for more than six months without Dell offering them a replacement or a useful solution. Dell what are you thinking here? This is not a healthy way of running a firm in the long run. 

  • gophins134

    I got the same error message : (

    Not good…..

  • FullSailDan

    hi John, I installed the script and changed the drivers over and I still get a very high and very regular spike on the checker. stutters when i game or do 3d animation. since this is a laptop used for high end graphics work, i cant continue without a fix im contacting tech support now. let me know if you need my service tag again

  • griffinnet.abe

    Well… After following all the steps this has fixed NONE of the issues I was experiencing. Has anyone been successful in asking for a refund/R2? I know the R2 has flickering issues, but I LOVE this laptop… if it weren't for the frequent stutters that often crash my games/computer. UGH! I can't believe they are still offering the R1 on their website. Explain that to me….

  • SvenMeys

    Hi there John.

    I appreciate the work you guys are doing to search for a solution.

    Though after going through all steps I too still experience these sound issues as explained above.

    As I also had this kind of issue on my other computer, just after installing windows7, it starts to smell like a vista/7 issue to me. A few fresh drivers fixed that for me, but not on the m17x. Probably lapop drivers are a bit trickier.

    I would also like to suggest a more open way of cummunication where the team you guys put on this issue can report weekly/daily on what they are doing.You guys are already doing a wonderful job on reporting compared to other companies but still. I also wouldn't mind it being a bit more technical.

    That way the customers kno w that you are working on it, can see what things you guys are testing,
    and can possibly provide exta feedback to you because we all know a
    product in the lab and a produt at the customer are two different
    things( *** you murphy) and it's also very easy to overlook things. Specially when it's a bug you're hunting for 8 months. I am a software developer so I know the pain.


    Kind regards,


    Sven Meys

  • killersquid

    Yup .. that really sucks


    I did all the steps and downloaded DPC Latency checher .. i still have lots of spikes. In games and video, I have lots of crackle nad spikes.. How do you guys test you fix anyways ?  I mean , my M17x is pretty basic with only 1 x  GTX260. I can only imagine it's worst with sli cards ..

    Please keep op working on thst fix so we can have a real solution to that problem with our 3k to 5k laptops




  • Jesteralex

    hmm i dno if this is just me not reading instructions properly but when i come to :

    the mass
    storage controller utility
    . This will completely uninstall the existing
    mass storage control driver and install the Windows native mass storage
    controller driver.

    it just downloads the dell driver download manager and says "there are no drivers to download. please go to  drivers and downloads to select files"

    what am i doing wrong :S


  • M17X FLAW

    You most likely just downloaded the download manager; go back to the driver page and click on the "download via web browser" instead of "download through the download manager"…

    But you know what ?

    Don't waste your time on this, the fix is a placebo, it's botched, it's FAKE, it's not working; DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME !!!

  • lacbalbin

    Here it seems that dell wants to buy time and escape from their responsibilities

  • cueball12

    I got the same error as well…. Not sure what is up with that!

  • lacbalbin

    I formatted and started from scratch
    after installing all the driver
    I did the steps
    and guess what happened?
    does the same

  • beamermt25

    Dell really doesn't care, they have your money and people keep buying their product…

  • carlvjack

    I did the BIOS update, the drive fix, and update the wireless driver like suggested no changes. I get lots of spikes when playing a game or watching a video, temporary freezes, sound glitches, stuttering.

    I have tried everything and the desktop I bought two years ago plays games better than this laptop I paid 3K for.

    I am returning it as soon as I can.

  • andreaz

    Okay DELL, really – my patience is at its max now. Today i installed your new Command Center Update. The head (on the cover
    and the Button), even the harddisc-led isnt coming up anymore. I really need to ask the question: Did you really test your stuff
    before releasing? As second fun: The Command Center causes a really big, big Processor load. I guess soon i cant stand that
    any longer. This machine got some very serios problems and im really not willing to pay alot of money for a defective product.
    Im willing to try the R2 but not to hastle around with this thing anymore, really. This machine destroys alot of Dell-Reputation.

    I want to know now: When a fix for the CC and when a fix for the dpc issue (a REAL fix, not that playing around till now) comes
    available. Im not anymore willing to waste loads of time on a defective product that make me angry, more and more each day, cause
    nothing seems to really finished – and nothing seems to working perfectly.

    Please tell me a Date for a fix, or gimme a R2-Version (as long i can get it with 2 280M).

    Where is the fact gone Dell Engineers working together with Nvidia Engineers? Was it just a phonecall like: All fine with our Chipset
    and Powermizer/GraphicsCard and this ist it?

    Im getting really, really angry, more and more… Since i got my XPS1730 and this one as Replacement (M17x), i got nothing but
    frustration and a lot of timewaste…


    Sorry, but im angry now.

  • sccpu3d

    I'm getting "Your system does not meet specifications required to run this utility"…… What the heck???

  • mrolsen

    Is there a similar fix like this for the XPS m1530? I also have intense (not as intense as mx17 tho) but online games are pain dropping below 10 FPS, simple games like World of Warcraft.


    – Thanks Marius,

  • Starstryker

    Just wanted to post that I did steps one and three (i.e. new A03 BIOS and re-installed) but was unable to uninstall the mass driver storage, it told me that my system did not meet the specifications to run the utility.  FYI, my machine has Nvidia 280M SLI cards and the Q9300 Extreme CPU.

    Before running the new BIOS I had solid red latency spikes on idle.  

    However, after doing what I did I can now listen to music in itunes for the first time without any latency spikes and the music actually sounds good (I do have an issue with the surround sound volume controls however, can only adjust R & L and that also adjusts all speakers).  Before all music really sounded bad.

    Now, running a movie in itunes did cause an occasional red spike but nothing like before, it generally stayed in the green.  

    I also ran a game, EVE Online and did have solid yellow latency spikes.  However, I have never had any sort of perceivable problem running games before, just music and videos (and I have run Crysis, Left 4 Dead 2, Fallout 3 and Dragon Age Origins).

    Anyway, my m17x is a replacement for my dead 1730 and I am very happy to have it.  I hope my info helps.  


  • Dustydelux

    Go into your Bios and re enable the hibrid sli restart when you see the alien head at startup keep pushing F8 you should see a little bar going acrost your screen keep pushing F8 tell a screen comes up with the option to go into safe mode. when in safe mode go to control panal and then to programs and fetures and unistall nivida display drivers ONLY! reboot normal and install Display driver form dell web site.

    hope that helps

  • rlsny

    Thanks! That worked.

  • rlsny

    Success.  I had made no changes to my system (except playing with disabling SLI – it is enabled again now).  I followed these directions.  As you can see I'm all good now.  This is with a video and an mp3 playing:


  • seaeagle2323

    hi guys easy fix got laptop back from a collect and repair the KEYBORD has been installed wrong it doesnt fit metal bits are sticking out! im getting a new m17x r2! yay just ring tech support make them send out a tech guy 3 times and demand new laptop thats all you can do!

  • FullSailDan

    I opened a case with the tech support team. I can honestly say at this point I am really really dissapointed at the way dell has handled the situation. I believe Dell should have made me aware of the issue before purchasing in december(6 months into it being a known issue) when it was well documented. I would not have purchased an M17X had I known. I still would have purchased Dell, just not this particular model. I did not return the laptop because we've been promised, "A fix is on the way! just hang on!" and we have patiently, but now I am outside my return window, and I am stuck going through tech support.They are asking me to replace my mother board, reinstall the OS,  graphics card, etc in order to "try and see if it Might fix the problem". Even though almost every tech admits, it usually doesn't and those of us here on the forums already know, it lessens but doesn't solve the issue. Normally I would totally be patient and understanding of Tech supports protocols but in this case, I use my laptop as my work machine. As an animator, its next to impossible to work on this laptop when a an animation test stutters. Now I am losing even more work time as I rip apart my laptop and have to spend time reinstalling my needed programs, etc. Unacceptable DELL. Between my better half and I weve spent well over 20K with dell purchasing systems, never again, not with this service.

  • AcheronStyx

    Please explain this, which happened after the "fix" you posted.

  • Alek123

    What are you talking about?

    My computer has not been modified in any way



    MP3 + YouTube


  • tescott425

    I've got a Dell XPS M1730 that suffers from the DPC Latency issue, running Win7 64-bit.  I can't implement any of these fixes since they are targeted for the Alienware M17x.  Any chance us XPS M1730 will feel the love of a DPC Latency fix?  This is a very annoying issue.

  • Alek123

  • rlsny

    Sorry you are still having problems.  Didn't mean to imply anything about anyone else's computer.  Just reporting that this has fixed the problem for me.  Not getting the stuttering anymore.  Was a very frustrating problem.  At least for me I'm happy now.

  • Alek123

    I'm happy you solved your problem , but i don't understand how everyone says it doens't work and it works for you. What configuration do you have? Did you do something else (like the Powermizer fix?)?

