My Alien is Dead
04/04/17(Tue)12:59


My alienware laptop died a sudden death today. Total power failre internally :(
I can either send it away to be fixed which will take 3 weeks or pay £30 for an engineer to come to me to fix it quicker. I've with the quicker option, but I currently don't know when they'll come.

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09/05/17(Tue)22:41
2659.5
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Obduction

I hope you can now finally enjoy some proper care free gaming...for at least 8 years.

Like puzzles? The Witness is great, and Obduction (from the makers of Myst)

09/05/17(Tue)11:48

Got and fitted my extra memory today. It's nice to have 16Gb again.
I heard back from a customer service specialist at dell who again offered a refund. I said no and told them I'd fix the problem myself.
Here ends this sorry tale of shitty customer service! :/

04/05/17(Thu)14:32

Refund isn't the best option as the cheapest GTX1080 laptop I've found is £2300 and I'm pretty sure Dell will only give me what I spent on the original unit from them which is £1650, I then added the memory and SSD seperately for £180 as dell wanted over £350 for that. So not a good option as I'll effectively lose out £650

I did check how hard it is to remove the bezel to check the lcd panel and thankfully it's very easy. I removed the bezel and again thankfully the panel is fine, it's the bezel squeezing the lcd causing the problem. Other people with the same problem suggest the best fix is to remove the thin foam pads behind the panel thus giving more space for the lcd panel. If I can't get any joy from dell I'll do that, I'm not going to lose £650 for what for me will be a fairly simple fix. My gripe with dell is that they should fix the problem as it's a new computer under warranty!

In other news I got the creators update on this one now. What a waste of time! :D
I've removed all the new shit and switched off game mode as it caused regular pauses in the games that I never had before. Paint3D looks like crap with a terrible interface, I doubt I;ll ever use it. At least they didn't reinstall all the usual crappy apps again.

04/05/17(Thu)14:13
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Dell do make a good throne

Damn, what a sham. REFUND!

04/05/17(Thu)11:44

WTF!?! Am I in a fucking dream?
The tech department now tell me the screen is within it's standards and won't be fixed.

I've contacted the order department to request a replacement computer.

You'd think after 5 weeks of this shit they'd be happy to fix the thing and get rid of me!

I've also asked for details of how to make an official complaint, funnily enough the details aren't freely available.

I really can't believe this company.

03/05/17(Wed)19:41

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmkE483xFpU

03/05/17(Wed)14:54
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>>33549 For the price it just has to be top notch quality, which this clearly isn't.
I've read on some forums that the replacement screen was actually worse. Let's hope yours will be the 1% (aka no bleed).

As for the touchpad, I remember that was an issue with my old laptop (HP) too. I 'member how I solved it..gave it to my dad ;)

03/05/17(Wed)12:01
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Dell have been in touch and want a photo of the light bleed. It took a few practice shots to get it to show but here is what I'll be sending them.
Not the blueish tone at the bottom of the screen is just some reflection or something, it's the whitish tone where the arrows are that is the light bleed. With the brightness at max it's horrible!

As for the touchpad a bit of experimenting with drivers found that Dell have changed the way the touchpad works so now you have to use the dell specific driver and you can't use the synaptics generic driver if you want the lights to work, which is all a real pain in the arse as the dell driver is missing lots of options like single finger scrolling which I can't live without! The tech support guy is going to see if it's possible to enable the single finger scrolling using the Dell driver but I don't expect they will say it's possible, even though it works perfectly with the synaptics generic driver. I'll try to see if synaptics have a registry entry for driver settings and try to force those setting on to the Dell driver when I get time.
If I have to choose I'll be going with the one finger scrolling over the lights.

I now have to wait for an email from them and then I can send the photo and results of a test they wanted me to run to check the rest of the system was working correctly, which it thankfully is.

29/04/17(Sat)17:52

>>33539 The memory is DDR4 2400>>33539, this laptop can take 2666 but it makes sense to just match what's already in it.

I've been through everything I can find on the lights but nothing has helped. I'm pretty sure it's a firmware problem with controller chip but I have no way to do anything with it. Hopefully the engineers have a way to fully reset it.

29/04/17(Sat)14:29

>>33538 good to hear it's going (a bit) better.

