Blue Screens of Death on my Alienware laptop

Oct 7, 2018
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I bought an Alienware R3 laptop (15”) just over a year ago. Recently, it has come to be plagued by Blue Screen of Death crashes. The errors vary, but are usually DPC Watchdog Violation, Critical Process Failed or Bad Pool Caller.

Sometimes there is a perceptible degradation of performance, a kind of freezing up, before the blue screen hits. Other times it occurs without warning. Often the crashes occur repeatedly early in the morning, then the computer is fine for the rest of the day.
I’ve looked at the Windows log and there doesn’t seem to be any recurring pattern prior to the crashes. I also re-installed Windows and the blue screens still occurred. This leads me to suspect a hardware failure.

Post-crash reboots often give the error message “Boot failure on device”, forcing a shutdown. It’s as if the computer can’t find the hard drive the OS is on.
Memory and hard drive scans don’t find any problem.
So I suspect the problem has something to do with the SSD drive Windows is on; perhaps not the drive itself, but its connection to the rest of the computer.
Does anyone have any suggestions about what I should do, either to fix the problem or determine its cause more specifically?

If the problem is that the C drive somehow intermittently loses its connection to the rest of the computer, would moving Windows to the (non-SSD) D drive and booting from that be a solution?
There are also some vacant M.2 slots in the laptop, where I could add a drive and install Windows there. Or would these be likely to be affected by the same disconnection problem?
I took off the laptop bottom cover and nothing seems obviously out of place or loose.

This person seems to be experiencing exactly the same problem, also on an Alienware.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Alienware/comments/9fzjka/boot_failure_on_device_sos/

 

johnbl

Honorable
Nov 4, 2012
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loss of connection to a drive are most likely going to be caused by bugs in bios, firmware or the storage driver.

you would first go to the laptop vendors website and update the motherboard bios, then down load the current laptop chipset driver and the sata drivers updates. then see if you still have the problem.

note: be sure to update the laptops audio drivers and reinstall the laptop video drivers. be sure you reboot to finish any pending Microsoft window update installs.
 
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