  • ompwebdude

    As others have commented – how are we supposed to know what Network Driver we are supposed to install when the system config just lists a part number (mine is part number 430-3558 and a search of the Dell site results in only miss matched articles) and Device manager lists only Broadcom?

    I like others am enormously disapointed with this purchase and waiting 6 months for a solution is just not acceptable.  So far the only solution I have found that works is to toally disable the dual gpu's – this gets rid of the stutter, but completely defeats the point of having a gaming laptop, and of course does not fix any of the other issues with this PC.  With the pleathora of issues that exist with this machine I am surprised that Dell has not taken it off the market and recalled it completely and offered replacements.

  • mrolsen

    Are you looking into a fix for the XPS m1530 aswell? or do we get pushed into a corner since it doesn't cost 3000euro?


    How come my comments are being ignored!

  • C.I.G.F.Y

    Dell Is crying

    (so as I say I'found a solution if someone can translate my french 🙂


  • Bullstallion

    Ah… monday morning.  If I was a Dell engineer , I might be thinking of taking a sick day. 

  • Alek123

    Please , Dell , stop releasing drivers and fixes without testing them properly!

    The two DPC Latency Fixes are not working on any configuration.

    The new Command Center (A05) has huge problems on M17x R1 , with random color flashing lights and dark alienhead!

    If you have M17x R1 DO NOT INSTALL COMMAND CENTER A05 as it will give you huge problems. If you did , use BatBoy's fix

    Uninstall , Boot into safe mode and use CC Cleaner to clean your registry , Reboot , Install the Command Center that comes with the Resource DVD!

  • seaeagle2323

    cant belive it joke alienware ill get my r2 and i reakon the flickering issue wont be fixed either so ill just ask for a new one and new one till the new model comes out thn get a refund 🙂 tech guys are hopless 1 of them put new graphics cards in and they didnt work so he put the old ones back in they over heated another left the battery out of the bios the other left a screw out the other didnt put the keyboead in correctly its a joke cheap alienware im gonna take them up and take things further, guys on the phone no idea just say format the computer, also my touchpad is disabled when i have a external mouse if u unplug the mouse it stays disabled what a joke so simple stuff cant get it right!

  • seaeagle2323

    in the mean time try this http://forum.notebookreview.com/showpost.php?p=5620969&postcount=1363 dont listen to dell extend your warranty if somthing goes wrong they just send new graphics cards or mainboard anyway they dont even check the system to see if it has been overclocked 🙂

  • seaeagle2323

    hey guys i just noticed can you get command center FUSION to work when i click on it it just is all black??

  • mrolsen

    Same problem on my XPS m1530, running Visat 32-bit.


    Any fix anytime soon?

  • DrKoi

    I can also confirm this fix doesn't work for me. I followed the 3 steps, everything went well (though it took some time to find out my wireless card type), but the DPC spikes are still there, even after multiple reboots.

    Maybe the engineers didn't test on Windows 7, or only with discrete graphics disabled ("save power" mode)?

    I'm surprised we once again get a so-called fix that doesn't do much. This comment thread has what, 1 person who reports it's working? I kind of doubt this was tested under real-life conditions, and with all the bad press & frustrated customers this is generating, I would have expected Dell to finally take this issue seriously?

  • Howiewow

    Hey John,

    I went ahead and bought a blank hard drive and installed Windows from the Alienware Restore Discs provided with the laptop. I went to the dell drivers download page and grabbed the Wireless Driver,A02 (01/19/10), but all the others were installed from the restore disc, as their versions matched the ones available on the downloads page. I then followed these steps:

    1. Checked Bios, Verified A03
    2. Ran the provided script
    Alienware Alienware OS Customiztion 2.0
    3. Then installed the Wireless Driver mentioned above.

    I had read many of the responses from the people over at notebook review who are much smarter than I, and saw the common response was that the fix was not working.  I have been following those threads since before the first one was locked and the second one was started.  Everything I have changed has been from user posts from that thread, and it was quite some time ago that I disabled the storage driver.  After getting everything re-installed on the new harddrive, i'm sad to report that the spikes are looking identical to the way they did out of the box with Bios A02, every other second is a redspike, commonly around 30k, and 65k every 15-20 seconds. The reason I bought another HDD is because I have my current configuration modified (without disabling the powermizer) and working enough for Playing WoW and listening to Ventrilo.  I didnt want to ruin my current configuration if this didnt work.

  • DELL-John B

    I urge you to try it, regardless of what the below poster has said. It has worked on the test systems in the lab, and has worked for rlsny above, so it might work for you as well.

    If it doesn't work, please let us know. This is obviously still a problem for many folks, and I'm not resting until everyone's system is running the way it should be.

  • DELL-John B

    Dell is certainly taking this issue seriously. The lab systems were checked under real world conditions, and didn't show large latency spikes while running games, streaming video, or playing MP3s.

    We're trying to get to the bottom of what you folks are seeing as we speak. I'll report more as soon as I am able.

  • AcheronStyx

    Fusion does not work because you modified the power options through windows.  That automagically disables Fusion…I did the same thing.

  • craftyhouse

    This "fix" unfortunately does not work for me either. M17x with win7 premium. native windows drivers for storage and installed wireless drivers as suggested. Make sure they test with full sli enabled!

  • jason7731523

    Same problems here as well.  I tried the fix, absolutely nothing.



    4GB RAM

    280M SLI

  • Mister_Earl


    I thought the A03/Native Mass Storage Driver/Updated WLAN driver combination fixed my latency issue, but it cropped up again tonight with streaming video.  In fairness, it is much less prevalent, but certainly not fixed.  Local full-motion video or audio now works without issue, but streaming video through the network (either flash-based or through Microsoft Silverlight, or even .avis from a workgroup NAS) and some online games produce the stutter/latency.

  • Mister_Earl

    This happened to me when I updated one version of Command Center over another without uninstalling the old one first.

    When I uninstalled and installed the new version, Fusion was back and working.

  • Eonasu


    my system is clean re-installed (os and its all of the latest dell drivers)!

    for now i just wont to to youre steps john. but i cant get over step 2.
    after runnig the cleaning tool this appears:

    "Your system does not meet the specefications required to run this utilitiy"

    i have follwing setup:
    bought last year in september
    2 x gtx 260 sli

    for now i have no red spikes directly after reboot.
    till i start a game and the clocks go up, i have the red spikes. to resolve: just reboot and do nothing. just listen to music.
    i have only red spikes, when the graphic cards clocks up and down!!!!

    so i cant to the steps, cause the tool cant run.

    pls help!


  • Dequiallo

    This fix doesn't work at all.  It also doesn't apply to Vista machines.  Also, expecting a customer to incessantly rollback and respawn a BRAND NEW ALL POWERFUL computer is just…  Fail.  And not what anyone expected, paid for, or deserves.

    Its obvious that Dell is hoping for a magical driver fix… and it becomes more and more obvious that this is an honest to god hardware issue for which a software fix is not possible.

  • Fr0stbite

    Interesting that Dell havent responded on this forum yet….

  • seaeagle2323

    same mate myns a replacement for a xps joke just ask for a r2 make them send a tech guy to reaplce mainboard and graics cards etc and after the third time they have to give you a replacement! 🙂 so annoying new command center software doesnt work either seems no testing is going on maybe uts a w7 64bit problem JOKE

  • Zeal01



    Still getting latency spikes as well some random, some every 15 secs. Much worse in games.

  • Bullstallion

    So if Dell is the new Toyota , I guess that makes the M17x the new Prius ??

  • jadraja

    That's unbelievable how a big company as Dell can sell laptops like this with:

    -DPC Latency issues
    -Broken Command Center and AlienFX firmware published without being tested correctly (or maybe not at all!)
    -Instable graphic card drivers that makes the PC freeze totally in the middle of your work or game session.

    I'm sorry John, but if Dell was really making efforts, we would never be so aggressive in criticizing your work. Who could believe this for a 6300 $ system?

  • SvenMeys

    Luckily them laptops don't come in blue 🙂

    But can still accidentaly drop it on a chiuaua so it serves a purpose.

    (for the unknowing:  reference to jef dunham's spark of insanity)

  • seaeagle2323

    DO NOT INSTALL NEW COMMAND CENTER UPDATE ITS STUFFED http://m17x.blogspot.com/2010/02/command-center-updated-to-v25440.html I GOT IT THE EFFECTS DONT WORK AT ALL 🙁

  • claxdog

    An r2 is the new revision of the M17x it supports the core i series of cpu. for an explanation of dpc latency check here.


  • Mister_Earl

    Well, it seems I spoke much too soon.  This morning I'm getting stuttering from .m4a files through itunes, so local media files are still producing the stuttering.  

    It isn't as prevalent, but is still much too frequent, at least two times per song.  