50 pound for *gb of ddr4 (@ what speed?) seems like a steal..at least with current prices. Hope you get what you ordered ;)

All I could find on the lighting from Alienware was this: http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN128904/alienware-command-center-quick-guide?lang=EN

29/04/17(Sat)09:55

The motherboards are totally custom for each model but individual components are of course standard parts so generic drivers can be used, and are often more up to date than Dell drivers. I did let windows sort it all out except a few specific drivers.
All installed and working at 1607 now. For some unexplained reason the light controller for the touchpad has stopped working. I've tried all sorts of things with no joy. I think it's a firmware thing, which is totally custom to aliemware :/ I've emailed tech support about it.
Some good news. When I installed the SSD I noticed the installed memory was a single 8Gb module instead of 2 4Gb like before. This will make upgrading to 16Gb much cheaper :) I've ordered another identical 8Gb from China for £50.
I'm fairly impressed by the new 17R4, it's bigger and heavier which is a shame but that's because the cooling has been improved significantly to allow the CPU and GPU to work harder. The sound is much improved it now has a fancy "Alienware Sound Center" feature that really improves game sound and gives a very impressive sense of surround sound. The extra lighting along the sides of the base and screen are pretty dumb, but I guess some people like that kind of thing.

28/04/17(Fri)11:58
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This sounds more and more like a diy build, which would probably be less of a hassle.

Wait? Can't you just install the latest Windows version from MS website? And let the OS install the drivers.
I recently installed the latest W10 version (1703) on an older LGA 1156 (asus P7P55D) build, and got no warnings in device manager. The P7p55D no longer has drivers for W10 but it works.

Also I doubt Dell/Alienware makes the mobo (and mos def not the gpu), can't you search the drivers directly from the manufacturer?

28/04/17(Fri)09:14

...but on the plus side I realise I don't have 5 versions of MS Office installer to get rid of, that for some reason takes about 20 minutes for each one to uninstall :)

28/04/17(Fri)09:06

Soooo.... You'd think the recovery image that's specifically for this computer would be Win10 1607 and have all the drivers installed. NOPE! It's Win10 1511 and has no alienware drivers or software at all, just plain windows 10. What's the point of having a specific recovery download if it's just plain windows 10!?!
This is going to take even longer to get up and running now, but at least the SSD is in and has the OS installed even if it's 2 version out of date :/

27/04/17(Thu)22:16
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27/04/17(Thu)19:14

It's exactly the same lcd model as the old alien so I know it shouldn't have light bleed. Hopefully they will come and fix it.
As for quickly getting up and running, well that isn't working out, migrating the OS has failed with 2 different bits of software for unknown reasons so I'll have to download the OS image from Dell and start from scratch on the SSD :/

27/04/17(Thu)17:42

Yay..ish!
That's the IPS screen, yeah? If so, my previous (cheap IPS) monitor had the light bleeding too. The new Acer Predator doesn't but is almost twice as expensive.
I just read that the backlight bleeding is a common problem for both the IPS and the TN panels. Also thermal throttling seems to be an issue. At least you could hook a monitor to it, that GTX will eat it raw.

27/04/17(Thu)14:28

New alien arrived :)
It has horrible light bleed around most of the screen :(
Apparently it's a common problem with the 17R4 and 15R3 models and may have more to do with a badly fitting bezel than a damaged lcd. Either way I've requested an engineer come and fix it.
The screen as a whole is really flexible and thin on this new model. Not a great design choice if you as me. I'll carry on and set the thing up and post back later.

27/04/17(Thu)09:33

>>33527 By real time updating you mean the comments on the pages? Well the answer is it could be done that way, and I've thought about doing it, but I just don't have the time to rewrite the code currently. I'm hoping I'll find time to update the youtube video player soon but involves working with 'regular expressions' which is something I've always hated :D I should just find the time to learn it properly and then it wouldn't be such an issue!
Jenn is welcome anytime 8P
The new alien should be here this afternoon, I'll post some pics once I've got it. Hopefully I'll have the SSD installed and get some games on it by the end of the day.

26/04/17(Wed)18:38
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Still need me to send Jenn?

>>33524 Hooray!

ps: why isn't real time updating a thing? Don't bother, I already know the answer.

26/04/17(Wed)18:36
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I'll send Jenn, she'll tell you what you can do

Well, at least when it arrives (this century?) it will play every games at 60fps, unless it's a 144Hz screen than it will be glorious 144fps!

I hope the 'new' ware will at least run without fuzz(ing) ;)

26/04/17(Wed)18:29

Perhaps my rant at Dell wasn't entirely wasted. I just got an email to say it will be delivered tomorrow, a week earlier than expected.

26/04/17(Wed)07:57

>>33522 I got an email back and needless to say they won't do anything. I really can't be bothered to fight this any more, it's pissing me off too much. I'll just take what they send, it'll still be a good computer, just not quite as good as it could have been.
Dell/Alienware have shown the kind of company they are and for that I won't be buying anything from them again.
Hopefully I can relax and put this bullshit behind me and by the time it arrives I'll be happy to have a gaming laptop again.

