Horrific Experience, Need Help Regarding Replacement

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by Siddharth Sareen, Sep 3, 2017.

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  1. Siddharth Sareen

    Siddharth Sareen Newbie

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    So, it’s a long story but I'll try to cover most of in hopefully an efficient manner.


    My background: I am a game designer, I work mostly from home on freelance project or my own projects. My Alienware is my sole workstation, I need it to make a living. I had got an Alienware instead of building a pc as I used to travel a lot.


    Here’s my story:

    I had purchased an Alienware M17x r4 in 2012 for Rs.1,72,000 and had extended my warranty up to the maximum of 5 years by paying a sum of around Rs.50,000. (I had done it in parts of 2 years, once during my first year I paid around Rs.20,000 to extend by 2 more years and then in my 3rd year of warranty I had paid around Rs.30,000 to extend by 2 more years yet again.)


    --2014

    It worked fine until in 2014 it started shutting off while playing games or working on Unity 3d or Unreal Engine. They tried replacing the motherboard and the gpu, as a result the problem was fixed but other problems arose e.g. touchpad not working, lights not working, etc., the motherboard was then replaced multiple times but each replacement motherboard came up with more problems than the previous one. In August, 2014, they offered me a replacement, for which I had to wait for 40 days and I had received it in September, 2014.


    Keeping in mind I did get a new Alienware 17 R1 laptop with bumped up specs compared to my old 17x R4 but lost several working days and being an indie no workstation meant no income for 45 days and I am not even accounting the time I lost during services. In the end, I was happy to at least have gotten back to working and had trusted the new laptop to not have me go through the same gruesome experience again.


    --2017

    Starting March, 2017, my Alienware started overheating and shutting down. Dell replaced my motherboard and the problem seemed as if it was fixed but it started again after 2 weeks and then another motherboard was replaced but the motherboard had a weird issue which made the cpu to always be at max and throttle so that motherboard was to be replaced as well. Now exactly like the situation I had faced back in 2014, each motherboard that came in had a new issue and I was frustrated after 5 motherboard replacements and asked dell for a replacement which they had gracefully refused. At this time, my pc was working but overheating occasionally and my speakers were not working which was not due to the speakers themselves but the motherboard.


    So, dell sent me another motherboard to fix the issues I was facing but this motherboard didn’t power on the system at all. The dell engineer tried to install the old motherboard back and to his and my surprise even the old one didn’t power on the system anymore. The dell engineer told me that the motherboard dell sent must have been faulty and ended up frying my lcd or some other part as the laptop kept on restarting and as there was no way to see what was on the screen as there was no output via hdmi even on my monitor.


    These events took place between March, 2017 to 26th August, 2017.

    Over 5 months of constant issues, a lot of deadlines were missed in the process. I had lost all patience and cooperation, I asked dell to replace the laptop. I was very blunt in telling them to just do it, I don’t care how but just get it done. After 4 days, I received a call that my replacement was approved and the replacement team will contact me soon.


    The replacement specialist contacted me on 1st September, 2017 via email, I asked her for the specifications of the replacement laptop but she said she doesn’t have them at the moment and will send me as soon as possible. Later that day she called me back and told me that they will provide me with a REFURBISHED replacement and the specs should be almost the same but she will send me the exact specs by 6th September, 2017 and the replacement process will take 25-30 days.


    Really DELL? Really? After making me lose so much time and money due to all these broken refurbished laptops that were sent to me, you will send me a refurbished laptop that may or may not even work? Not to forget that I won’t have my workstation another 25-30 days, so I’ll have to borrow a laptop from a friend if they are kind enough to lend me theirs.


    I am very frustrated and confused and I desperately need help from you guys to tell me how to proceed from here. I
     
  2. Ashtrix

    Ashtrix ψυχή υπεροχή

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    Both Alienware M17x R4 & Alienware 17 R1 are great machines they are twins !!
    When the system started to go shutdown, You should have tried to report here and diagnose it, I'm guessing you are using factory thermal paste, and never cleaned the machine, the reason the dust get's clogged up at the fins / fans and the thermal paste drying up. 2012-2014 and coming in 2014 -17 so that's 2 years of good R4 and 3 years for the R1. Again brings to the point I made...Re-paste at-least once a year if you load it high it would change, keep thermals always check thermal pads, thermal paste, fins. More on TIM jobs

    Whenever you get a replacement mobo or anything, It will be refurb & with Dell it's real bad, awful. That's the way how corporate companies work, not just laptops.

    Amazon is worst in this case, the new product itself is refurb lol. I wen't through 3 Nexus 6 replacements and left it finally, not just this, same with the DualShock 4 PS4 controller as well & an Avior 7000 mouse.