  • Mister_Earl


    Well, it seems I spoke much too soon.  This morning I'm getting stuttering from .m4a files through itunes, so local media files are still producing the stuttering.  

    It isn't as prevalent, but is still much too frequent, at least two times per song. 


    Here is an image after the fix:


    (sorry for the double post, I posted this erroneously to another comment up top.  Administrators/moderators, if you want to remove the other one please do so)

  • erawneilA

    LOL, not quite.  The M17x suffers from latency, not unintended acceleration.  I think if the M17x "suffered" from the latter, everyone here would be much happier. Big Smile

  • vjt

    I have been struggling with this issue for some time just like the rest of you. I had put in several calls to Dell and each time I was instructed to either rebuild my machine or install some drivers all to no avail. I had not heard back from Dell in some days but yesterday a Dell rep called and left a message wanting to know the status of my machine. Thinking something had changed I quickly opened up to John B's blog and it led me here to the latest fix. I applied the fix and I am still experiencing problems although it does seem as though the stuttering is somewhat less intense.  I browsed around and saw that others where still having problems. Trusting that Dell would have fixed the problem before releasing a fix I called Dell to see what they had to say. The rep I reached said he had a procedure that he would like to try. I explained that I had already applied the procedure but the problem still persisted. He insisted that he had applied this fix to other customer's machines and it fixed the problem. Wanting to be done with this I let him apply his fix. Needless to say the problem still persists. He know wants me to rebuild my machine for a third time and let him apply the drivers. This is a work machine and every time I rebuild It is a major disruption to my work. I don't want to be Dell's guinea pig. Has anybody had any success eliminating the problem after a rebuild and a Dell guided installation of drivers? I have read on Notebook Review that others were told to do the same thing and the problem continues. Others are claiming that they have had Dell technicians come to their homes and run tests on their laptops after which they indicated that no fix was in sight but that they were working on it. What is the real story? Why does every Dell technician seem to have different information. Why do Dell technicians send us on wild goose chases only to not follow up for days and weeks on end? I am happy to try anything that will eliminate the problem but I have to know that it is going to work otherwise I am throwing good money after bad. This computer is crippled as is and I am unable to use it in the capacity I originally intended which was as a demo machine for the games I develop. I paid a premium to have the best platform on which to demo my work during which time my investment sits idle and depreciates. To make matters worse this machines was a replacement for my defective m1730 which Dell couldn't seem to fix either. So I have been without a 100% machine for ~8 months.  I can understand the need to wait for a fix but please don't waste my time experimenting with my time and money. John can you please update us as to what feedback the community is giving you as to whether the problem is fixed our not? Should users with mission critical work be applying this fix or should we wait for something that is tested and verified as true?

  • seaeagle2323

    ill let you guys no im getting r2 MAX spec dual atis i7 -920 etc ill let you know the alienware has so many probems with w7 i think and alienware software eg command center etc does your touchpad work when u unplug ur usb mouse?? things like this all dont work when i get my r2 ill format my r1 and put vista on it see what happens!

  • kountbla

    Just curious.  I sent a friend request to you this past Sunday with my service tag number and haven't received notification of acceptance yet.  I have followed all the steps outlined in your blog posts and still get spikes on a regular basis that impact audio and video fps.  I'm not trying to pester you because I know you have a lot on your shoulders.  I am however, trying to verify that my request wasn't overlooked.

    Thank you for your efforts.

  • Alek123

    It's nothing new that Dell is deleting comments for no reason. No R2's have flickering issues , which appear to be more frustrating that audio drop outs.

  • Alek123

    I do not know which version of R2 has problems  as i am on R1  but if you ask me , i believe that none should have problems , as the lowest price starts at about 1.600 dollars , a price that is very high for a laptop.

  • C.I.G.F.Y

    oups j'etais couché et je pense à une chose

    importante que j'avais sur le dual core….avant install

    retirer la batterie…debrancher le cable d'alimentation et maintenir le bouton power pendant 30 secondes (ca fait quelques miracles)


  • Howiewow

    Hey CIGFY,

    I assume you can read English but not write it.  What you did to make yours work is similar to what i did, except i used the Dell Provided version of Win7 Ultimate 64bit.  I am not currently having any problems while playing games or watching video / audio.  The spikes only appear after i close the applications. 3 of them all above 65k.  The first one hits about right after the application leaves the process list in Windows task manager, the second one hit 15 seconds after the first, then the third one hits 16 seconds after the 2nd.  Regardless, the laptop is usable for now, but the main point of all this tension is people bought this laptop to have a nice working laptop.  I have a nice working laptop running 50% of its features just to make it run at all.

  • jadraja

    Here we go, this is a translation of what C.I.G.F.Y. advices us to do (I do not assume his advices, I'm just translating):

    -Update to A03 Bios.
    -Format the HDD using a bootable CD such as Paragon Hard Disk Manager Pro 2009 and not Windows CD.
    -Activate Hybrid graphics in the bios.
    -Do NOT install Windows 7 from Dell, use any other version of Windows 7.
    -Windows will automaticly install Wifi then Sound drivers.
    -Install GeForce DOX modified drivers (195.62 Win7x64)
    -Install Synaptic touchpad driver version 14.0.12
    -Install Ricoh R5C8xx Media Driver 3.62.02
    -Desactivate Facap, Fast acces video capture
    -In nVidia control panel, option "Manage 3D settings", put everything on "prefer maximum performance"

    "I did 40 installations…since January every week end to solve this problem and find which device was at the origin of it…it works on 2 Alienware systems. Precision: this is Windows 7 professional edition."

  • Fr0stbite

    You know what? We shouldnt have to try and do all this stuff anyway to try and get such an expensive "Gaming" laptop (that cant play games) to work. Some people like CIGFY and others have found a way to get rid of the problem mostly by installing certain driver versions and things but does that mean you are going to have to keep those same drivers installed forever!??! Its just silly.

    I DO NOT want a Band Aid. I want it to work properly… Thats not too much to ask….

  • dreamwriter0116

    I have had my comments deleted as well.  I would say they were too brutally honest.  This reminds me of what we criticize the communists chinese government about, their attempts to control information. 

  • dreamwriter0116

    Dell, do the right thing.  Either replace or refund those of us who want that option.  Give us that option.  Why should we have to keep these computers that do not perform to the level you promised? Prior to buying this laptop, your sales person really sold me on this computer.  One thing he did not tell me was that it might be flawed, and if it is flawed, I would be stuck with it.  Honestly, is this right?  I bought this computer mainly to do music and video editing, as well as stream video, music, surf.  Truth is,I can't.   I have been pulling out my old Toshiba Satellite which I bought back in 2004 as I get more enjoyment and less frustration. No pops, no stutters, no dropped frames, no crashes.   Again, please do the right thingand Please do not remove my post.  The reason such blogs exist is to share experience, what ever that may be.  Mine has not been good. 

  • Alek123

    Thanks Dell for selling us a defective laptop , ignoring us , deleting our comments for no reason , releasing defective or unworking software without testing. Please delete this comment, it will solve all problems mentioned above. TSK.

  • C.I.G.F.Y

    again and again if someone can't translate my french …

    I'm a old craker ..and I'v bought 2 alien ware M17x (one with dual core and 1 260gtx&9400

    and another one with quadri core 2 gtx280m sli and 9400 8go

    and on my two notebook have big problem with DPC

    so after night and day with research install re install

    I found a solution so….if you can write in french let me know…I'm sure I can help everybody

    so apologyse for my bad inglish coz…I'm corsican men 🙂


    best regards


  • jadraja

    Bonsoir C.I.G.F.Y !

    Je parle français, je pourrai traduire ta solution si tu penses que c'est efficace. Merci d'avance pour ton aide!