25/04/17(Tue)15:22

Nothing yet?

21/04/17(Fri)22:23

>>33515 I would have been happy if they had sent me a proper GTX1080 laptop when they first said they would 10 days ago, but to send me a fucked up version that'll take another 2 weeks, fuck 'em, never again.
I've sent a complaint to the alienware management but I doubt they will give a fuck. I've sent one to the head of alieware tech support, who I've spoken to a few times, he seemed ok, but I doubt he'll do anything either.
This company simply doesn't do what it says it will and clearly gives no fucks for it's customers. Dell used to be much better than this. Never again.

21/04/17(Fri)16:55
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Rude Alien

Dude, you should consider a lawyer or at least somebody who can legally assist you (for cheap/free). Their comments is just disrespectful but 5 weeks is bloody absurd.

Do you still defend Dell/Alienware? Public relations and RMA service are part of choosing a brand for me. This shows they really don't give a flying fuck. No a Dell for me (see what I did there? :D )

At least you still have your Raspberry Pi for minecraft :|

21/04/17(Fri)14:57

Just heard from the useless cunts at Dell and they have decided to send me a new 17" Alienware with a GTX1080 but have decided to down-grade the screen to a 1080!?! You can't buy this model with anything less than a 1440. How fucking pointless to have a GTX1080 gpu with only a 1080 screen. I've told them to stop being so petty and sort it out. The resale value of this new laptop would be severely limited if it doesn't have the correct screen. I've asked to speak to the manager who decided to do this as well, I doubt that will happen.
And also I have to wait 2 weeks for delivery! So that'll be 5 weeks with out a computer I paid £1750 for!
Almost forgot to mention that they'll only offer a 1 year warranty even though it should have a 2 year warranty.
I have never met such a bigger bunch of cunts in my life!

20/04/17(Thu)21:41

>>33506 It's the same holiday in the UK so they have no excuses there. I emailed someone today who replied that they would let me know when management got around to approving it. How a company can think it's ok to fuck over a customer then agree to a resolution only to leave them hanging for over a week while management fuck about approving it is beyond me. If I hear nothing by the end of tomorrow they will be getting another email. It will not be friendly.

20/04/17(Thu)20:38

Well, eastern holidays fucked things up for you. European banks (and I just go out on a limb saying UK banks too) were closed for 4 days.

Another email? Public? Start leaving bad reviews ;)

20/04/17(Thu)09:43
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Alien Update News:...
...Still waiting for confirmation that I'll be getting a new laptop, despite having been told that would have happened by Tuesday at the latest! Please Dell don't rush, I've only been waiting over two weeks for a working computer! Fucking useless bastards!
I'm just going to sit back and relax with a cup of tea from my 'I love Dell' mug.
Stay tuned for more Alien Update News as it happens.

17/04/17(Mon)23:01

>>33474 My understanding is prices are not expected to start to fall before 3Q17 at the earliest :/

17/04/17(Mon)16:30

"Average Contract Price of 4GB DDR4 DRAM Modules to Climb 12.5% Entering 2Q17."
http://ein.iconnect007.com/index.php/article/103727/average-contract-price-of-4gb-ddr4-dram-modules-to-climb-125-entering-2q17/103730/?skin=ein

14/04/17(Fri)11:32

>>33452 No surprise, the UK has always been a rip off and with the added Brexit factor it's only getting worse.
It is also worth remembering of course that US prices usually don't include tax and UK prices do.

13/04/17(Thu)19:01

Wow, the US version is cheaper by £500, and that's even with the added ssd! :O

13/04/17(Thu)15:39

>>33448 No news today, the guy suggested no until Tuesday (due to the long easter weekend).
The base 1080 model in the UK is £2499!?!
It won't come with an SSD as I added my own and it will only have 8Gb as I added the 16Gb myself, but the important thing is the 1080 :)

13/04/17(Thu)12:57
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Holy hell..the Alien 17 R4 with the 1080 costs around £2034 (+256GB ssd & 1TB hdd)!
But damn those specs are delicious :D

Any news?

12/04/17(Wed)16:51
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WOOOHOO!

