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Alienware oddities

By Walby
Nov 23, 2007
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  1. Hello all,

    I am hope I have come to the right place to get some help.

    I have an Alienware Area 51 766. It has been a good laptop for 3 years, although never the gamer I'd hoped for. So here is my problem, it shuts off...no reason, no warning just shuts off when ever. If I am lucky it will boot up again, if it doesn't then I don't get anything at all execpt optical drive activity if there is a disk in. No video at all.. At first i thouht maybe over heating, so I took it apart and cleaned out the dust and reseated the video card and memory, and made sure all of the fan were working. That made no differnece either, even running it with the covers off. It also at some point corrupted the OS and the system32 files, so I figured this was a good time to do a fresh install. For the most part it went well and I had almost convinced myself the problem had gone away. But it has resurfaced after a few days of constantly being on.

    This time however when I rebooted I got a BSOD saying PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_ AREA ??!

    Alienware specs
    3.4G P4
    1G memory PC3200
    256M Gforce 5700FX GO
    60G 7200rpm HITACHI HD

    I am out of ideas short of sending it to Alienware for repairs, so I hope some one out there has some good info. Thanks!
  2. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 829

    sounds like a faulty memory to me. if you have two dimms, try to run the laptop with one and then the other.
  3. Walby

    Walby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok, its not the memory, i ran it with each of the two dimms in seperately and it crashed both times. not right away, but only when i launched a game. it would run for a few minutes and crash.

    The game is World of Warcraft. The drivers are the same ones that have run on this game for a long time. did they change the game requirments with patch 2.3? Alienware has no newer video drivers then 7/15/2004. And I am not totally convinced it is just the game.
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,817   +160

    The laptop was undoubtedly expensive... After 3 years it could use a good going over by a qualified service center
  5. Walby

    Walby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I feel confident that I can fix what ever is wrong software or hardware and maintenance, I just need some help in the diagnosing = /
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,817   +160

    Ok Walby,
    Open up the case and check that the cooling fans and fins are clean and free of dust. Reseat the video card(s)

    Good luck
  7. Walby

    Walby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Already did all that already. Thanks though.
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,817   +160

    So how about clearing the hard drive and installing the OS fresh, along with all the laptops drivers and utilities
  9. cosmos100

    cosmos100 TS Rookie Posts: 82

    Tmagic he's done that.

    the only thing I can try and suggest is getting the error code of the blue screen you're getting if you can disable the automatic restart then the blue screen should hang.. get the error code and google it.. it should tell you the problem with it and you might be able to fix it.
  10. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,817   +160

    So it's a hardware problem. If he's done a format and OS reinstall the hard drive is ok. He says it's not the memory. So what else is left? Motherboard? Graphics card(s)?
  11. Walby

    Walby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yes, the os is a fresh install and the drivers are as current as Alienware will give me.
     
  12. cosmos100

    cosmos100 TS Rookie Posts: 82

    ie - replace the damaged part(s)
  13. Walby

    Walby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ah, I would love to, if I know what to replace. Alienware wants $260 just to look at it.
  14. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,817   +160

    Any parts like motherboard or video cards would be a lot more than $260. Alienware would spend a lot less time in diagnosing the problem, and they would have the parts needed. What are you going to do? Buy a motherboard or graphics controllers? We can't get any closer to the problem here.

    You would be much better off, letting AlienWare diagnose and possibly repair the laptop. You could also save for a new laptop
  15. Walby

    Walby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    *sigh* You are right. I just hate to admit defeat and send it back.
  16. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,817   +160

    It was an expensive laptop in the first place... I repair laptops often. Many times the parts are so expensive that the owners choose to not get them repaired. Good luck with yours
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