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Alienware r417 Motherboard issue USB, Lights

Discussion in 'Laptops & Notebooks' started by jetbruceli, Jan 19, 2019.

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Repair or trash

  1. Repair

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  2. Trash

    0 vote(s)
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  1. jetbruceli

    jetbruceli Member

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    GPU:
    GTX 1070
    Hey everyone, I am very familiar with troubleshooting products and usually can fix most things but, well, here is the story.

    Last year a guy sold me his Alienware R4 17 (i7 7700HQ GTX 1070) and in the beginning, there didn't seem to be any issues except one USB port wasn't particularly stable. I started using the USB C port and the Thunderbolt in the back of the unit to perform most of my USB needs. One day, I moved the unit from a place of the house to another, when I tried to plug in any USB device, nothing would happen. The only port that would work is the thunderbolt port.
    So the troubleshooting nightmare began,
    Checked Drivers and device manager = USB xHCI Compliant Host Controller error
    Tried to update it = nope
    Reinstall windows = nope and could not use the ports for USB boot either.
    update bios = it is updated but I can't reinstall it because new problems appeared.
    Now, the system will not shut down completely, it does shut windows but the lights stay on = need to force shut down
    When I restart it, = it shuts down
    Alien FX lights stay on and the software cannot control it anymore

    Now, I took the device apart and checked for anything unplugged and decided to reset the CMOS, removed the battery and = still the same issues

    I called Dell and according to the tech guy, I need to buy a new motherboard for 1600.00 USD. I thought, wait a second, the laptop works with everything else. The GPU is solid, CPU is great, all ram is fine and the display is perfect. ALL ssd's and hhd slots work with no issues.

    Now I am wondering if there a possibility of having whatever is controlling that port repaired or chip replaced instead of a new motherboard. I figure that Dell would basically give me a repaired motherboard and fix this one and resell it.

    So my question is what do I do? Do pc repair shops replace components on a board? Should I just sell it for almost nothing or do I pay almost twice for the product?

    By the way, yes the warranty is out and the guy who purchased it doesn't have the receipt.

    Thanks for your responses.
     
  2. icedman

    icedman Master Guru

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    GPU:
    MSI Duke GTX 1080
    Looks like you're in a tough spot can you disable the USB controller all together in the bios and see if that fixes the problem. If not the only workaround for the USB might to get a USB C adapter to standard USB's.
    As for the shutdown when u restart is it possible something in your power options changed?
    If u have to spend 1600$ to get another motherboard u might almost be ahead to get a different laptop no?
     
  3. jetbruceli

    jetbruceli Member

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    GPU:
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    I have tried changing just about every setting in the BIOS.
    I am just confused how the USB port 3.0, Alienware lights and shut down feature are connected. Everything else works flawlessly. I think the shut down is tied to what ever is stopping the USB ports from working.
    I also wonder if there is a chance to replace the USB 3.0 chip.
     
  4. icedman

    icedman Master Guru

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    GPU:
    MSI Duke GTX 1080
    Changing the USB controller on the motherboard will be next to impossible unless u have a very good soldering kit and have a lot of skill with said kit. The components u mention must all share something in common maybe there is a resister or capacitor somewhere in between the components that they share. Take a close look at the PCB and look for anything that could be scratched/missing/burned tho even if u found something i think you're SOL.
     

  5. jetbruceli

    jetbruceli Member

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    Oddest thing happened yesterday, I updated the Intel chipset driver software and the alienfx lights turned off while installing. Rebooted and they stayed off. After trying to get them back on, I gave up. Thought well there goes the next thing. Then this morning as I turned on my device, they are back on again. It's almost as if a driver caused everything to black out and now it's done for.
    Still using it though through the thunderbolt port.
     
  6. icedman

    icedman Master Guru

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    Maybe try a clean windows install and try getting all the laptop drivers reinstalled maybe its just some drivers interfering with each-other i had something odd with my turbo core not working on a Dell latitude and it was just a driver problem.
    Your laptop sounds possessed atm.
     
  7. jetbruceli

    jetbruceli Member

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    GPU:
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    I already tried reinstalling windows, tried different drives, different slots (this has 3 m.2 and one sata) plus I even tried an older windows.
    I just came to the conclusion that I will use this the way it is until it breaks. Such a nice machine!
     

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