Man, GTX 1080 rocks!! I hope you get that one :D

12/04/17(Wed)14:04
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Well bend me over and call me Doris! Just heard back from the head of Alienware tech support for Europe. He's going to send me a replacement laptop, but not a refurbished Alienware 17 R3, but a brand new Alienware 17R4 with a Kaby Lake processor and a 10 series GPU. He can't currently confirm the spec but he said it would be as close as possible to my current laptop was when I bought it, so 8Gb of ram not 16Gb, but with the newer cpu and gpu, so should be a 1080, I suggested I wouldn't expect less than a 1080 as I currently have a 980. I did not expect that! I was hoping for a memory replacement (worth £132) but expectedto just get my £29 rapid service charge back.
The downside of all this is that it will probably take a week or two to get the new Alienware and I'll probably be without a gaming computer until then. However the guy tells me that it's still possible the old laptop might get fixed tomorrow as he can't get hold of the engineer, but I expect that won't happen.
I think it'll be worth the wait for a 1080. I'll update this thread as I hear more.

12/04/17(Wed)13:05

>>33433>>33435 Doh! This is in the wrong thread!?! It should be here http://www.merlins-bar.com/threads/3678.html
Oh well :S

12/04/17(Wed)11:21

A letter/email to the press / a bad review does wonders!

Like they don't give a toss about you.
>>33433 Oh is that your new hobby? :D

12/04/17(Wed)11:14
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And let's be clear, water cooling is always the best solution!

12/04/17(Wed)11:11

Well they fucked me over again today. Total no show. No email, no phone call, nothing! Maybe they'll come tomorrow >:(

I've emailed them about this but I don't expect a quick response. I can't be bothered with phoning them again, although at least the phone calls are free. Bunch of wankers!

11/04/17(Tue)18:58

Alienware computers are great, but the tech support hasn't been good. The engineers have been good but the parts they are given to use are usually refurbished and clearly the quality control in the refurb department is terrible. I don't have a big problem with refurb parts, it's normal in all industries, but if the refurb department is putting out faulty parts the little bit of money they save from refubishing parts is lost on the cost of further engineer call outs.
I called alienware tech support after todays failure to let them know it is totally unacceptable to have had 2 failed replacement mobos and lost several days waiting for engineers. He suggested that they would see what they could do to keep me happy but couldn't say what as the manager wasn't available. I suggested they replace my failed 16Gb ram. I'll be surprised if I get anything other than 'sorry' in which case I doubt I'll buy an alienware again as there is plenty of competition out there.
Hopefully tomorrow will leave me with a fully working laptop and I can put this wasted week behind me.

I've been working on version 2 of my LED light controller, which controls lights in the fish tank, monitors the fish tank temperature and also controls several other LED lights I have in my sitting room. I've now added the ability for it to be able to control infrared and RF devices and can be controlled via wifi. It's basically becoming a home hub for other projects, like wifi controlled sockets etc. The hardware is done but the software for it will take a while so not many of the new features are doing much currently. It's totally over the top but I like screwing around with this stuff :D

11/04/17(Tue)17:25

Damn, sorry to hear that. I guess you won't buy another alienware (or Dell) any time soon/ever again. I avoid Dell, now Alienware too.

So working on any other thing/hobby besides pissing on Alien's ware?

11/04/17(Tue)13:25
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!!!FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!

After the latest repair the fucking thing won't even start window without freezing with a DRIVER_STATE_POWER_FAILURE Error and as I know the OS and drivers are all working it's clear another faulty fucking motherboard!!!
The enginner installed the new USB ports and we tested it and everything worked perfect. Then he moved on to the replacement mobo and fans (the mobo has to come out to replace the fans so they replaced the mobo at the same time). Well good news the fans pass the diagnostic test but on booting windows it freezes within seconds, sometime before it's even got to the desktop. Again it's worth pointing out that the exact same SSD with with windows 10 installed work perfectly just minutes earlier before the latest mobo was replaced. FFS!
He's hoping to come back tomorrow with another mobo!?!
Oh, and yes I did pay extra for on-site rapid repair! Otherwise it was having to wait 3 weeks.
Totally unaccpetable to send out 2 faulty mobos.
Totally sick of this shit :(

10/04/17(Mon)20:13
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Dell will bring a replacement

:/ You're obviously not paying for fast repair time. Maybe you forgot to tick that box?
At least they are coming to you. Here I have to send it to the local repair shop..and probably wait till it freezes over.

10/04/17(Mon)18:04

>>33420 ;P Putting the entire computer in pure mineral oil would be preferable as it's not electrically conductive.
The engineer couldn't come again today as more parts are required but Dell have contacted me to say they will be here tomorrow. I won't be holding my breath.

