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Alienware 17 (2014) Help

Lunar
  • 1

PC specs:
Alienware 17 R1 Ranger laptop (2014)
AMD RadeonTM 8970M GPU, Bios A17, Win 10
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4710MQ CPU @ 2.50GHz   2.50 GHz
16GB RAM, 2x 1TB HDDs, mSATA 80GB 128gb mSATA

Edit: Original issues have been fixed. Motherboard has been failing for years and finally gave out. 

New issues:
So replacing the motherboard fixed my GPU and soundboard issues, however now I have others that I just cannot figure out what to do. 
After replacing the motherboard, I was unable to install Win 10 updates even after multiple clean installs. I assumed that it was either the RAM and/or the 80GB mSATA now. Replaced both (2x 8gb ram and 128gb mSATA) but issues still persist. 

Ive updated the bios to A17 and at first, the updates were going smoothly until one of the Intel System ones had the 'retry' option under it since it was 'unable to install due to multiple others going on at the same time.' Clicking on retry causes my computer to be stuck on 'Checking for updates.' It does not freeze (I have access to everything and the mouse moves) but it remains like this for hours. Ive tried reflashing the A17 bios, downgraded to A16 (which is what is on the laptop currently) but either the updates are unable to be installed (with the retry button) or it gets stuck on 'Checking for updates' and no installations occur. 

Restarting the computer when this happens causes the computer to be stuck on the restart screen with the circle constantly loading before I get a stopcode error (usually its the power_state_drive or something like that). Battery has been replaced last year and its at 85%-90% health whenever I do a diagnostic. If I hold the power button down, the laptop is unable to post past the Alienware logo and I need to clean install Win 10 again to get past the logo. 

In the Bios, its currently on AHCI. Switching back and forth between AHCI and RAID doesn't change the outcome at all. All of the connections are correct and have been double checked. New thermal paste has been applied to the GPU and CPU. 

Does anyone have any idea what I might be doing wrong? I am a complete noob when it comes to this.  
 

Edited
Replies • 12
  • 0

That sounds strange.

I had the same laptop (nVidia model though) and I had installed Windows 10 since the day they came out, without any issues.

You mentioned that you have tried uninstalling / updating your drivers but have you tried to re-install the original drivers came with your laptop?

I hope someone that knows more will help you out on this. Good luck.


Lunar
  • 0
Danboy2009 said: 6d

That sounds strange.

I had the same laptop (nVidia model though) and I had installed Windows 10 since the day they came out, without any issues.

You mentioned that you have tried uninstalling / updating your drivers but have you tried to re-install the original drivers came with your laptop?

I hope someone that knows more will help you out on this. Good luck.

It was the motherboard finally failing after 8 years.  It has been replaced and the sound + GPU issues have been fixed. Thanks for posting!

I'll be updating this post. 


Resident Misanthrope
  • 0
Akunei said: 26m
Danboy2009 said: 6d

That sounds strange.

I had the same laptop (nVidia model though) and I had installed Windows 10 since the day they came out, without any issues.

You mentioned that you have tried uninstalling / updating your drivers but have you tried to re-install the original drivers came with your laptop?

I hope someone that knows more will help you out on this. Good luck.

It was the motherboard finally failing after 8 years.  It has been replaced and the sound + GPU issues have been fixed. Thanks for posting!

I'll be updating this post. 

Just a thought but in the past if you replaced a motherboard in an OEM computer it invalidated the original Windows license as it appears to Microsoft that someone is trying to use the license on a different computer. You might try doing a clean install of Win10 but choose not to have it look for updates, if the install succeeds use the search field to go to 'Activation Settings' and check to see if is saying the license is invalid.  If it says that then use the link below to 'Change product key' putting in your original OEM key. It will likely fail to validate and will give you an 800 number to call.  The good news is that Microsoft has improved this whole process tremendously and the few times I've had to resort to it they have gotten things sorted out quickly and provided a code to enter that reactivated the Windows license.  Hopefully you will have a similarly good experience if that is indeed what is going on.

If that is the issue and you get satisfaction from Microsoft it very well may solve your other issues.  Best of luck!

edited

Lunar
  • 0
BackcountryDave said: 4h

Just a thought but in the past if you replaced a motherboard in an OEM computer it invalidated the original Windows license as it appears to Microsoft that someone is trying to use the license on a different computer. You might try doing a clean install of Win10 but choose not to have it look for updates, if the install succeeds use the search field to go to 'Activation Settings' and check to see if is saying the license is invalid.  If it says that then use the link below to 'Change product key' putting in your original OEM key. It will likely fail to validate and will give you an 800 number to call.  The good news is that Microsoft has improved this whole process tremendously and the few times I've had to resort to it they have gotten things sorted out quickly and provided a code to enter that reactivated the Windows license.  Hopefully you will have a similarly good experience if that is indeed what is going on.

If that is the issue and you get satisfaction from Microsoft it very well may solve your other issues.  Best of luck!

edited 4h

Thankfully, it appears that my license is still activated for Win 10 but still the same issues. 
Right now, all of the cumulative updates for Win10 were able to be installed, but Advanced Micro Devices - Display, Intel - System and Intel corp drivers are unable to be installed. Any idea what I should do? 

