We've received a slew of tips this morning that Dell's latest BIOS update for the Alienware M15x laptop is causing some pretty ugly issues. According to reports this is a different sort of update, run from an application rather than installed separately, and after the first reboot the machine gets to the POST screen then... nothing. Multiple users are complaining of this issue and one claims that Dell is shipping him a new motherboard to fix it. We're still waiting to hear back from Dell to confirm this either way (hello weekend!), and until then we'd advise sticking with your existing version. In the mean time you can feel free to ponder just what the heck is going on at Dell's QA department.
1/11/2010 Update: We got a response from John Blain at Dell, who has indicated that the team there is "fully aware" of the issue and is making this a "top priority."
1/14/2010 Update: John dropped us another note yesterday to let us know that Dell has confirmed the issue, pulling the offending firmware update and apologizing for any inconvenience. It's unclear right now what the resolution will be for those early flashers, but we're guessing free round-trip ticket to Texas is probably in the cards -- for their laptops, anyway.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]