Alienware 15 (2015) will randomly not shut down and hang with fans at 100% and backlights on

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by SJLPHI, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Consultant

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    Hello,
    This is an old problem with a lot of speculations (or "solutions") online with no conclusion, and I starting to realize that I cannot google the true solution and I doubt that I will find one unless I ask. So I decided to ask the users/gurus at this forum.

    I have an Alienware 15 (2015) loaded with 2 NGFF M2 SSDs (one linux, one W10, both EFI loads) + 2.5" 7mm HDD and 16GB matched original RAM.

    There is no hardware issue, I work with computer components regularly and I have tested all hardware individually.

    Now, about 1/3 of the time, while shutting down or rebooting the laptop's screen goes blank, and fans run high, with the backlit keyboard on and stays stuck that way.

    About 1/10 of the time, I even get a screen that says it failed to flash BIOS update message as seen in the attached photos.

    In either of the above cases, I need to hold the alien head to turn off the laptop completely, and other than this, there is no impedence in performance or any other side effects. It just doesn't shut down sometimes. I can live with it, and use the machine but it gets mighty annoying especially considering that Alienware/Dell had 4 years to fix this and yet they haven't.

    To resolve this I have tried the following:
    1. Reset BIOS settings.
    2. Downgrade BIOS to A05 and then back to A10.
    3. Downgrade/disable/delete Intel Management Engine.
    4. CMOS reset using physical contact of the two gold leads under RAM.
    5. Fresh install.
    I am out of ideas here, and I have done extensive research online and none of the methods that I find seems to work.

    Does anyone else share my experience with this laptop, and does anyone have a working solution by any chance?
    Thanks.
    -SJL
     

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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
    Vasudev likes this.
  2. VICKYGAMEBOY

    VICKYGAMEBOY Notebook Deity

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    they have 5 15inch models after the R1, so i doubt they will fix anything at all, just they will update microcode + me firmwares.. have you tried using Forceit command line when you are flashing bios.. or use a flashdrive method, hope someone can post the link from 13R2 model, have a try, sometimes the fans ramp up when the alienware software loads up on windows, system freezes for a second or two and it runs the diagnostics. usually i never use alienware update software. did you fresh install from Alienware ISO or from MS iso ?? long boots can also be caused by SSD, i had one similiar issue where the reboot takes super long like 2mins.. like my screen is black, and everything is on.. but after sometime it loads.. specially with the PM951 ssd i had.. i had to switch to AHCI

    also see if you are on insider builds..
    https://mspoweruser.com/microsoft-i...and-restart-issues-on-windows-10-build-18999/
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
    Vasudev likes this.
  3. 0lok

    0lok Notebook Deity

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    The image you have, I had that problem with my Alienware 17 r2 before. The solution dell tech came up with then was replacing the motherboard. They told me it is most likely a corrupted bios. I dont know how reliable they are as most of the time they just follow a script. The outcome of my Alienware 17 r2 then was replacing it with a r3 as I encountered loads of issues and had 3 motherboard replacement. After the 3rd motherboard replacement I requested to have a new laptop which they gave me a r3. I was on the same boat where there is really no solution to the problem software wise or google wise.
    My suggestion is to erase bios totally and load a new one manually using a programmer. The problem is that I don't know how to do this. LOL. Also this would only apply if the dell tech agent was correct that its a bios issue. Can't really help much. SOrry.
     
  4. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Consultant

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    That's a shame. On both Dell and Alienware! I wonder if this happened pretty much all older Alienwares and no one talks about it because Alienware gave them a new version under warranty.

    Incidentally, I did order (https://www.ebay.ca/itm/EEPROM-BIOS...wKNdEKRdddKjjVTRoL0R8-xne2vOOrsEb4QqOVOukj_kc) quite recently to basically debug the BIOS myself.

    If I get it fixed using a programmer I will report back for others, but thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only one with this issue.
    -SJL
     
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  5. VICKYGAMEBOY

    VICKYGAMEBOY Notebook Deity

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  6. sjbain86

    sjbain86 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Can you just switch to AHCI at any time? I thought there were issues booting into Windows if you switch it? I have the same issue you were describing about slow boot times and black screen
     
  7. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Consultant

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    I think it depends on how the OS was installed. I can only boot with AHCI on. I should also mention that I have pseudo dual boot.
    One M2 with /boot/efi and / and /home for Linux
    One M2 with /boot/efi and rest fir W10.

    The "standard" dual boot is to boot from grub in first M2, but I tell BIOS to bypass and boot from the second M2 until I choose to boot from Linux with boot interrupt.
     
  8. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Consultant

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    While waiting for my BIOS tool, Alienware apparently released a new BIOS, A12 just last week. Anyone tried it?
     

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  9. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Consultant

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    Well, the new BIOS didn't help :(
     
  10. 0lok

    0lok Notebook Deity

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    Really difficult problem you have due to it not being common. When I had that issue google did not help at all. As I have said a new motherboard was the solution then. Hopefully wiping bios chip and loading a new bios will fix the problem. Only if it is a bios problem, difficult to say tho. All the best and update us the outcome of your issue. Thanks.
     
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