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Last reply by 02-16-2015 Unsolved
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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Alien 18 Laptop SMOKING!!!!

Guys & Gales,

I'm still shaking!!!!!!  I plugged the power-cord adapter into my laptop this morning (and before I could

think to hit the power-on button:  WHITE SMOKE CAME POURING OUT OF THE BACK LEFT-SIDE OF THE FAN VENTS!.       This cord was plugged into a SURGE PROTECTION STRIP ,for Christ's sake and the plastic end which goes inside the Alien 18 laptop was BURNED ALMOST COMPLETELY AWAY. AND IT WASN'T EVEN TURNED ON!!!!

After calling Dell support and telling them what happened, I swear to God, I spent nearly 3 hours on hold before a tech support rep. would even considered addressing the problem---FIRE!  This lap top

was purchased 7-15-2014 and delivered a month later. ($2300.00) It's not even close to being 2 years old! And on top of that I use it for graphic design -NOT GAMING -it's never been over-clocked-EVER.

Dell's answer $430 over the phone before they could even send a box to reship it back to the factory.

Is this a design flaw in the computer or just an cheap, extremely over-priced piece of junk that nobody

in their right mind would lay-out over 2 grand for?

Replies (3)
3 Argentum

When you say the plastic end that goes in, you mean from the adapter, or the port in the machine?

This sounds like something definitely isn't right and any smoke means something burnt or vented. Wait for a Dell rep to reply to PM them with the info, they can usually do more than the Dell Tech Support as some of them are scripted and have one answer, blame the adapter. Being a consumable, its only 1 year warranty, same with battery, which you should have.

Go to this link and open the owners manual and remove your battery, it might be what vented and only went out that path in the back. We're allowed to open our AW's without voiding warranty, as long as you don't make the problem worse by deliberate damage, they can tell. The manual will give you step by step instructions for this.

Its not a design flaw, but some batteries just don't last and can vent if there is an issue with it. Being in the RC world myself, I've had LiPo batteries vent and its not pretty. I now charge them in AMMO cases just cause they can sometimes POP instead of vent and that can be a home insurance claim. :(

But, like I said, if its not the adapter that's burnt, but an internal part, you should be under warranty still unless you bought the machine used.

As for being junk, it just happens at times. using Alien's before they were Delliens, I've never had major issues that couldn't be resolved quickly, and Dell are really good usually at taking care of you.



It was the round black plastic (rubber) ring that's mounted at  the adapters plug-in tip (pluged into the laptop ). Since you mentioned the battery in your post; for the past few weeks after powering on the lap an error message would inform me that the battery source was not detectable.  I tried reloading drivers the battery but it didn't fix the problem.  In fact the adaptor was killing  my battery with overcharging which is why I stopped leaving it plugged into an outlet. 

I've  cleaned the  fans and vents regularly, so they weren't clogged-up with dust and dirt.  The fire was INSTANT combustion.  Split-second- as soon as the adaptor pin touched the plug.  Your so right, I'm lucky my entire house didn't go up in smoke!  Better safe than sorry:  unplug  when your finished, always.

Brought brand-new in July 14.  All I can say for Dell/Alienware support is they are the reason I didn't extend my warranty .   Besides a *** would be cheaper than all the $$$$ Dells already into me for.


If you know for a fact it was overcharging, that could be battery or faulty adapter as they communicate with each other to prevent that. That's under warranty if its under a year and I would inspect the battery out of the case and see if its vented its cells. Don't squeeze it or put too much pressure incase one is ruptured but hasn't vented yet.

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