High-end gaming laptops produced by Alienware (a subsidiary of Dell since 2006).

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Blank screen on startup on Alienware M17X R1 with F415N mobo?

Hey guys,

So I'm been using this Alienware M17X R1 for a while now. Unfortunately, I seem to have encountered an error that's troubling. When I switch on the machine, it doesn't display anything on the screen. No post. No Alienware logo, nothing. The lights on the keyboard and power/media contol panel come on. The GPU fan spins initially, then stops and then after 2 secs or so, the CPU fan spins constantly.

It does not show any flashing lights regarding caps, num or scroll. This tells me that everything is ok with the hardware, according to the Dell site?

Anyways, I've tried reseting CMOS + power drain and reboot a bunch of times. Tried reseating the various components too. Pretty much took this apart and reassembled like 20 times. I've also done a ton of research on various websites and forums with no joy. Practically, all answers just go in circles. I just want the thing to work.

My specs are as follows:

Processor: Q9000 core 2 quad

GPU: single Nvidia 460M GTX 1.5gb Ram on primary slot (left)

Ram: 1333mhz DDR 3: 6 GB (one 2GB and one 4GB)

HDD: 60 GB SSD Kingston

Please can you guys give direct/to the point answers. Thanks.

All help/info appreciated.

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I am having the same problem with my mx18

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Try to either change your RAM or totally remove it and see if you get a POST beep. Start your computer with a minimum amount of RAM and see if that makes a difference.

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Hi there. Thanks for getting back to me. Ok, so I've tried it with 2GB, which is the min I have available. Nothing. Also tried it with the 4GB stick I have. Nothing on screen. When I take the ram out, the computer beeps twice and has a flashing Num lock/scroll or caps indicator I think?

Also tried pointing a flash light at the LCD when testing it. Its just not on. Any ideas?

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Did you try reassembling the laptop and hooking it up to an external monitor? If it displays propperly on the external monitor it's a video output problem.

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It looks like you tried your best to fix this yourself: At least this eliminates a number of common problems. From what I can understand, the issue is probably down to the system overheating. From what I understand, though, the Alienware Mx17 is quite a beast, designed for serious gaming, so overheating issues should normally be contained. If the computer is already out of warranty, then it will be expensive to get it repaired by the professionals.

If it is out of warranty, I would suggest having another go yourself, by opening up the case, clearing out the dust from the fan and air vents, and using a reflow technique on the graphics chip. There are a few things you can try.

In my case, I managed to get my laptop running again (then saved all my data just in case...).

Once you've had this type of problem, its unlikely your system will ever again be 100%, but at least it can still be operational, which is better than throwing it out.

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Okay, so it’s been a while for this thread, but here goes: I have the same problem. Not sure of the specs of my Alienware “laptop” ‘cause it’s at home and I am at work. (I put “laptop” in quotes ‘cause it weighs about 800 pounds, but whatever …)


Anyway, all I want is to get the data off. Short of write-protect digital forensics equipment, does anyone know how I can access the hard drive? And get me some data?

Thanks in advance.

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