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Bob from California - Alienware M14 R2 - 256GB mSATA SSD (CRUCIAL M4) Installed... - Page 3

post #21 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by identitycrisis View Post

Bob,
You know, I had a similar problem with a Dell Precision on friday. We just got it in from dell and I was configuring it for an employee. I booted it up, started running windows updates... went to grab some lunch and came back and the screen was black, I thought it had gone to sleep, but it wouldnt turn on.
When I tried to turn it on the fans would Rev up, the HDD, and Wifi lights would turn on solid and the battery/charge light would blink. Ended up calling dell, and they instructed me to remove all memory and attempt to boot, by doing this I discovered I received a bad stick of ram... somehow...
Any combination of the 3 good sticks in any of the 4 ram slots worked fine, as soon as i put in that bad stick with the other 4 or alone, it failed to boot. Very well could be a similar situation... Just a thought. Next time they ask you to send it in to the Depot, refuse, you should have had a 1 year warranty with in home service...

Edited by Bob-California - 10/23/12 at 11:54am
post #22 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by identitycrisis View Post

Bob,
You know, I had a similar problem with a Dell Precision on friday. We just got it in from dell and I was configuring it for an employee. I booted it up, started running windows updates... went to grab some lunch and came back and the screen was black, I thought it had gone to sleep, but it wouldnt turn on.
When I tried to turn it on the fans would Rev up, the HDD, and Wifi lights would turn on solid and the battery/charge light would blink. Ended up calling dell, and they instructed me to remove all memory and attempt to boot, by doing this I discovered I received a bad stick of ram... somehow...
Any combination of the 3 good sticks in any of the 4 ram slots worked fine, as soon as i put in that bad stick with the other 4 or alone, it failed to boot. Very well could be a similar situation... Just a thought. Next time they ask you to send it in to the Depot, refuse, you should have had a 1 year warranty with in home service...
Quote:
Originally Posted by identitycrisis View Post

Bob,

Edited by Bob-California - 10/23/12 at 11:53am
post #23 of 53
Thread Starter 
Yes, identitycrisis

You described exactly what happened to my Dell Alienware M14 R2.

Right after I read your post I called the AW repair facility (depot) and had a note passed onto the person repairing my laptop informing him that I received information from another person with the identical problem and it was a faulty RAM Stick (my laptop has two sticks)

My laptop has been at the depot for over a week and they have no clue as to cause of the failure to boot so the repair guy replaced the motherboard, Harddrive, and they appear to have the same problem. -- its got to be the RAM like you said.

I do have the one year in-home repair warranty but they recommended that I ship it to them as the in-home service tech does not carry the components necessary to fully repair my laptop.

Also, my 8GB x 2 ( 16GB @ 1600 MHz ) RAM Modules don't have heat dissipators and are stacked extremely close together all while being cooled my Alienwares notoriously bad cooling system.

The massive Windows update files cooked the RAM !

I going to admititley turn off Windows automatic updates and just download / install one item at a time as not to overwork the RAM modules thus overheating and damaging a module.

This is unacceptable -- a better designed RAM module(s) should be installed in all dell laptops (RECALL) mad.gif

This will undoubtedly happen again as software / programs over time become more and more demanding.

I edit HD Video content and I'm sure ill cook the RAM modules in no time.

Thanks again identitycrisis

Bob
post #24 of 53
No, it shouldnt, your ram doesnt need cooling modules etc... I think its a freak thing. Think about it... dell/alienware ships a gazillion systems a year.... failure rate is bound to hit some people.

I wouldn't be concerned with letting windows updates run. Also be a stickler next time. They can ship the part to the repair guys I am sure...

Using your computer normally shouldn't cook anything. ive been hammering PCs for years and never cooked anything for using it to its fullest, temperature is the primary concern when it comes to PC components. I just don't see ram overheating and cooking unless the laptop is laying on a blanket or something...

I wouldn't be too concerned. I would be more concerned with getting the notebook back. If it comes back in the same or worse condition be absolutely sure to contact dell immediately and get it resolved... the depot is a bad place...
     
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post #25 of 53
Thread Starter 
Yeah,

I know, I hesitated to send them my laptop because if their service tech's are anything like the dopes that answer the phone I know I'm going to get screwed.

I keep getting this visual of monkeys tossing my brand new laptop back and forth and up into the air.

I have yet to find a Dell employee that can speak English clearly - I have to struggle to understand what they are saying.

I keep waiting for someone to tell me its a demented joke then start speaking clear / understandable English.

