[Alienware 17R4 / 15R3] - Disassembly + Repaste Guide + Results

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by iunlock, Oct 22, 2016.

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Will you be repasting your 17R4/15R2?

  1. Yes.

    309 vote(s)
    77.4%
  2. No.

    19 vote(s)
    4.8%
  3. Maybe.

    71 vote(s)
    17.8%
  1. SkylineLvr

    SkylineLvr Notebook Deity

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    Any thoughts on it not booting up? It powers on for about 3-5 seconds, fans kick in, but then it turns off. The alien head turns amber/orange when it turns off.

    I’ve tried looking online, but haven’t found anything helpful. Perhaps my battery is dead? But wouldn’t it boot up with the power brick connected?
     
  2. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Prophet

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    Super 33+ does NOT ensure that the LM does not get anywhere outside the die and heatsink!!
    It only protects the SMD resistors around the CPU GPU that it covers up. It does *NOT* stop LM from escaping and running right over the tape like it's a snowball on a ski slope or something. Ok it won't run off freely (that was a bit of a joke), since LM likes to stick to anything it comes in contact with, but bumps will just make it slowly move around, until eventually, it winds up escaping the entire heatsink area.

    Take careful look at the CPU. Do you notice that it is RAISED off the surface of the housing for the BGA? (Same goes for LGA as well)
    Look:

    delid.jpg


    That tape protects the metal thingies around the CPU housing from short circuiting if LM touches it. Some CPU's have larger resistors like you see on GPU silicon. That's what Super 33+ tape protects from. You can see a clear air space gap where the CPU is raised above the housing. There will be NO heatsink pressure outside of the CPU's exposed elevated silicon surface! If LM manages to escape the CPU surface area, it will simply run right over the Super 33+ tape and not even care (same goes for people who use nail polish coatings too). Very hard bumps can cause this, especially on a heatsink with low static pressure!

    @Papusan

    THAT's why you use something highly compressible and cut out like *THIS* to 100% completely ensure NOTHING ever gets short circuited, even if the laptop is dropped!
    You need to check all around the CPU and GPU area (if applicable) to make sure you don't have any conductive balls of doom sitting around randomly.

    foamdam_bgacpu.jpg
     
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  3. SkylineLvr

    SkylineLvr Notebook Deity

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    I’ll bring it into work and take it apart again. I’ll go over everything and give it a good cleaning. If all looks well, I’ll probably repaste and repad it one last time. If I’m still having issues I’ll pack it up and give Dell a call when I’m back home.
     
  4. Papusan

    Papusan Jokebook's Sucks! Dont waste your $$$ on Filthy

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    You can boot into bios? And the notebook should easly boot up with only the power brick connected.
    Yeah, check everything. I would do it before you send it in to Dell. Read also MiSJAH's guide on how NOT to Liquid Metal repaste!!
     
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  5. SkylineLvr

    SkylineLvr Notebook Deity

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    Won’t boot to BIOS. Just turns on for about 5 secs then off.

    My paste job didn’t look anything like his, but I won’t say it’s perfect, especially after the issues I’m having.

    I’m guessing maybe something isn’t connected or I’ve got some wires pinched somewhere. I’m usually pretty careful when disassembling and reassembling, but again, there’s obviously something wrong.

    I probably won’t be able to get to it until Saturday. I’ll get back to you guys once I figure it out.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  6. DarkthorZ

    DarkthorZ Notebook Guru

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    Episode 3
    (not so) quick update regarding the laptop

    After , in my last episode, I removed LM spillage and replaced with Kryonaut,

    heat, of course, decided to rise again to hell and back while playing PUBG@2560x1080 and streaming . (picture)
    [​IMG]

    So I went ahead and made sure laptop starts undervolted to -0.110v (my stable point) AND bought a Cooler Master Cooling pad - NotePal U3.
    FINALLY I had a usable laptop. (picture)
    [​IMG]

    BUT

    I had an issue..what if I was travelling?