07/04/17(Fri)18:42

>>33419 what a hassle. I hear putting a laptop in a plate with ice water helps ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DyUitTVWlw

07/04/17(Fri)18:14

>>33418 That's the one! ;P
Even a power USB hub has an electrical connection back to the computer so could technically cause a problem, the only truly safe option is an opto-isolated USB hub which uses light pulses instead of a physical wired connection (all done on a single chip).
My memory id DDR4 2400 and the cheapest I've seen for 2x8Gb is £120. I'll wait for prices to come down.
I have backups of all my important data but I will have a lot of software to re-download and set up on the new hdd. To avoid this in the future I've ordered a 4Tb hdd to use for backups and for keeping snapshot drive images on. Image 4000 of those lovely drives you found linked together! I'm going to need a bigger house :D
I also found the USB sockets on the left side of the laptop didn't work today so they are going to replace those too. And annoyingly the engineer couldn't come today as Dell hadn't sent all the parts so it won't be until Monday that they come now :(
At least I can use the laptop with the current mobo I just have to be careful it doesn't overheat.

07/04/17(Fri)11:06
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I found your 1GB hard drive! How on earth did it fit in your laptop?!

W10 is tied to the mobo, as far as I know. So me thinks you should double check to be safe.
The Ewent usb hub shown >>33414, is a powered hub that can also work without it.
Btw, is it DDR3 or 4 for memory?

And, didn't you lose any data? Maybe you should sue Dell or at least post a bad review online ;)

06/04/17(Thu)06:35

>>33414 I always writing 1Gb when I mean 1Tb :S
I'm hoping memory comes down later in the year. I can cope with 8Gb without any problem but I'd like 16Gb again. I'd also like to get a 1Tb SSD but those prices are up too for the same reasons.
I don't think a hub would make any difference as it would still connect to the internal power system of the computer, and an electrically isolated USB hub would be expensive.
Win10 has behaved so far, the engineer said it wouldn't ask for reactivation unless I reinstalled it from scratch. He did give me a new Win10 licence though if that happens which is tied to the new mobo.

05/04/17(Wed)22:29
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only 1GB of HDD? That seems rather small.

Memory has indeed skyrocketed because of more demand and less production. Mostly due to last year; Japan (or was it Taiwan?) experienced floods which stopped production for a while. Also servers and mobile platform increased in demand. So memory and ssd's are expensive now. Hopefully it will be back to normal in a few months from now.

Damn, new mobo..so it was fried. Bummer. So does that mean you gotta re-activate W10 again?

I also hope the new mobo has good ports. Maybe time to buy a usb hub?

05/04/17(Wed)19:44

>>33412 The motherboard has been replaced, but sadly the CPU fan won't work correctly, the fan looks fine so they think the new mobo is also faulty. What really pisses me off is that the 1Gb HDD and 16Gb of Ram are also fucked. They will replace the HDD but not the Ram as it wasn't what came with it. What really really pisses me off is that a year ago that 16Gb of ram cost £55, it's now £136!?! WTF!!! I guess I'll stick to the 8Gb that came with it for a while. Thankfully the SSD which I added is working fine.
An engineer is coming back Friday to replace the Mobo, fan (maybe both with heatsink) and HDD.

05/04/17(Wed)11:25

I've had short-outs from usb connectors too. Mostly it had to do with a lack of ground wiring. Never had a mobo die on me like that though.
It did happen with a graphics card once; saw a little flash, heard a zap, and poof.. no more screen :( One of the tiny capacitors on the board had 'exploded')

Let's hope it's a relative easy fix..

Curious though, if the engineer fiddles with your alien doesn't that void the warranty?

04/04/17(Tue)19:51

>>33409 I prefer laptops after many years of desktops, I've had, and still have, many of both, but my main use computer is a laptop and I don't see that changing.
The Alienware died when I plugged in a usb memory stick. I've tested the stick with another computer and it's fine. I've also has some suspisions about the usb on the alienware for a few weeks sometime disconnecting and reconnecting. I think maybe a regulator has fried on the motherboard after having been failing for a weeks. I don't think the usb was the cause as such rather than what stressed the regulator once to much.
An engineer is expected tomorrow or Thursday to try and fix it. I've tried everything to get it working, just no go.

04/04/17(Tue)18:19
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Corsair One

laptops..horrible devices imo. My old laptop (gave it to my dad) refused the battery..happened to a friend's lappy too, both still work but only with the charger plugged in.
Just get yourself a decent desktop. Even a pre-built will do. I hear Corsair has a nice One.

Have you tried turning it on and off again? ;p

But seriously, that sucks. Did it happen while you were using it? No funky smell, I hope?
Have you tried turning it on without the battery but with the charger?