    Now unfortunately the machine you will be getting will be again problematic, considering the Alienware 17R4's issues, (thanks to @Papusan) - Tripod issue, Heatsink Manufacturers from different OEMs, bad thermal design causing SSD overheating. Again not to scare you or any but please whenever you are making a purchase of a high-end machine please make sure you take good care of it, I lost my Alienware M15x due to my negligence and now I regret that & Dell technicians in India are pure garbage plus the technicians always suck, If the machine you bought is the one which let's you make cash for a living then I think you shouldn't keep it on the sidelines instead it should be your top priority. Not blaming you but I think that's the only cause I can think of given your situation and experiences with the previous 2 Alienwares.

    I'm sorry to say but Alienware has gone down since 2013-14, AW17 R1 and AW18 (severely power castrated being an SLI vs the M18x R2's no powercap on Mobo, you can read this if you read all the links I posted, below one to hint, the crashcourse one ;), not ruled out because it's PGA+MXM) were the last true Alienwares, M18x R2 / M17x R4 and the AW17 R1 along side their older cousin Alienware M15x all run Maxwell, Pascal too for the former all. Apologies this is how most replies would be if you post in this sub-forum, the BGA Alienware forum is where from now you should post If you still plan to keep it & As my opinion you should sell that machine or get ready to be barraged by another wave of issues, & finally the benches for the 6700HQ vs 4xxxMQ & Intel's tragedy (follow the post links for more info).

    A shortcut crash course on how BGA HW sucks (read this thread, it has got more info) & more issues + not just Alienware (MSI), click links on my sig to know more on Socketed HW, the alternatives are Eurocom Tornado F5 / MSI 16L13.
     
  3. Siddharth Sareen

    Siddharth Sareen Newbie

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    First of all I would like to thank you that you took time to try and help me. :)

    Actually I tried to brush through the major points during the services but yes during the initially 2 services the thermal paste was changed as well as the heatsinks and the fans. Only after it was determined that the problem was not being rectified I allowed them to schedule another service for motherboard replacement, even though I was still hesitant about changing it.

    Couldn't agree more about the technicians in India, a few of them didn't even know how to reassemble the machine and had to make a few calls to their colleagues to ask. It was very disheartening to see my Alienware in the hands of such people. Honestly, I do take amazing care of my Alienware and all other gadgets in fact. On the outside my Alienware still looks brand new and I made it a habit to regularly clean the dust near the fans as much as I could. This machine did last me a good while before I faced any issues but I have read on forums as well as /r/alienware that Alienware machines tend to break down and have such issues after 2-3 years anyway. A lot of people have faced similar issues with various Alienware machines after just around 2 years of usage.

    Yes, it has. I wasn't even aware about these things until you told me, I will take your advise very seriously and consider taking the steps you have mentioned. If I am able to sell it I definitely will and build a PC, anyway my plan was to somehow get through the next 2-3 years and save money to build a PC. I would have never ever even got an Alienware if not for a lot of travel that I used to do, those days are in the past now, I don't travel for work anymore and my workstation never even gets out of the house.

    Thanks a lot once again for one of the most constructive replies I have ever got.
     
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  4. EepoSaurus

    EepoSaurus Notebook Evangelist

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    It sounds like a real nightmare. I feel like its not helpful at all but ive owned 5 alienwares at this point and two of them have been 17r1s and man have they been great. Ive never had an issue i couldnt fix and my current r1 runs soo well i wont even try to upgrade for another 3 to 5 years longer if volta comes out with a standard mxm card. But i think we had very different directions when we bought our respective alienwares. I bought both my r1s knowing that i wanted a project laptop that i could supe up for high performance and i set about dissecting every bit of it. I read forum posts to the letter and i found the most performance oriented upgrades possible. If i had just left my laptop stock and worried at all about the warranty then it would show its age and it would slow and eventually become defective. I have a 4930mx in my 17r1 that runs 24/7 at 4.3ghz and never gets above 75c but it also has liquid metal tim and i have a custom all copper 4pipe heatsink for the cpu that weighs 3 times as much as the stock one. My point is. These laptops only see thwir true potential and reliability in the hands of enthusiasts who love them and took time to learn the most they can. Thanks to those dedicated forum members i have a truly badass laptop that serves me well day in and day out. The m17xr4 was great and i bet you would find that it could be more reliable with the help of the forum than any dell employee.
     
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  5. Siddharth Sareen

    Siddharth Sareen Newbie

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    That was the right way to go about things but the issue with me was as I had extended the warranty I didn't want to play around and at the time of buying it I had just hoped that I have a stable system for the next 5-7 years. Once, I get a working system now, I will probably again hope that it lasts another 2-3 years and I'll build a kickass PC after that.

    Yeah, that's what I love about the community (this forum as well as /r/alienware), people are very helpful and most of them have already tried a lot of stuff posted for upgrades.
     
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