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HELP! Laptop making 4 beeps at start up!

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by NegLet, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. NegLet

    NegLet Notebook Guru

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    A few minutes ago my laptop did a hard reset. I originally thought that it was just an update being installed but that wasn't the case. On start up, my laptop started beeping; loud, obnoxious beeping. It was a sequence of beeps, four short beeps. Remembering that the 4 beeps indicated a RAM failure, I quickly swapped around the RAM and then turned on my laptop. Once more the beeping resumed.

    After a few more minutes I found out that if I only have ONE stick of RAM then my laptop has no issues; specifically if that stick of RAM is the slot deepest in the laptop (the two sticks of RAM were not under the keyboard). I have yet to check if I would get the same issue if I were to put the spare stick of RAM underneath the keyboard but I have no idea how to do that.

    So, I suppose my question is this: did I somehow blow up one of the slots of RAM to the point that it doesn't function anymore? I know for a fact that it's not the RAM; they both work in the deepest slot.

    My second question is what should I do? Should I call Dell and have them look into it? I have warranty so it should be covered.

    Lastly, can anyone post/give me the link to the video in which RAM is being swapped out from the keyboard? I'd hate having a stick of RAM go to waste.

    Any help would be most appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Iceforge

    Iceforge Notebook Guru

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    Did you try a power reset and a CMOS clear ?
    To do a power reset remove the A/C adaptor and the battery, then press the power on button for about 30 seconds.
    For a CMOS clear you need to remove the bios battery and press the power on button for another 30 seconds.
    If it doesn't work then call Dell, you might have a bad motherboard.
     
  3. Stampy

    Stampy Notebook Consultant

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    I'd do what he says if I were you, while you still can benefit from that warranty... Furthermore the video you are thinking about is here: Alienware M17X R3 Swapping RAM - Easy guide on changing RAM on the M17X R3 - YouTube
    He shows all ram swapping techniques. Try to not loose one of the screws in the fan like he did though xD
    I guess if your ram (I would put BOTH OF them under the keyboard if I were you) works under the keyboard, then your upper ram slot is broken... If you still get the beeping with both of them under the keyboard then probably one of the dual channel is broken. (I really don't know at all, it's just an intelligent guess here, based on freshly assimilated info I gathered today)
    Good luck!
     
  4. worldedit

    worldedit Notebook Consultant

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    are you using mod bios or dell original bios?
     
  5. NegLet

    NegLet Notebook Guru

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    Thank you for responding!

    I tried a power reset but I'll try it again; I might have not done it properly. Where exactly is the bios battery? Rather, what does it look like?

    Thanks! I really hope that the upper ram slot is not broken...If it is how exactly could it have broken? It was working wonderfully all of yesterday until late at night when I decided to read an email. *sigh*

    I'll try the RAM under the keyboard once I get out of class and post here with an update as to how it went.

    I'm using the Dell original bios although I have been considering using the modified bios 04/08 so as to get past that pesky throttling issue.



    Thank you all once again! :)
     
  6. Stampy

    Stampy Notebook Consultant

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    I'd say random and unlucky hardware damage

    you do that :D ! good luck
     
  7. tbonel

    tbonel Newbie

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    hello

    i have the same problem this guy has, randomly my laptop goes beeping

    (4beeps) , i havent looked inside the laptop yet to try and switch memories

    or do a CMOS clear instead i always switched the way it powers itself, with

    battery, without battery, plugged in with battery and repeated the process

    until it worked but i dont think this is a solution because it happens more

    often recently so i want an advice , after i succeed in starting windows it

    works perfectly , i still benefit from dell warranty but i am in europe so dont

    know really what to do. please help me. i want to know what could be the

    issue. and i have a question too .. can i look inside the laptop without losing

    the warranty , i mean are they no warranty sigils inside ? im really

    disapointed in my 2.5k purchase :( thank you and hope you reply soon
     
  8. NormenKD

    NormenKD Notebook Geek

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    I have the exact same issue, started a few days ago.
    I actually dont shutdown my laptop anymore because its a 2 hour hassle try diffrent ramslots resetting CMOS to get it to work randomly again.
    I called AW, they didnt want to help me at first because i have aftermarket ram (kingston hyperX) and 4 beeps indicates a ram problem. After some more calling and explaining i got them to understand that i tested my 2 RAM-Modules with memtest86+ for 22hours with now errors.
    I even bought the same 8GB hyperx ramkit again, just to make extra sure its not the ram (i wanted to upgrade to 16gb anyway).
    They agreed to send a technichian with a new Mainboard next week.

    I get it to work mostly with only one ram module, dualchannel wont go even to POST.
    I cant even recognize a patter: One day it accepts RAM-Module A in slot 2, the next day only in Slot one after several restarts and resetting the CMOS.
    Today the winning combination was ram-module B in Slot 1, found after 1 hour of dis/reassembling and horriffic beeping.
    I played already 7 Hours of BF3 today (lazy saturday ^^) while hosting a minecraftserver for some friends, no problems.
    I will leave it in plugged in tonight with lid closed in energy saving mode and hope it survives untill the mainboard arrives.

    Is it just me or are there some more 4Beep-Victims lately?
    Were there any new mainboard revisions lately, i got mine exchanged just 1 month ago.
     
  9. tbonel

    tbonel Newbie

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    so its a mobo problem with the ram slots ? i cant have a change of mobo caz im in europe like i said and i'll be here untill next year and if i try to contact dell here they will either ship my laptop back home or wait too long for a new motheboard. anyways any advice in my case? and if i unscrew the laptop do i lose warranty ?
     
  10. NormenKD

    NormenKD Notebook Geek

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    Alienware warranty should be Worldwide, if you are in a country where they sell your system you are eligble for Support, as long as you have Next Business Day On-site service.

    http://support.dell.com/support/top...ional_travel?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~ck=anavml
     
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