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[Alienware Area 51] Computer Fails to Boot Up


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#1 khadgarklimax

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 02:18 PM

Hi everyone. I have a rather large problem with my Alienware Area-51 Desktop and this problem has been on-going for about 3 years now. Two years ago I purchased a much cheaper temporary computer in aspiration of getting my Alienware fixed, I forgot about it however and it has since then gathered dust. I am finally ready to fix the bad boy up and use it for my games once again.

 

Here's the problem in short:

 

The Alienware will only turn on sometimes. What do I mean by this? Well, every time I attempt to boot up my Alienware it fails to do so. I will leave it for a day or two, try to turn it on again and it will work. When I come to turning it off again, it may not work for another few days to a few weeks, rendering it completely unreliable.

 

It has been doing this for the past couple of years. There appears to be no pattern; sometimes it will work, sometimes it will not. There is honestly no way of telling that I have discovered anyway.

 

Now, here's a run down of what happens when I press the power button:

 

Either two things will happen: It will boot up immediately, or it simply will not. When the PC does not boot, I can hear a quiet "click" sound that comes from within the computer when I press the power button (Obviously the power making it into the machine). Then silence. If I hold the power button for 3-4 seconds, I will hear a second "click" (Obviously the power shutting off from the machine).

 

When I remove the side panel to look inside and turn it on, a small orange LED light comes on on the motherboard after I hear the "click", which turns off after I "shut the PC down". This tells me that the power is obviously making it through the power cable and through the power pack to the motherboard, so I do not believe the problem lies with the cable. The power pack may or may not be faulty, I'm unsure.

 

It might be worth noting that this problem got progressively worse from the first time it happened around 3 years ago. On rare occasions the computer would fail to boot, it got worse until the computer would only boot up on rare occasions. There were problems with the Alienware prior to this, however, which forced me into a position where I would have to force-shut the computer down (Holding the power button until it shuts down). I can't remember exactly what the original problem was, but I think the PC kept freezing/getting blue screens.

 

In a nutshell:

 

  • Around 3 years ago the computer would freeze/bluescreen, so I would have to force-shut it down.
  • The more I force-shut it, the harder it became to reboot it
  • Eventually (today) the PC rarely boots at all.

I really, really want this to be fixed. I do not want to take it to a "specialist" because I am not exactly knowledgeable of computer technical terms so I fear I could be taken advantage of and ripped off. I would much prefer to ask someone here. For that same reason may I ask that any explanations you provide me are in simplistic terminology if possible to help me understand.

 

Thank you very much for your time, and I hope to hear from someone soon. I have attached a photo from google of the same model of computer I am talking about.

Attached Files


Edited by khadgarklimax, 01 June 2013 - 02:21 PM.


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#2 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 02:35 AM

Hi

 

Welcome to the Bleeping Computer forum  :welcome:

 

Intermittent power issues can be an indication of a bad power supply unit or a connectivity problem. First step you should do is to disassemble the system, clean and reconnect it. This will solve any potential loose connectivity problems and issues created by dust. Read the excellent guide in the below link. It covers A to Z things to properly doing a cleaning process.

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/cleaning-the-inside-of-your-pc/

 

Also watch this video guide. Don't forget to take the precautions to avoid static electricity damage as per  instructions in the guide.

 


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 02 June 2013 - 02:39 AM.


#3 khadgarklimax

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 11:30 AM

Thanks very much for those guides, much appreciated.

 

Unfortunately, the computer model in the video is not the same as mine. After some research, it turns out the power supply in mine has all of the cables attached to it, meaning I cannot simply replace it with a typical power supply -- i'd need an exact replica, with all cables attached. I heard this was a big problem for Alienware and so they have discontinued the model I have, meaning they no longer sell it or parts for it.

 

Is there perhaps a way I can work around this? Or am I at a dead end with this unless I find an exact match?

 

EDIT: Apologies for the slow/late reply.


Edited by khadgarklimax, 02 June 2013 - 11:45 AM.


#4 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 12:31 PM

Hi

 

Unfortunately i don't have experience with the PSU of Alienware. I mainly assemble and repair custom computers. I guess your system is build by Alienware before they are acquired by Dell. I did a search in internet but can't find any specific info about this proprietary SMPS. Can you post a picture of the SMPS and it's connectors ?

 

BTW : Don't forget to check the functionality of the front panel power on switch. Intermittent power issues are often caused by them. You can swap the power and reset switches to check the functionality of the switch (Connect reset cable to the motherboard power header)



#5 khadgarklimax

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:46 PM

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Newton-Power-1000w-PSU-Dell-Alienware-/140988965303?pt=UK_Computing_PowerSupplies_EH&hash=item20d398e1b7

 

The link above will direct you to an eBay page that displays the exact same power supply inside my Alienware. Would this be interchangeable with any other PSU?



#6 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 03:02 AM

Hi

 

The picture you posted looks like a standard SMPS. So any good quality SMPS should fit in to that case. Before considering buying a new power supply, you should first confirm whether it is faulty. Best way to check that is to either plug another SMPS to the Alienware (from your second computer) or test the SMPS by connecting it to your second system. If the SMPS is really faulty, buy a platinum rated SMPS from either Antec or Corsair.

 



#7 khadgarklimax

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 05:22 PM

Thanks a lot. Again, sorry for the delayed replies.

 

It may take a few days as I'm busy over the rest of this week, however I will disassemble my Alienware this weekend and look into it and find out if the cables are attached to the power supply or not (By that I mean permanently attached). Thanks for your help so far, really appreciate it you've been very helpful.

 

I will get back to you this weekend with my "findings".


Edited by khadgarklimax, 03 June 2013 - 05:22 PM.





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