Bob
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob-California View Post

Yes, identitycrisis
You described exactly what happened to my Dell Alienware M14 R2.
Right after I read your post I called the AW repair facility (depot) and had a note passed onto the person repairing my laptop informing him that I received information from another person with the identical problem and it was a faulty RAM Stick (my laptop has two sticks)
My laptop has been at the depot for over a week and they have no clue as to cause of the failure to boot so the repair guy replaced the motherboard, Harddrive, and they appear to have the same problem. -- its got to be the RAM like you said.
I do have the one year in-home repair warranty but they recommended that I ship it to them as the in-home service tech does not carry the components necessary to fully repair my laptop.
Also, my 8GB x 2 ( 16GB @ 1600 MHz ) RAM Modules don't have heat dissipators and are stacked extremely close together all while being cooled my Alienwares notoriously bad cooling system.
The massive Windows update files cooked the RAM !
I going to admititley turn off Windows automatic updates and just download / install one item at a time as not to overwork the RAM modules thus overheating and damaging a module.
This is unacceptable -- a better designed RAM module(s) should be installed in all dell laptops (RECALL) mad.gif
This will undoubtedly happen again as software / programs over time become more and more demanding.
I edit HD Video content and I'm sure ill cook the RAM modules in no time.
Thanks again identitycrisis
Bob

If they didn't check the RAM first omg, i would complain to dell about how they replaced everything that you had setup for a bad ram stick. ought to be able to get something for that.

RAM modules failing isn't that uncommon. My gf's dell is a few years old and just had a module fail and it totally failed to boot with it in.


Also, Their service reps that deal with issues. IE their tier 2 support is based in america typically.
I had an issue with an hp a while back and i got tier 2 support because i complained so much and it was an american and he just said screw it and gave me a brand new laptop no questions asked.
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post #27 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiftstealth View Post

If they didn't check the RAM first omg, i would complain to dell about how they replaced everything that you had setup for a bad ram stick. ought to be able to get something for that.
RAM modules failing isn't that uncommon. My gf's dell is a few years old and just had a module fail and it totally failed to boot with it in.
Also, Their service reps that deal with issues. IE their tier 2 support is based in america typically.
I had an issue with an hp a while back and i got tier 2 support because i complained so much and it was an american and he just said screw it and gave me a brand new laptop no questions asked.

(UPDATE: M14 R2 BACK FROM DELL REPAIR DEPOT)


Well,

I just got my Alienware M14 R2 back from the depot.

It took them (Dell / Alienware) over a week to identify, remove and install one stick of RAM that had failed.

I received the laptop in better physical condition than I thought - only one major scratch on the speaker grill (scratched off black paint revieling shiny silver metal) - easily repaired with a black paint touchup pen.

They re-installed Windows, hardware drivers, and re-configured all hardware to operate correctly (so they thought)

I'm getting error messages and crashing while viewing still images and playing videos using the windows player(s).

Windows Experience Index will no longer run - getting error message at the end of the test. Something to do with video settings?

There appears to be a conflict with the Intel 4000 graphics and nVidia m650 GPU.

I guess now I can have Dell inhome service tech fix the numerous errors I'm getting. I'm not going to spend countless hours of my time with that remote online service tech. I'd gladly pay a service tech to arrive as fix this dam thing once and for all so I can get back to work. So dam frustrating.

You would think it would work correctely after returning from the depot.

Bob
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob-California View Post

(UPDATE: M14 R2 BACK FROM DELL REPAIR DEPOT)
Well,
I just got my Alienware M14 R2 back from the depot.
It took them (Dell / Alienware) over a week to identify, remove and install one stick of RAM that had failed.
I received the laptop in better physical condition than I thought - only one major scratch on the speaker grill (scratched off black paint revieling shiny silver metal) - easily repaired with a black paint touchup pen.
They re-installed Windows, hardware drivers, and re-configured all hardware to operate correctly (so they thought)
I'm getting error messages and crashing while viewing still images and playing videos using the windows player(s).
Windows Experience Index will no longer run - getting error message at the end of the test. Something to do with video settings?
There appears to be a conflict with the Intel 4000 graphics and nVidia m650 GPU.
I guess now I can have Dell inhome service tech fix the numerous errors I'm getting. I'm not going to spend countless hours of my time with that remote online service tech. I'd gladly pay a service tech to arrive as fix this dam thing once and for all so I can get back to work. So dam frustrating.
You would think it would work correctely after returning from the depot.
Bob

Glad you got it back...

