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Alienware M17x Troubleshooting
This troubleshooting page will help you diagnose problems with the Alienware M17x.
Unresponsive USB Drive
Your computer does not recognize when a device is plugged into a USB port.
Note: USB devices such as printers and scanners require USB device drivers and device specific application to be installed before connecting the USB device to the PC. Follow the installation instructions from the USB device manufacturer.
Warning: Some troubleshooting steps require you to restart your PC. Before you begin troubleshooting, ensure to bookmark open web pages, save any open documents, spreadsheets, or any other unsaved work.
Caution: USB devices must be turned off or ejected before they are disconnected from the PC.
Faulty USB Device
Before worrying too much about your laptop try checking to see if your device will work on another device with known working USB ports. If your device still isn't recognized then the problem lies with the device that you are trying to plug in. In this case contact the device manufacturer to know the warranty status and repair options for the USB device.
Altered BIOS Settings
USB port issues can be caused by outdated BIOS settings. It is recommended that you reset the BIOS to factory defaults. Refer to the user manual of your system for more information.
Contaminants Inside USB Port
USB ports that are exposed to the elements may accumulate a build-up of dust or other contaminants which can be cleaned out with a can of compressed air. If you do notice physical damage to the USB port contact your manufacturer's support team.
Damaged/Faulty USB Port
Because USB ports are typically soldered on to the motherboard the only solution may be to replace the motherboard of your laptop entirely. Just replacing the USB port would require highly accurate soldering skills to replace and rewire a new USB to the motherboard. Finding a new, identical, motherboard and replacing the old one is recommended. Replace the motherboard using this guide.
My battery can't keep a charge or drains quickly.
Warning: Some troubleshooting steps require you to remove the battery. Before you begin make sure you have all of the required tools and that your laptop is unplugged for your safety.
Caution: Make sure when removing/inserting the battery to follow steps carefully so no damage occurs to any other parts of your laptop. Make sure that the laptop is turned off and unplugged from the power cord to ensure no power is going to any part of the laptop.
AC Adapter Functionality
To ensure that your device's battery is getting charged correctly, the AC adapter should be functioning normally. Verify if the AC adapter is recognized correctly by the PC by following the steps in your device's system manual for verifying AC adapter type in the BIOS options.
Poor Battery Health
Checking the laptop battery health status will help determine if the battery is operating normally or if it needs to be replaced. Battery health status can be checked both inside and outside the operating system. There are several ways to check the battery health status. For more information, refer to the Replacing Battery Guide for checking battery health and for replacing your device's battery.
BIOS Update Required
BIOS is a firmware that is embedded onto the System Board of your computer. Updating the BIOS to the latest version may help the PC recognize the AC adapter. Updating the BIOS to the latest version requires the laptop PC to be powered by the AC adapter and battery. To update the BIOS to the latest version, refer to your device's user manual.
Why does my screen freeze, go black, or display the "Blue Screen of Death"?
Display or Video Issue on External Monitor
It is essential to verify if the problem is inherent with the LCD screen of the laptop PC, video card (GPU) or video settings on your device. A straightforward way to identify this is to connect the laptop PC to an external monitor or TV. If the issue persists on the external monitor it may be due to the video card (GPU) or video settings and not the laptop LCD panel.
Damaged LCD Screen
Performance issues may occur if there is any type of damage caused to the LCD screen. LCD screens show symptoms like LCD screen stops working, work intermittently, flickering, display horizontal or vertical lines, etc. if there is a damage to the LCD screen. If you do notice physical damage, contact your device's support team. For instructions on replacing your screen refer to this guide.
A poor RAM could be the cause of the black/blue screen of death. Ensure that your device's BIOS options, Chipset driver, Video Card (GPU) driver, and monitor driver are up to date. If these are all up to date you may need replace your RAM. For more information on replacing your RAM, refer to this guide.
Device gets too hot on underside.
Contaminant Build-Up Inside Fan
Fans that are exposed to the elements may accumulate a build-up of dust or other contaminants which can be cleaned out with a can of compressed air. If you do notice physical damage to the fan contact your manufacturer's support team.
Fan Not Working
In the event that your device's fan isn't functioning properly, or at all, refer to your device's users manual for instructions on how to replace your system's fan(s).
Altered or Out-of-Date BIOS
Is the PC shutting down or overheating when left in the BIOS? You can get to the BIOS by pressing the F2 key at POST - when the system starts up, but hasn't started Windows yet. If not, download and update the BIOS with latest available version. If this stops the issue then your problem is resolved.
Presence of Thermal Grease or Thermal Pads
If the processor or system board has recently been replaced, check for the presence of thermal grease or thermal pads having been replaced after the repair. If there is no thermal grease or thermal pads contact your device's support team as they may need to replace the Heatsink or Motherboard again.