    Problems would instatly arise back to 97-98...even with undervolting.

    I came close to seling it, to be honest and saying **** it, I'll buy an XMG or a Titan.

    Still, tried one last time: asked my local dell to fix it.
    removed undervolting,came to them,showed them that it's almost melting the cpu....and the guy i was talking to, a smart dude, agreed it's FUBAR. He, obviously, said we should change the heatsink.

    We opened it up, we tested 3-4 times how the old HS stayed on....contact was perfect on my CCI heatsink. didnt work.
    So he said...ill try order a replacement...and we hope for the best.
    (note) during the testing, the ****ty leg clams broke off,because the flexible numbered legs are stamped on this frail metal.

    New heatsink came,and, to my surprise, it was a full SUNON. (bad picture, but you can see it's not CCI by the number of letters)
    [​IMG]

    Kryonaut, flatness test, and one install later....I have these temps, tested with/without cooling pad U3 turned on/off , undervolt, on a flat table, lifted:

    case 1:
    DAY 1, no U3, no undervolt, flat on a table (most common situation, tested with PUBG for 1hr and streaming at 1080P....most stressful test I have:
    [​IMG]

    CLEARLY, temps are WAAAAY better.

    Case 2

    DAY 1, uniengine heaven left for 1hr , no u3, no undervolt:
    [​IMG]

    CASE 3:
    DAY 1: u3,. undervolt -0.110 , pubg with stream on for 4 hrs:
    [​IMG]

    CLEARLY temps are awesome.

    Day 7 (and i burned it in pretty hard) - with u3 and undervolt:
    [​IMG]


    With 85- 86 temps at flat level,no undervolt,no cooling pad, no nothing, we are talking about a worst case scenario, because you CAN schedule undervolting at system start-up, and be done with this.
    However, if I just undervolt, temps stay at around 77-79....which,for me, while travelling, makes it a LOT more manageable.

    I am getting closer to 12 days,and the temps still amaze me.

    In conclusion to my episodic situation...no, you dont need LM, even tho the design of the heatsink is utter garbage.
    No, don't buy first batch of laptops, especially from Dell. They are ****.

    Notes:
    I saw the stapled heatsink flexi-legs break off the heatsink while we were trying to bend the arm a bit more...

    From an engineer's point of view (me) , it's garbage, and the metal they used tor the non-copper heatpipes is garbage (CCI one, at least) ;
    -the fan dissipation fins are TOO DAMN small,TOO SHORT (if you open the fan casing, they were meant to be TWICE), too close together which results in poor airflow and clogging up too fast and insufficient surface to dissipate;
    and there is AT LEAST a heatpipe MISSING that was supposed to be placed on it.

    (sincerely, f*ck you,Dell, for your 5-7$ cost reduction on a 2000+$ laptop)

    I hope,for now, the saga of the overheating will come to an end for at least a year....until I can save up for a german XMG.

    Dell's bullsh*t got me fed up. They destroyed, in my eyes, what Alienware was when I was a child growing up in the 2000's.
    Shameful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
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  7. Genryuu

    Genryuu Notebook Enthusiast

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    A few questions about thermal pads.
    Would fujipoly 17w make sense instead of the 11w ones?
    Also, is stacking 2 or 3 layers of 0.5mm a bad idea?
    The suggested amount in the guide would make it not a very cheap thing if I have to buy sheets of all thicknesses (and I live in Japan, they don't sell it here, I need to buy it from Amazon.com).
     
  8. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Look at Arctic ones they are cheaper and much softer and survives even after multiple disassembly. If you're an expert at repaste/repad invest in Fujipoly pads which are brittle and must be replace again and again after every disassembly.
     
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  9. Genryuu

    Genryuu Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thank you, I'll do how you say, considering it's the first time I do something like this.

    I'm also very unsure whether I should go with liquid metal or stick to normal paste..
     
  10. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Go for normal paste. BTW, what's your ambient temps?
     
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