First off, contact dell, they will send you a replacement speaker grill... That is unacceptable...

If its still crashing something else is wrong, which is pretty evident.... Had the alienware tech support person taken the time to troubleshoot it over the phone with you... you would have a fully functional laptop right now... Make sure they understand this when you call.

Call alienware support, tell them the situation, that they made you send the laptop in for a memory module... and that it came back scratched, and now it doesn't run properly either... They SHOULD step you through some things to figure out the issue. Then insist on a tech coming out, you have IN HOME service for 1 year, if in home service cant, then it should have been sent to the repair facility (at least this is my experience reading other peoples alienware support experiences)

But in the mean time a couple of things...

Did you put the 256gb SSD in? or did you buy it from alienware?

If you installed the SSD don't send it in again with it... You may not get it back. LOL

I would take one stick out, boot up and see if it runs properly, take out the other stick, and see if it then runs properly or if the problem occurs with both memory sticks installed separately. You could try downloading something called memtest86... run it and let it run for several passes and it will detect errors on the memory.

if none of that works you could do a complete reinstall of windows if the memory testing does not seem to fix the issue. (you should have gotten recovery media with thelaptop, right?)
     
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post #29 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by identitycrisis View Post

Glad you got it back...
First off, contact dell, they will send you a replacement speaker grill... That is unacceptable...
If its still crashing something else is wrong, which is pretty evident.... Had the alienware tech support person taken the time to troubleshoot it over the phone with you... you would have a fully functional laptop right now... Make sure they understand this when you call.
Call alienware support, tell them the situation, that they made you send the laptop in for a memory module... and that it came back scratched, and now it doesn't run properly either... They SHOULD step you through some things to figure out the issue. Then insist on a tech coming out, you have IN HOME service for 1 year, if in home service cant, then it should have been sent to the repair facility (at least this is my experience reading other peoples alienware support experiences)
But in the mean time a couple of things...
Did you put the 256gb SSD in? or did you buy it from alienware?
If you installed the SSD don't send it in again with it... You may not get it back. LOL
I would take one stick out, boot up and see if it runs properly, take out the other stick, and see if it then runs properly or if the problem occurs with both memory sticks installed separately. You could try downloading something called memtest86... run it and let it run for several passes and it will detect errors on the memory.
if none of that works you could do a complete reinstall of windows if the memory testing does not seem to fix the issue. (you should have gotten recovery media with thelaptop, right?)
post #30 of 53
Thread Starter 
The first thing I did when it returned is press F12 at startup and run a full diagnosis of the entire computer.

Everything passed. smile.gif

The software is crashing not the hardware. (Driver issues now)

I has the same error messages as the first time I powered up the laptop when it was brand new out of the box.

I fixed all the error messages by formating the HDD then reinstalling Windows and the drivers from Dell's website.

I noticed dell had installed multiple copies of the same driver for an individual item; for example (this time around) the fan had five (5) copied of the same exact driver installed. After I re installed all drivers (one copy per item) the laptop had no problems untill the next day windows did an automatic update and the laptop froze (would not boot) apparently a RAM module had failed.

Good call on the mSATA SSD ! thumb.gif

I emidelity removed it because I knew it would be toast if I sent it to the depot - dam little thing cost over $200 (not much bigger than a postage stamp)

The computer won't display any of the hardware installed in the Devices and Printers menu of the control panel. Just shows a monitor and a printer (strange because I don't have a printer installed)

I swear, this is like a twilight-zone episode.

Right now my eight year old Dell D630 laptop kicks this Alienware's ass because it is fully functional. It's like this Alienware Laptop is on crack. tongue.gif

Getting both HDD and SSD to both operate took days. As one would work and the other did not even show as being installed. The only way I got them both to work is to install windows on both drives then format the HDD and use it for storage. Alienware wins the most incredible pain in the ass award. When I finely get this thing working and stable I'm creating a fresh restore point, creating a system image disc (which a I could sell to dell for $1000 thus making their AW laptops usable) and restore disks. I never want to go thru this nightmare ever again.

I would like to know the best procedure for adding a secound drive to a M14 R2 because when its installed it does not show up as being installed.
I'm thinking windows needs to first download many updates when its first installed and thoes precocious bits of information is what's causing my laptop not to see the secound drive. So I'm just going to install the SSD and leave the HDD out untill the SSD has all of the necessary Windows patches, drivers, ect , then ill reinstall the HDD (formated of course) and at that point it should detect it - (Right?)

Bob
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