  • C.I.G.F.Y

    Ok jadraja

    Bon on va reprendre from scratch . premierement maj du bios an a03

    ensuite formatage du DD complete (sans passer par un CD windows avec un cd bootable genre : Paragon Hard Disk Manager Pro 2009 pourquoi …j'ai remarqué que ce soit avec XP 9x vista ou seven qu'une install comme cela etait <> des autres pourquoi ??? j'en sais rien mais c'est le cas)

    dans le bios activer l'hybrid

    ensuite …et c'est là je pense l'essentiel…NE PAS installer avec un SEVEN de chez dell

    j'ai utiliser une version (windows all in one v5.0) qui n'est pas legale mais j'ai activé le bon serial par la suite

    ensuite : quand le windows est completement reinstallé.

    dans l'ordre par defaut il trouve le pilote wifi (de windows) l'audio de Windows …etc

    j'ai installé le pilote pour le GPU 195.62_Win7x64 1.1 – DOX optimised en activant le standard single SLI

    puis le synaptic driver pour le touchpad 14.0.12

    ensuite le OSD Alienware OSD Application Application 2.21

    le driver RICOH R5C8xx Media Driver Ver3.62.02 

    desactivation dans le gestionnaire de peripheriques de Facap, Fast acces video capture

    dans le Nvidia control panel option "manage 3d settings" que ce soit pour global settings et programs settings

    il faut tout mettre pour le parametre power management mode à "prefer maximum performance"

    et c'est tout je precise c'est TOUT

    j'ai effectué environ 40 installations….passé depuis debut janvier tout mes week end a chercher quel peripherique foiré

    et par hasard avec un autre CD seven (not from dell ) ca fonctionne sur les 2 alienwares

    precision : Seven pro 64 bits….

    alors sinon j'etais arrivé a la meme chose avec le CD dell en faisant les manips dans la BDR

    puis…en déconnectant un tas de perif dans le gestionnaires de périphériques…

    je reviens vers toi sans problemes …on peut se tel si tu veux…

    une autre personne qui a aussi un alienware m17x me confirme que ca fonctionne

    pour info j'ai 40 ans …je fais de l'informatique depuis 1978 et j'etais un expert en piratage à la vielle epoque….

    je ne suis pas un Lamer…et je pense touché ma bille…sans me vanter…c'est juste histoire de recadrer…

    J'espere que tu vas pouvoir traduire correctement…merci d'avance pour les autres….

    j'ai surement oublié …des choses mais je reviens vers vous rapidement

    keep in touch & good luck to every one



  • C.I.G.F.Y

    Hello Again


    another test this morning with a new Laptop (again M17x but R2)…

    Same problems for my friend …big DPC latency…my friend test all solution found or possibility aroud the web(A03, BDR..etc)

    but NADA nothing still problem …

    so ..i test my solution format, install with my seven DVD..

    remove battery, power and press power button for 30 seconds

    and miracle….first try…working perfectly….

    so ..in my opinion…Drivers and SEVEN DVD from dell is the source of the problem since the begining…

    this morning I reset bios change parameter , formatting the PC, install with DVD, install DOX driver, ricoh and leave the default for wifi driver and audio

    test with NFS, 3d mark and it's ok…read videos from youtube, play winamp or wmplayer…NO PROBLEMO

    so I think the solution is here…somewhere here…

    hope I can help you….

    and again again sorry for my bad inglish

    best regards




  • seaeagle2323

    dell are a pack of hopless people just wanting money! nothing works anything with them ill get my r2 and ill thow my current laptop against the wall and smash the screen and break the keyboard just like they broke my keyboard when they took it away and fixed it

  • entomb

    i am running vista x64 with an r1 what do i need to do for my system. i installed a03 and the dpc issue is much better, but every now and again i still get a 64k pop or two. Is there a broadcom update for vista or a mass storage issue with vista that i need to fix this? thanks.

  • stamatisx

    Hi John,

    I would like to inform you, as well as the rest of the people here, that there is a thread:


    initially created for users who have swapped the NVidia GPUs with ATIs and want to check if they have any remaining issues with DPC/ISR latency.

    Those with NVidia cards can run the test as well, in order to confirm the drivers that are causing kernel conflicts and audio stuttering.

    It is quite a useful procedure because it may reveal them additional factors that introduce latency to their systems (like an external device or a 3rd party driver) and give them some extra info in order to have a better understanding of this issue.

    I use the A03 BIOS and the ATI cards without any audio or video stuttering issues so far.

  • jadraja


    Thanks for sharing it with us. Your english is not so bad, that's correct.

    I have some questions for you:

    -Did you try an original DVD of Windows 7, those that we receive during the offer to update from Vista to 7? (As-tu essayé un DVD original de Windows 7, ceux que l'ont reçoit avec l'offre de mise a niveau de Vista vers 7?)

    -Did the DOX driver install correctly on your M17x or did you use the patch posted on the forum? (Est-ce que le pilote DOX s'est installé correctement tout seul ou bien tu as utilisé le patch fournit sur le forum?)

    -Can you please take some screen captures or a video to show us the result? (Pourrais-tu nous envoyer quelques captures d'ecran ou une vidéo pour nous montrer le résultat?)

    Merci pour ton aide!

  • C.I.G.F.Y

    Bonsoir l'ami

    merci pour l'anglais 😉

    >>Did you try an original DVD of Windows 7, those that we receive
    during the offer to update from Vista to 7? (As-tu essayé un DVD
    original de Windows 7, ceux que l'ont reçoit avec l'offre de mise a
    niveau de Vista vers 7?)

    so non ce n'est pas un seven de mise a jour, mais plutot un CD hack qui contient toutes les versions de seven (familiale, pro ultimate 32 et 64 bits que tu peux trouver sur la mule facilement

    -Did the DOX driver install correctly on your M17x or did you use the
    patch posted on the forum? (Est-ce que le pilote DOX s'est installé
    correctement tout seul ou bien tu as utilisé le patch fournit sur le

    non je n'ai pas mis le patch juste le 195.62_Win7x64 1.1.exe 54,5Mo(size)

    -Can you please take some screen captures or a video to show us the
    result? (Pourrais-tu nous envoyer quelques captures d'ecran ou une vidéo
    pour nous montrer le résultat?)

    ci joint une capture avec 3 videos differentes en meme temps+streamings radio(avec screamer radio) + players videos utilisés: KMPLAYER+WMPLAYER +Media player classic

    je n'ai toujours pas de probleme et ce soir un appel de mon ami qui me confirme que son PC tourne a la perfection (donc 3 alienwares m17x config differente dont un R2 qui fonctionnent)


    le link du seven utilisé…je sais ca n'est pas bien de poster cela mais j'essaye de vous aider….

    mon mail perso est le suivant : cigfy     @    f r e e . f r     — sans les espaces….

    je reste connecté

    bon courage…on va y arrivé


  • Alek123

    It seems Dell is either sleeping , or closing its eyes and saying "Everything is fine" to itself.

    John , please give us an update. We are all losing our patience , and i believe that our waiting for a solution must come to an end. We have waited so long for a fix. We payed money for an "All Powerful" laptop that can't play music and videos properly…

    Also i'm getting a very low FPS in Crysis , even in lower resolutions and settings. Every other game runs fine including Fallout 3 , Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2 , Dead Space and Mass Effect 2 , which are all very demanding games.

    Q9000 , 4GB , 2x Nvidia 280M's , 500 gb HDD.

  • scary_perry

    I think they will give up soon and tell the folks who are having the biggest problems to take their chances with support. So you might as well be pushing for a refund or replacement right now.

    This problem is not solvable. IMO

  • rlsny

    So after using this for longer I am in fact sometime getting the big spikes.  It can go for several minutes fine and then 4-5 big spikes that do manifest as stutters.  A lot less then before – but still very noticeable when the music burps.  So moving forward but not done yet.  To answer the question – no I didn't do the powermizer fix or anything else.  Tech support wants me to do the big windows7 reinstall now.  I'm not sure.  I tend to want to move slowly.  I'll wait again. 

  • SvenMeys

    Here is an example of latency I am experiencing whilst playing eve online. This was whie sitting in a station. Green is when I shut the game down.


    And this is when I'm doing nothing.

  • lacbalbin

    in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king
    I lost all my confidence in dell

  • TecZ

    Hey guys,

    I've been following this issue on notebook forum and dell's website but I wanted to share with you how I got my machine working with almost no latency @ all.

    When I got my m17x I already knew about the DPC problem so I wasn't surprised by finding all the red bars. The pattern was as follows:
    red bar, green bar, red bar, green bar, huge red bar, green bar, red bar, etc…

    It is so clear to me, please tell me if I'm wrong, that the huge red bars are provoked by the GPUs changing core speeds (Nvidia's Powermizer, the ATI I don't know the name).

    But this is when it starts to get interesting:

    Even before the release of A03 I managed to get my machine pretty stable by disabling Powermizer.

    Now you might tell me that disabling powermizer reduces the components life and will have the fans always running at maximum.

    But the solution I found was to use Ntune, or Nvidia system tools (I think its what its called now) and change the clock speeds to minimum myself. And it worked, I stopped the huge spikes, everytime i wanted to play i would just get the cards to the default clocks.

    Apparently there are a couple was to simplify the process (avoiding sliding the bars down everytime). One of them is the Nvidia nvprofile application but I only manage to have it working for a week, and then everytime I tried to switch profiles it would crash my system. I have tried everything, reinstalling drivers and stuff but no luck there, so back to manual mode. The other method is by using rivatuner but the current version doesn't support the drivers I am using (195.62) so it doesn't even do anything when I adjust the sliders. So yep, I have to do it everyday, everytime I start the machine I downclock the gpus and everytime I want to play I put them back to the default. (nTuneCmd.exe doesn't work properly either)

    A03 update was a great fix, I have no doubts about that, because it managed to get rid of practically all the red spikes and made the green ones minimalistic. The problem is… if powermizer is activated you still get the huge red spikes, there is no way around that.

