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Tragic Alienware Problem

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I recently picked up a fairly middle-of-the-road M17x and encountered some trouble while taking it on its maiden voyage. One of the GPU fans (Crossfire equipped) was making a buzzing/clicking sound which to me sounded like a bearing problem.

Upon inspection I found that the fan actually looked fine and didn't seem to have any obvious issues. When I replaced it and started the laptop I began to get jittering of the image on the screen.

I disassembled again and found that a piece of tape holding a ribbon cable to the GPU was a little too long and was hanging down in front of the heatsink. This same tape also had thermal compound on it which had tranferred to the GPU PCB.

I cut the tape and cleaned the thermal compound and all seems to be well. The jittering is gone and the fan in question not only works but has to do much less work with the obstructive tape gone.

QUESTION: This thing was not cheap and while qualified to do so I don't enjoy dissecting a very expensive laptop on it's first real day. Also I'm not sure if any permanent damage was done from the taped heatsink and thermal compound issue.

Demand replacement or leave it be?
Edited by MNiceGuy - 2/10/11 at 2:43pm
post #2 of 4
i would have demanded a replacement before fixing it, but now that you have fixed it I say do not worry about it.
post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNiceGuy View Post
I recently picked up a fairly middle-of-the-road M17x and encountered some trouble while taking it on its maiden voyage. One of the GPU fans (Crossfire equipped) was making a buzzing/clicking sound which to me sounded like a bearing problem.

Upon inspection I found that the fan actually looked fine and didn't seem to have any obvious issues. When I replaced it and started the laptop I began to get jittering of the image on the screen.

I disassembled again and found that a piece of tape holding a ribbon cable to the GPU was a little too long and was hanging down in front of the heatsink. This same tape also had thermal compound on it which had tranferred to the GPU PCB.

I cut the tape and cleaned the thermal compound and all seems to be well. The jittering is gone and the fan in question not only works but has to do much less work with the obstructive tape gone.

QUESTION: This thing was not cheap and while qualified to do so I don't enjoy dissecting a very expensive laptop on it's first real day. Also I'm not sure if any permanent damage was done from the taped heatsink and thermal compound issue.

Demand replacement or leave it be?
the people who assemble those expensive alien ware laptops are no better qualified than your typical oem. even though the product is top notch, it was still assembled oem.

stuff like this is to be expected. id leave it be. its the risk you run when you let someone else build your system, weather it be laptop or desktop. unless of course something is seriously wrong with the laptop. then you would definately want to get it replaced via rma.
Edited by AliceInChains - 2/10/11 at 3:38pm
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2600k p8p67 deluxe reference gtx 680 Ripjaws(blue)1866, 8-9-8-24-2t 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
c300, 2X WD CAVAIAR BLACK 640GB RAID 0 LG Bluray/Dvd Rewriter 7 Ult Gateway 24" lcd 1920x1200 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Lycosa Corsair 750w tx Cooler Master HAF 932 black g9 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2600k p8p67 deluxe reference gtx 680 Ripjaws(blue)1866, 8-9-8-24-2t 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
c300, 2X WD CAVAIAR BLACK 640GB RAID 0 LG Bluray/Dvd Rewriter 7 Ult Gateway 24" lcd 1920x1200 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Lycosa Corsair 750w tx Cooler Master HAF 932 black g9 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 4
Have the GPU and fans all swapped out if the problem persists. Tell Dell the issues and allow the system to replicate the issue so tech can verify it.

As for right now, just remember that nothing is built perfect. That's why I always like to disassemble my new machines and rebuild to my high standards. Also, be sure to purchase extended warranty.
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