Edit: Upon restart, the error driver power state failure popped up. 

edited

Resident Misanthrope
  • 0
Akunei said: 2h
BackcountryDave said: 4h

Just a thought but in the past if you replaced a motherboard in an OEM computer it invalidated the original Windows license as it appears to Microsoft that someone is trying to use the license on a different computer. You might try doing a clean install of Win10 but choose not to have it look for updates, if the install succeeds use the search field to go to 'Activation Settings' and check to see if is saying the license is invalid.  If it says that then use the link below to 'Change product key' putting in your original OEM key. It will likely fail to validate and will give you an 800 number to call.  The good news is that Microsoft has improved this whole process tremendously and the few times I've had to resort to it they have gotten things sorted out quickly and provided a code to enter that reactivated the Windows license.  Hopefully you will have a similarly good experience if that is indeed what is going on.

If that is the issue and you get satisfaction from Microsoft it very well may solve your other issues.  Best of luck!

edited 4h

Thankfully, it appears that my license is still activated for Win 10 but still the same issues. 
Right now, all of the cumulative updates for Win10 were able to be installed, but Advanced Micro Devices - Display, Intel - System and Intel corp drivers are unable to be installed. Any idea what I should do? 

Edit: Upon restart, the error driver power state failure popped up. 

edited 2h

Use the search box to open the Device Manager and see how many ?'s or !'s are listed. Right click on any you find and select 'Update Driver' and let Windows search automatically for the correct driver and see if you have any luck.  If not, report back with what if anything it can't install (don't be surprised if the Intel drivers are for 'Unknown Devices')


Lunar
  • 0
BackcountryDave said: 2h

Use the search box to open the Device Manager and see how many ?'s or !'s are listed. Right click on any you find and select 'Update Driver' and let Windows search automatically for the correct driver and see if you have any luck.  If not, report back with what if anything it can't install (don't be surprised if the Intel drivers are for 'Unknown Devices')

Thank you so much. I really appreciate all of your help. This was happening before with the failing motherboard as well so I am just paranoid. 

Do you suggest that I try to install the drivers first before the cummulative updates?


Resident Misanthrope
  • 0
Akunei said: 34m
BackcountryDave said: 2h

Use the search box to open the Device Manager and see how many ?'s or !'s are listed. Right click on any you find and select 'Update Driver' and let Windows search automatically for the correct driver and see if you have any luck.  If not, report back with what if anything it can't install (don't be surprised if the Intel drivers are for 'Unknown Devices')

Thank you so much. I really appreciate all of your help. This was happening before with the failing motherboard as well so I am just paranoid. 

Do you suggest that I try to install the drivers first before the cummulative updates?

Yes, I would try to get the drivers sorted first.  Have you installed the Intel Management Engine Interface driver and the Intel Chipset driver from the Dell website?  Those two are often important preliminary drivers. Normally Windows 10 is pretty good at recognizing the display adapter, if it doesn't it's often because the chipset driver hasn't been installed or because the graphics driver is a proprietary version that needs to come from Dell.  If you haven't already I would suggest you go to support.dell.com and enter your service code from your laptop to pinpoint exactly what your build has then download the recommended drivers starting with the chipset driver.  It would probably be worth a try letting Dell automatically find the correct drivers with the link they provide on the support page.


Lunar
  • 0

Just note that you may have the SD card reader as an unknown device in Device Manager. The Dell driver for the 17 is not compatible for Win10 and usually Windows Updates doesn't find it. Most people have to go directly to the device manufacturer for this driver. 

Also, Dave is 100% about the Chipset drivers. they are very important. Also, the Alienware OSD driver will need to be installed manually from Dell Support.

Do Not install Support Assist. It causes more hard than good, especially in these older laptops. 


Lunar
  • 0
MattB79 said: 10h

Just note that you may have the SD card reader as an unknown device in Device Manager. The Dell driver for the 17 is not compatible for Win10 and usually Windows Updates doesn't find it. Most people have to go directly to the device manufacturer for this driver. 

Also, Dave is 100% about the Chipset drivers. they are very important. Also, the Alienware OSD driver will need to be installed manually from Dell Support.

Do Not install Support Assist. It causes more hard than good, especially in these older laptops. 

Yeah, I noticed that. I believe its the Realtek PCIE CardReader. I forgot how I got it to work before I switched the motherboards. There are three other ! unknown devices that I still need to figure out. 

I will uninstalled SupportAssist. It does seem to be causing more hard than good since my GPU fan has not stopped since its been installed. 

Do you have any idea how to get the AMD Micro Devices to install properly? 


Lunar
  • 0
BackcountryDave said: 13h

Yes, I would try to get the drivers sorted first.  Have you installed the Intel Management Engine Interface driver and the Intel Chipset driver from the Dell website?  Those two are often important preliminary drivers. Normally Windows 10 is pretty good at recognizing the display adapter, if it doesn't it's often because the chipset driver hasn't been installed or because the graphics driver is a proprietary version that needs to come from Dell.  If you haven't already I would suggest you go to support.dell.com and enter your service code from your laptop to pinpoint exactly what your build has then download the recommended drivers starting with the chipset driver.  It would probably be worth a try letting Dell automatically find the correct drivers with the link they provide on the support page.

Looks like my previous response was deleted. 

So I used Support Assist and I was able to download the proper drivers for the chipsets, however it seems like Advanced Micro Devices - Display - 27.20.1034.6 is still hanging when installing. Downloading it via Windows Update is seamless but when installing, it gets stuck on 0%. 

It also seems to be interfering with all of the other updates. For an example, I was installing the PCIE CardReader the OSD, et al to get rid of some of the unknown devices/hardware with the ! triangle. Scanning for hardware changes does absolutely nothing and AMD Display is still stuck at 0%. Ive tried stopping Windows update using services.msc to halt the AMD installation but it cannot be stopped. Also my GPU fan has been ongoing nonstop since the Advanced Micro Devices started to download/install. 

Not sure what to do.  I appreciate any insight that both of you have. 

edited