    So I have been using the manual mode for a couple of months now, and I get absolutely no red bars except for the eject button, but even that doesn't cause any stuttering on sound.

    I have been happy with my machine but in terms of justice I think we all deserve some kind of compensation, because in the end of the day they are very expensive machines and they should arrive working 100%, we are not testers, and the price certainly doesn't reflect that.

    I think that at least they should allow us to get the R2 version for free but maybe it'll only happen in a dream world…

    To finish, one interesting thing I noticed is that changing the clocks from Nvidia's program doesn't cause any DPC latency… so i wonder, would it be possible for someone to build an application make the change at this level instead of doing it with powermizer?

    Anyway, thanks for your time, please feel free to comment.

    John, Thanks for you support, but your last post does not present a solution. The biggest problem is caused by Powermizer. I am happy to provide you with more information on how I got the m17x working so smoothly without compromising the hardware.

  • jadraja

    Now I understand better why Dell is loosing the market face to other high qualified companies such as Asus and HP.

    By the way, keep on sleeping and don't read our comments. That way, you will loose more and more customers…

  • Alek123

    Thanks for your info , but i'm not moving a finger. It is not our responability to fix this. We paid a huge amount of money to for a working machine , and we only demand our rights. I don't want an R2 , i want my R1 with no DPC Latency!

  • Wolf-359

    Hi John,

    As others have highlighted, many users are on Win 7 now but more importantly since they got Win7 as part of the free upgrade when the m17 was launched. By installing this people automatically move to a non-standard build so.. Yes, a more permanent solution is needed.

    Im running the m17x with the extreme quad core and dual 280m cards plus 2 factory installed ssd's. no overclocking of hardware at all, i bought it at product launch though the farce that it was to order is a very long story for another time!

    On Bios A02 with a full format and clean install of Windows Vista or windows 7 and absolutley no dirvers other than that which windows itself has installed the DPC latency is red on every other tick whilst the system is idle.

    On Bios A03 again a clean install of Windows Vista or Windows 7 and no drivers other than windows provided, the DPC latency is red every 15 seconds on idle.

    In both cases there are the occasional double spikes but they are irregular.

    The Bios update alone made a huge difference but the fact is that this issue is present on the most basic of install, even the Windows startup sounds get interupted.

    In both cases after this I proceeded to install one driver after another from dell and check the DPC and in each case the spikes are the same, the intervals do not change, the drivers appeard to make no difference.

    Your solution also suggests the latest broadcom drivers from Dell as part of the above soltuon but please feed back to the engineers that disabling the hardware so that its not even in use and the system still shows DPC latency at the same intervals. This again suggests that this problem is far closer to the core of the system than any driver change can make.

    Whilst im sure that Dell engineers are far superior than I, surley they can begin to identify what the system is doing at these regular intervals and which hardware is in use. You can clearly see from the other posts that people have placed that they also see the the exact same issue in many cases. This DPC spike interval has to be important, is some hardware being polled at this interval?

    Has the engineering team been testing a machine that they just plucked from the production line or one that was built at launch of the product as the very components in them will no doubt have been revised over time and they may not be comparing like for like.

    Dell has repeatedly had problems with Sound stuttering, your forums are alive with the subject on many of your systems but one in particular.. the M1730 was also plagued with this problem for people on Vista when the light boardFX was active.. Dell's response to that was "a hardware limitation" and couldnt be fixed (they obviously ignored the fact that it worked perfect on a Windows XP install which was only a software change)  – Perhaps the lightboard would be a good avenue of investigation.

    I truly hope for a fix at some point its a shame the true potential of this system is lost for so long, its a sad fact that my cheap Acer 5739g travel laptop has impressed me more for frame rates, quality sound and multitasking than i have ever seen on my M17x










  • jadraja






    /* Font Definitions */
    panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4;
    mso-font-signature:-520092929 1073786111 9 0 415 0;}
    /* Style Definitions */
    p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal
    mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
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    {size:595.3pt 841.9pt;
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    I think Dell will never read and answer you…even if everything you said is totally true. Sad

  • CoderJ


    ManuelG (nVidia Technical Support) @ nVidia Forums

    This issue has been resolved.
    The fix will be provided through a future notebook driver update. This
    fix only applies to GPUs which are in DPC state for too long causing
    audio static. Thank you everyone for your assistance and your detailed
    I guess we're waiting for a new Forceware release now..
  • lacbalbin

    solved for them …
    the solution is not out yet
    I'm pretty sure that's not going to solve this problem
    is much more complex than you think
    we shall see what happens

  • lucjang

    So is the fix John posted not working just yet? nothing changed yet right?

  • pong_squall

    Hi I'm new to this community.

    I would like to thank John for his continuous efforts in trying to find a solution to this ongoing problem. Unfortunately, it's still around. I followed the steps for the fix (which is supposed to be one). I'm still getting the same stuttering/visual skipping, may it be just listening to music (I haven't tried watching a movie but I am definitely sure it could be worse) or playing games.

    We're all looking forward to you guys solving this soon, like soon. Thank you.

  • TrentP

    Hi Guys,

    i thought i would just comment on this, as i was supposedly fortunate to have my XPS1730m (which suffered from gpu failure x3, mb replacement x2 keyboard replacement x2, lcd panel x2 and a lcd shroud replacement (because the tech broke it)) with a "All powerfull and All impressive Alienware M17x".  I have had my new laptop for about 2 weeks and they just picked up my xps yesterday.  I have actually made a call to Dell/Alienware already(back on Friday).  I wanted to report the random sound blips, graphics stutter and various other minor issues(i suspect are related to this). 

    This call resulted in about 1 hr of the Tech remotely connecting to my laptop ( cus i was too lazy to do it myself, following instructions from a person with an accent i dont understand). Anyway back on topic, they had flashed my bios to AO3, upgraded sound, video and network drivers also.  THEN…………….. he says, "Please reboot your computer and go to your bios, please change…………………………….. Ok now save and exit. When windows starts please test the system and update me". I immediately started to play music and try to stream from Youtube, when my screen blacked out and the volume just slowly increased till it was at max.

    The Tech then said to turn off and put me on hold, when he returned he said he was sending an onsite tech out to see my system.  I believe the Tech replaced my motherboard and the 2 gts 260s.  All the while i have maintained a constant eye on DCPLAT Checker to watch my delays.  The update and replacement of parts was able to remove the DPC Latency while the system is idle but has not when under load, any load.

    Any how, thats my 2 cents, i hope it could help in some way.

    I also want to add that all the people I have spoken too or had help me, although unsuccessful in rectifying my system have been extremely helpful and polite all the way.

  • .breath

    Well removing the nvidia ide controller driver was a thing to lower the latency that 2 months ago was on forumnotebook too, seeing that u just arrived on it makes me worry…

    Anyway the scenario you are showing there it's exactly the same of mine, removing the nvidia ide driver made me get pretty much all green latency with those bigger green spikes, the problem is that those spikes often become huge and red over 60k.

    Usually i get those spikes when the notebook change the clock to the GPUs, but sometimes does that randomly while playing or listening to the music.

    Anyway, long story short, i still have weird audio shuttering and the fixes aren't doing what they are supposed to do (fix it…).

  • macursus

    I have the same problem with my M17x. First off all my system was only running with the onboard graphics. I installed the Bios update, after that my GTX260M card was aviable. But with this card I had the system lag! My solution was, to replace the nVidia driver for the GTX260M card with the latest(192.65) provided by nVidia. After that the system runs great(played Modern Warfare 2 with all details)!
    Only in the hardwareconfigaration a driver for the Coprozessor is missing. It seems to be the driver for
    the networkcard, but the system runs very well without it! Windows 7 wan't to install the driver now, but I haven't done it,yet.
    I don't know, if I should do it?

  • lucjang

    John mate, sorry but I just did a restore, followed your steps and end up right where I was before, should we just give up on dell John??

  • csalien17

    People now seem to even give up on commenting! What a dissappointment Dell! They failed to reply to my email, too. Not a word in past week.

  • jadraja

    As I told you: Dell will never answer you, it's well known.

    A solution has been found for nVidia graphic card (GTX 280M SLI) owners: a new GeForce driver is out for closed beta testing and will be soon out for M17x users. More information here: http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=434691&page=259

  • DebbyB

    hmmmm… What about the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M users? Will they release an update for that card too?

  • jadraja

    Hm yes sorry, that will also be for the GTX 260M. That's the same driver.

  • akash1221

    Beta drive is available now.

    I installed it last night (after uninstalling old version, doing driver sweeper clean). Also I did the former fixes as well (the one John posted above).

