Alienware 17 R4 2017 review
Sorry for the length of this post, but it's important to explain the extent of my numerous issues
Specs: ASUS M4A78LT Motherboard - brand new AMD Athlon IIX4630 Processor 2.80GHz - brand new RAM - 2GB (was 4GB - one stick removed as believed to be faulty) GFX card - ATI Radeon 5770, removed as believed to be faulty Brand new PSU Seagate SATA 250g HDD Windows 7 Home Professional 64bit
Original issue: Purchased my PC in October 2010. Worked fine except for some graphical issues until October 2011, when one day, after a normal shutdown, it refused to boot. No display on monitor, no post, nothing. Just lights and fans. I contacted the dealer and they sent me a replacement PSU. This didn't solve the problem, so after extensive testing on my part of the rest of the hardware, I sent the PC back to them, minus the HDD as I had no way of backing up my data. They replaced the mobo and CPU and sent it back to me, saying it was fully working. They detected some graphics card issues but said latest drivers fixed these.
Friday: PC received, I reconnected my HDD and everything worked fine... for an hour or so, until the original problem reared its head again. I managed to get it to boot up the following morning by removing the RAM one at a time. MemTest showed errors on one stick of RAM, so I have been running it on the remaining 2GB ever since. During this process, and several hours after, I saw many blue screens. BADPOOLHEADER and DRIVERNOTORLESSEQUAL, and a couple more I can't remember, including stop codes 7E and 19.
Before the original problems, I had been having errors with the graphics card, such as pixelating, game freezes even when on lowest settings (even though system reqs were fully met), crashing to desktop, hanging etc. Also had a 'bar' of pixels across my desktop fairly often. This was annoying, but acceptable, so I worked around it.
Monday: Ran FurMark to test GFX card performance, it didn't like it, and crashed 5 minutes into the test each time. The recent graphics related freezing and blue screen problems returns were fixed by removing the card and switching to onboard graphics. Computer activity was fine for most of Monday night when I ran Seagate HDD tester, both long and short tests. No errors were found. PC later froze when trying to watch a video on youtube. Had to keep restarting the PC but it would freeze and have to be turned off at the power, or would lose signal to the monitor and have to be turned off for 5-10 minutes in order to get it to post. Then it ended up freezing every time I tried to load any program at all. Booted into windows login screen, shut down, left it overnight.
Tuesday: PC booted up fine, worked fine, despite the previous night's errors. Ran 6 youtube videos at once to test this, no problems. PC lasted for 5 hours, until I went away for half an hour and came back to no signal on the monitor. Had to turn the PC off but managed to get into windows. I started going through device manager, checking for latest drivers and it said that they were up to date until I got about halfway through and it crashed to a blue screen when looking for a particular one (I forget which, but I think it was the section above Keyboards - I worked backwards).
So, I tried rebooting again. I was able to login, but then everything went weird and flickery on a frozen screen and made a weird screeching sound that I've never heard before. I took a video of this if it would help. Restarted again and had the same problems - freezing, loss of screen signal etc, so turned off and removed power cable for 10 minutes.
The ASUS MB screen showed up, then an incredibly weird matrix-style screen, with big green blocks that moved around. I've attached a photo as I haven't got a clue what it is and have never seen anything like it before. Now after this I can't get past the windows login screen. It loaded up after a couple more reboots but froze on the 'welcome' screen after I'd typed in my password. It changes between this, and no signal, no post etc.
I tried using a different hard drive to eliminate mine as the problem, with a fully working load of XP installed on it. It booted into the XP login screen, but froze when trying to login. This makes me think that a HDD format and fresh install of w7 wouldn't solve the problem.
I cannot for the life of me figure out what could be wrong! New mobo, new CPU, new PSU, no gfx card, 1 stick of RAM (2gb - so perfectly adequate). Before anyone asks, Kaspersky Internet Security Suite has detected there are no viruses or anything. So what could be causing this if pretty much every component has been replaced and those that haven't were tested and showed to be fine? I know a reasonable amount about computing but this just has me stumped. No one in the tech support department of the place where I got it from can figure out what to do either.
I really hope that somebody on this forum may have seen this before and may have some sort of solution! Thanks in advance.
As well as driver issues (new mobo, old HDD = different mobo drivers) I think you may have wonky fans (weird screeching sound) and have intermittent overheating causing the BSODS. Could also be a faulty cable between pc and monitor as well.
Fans were also replaced during the repair and are fine - the inside of the PC is also lovely and clean as they used compressed air in it while they had it. Screeching sound happened again and it was coming from the speaker - I guess windows meant to make a noise when it froze and it got elongated into a weird screech. The cable and monitor are both absolutely fine as I'm using them on the PC I'm using right now. I wish it was the monitor, that would be so much easier to sort out!
The new motherboard is exactly the same model as the old one that was originally shipped with this PC, would this still cause a driver issue if it was replaced with an exact copy? Thank you for your help.
i think its memory ....i had this type of thing before. theres a chance you have been unlucky with the memory and the stick you have in is faulty too !!!! going blocky on asus screen is a good indicator of bad memory . Dave.
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Thanks Dave - I ran memtest and there were 7 passes before it terminated itself. Perhaps this meant both sticks were dodgy? I'll try running it again in the morning - PC is refusing to start at the moment.
renew the CMOS battery
do a full HDD check using chkdsk
Running RAM in single channel isn't ideal.But do make sure your RAM stick is inserted into the blue slot nearest the CPU. I'm wondering if maybe you've been unlucky with incompatible RAM with your motherboard.
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