AW 17 R3 draining battery while gaming (plugged in)

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by Fatpat5, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Fatpat5

    Fatpat5 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I am having one in a series of problems with my Alienware 17 r3 (6820HK (not overclocked), Geforce 980m, 2 ssd's and 1tb hdd).

    At first I had Dell's system recovery flash drive erase my data drive (when it should have been resetting my windows system which came factory-installed on a 256gb SSD), then the Dell-supplied SSD died (despite being within Samsung's warranty period, but because the laptop is out of warranty, neither Dell nor Samsung felt willing to help - not great).

    Now the problem concerns what I presume to be the battery or PSU.

    When playing games - particularly those that are quite performance hungry (Fallout 4, Dishonored 2, etc), I sometimes (not all the time as yet) get a low battery warning after about 1 hour or so of gaming, despite the laptop being plugged in. It appears that the games are draining the battery which, as I understand it should point to there being insufficient power from the PSU.

    I also keep having a weird lag or stutter that happens every few seconds (just briefly each time) in all sorts of games from GTA V to Fallout 4, Dishonored 2, Quantum Break, etc. which I am sure was not there when I bought the laptop. I have tried without fail to actually find a solution. Now I wonder if this problem with the battery/PSU could actually be the cause (or not).

    Anyway, I have a 240w PSU that the laptop came with (though weirdly, once a couple of weeks ago it showed up as only 180w when a warning popped up just after the initial boot screen - went into BIOS and it was listed there as 180W (or 190 - can't remember). I plugged it out and then back in again and voila - it was 240W again.

    I am hoping it is not failing as that is not going to be cheap (bearing in mind I just had to buy a new SSD).

    The power settings are set to High Performance and the Desktop Charging mode is enabled (so the battery does not always charge).

    Does anybody have any ideas?
     
  2. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Virtuoso

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    pop open the bottom panel (dont fully unscrew the 2 screws, jsut loosen them enough until you can pop the panel off, if you try to fully remove the screws you will ruin the threads). After that check the DC-in cable next to the battery cable. Check it fo rburn marks. If you got burn mark make sure you contact the Dell/Alienware team.
     
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  3. Fatpat5

    Fatpat5 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Will they do anything given that the laptop is out of warranty? I have a sneeking suspicion that when I did a ram upgrade a few weeks ago (another desperate attempt to stop the stutter) I may have noticed something similar to that. But I will need to double check just to be sure. If such marks are there, what does it mean?
     
  4. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Virtuoso

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    Well email them anyways, it is a design flaw/bad batch of cables. To be honest they told me in the past it was a combination of things, old bios version, express charging and a bad cable.
    This is an example photo from another user.

    https://www.google.nl/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjvqP-IqdjYAhURpKQKHcG2DIkQjBwIBA&url=http://i.imgur.com/BWrrveh.jpg&psig=AOvVaw1kRiv77G0rPMIONIIija3o&ust=1516049051217664
     
  5. Fatpat5

    Fatpat5 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Well, you are right. Unfortunately. I have attached a picture. Is this just going to be a fault with the cable or is that socket on the motherboard going to be damaged as well? I will try my best with Dell, but I can already see them saying "sorry but its out of warranty".


    dell cable1.jpg
     
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  6. 95TA

    95TA Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have a new "old stock" type situation... I just bought a 17R3 with a 6700hq, GTX980m, 16gb ram, etc... Is this a known issue on these laptops???

    I have a few weeks I can still return it in. Is there any way to know if you got the bad cable? (ie, range of serial numbers, number on the cable, etc???)

    Or is it too much of a risk and should I just send it back and look for another laptop?
     
  7. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Virtuoso

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    On what bios are you currently and do you have express charging disabled.

    Contact the guys from Alienware anyway. It needs to be fixed.

    If you remove the cable you can check if the socket looks okay or not. In my case I did not need a motherboard replacement.
     
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  8. Fatpat5

    Fatpat5 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I’m running the latest BIOS that was available on Dell’s website - 1.3.12.

    Also I think express charging is disabled.

    I will try to pull the cable out tonight to see what’s going on. I’m hoping the MB is ok as that will be an expensive fix if I have to pay for it.

    I don’t suppose anybody knows an easy way to get hold of Alienware/Dell in the UK? Seems really difficult to find an email address for them.
     
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  9. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Virtuoso

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    If your motherboard is okay you also can buy a new cable yourseld if you cant find a solution with the customer support.

    But strange that you still have these issues on the latest bios. I wonder if desktop charge has anything to do with this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
    Vasudev likes this.
  10. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Prophet

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    I disabled Desktop mode charge because it destroys batteries.
     
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