    So far so good, no spikes and no stuttering or craking in audio, video or games…

    Get the beta driver here: ftp://ftp.us.dell.com/video/NVIDIA_NOTEBOOK-BETA-DRIVER-_P03_R261769.exe

    Get PhysX here: http://us.download.nvidia.com/Windows/9.09.1112/PhysX_9.09.1112_SystemSoftware.exe

    Good luck!

  • Alek123

    It seems nobody from Dell bothers to announce the Beta NV driver. The results from users that tested it seem optimistic , with a few problems including Log On flickering , lack of 60hz support and eject button spikes. Can't wait for the final driver. Go Nvidia!

  • Wolf-359

    CHEER, Really CHEER, I think they've cracked it!


    The beta drivers linked by Akash1221 on the 5th see to do the trick. Itunes, video and world of warcraft on ultra detail and in window mode and not a stutter to be heard.

    Wow does push the dpc in to the 4000 mark but there are importantly no spikes, never not even one on idle and the system seems to cope with it all just fine.

    I really hope this works for everyone else! at long long last Dell and Nvidia seem to have come through with a solution!



  • lucjang

    yah its with a reason, I just did the update few days ago myself, was I wrong to think it would actually fix something, now I still have the issue plus video snapping while browsing and dead Allienware control center, no lights on keyboard, and I have done it all with assistance of a tech agent, John needs to remove that fix from his post, rest of people are right

  • DebbyB


    I really hope this driver fixes the problem. Or I am REALLY done with dell. It's getting insane now!

    First I returned my 2 XPS laptops because my graphic cards where fried.
    And this laptop Alienware is very disappointing too…

    So fixed it please… It's about time!

    crosses her fingers…

  • rlsny

    Tried this on mine – dual 280s.  Looks good.  Streamed audio for about 30 minutes while playing WoW.  No stutters.  

  • DebbyB

    I can cry… REALLY!
    The BETA driver doesn´t work for me… I end up NOT to be able to start op my laptop with the GTX 260M !!!!

    I tried to install the driver and got the following message during the instal:
    The Nvidia Control Panel could not be installed which may affect driver functionality. The most recent driver that worked will now be restored.

    When I now try to login with GTX 260M, I can log in.. but after that, my screen STAYS BLACK… 🙁
    Only when I disable my hybrid card in the bios, I can log in… So now I am using my motherboard graphic card!!

    I am getting soooooo frustrated… sighs…

    So be aware… I have to get back to my old driver to get my GTX 260M working again..

    Very disappointing!

  • 3dwiz

    BETA working!


    I'm running dual 280s on Windows 7 and have been having DPC issues just like everyone else. The BOIS update did help a ton but wasn't enough. The BETA – Nvidia Driver did the trick, though when I started to play BF Bad Company 2 I still got the occasional RED spike every 30min or so… nothing to extreme. I hope that the final release fixes it for once and for all.

    On the side note for those of you that got a black screen when installing check for external monitors and make sure that everything is unplugged or disconnected. Also when I was updating my screen stayed black for about 2min.- without flashing.

    I am really disappointed with Dell at the moment, hopefully they can gain my trust back.

    P.S. Has anyone heard of any solutions on the Wireless problems for Windows 7? I have tried lots of things and nothing worked. Please any suggestions would help.

  • DebbyB

    Well it DOESN´T

  • DebbyB

    Well it DOESN´T work for me… I am in tears now…  Tried to reinstall my old driver and my screens stays black after login in… And I don´t have ANY monitor attached… I am screwed!!

    thanks DELL…NOT!!!!

  • lucjang

    excelent on my end as well, at first I was a bit worried when the blue screen of death apeared, but after restart my nvidia 260's sli are doing just fine finally, thanks for great work guys, while at it does anyone know how to fix the screen snaps?

  • lucjang

    guys its working I promise you, there might be some other tweaks that need to be done. So far for me I have no studder, video snapback was also removed and trully I am running at 100% right now, after 8 months this is the first time that I have no issues, but what I did is called Allienware techs directly and by now they should all be aware of the fix, yes I spent 4 hrs on the issue, but  it was well worth it. if you guys have issues call allienware directly 1 866 287 6727 option 4 for tech, these guys will trully help you out.

  • lucjang

    yes, since reinstalling drivers I lost wireless here myself, but I cannot remember how the allienware guy fixed it but if you call during daytime hours ask for Rudy 1866 287 6727, we did several driver updates and they all failed to make the wifi work, finally an hr later he found the fix, I just wish I remembered what it was but 4 hrs into the conversation you tend to just zone out, but give it a shot, this guy should quickly be able to fix your issue, if he remembers what he did to my laptop.

  • SvenMeys

    The screen flashing in colors is a known issue, it's described in the driver details. They will fix that in the final version.


    Also no latency issues here. Except on fallout 3 it seems to stutter a little when doing some heavy calculations. But it's way less than what it used to be. Video playback and not much requiring games run good.


    So I'm happy and like to thank dell and nvidia for the effort they put in to fixing this thing "once and for all"(tm). 🙂

  • mrolsen



    Does that driver thingy works for other models than M17x aswell?

  • andreaz

    Hello All,

    i tried the Beta-Driver and found following issue: When you switch to stealth mode and back to the both graphiccards,
    the driver crashes the whole machine to no avail (you need to restart via PowerButton). Can someone confirm this
    on a M17x with 2 280GTX ? Is there a way to fix this?

    Reproducable Steps:
    Boot into Dual Graphics – all fine.
    Switch to 9400M – all fine.
    Switch back to Dual Graphics – Crash.

    Im on Windows 7.

    I saw this on some other drivers too. With the old ones from Dell, this behavior isnt present.


  • 3dwiz

    Thanks I'll give it a shot.  🙂

  • andreaz

    Which wireless problems you mean here?
    The one thats caused by the entry in the nvidia-settings, tab "Ethernet-Configuration", then "Enable Powersaving mode"
    switch to "off" ? This one also deactivate the wireless adapter also, if no network-cable sticks in the ethernet-adapter. If you switch it to off, the wireless adapter is working fine here. I translated the above words between "" on my own from german, so they might have not exactly the same name.

    Its the 4th line in Ethernet-Configuration-Tab in the Nvidia-Settings-Menu.

    Hope this was what you meant.

    To all the guys, tried the Beta-Driver: Can you please try to switch some times between the GTX-Card(s) and the onboard 9400M?
    When i do this 2 times, the driver crash the system here (like i wrote already). 🙁


  • akash1221

    For those having issues, please post your results to the notebookreview.com forums here:


    John and others are actively heping people who have problems work through them there.

    Good luck,


  • lucjang

    Andreaz , I cannot due that since I had to disable intergrated  graphix in the bios, seems like that is the drawback to this fix, but then again there is a reason I purchased the VC's , yah its not a perfect fix but will do for now, anyways does anyone recomend a way to stress test it?  so far its still working for me, day 2 and counting.

  • 3dwiz

    I have already done that. My wireless card stays on it just takes forever to find a connection or to connect to a connection. And when it finds my wireless  -which is 100% working on all my other computer running Windows (XP, and Vista), it says "Limited Access" which isn't true. Imma call Alienware support and have them do everything. I have spent countless hours on something that was suppose to be working off the bat.

    If it matters I have a Linksys (WRT54G) router. If that has anything to do with it, which I'm sure it doesn't; however I will do anything at this point to roam the house freely without tugging a Ethernet cord around with me.

    Thanks for the help. 🙂 Later on during the week I will see about this Display problem and help try fight it.

  • .breath

    When i installed the beta driver i found a yellow ! on the Nvidia Ethernet controller something,  so first i tried to install again that driver from the chipset driver set, but this didnt work, so simply i unistalled that driver and rebooted (selecting delet driver files), after the reboot i had no problem with my wireless.

  • seaeagle2323

    my r2 has just been finished getting built 🙂 keep it up guys get a refund or r2 replacement by law they need to! no update in a few weeks now i think this issue is dead

  • seaeagle2323

    have any of you guys rung tech support? i bet u will get a replacement system if u do this forum is a joke 6months and still no fix

  • vivektj


    **** IT WORKS ****

    I did get a bluescreen while installing, understandable since it is still a Beta driver. After restarting checked in device manager, the driver was updated to, 2/27/2010. Opened 20 to 30 apps including music, moves, YouTube, game and played them simultaneously. NO RED SPIKES. FINALLY J. YIPEE….

    You guys are in the right direction, get the bugs smoothened out and it should be all good.

    Thanks John… Pls pass on this feedback to the dev team.

  • vivektj

    My m17x has Integrated 9400 and GTX 260m SLI. It updated the driver for all of them.

  • mrolsen

    What exactly does the new driver support? I'm using a Nvidia 8600M GT and there is no driver for me 🙁

  • lucjang

    yah thats gets a little annoying, even after the upgrade, it happens to me almost 100% of time when I pause any silly game, everything runs fine, hit pause and the VC fans kick in, seems like full speed. (while paused?????) anyways do any of you guys have a good stress test? so far the pc is working for me, and just few days ago it would almost always skip on me every 15 seconds.Good job guys/ladies and from what I have found out , it was Allienware that hammered Nvidia to fix their drivers,

  • SvenMeys

    Can soeone try and run the system on battery power? It shows battery lifetime of over 10 hours to me and after 30 mins still does not go down. Although I wouldn't mind 10 hours battery lifetime thanks to the new driver, common sense predicts this is a bug. 🙂

  • griffinnet.abe

    Heres a strange one for you… doing some testing of the new beta driver (which SEEMED to be alot more stable until about 30min ago), navigated to my system32 folder from command prompt. did a directory search (dir).   Worked alright (try doing a dir on your system32 folder sometime with no display drivers installed), then I maximized the window and did the same thing. Noticed a funny noise coming from the system… buzzing sound. Minimized, nothing, maximized, funny noise. Continued to do dir after dir…. Blue screened with an nvlddmkm.sys error?

    Also, before windows switches to my 2x 260m's during the boot/login phase I just get some crazy scanlines and colors like my lcd screen is busted, once the screen flickers as normal, no problems. Haven't tried switching to "power save" mode now as I'm scurred…

  • Zeal01



    Does anyone know how to stop the fans throttling at weird times due to the powewrmizer switch? I have it switched to on but they still seem to do it. And I can't get into fusion still.

    Beta drivers workin well so far though.


  • lucjang

    I just unplugged my m17x and battery went down to 88% in just over 10 minutes, all while playing a video game, for some reason are you running just integraded video?

  • Draekz

    I believe that this problem may be resolved. I just had a technician replace my motherboard and GPU to be sure I didn't have a bad system. Then he was stumped because the problem was exactly the same, and left as is. He was a pretty cool guy.

    Dell's technical support from India said that I had to reinstall Windows for the 100'th time, and was basically starting back to square 1 even though the issue has been totally hashed out to this point already. He ordered a replacement of my CPU, RAM and Fans for tomorrow…


    Neither the Tech who came over, or I believed this would help. I came to re-visit this forum, and there I found out about the BETA driver. Which I just tried.


    Before, I could reproduce the spikes easily on command by a combination of a few things:

    1. Connect to VPN at work

    2. Start a RDP to my office computer.

    3. Stream music over windows media player from Soma.FM

    This would automatically create 60K spikes every 15 seconds or so.


    I did not reinstall WIFI drivers, nor did I reinstall anything else for that matter. I just installed the BETA drivers for the GPU and poof. No more spikes when I start the above.

    No more spikes so far and I have been running for 30 minutes.

    Cross fingers








    All of these screenshots are taken during the scenario described above, NOT during normal Idling. Each has VPN connected, with media streaming and RDP connected. Otherwise, the stuttering was completely intermittent and random, but was still there and hard to automatically reproduce.

  • Jesteralex

    i've just installed the nvidia beta driver and it looks like it's fixed the problem… or at least severely reduced it! on the latency test while running borderlands and listening to music on WMP the spikes never go above 1100!

    glad theres some real progress 😀 about time!

  • Omniroth

    I'm having the same problems re: strange sound.  Since I installed the new beta driver been getting a strange…. rasping noise, like sand-paper being dragged over the ground.  This seems to only happen when the video cards are being used – i.e. when I'm playing a game.  Thankfully when the fan's start up properly the sound of the computer about to take off covers up the rasping noise.  Still, it's weird, and if it gets worse it'll be madenning.


    Also, post Beta driver having massive problems with games, with several seconds worth of lag spikes whenever a new scene is shown, and other bouts of lag spikes intermittently during game-play: every few minutes I get a lag spike performance massively (to the point the game is unplayable) for 2 to 5 seconds – particularly annoying when I try to play an online game.


    At least I can now watch videos without regular audio problems.  But I really hope this gets fixed soon, so that my new gaming machine will actually be able to play games.

  • Omniroth

    Same problem here

  • fateconspires

    what beta drivers are  you talking about? i tried the ones on nvidia's website and they didnt fix the problem. and i tried the new download on the "support.dell.com" drivers page and those drivers or whatever that was just gave me a blank black screen. i had to restart in safe mode, uninstall and reinstall the regular drivers. ANYTHING you can tell me would help immensly. i use this machine for DJ mixing, demo recording and audio production… ive been putting up with this nonsense seemingly forever now hoping that someone will post a legitimate fix. 

  • Alek123

    I have two questions (that probably will not be answered)

    Will an updated Command Center be released for the R1 too?

    When will the final version of the driver come up? (any progress)

    Thanks , and please answer.

  • craigbel

    Well my M17X is working great.

  • Omniroth

    Can I ask – is your M17X an R1 or an R2?

  • Omniroth

    Just updating my status – I just contacted Dell and they are now replacing my M17X R1 with an M17X R2.


    This is because all of the above fixes have not solved the problem on my R1 (reformatting my computer, reinstalling Windows 7 and then reinstalling the above listed, freshly re-downloaded drivers and 1 game – and the random, long spikes of audio/video/performance lag are still there).


    I will post again on this forum when my R2 arrives, to let you know if the R2 has the same problems as the R1.

  • entomb

    i am getting 48k spikes but no stutters with this new driver

  • TrentP

    Hey guys, i am going to pursue Dell next week when i have the time to spend on the phone with them.  I have what i assume is a R1 m17x at the moment (t9600 dual core, 4gig ram 260m sli(basically)) and was curious to know if the Xfire ATI cards are better than the 260m SLI configuration, if so by how much.  I have a dislike for the drivers and the presentation of ATI as they always give issues on my pcs.

    Basically i would like to know whether you guys think the Xfire is better than the SLI configs and is it worth pursuing a fix on this machine or pushing for an R2? Any and all advice would be great.

    I have undertaken all the fixes as mentioned in an earlier post, the tech remotely connected and changed settings flashed bios etc as recommended for me, then a tech was sent to replace the GPUs and the MB.  Still has issues at the moment.

  • andreaz

    Hey John…

    As i wrote you already in a private Message. This Driver leads to Bluescreens on Windows 7 and crashes at Anno 1404.
    Even with this driver it isnt possible to switch between the 9400M and the 2 GTX280m more than one time.

    I dont think this is a "Reports are that it's working well…".
    As i thought in the beginning of all that: Nothing is fixed, the Support comes out forever with the same pseudo-Solutions
    like we read several times in this and other threads. Im really, really annoyed now, cause noone really cares. An exchange
    with a R2 Variant is not possible here, Support said. So im stuck with a superexpensive and bad computer system, i could
    better build on my own.

    And i think it was the last time "Dell – your's is (stay) here…"

    Thanks in advance,

  • lucjang

    ok, this is getting tiresome, I got the spikes down, 10 months after purchase, but now I found a new issue, while watching utube, with 3-4 other windows open , they become unresponsive untill I alt tab /task manager shut it down, not always on a first try, any one else have that issue???

  • Dwarf King

    Indeed this is tiresome I mean Dell has now install a new ATI card and a new motherboard in my m17x system after three visits(the first time the new ATI card had a hardware issue, the second time the new motherboard was broken but the new ATI card was usable and the third time the motherboard was usable but the lagging and red spikes was still there in fact they newer went away and the same goes for the lagging in all my games…). The techman told me that they would call me. Well until now no one has called me and I have been waiting for like two days.  

  • TrentP

    Hey guys, me again.  I dont know if this thread is active(people still reading it) because it has gotten very quiet of late, does this mean the fix is working?

    Any way, i have reported ongoing issues to Dell/AW tech support who instruct me that this week they will launch ANOTHER bios update to rectify this issue.  I mentioned, calmly, to the tech that i felt strongly that the issue is hardware based and the bios wont be the success they hope.  I am now going to pursue a R2 and endeavour to rate it against the current unit i have.

    John please let me know where to give you my units details as i am not sure where to send this sensitive info.

    I mentioned in an earlier post that i was unsure if performance of the Nvidia cards or the ATI cards were better, but, the current Nvidia setup isnt 100% at the moment, if anyone can advise or point me in some direction for benches please do, thanks.

    ps. I am in Australia and they dont offer the Nvidia or the c2d or c2q units anymore, straight i5/7 ati units down here now.


  • killersquid

    Well , Nvidia just came out yerterday with new drivers (197.16) .

    Beta Drivers worked ok for me and i thought that those new drivers would do the trick.. Guess What .. DPS Latency is back

    So, do NOT download those new drivers and stay with the beta for now .. I guess John will advise us when the right version will be available

  • TrentP

    I tried the new driver and had the 260m sli's stop responding totally, they beta has worked partially but still no fix totally! I spent about 4hrs over the last 2 days, multiple new drivers from support and a respawn(reset to factory spec) and still issues. Tomorrow a tech is comming with a new motherboard, which will be my second 1! I pleaded with them to just replace it as my saga began 2 years ago with a dodgy m1730. But they insist they require a tech to inspect and view the fault is still apparent.

    what options do i have left now.  if the new motherboard doesnt rectify the problem they said they will get a test rig identical to mine and try and solve the issue on there end. this could take weeks. 

    Anyone else in the same spot?

    Also i dont think JOHN is checking this thread anymore, must be playing golf or out of the office.

    any info would be appreciated thanks.

  • TrentP


    DELL-John B

    Dell is certainly taking this issue seriously. The lab systems were checked under real world conditions, and didn't show large latency spikes while running games, streaming video, or playing MP3s.

    We're trying to get to the bottom of what you folks are seeing as we speak. I'll report more as soon as I am able.

    PS. This was johns last post, check the date! 22 of FEB! do you really think he cares now, he thinks its done!
  • Draekz

    Really sorry about all you guys who haven't fix your problems. I had mad DPC spikes and stutters. I installed the beta driver, and I have ZERO latency issues.

    My laptop has not "skipped" since the release of P03 beta driver.

    I'm not sure what setup you guys have for your laptops, but I'm starting to feel that you guys are doing something wrong somehow. I hate to sound ignorant, because I was as angry as all of you.

    But like I said. I have closed my issue with Dell, my laptop is working 100% now and its such a great feeling. This is finally the best laptop I have ever owned.

    If someone is having problems still, I would really suggest they stop fighting with dell, and go over what they have done to fix the problem. Either you still have old drivers being used by windows somehow even after installing the new ones, I would strongly suggest using Driver Sweeper to remove the NVIDIA drivers from your system, and install the beta ones. P03 is what I have been using up until now, and I see they released P04 already.

  • cmbasham

    I've been having the same issues with my M17x. It started freezing a lot right out of the box. I tried updating with drivers from Dell website which seemed to make it worse. After updating the BIOS and running the processes you suggested it seemed better, but I still had trouble with the shuttering sound and freezing, or hanging. After a few minutes it would free up and move along. I tried downloading the newest drivers from Nvidia and that hasn't seemed to be any better. The unit just isn't very dependable. Never know when it's going to act up.

    Any suggestion would be great, I'm thinking of selling and moving to a different brand. The last three machines I've received from Dell have had issues. I've been buying systems from Dell for 10 years, 10 in the last 5 years. I was really thinking that when I pulled this Alienware out of the box it was like the Holy Grail of notebooks. But after a few weeks if dealing with hangups, hickups,  freezing, skipping audio, hanging during buring a disc I've about come to the conclusion that it's time to make a move.


    <ADMIN NOTE : Service Tag removed per privacy policy>

  • Dwarf King

    Dell will not listen so do not bother anymore. I have been dealing with this issue which Dell has tried to fix three times and now the result is that I have a m17x which is crashing again and again… Not nice when playing games or programming and within a second my m17x has crashed without warning. Say what ? you did not save your java codes every 10 th second? well now it is all gone!  Say what i the middle of a raid? Now your teammates will be slayed from behind because you did leave the game due to hardware crashes.  I am currently waiting for a escalation case in order to get a replacement and I am also doing my first year project in computer science… I need a stable m17x in order to be able to work efficiently but the Dell keeps on snailing this process and it is having a huge influence on my school work. Great fix Dell and Great service and great hardware quality thumbs up Dell. What a waste of my money and time… I will newer buy anything from you again. Please do like in the old communist states and erase this. I mean that is what I would expect you to do.    

  • stringbeandean

    Hey John,

    Just trying to get a bump on this thread hoping to get some resolution to the problems that still plauge us, including odd downclocking which i will list.  When ALT-Tabbing from window to 3d applications the latency shoots up into the 4K-8K range, even with the beta drivers installed.  I did go back to the 196.86 drivers because they were the smoothest.  I am realy hoping to get some sort of resolution that is software based because im never in one place long enough to get any type of service or possibly even replacement.  Well let us know John, I have faith that you will come through.

  • Kamika007z

    Hello John,

    Thank you for posting this and looking into it.

    Would you happen to know what the fix is exactly within the video driver package?

    I'm willing to bet it's a switch/line of code that was implemented in the INF to the driver (specifically the nvdm.inf file).

    Could you ask your engineers what line of code it was that they added? I would like to know what it is.

    Best regards,


  • Savedadogs

    Hi John,

    I have an Alienware m17x, Windows 7 64-bit, NVIDIA card, and running A03 and the NVIDIA beta drivers. I still have the stutter issue and with the Nvidia beta drivers, I cannot even access the NVIDIA control panel:

    It keeps saying: Nvidia control display panel extension cannot be created.

    Also, if I plugiin a HDMI cable to my external LCD monitor, the screen turns black and the system just freezes. My warranty is going to expire in 2 weeks… this sucks…. what can I do John?

  • igorfrance

    Hi John,

    The beta driver really did fix the audio stuttering issues. However, there are issues with the driver itself, and I was wondering if there are plans to ever finish the driver, or will it forever stay in BETA?


  • Mister_Earl

    When is the driver coming out of beta?  It's been nearly two months. . .

    Or has Dell moved on, leaving us M17x Rev1 owners with a half-baked fix?

  • Wolf-359

    For anyone still watching this thread, new Chipset and Beta Nvidia Drivers out on the support site for R1 users.

    I actually called Dell tech support last night.. from their perspective, they beleive this whole issue as resolved.

  • yaremay

    Hi, John!

    I red your blog concerning DPC Latency. In order to fix the problem (one of the possible solution) you mentioned that Dell users should update BIOS to v A03. When I tried to download last version of BIOS for my Dell Vostro 1015

    <ADMIN NOTE : Service tag removed per privacy policy> from your Drivers update page, there mentioned only v A02 for my model.

    Please advise, should I update my BIOS to A03 version for Aleinware laptop series anyway? Or you can recommend other solutions? My OS is Windows 7

    Thank you in advance!


  • louieoc

    I had basically this same issue on a Vostro. I posted about it on superuser.com: superuser.com/…/firewire-audio-dropouts-dell-vostro-3500

  • StevieH980

    I did have the same problem. However i first noticed it after purchasing starcraft 2. I did some research and i ended up here.

    Though other users have posted that the above solution does not work on their system I managed to get rid of this issue.

    Here's what i did:

    1. I flashed Bios to A04

    2. I did a factory reset via Alien Respwan

    3. I ran the mass storage controller utitly and let windows install a driver

    That's all i did and it worked just great. I did neither install the WLAN driver nor the Nvidia beta driver.

    After flashing to A05 also the problem with the power adapter vanished 🙂

    Maybe this will help people who still have the problem.

    Thanks for every comment here which helped to solve my problem.

  • mrtgrady

    After a year of trying to find out what's been causing crashes and stutters with games like COD:MW2 and now Starcraft II I've finally found out that there's a fault in my M17x's second RAM slot that means anything over 3.5Gb RAM spread over the two slots causes program crashes and BSODs. After upgrading to 8Gb I found I couldn't even get Windows 7 64bit to launch, BSODing every time, even when trying to boot in safe mode. Removing 4Gb from the second slot and just running either one of the 4Gb SODIMMs it boots no problem and all games run perfectly.

    What grinds my gears is I left it until just after my warranty expired to do the upgrade and now Dell are now refusing to support me if I don't have a warranty or extended warranty – sorry to say this guys but this is a case of the machine not being fit for purpose in the first place, which means under UK law you're still liable to fix the problem.

  • michael.klein

    m17x with dual GTX 280M and 9400 here.

    I found out that just the 197.84 driver works stable here.

    Using a newer driver will cause a random freeze of the graphics and I need to restart.

    I also use a Zalman Cooler to get rid of random BSOD by overheat.

    I have issues with EVE ONLINE in window mode due to DPC Latency.

    In full screen mode there's no DCP Latency.

    I found out that turning off HYBRID and GeForce 9400 in BIOS will stop freezing the system.

    I am using the latest 260.99 driver atm.

    I found out that turning off SLI and using just one GTX 280M will show no DPC Latency.

    dpclat.exe reports no red bars anymore.

    So my suspicion: DPC Latency must be a problem by SLI combining the GTX 280M's.

    DELL support should investigate this and give us a solution.

  • michael.klein

    OK, I found a workaround for my and my EVE ONLINE client.

    I turned HYBRID off due to the fact that newer driver will freeze the system.

    To get rid of DPC Latency when running my game client I just use a profile for the .exe of the game and set the SLI-Rendering-Mode to Single-GPU. No red bars anymore.

    So I guess again – I am not a tech expert but someone who finds out a lot by try and error – the DPC Latency is a problem by SLI.

  • michael.klein

    Someone told me a minute ago: "The current DPC latency issue is simply to do with SLI focus being on a window – nothing else causes it."