ppolack
1 Copper

Alienware Aurora Desktop Cannot Start

I am now resorting to making my own post because searching online has been unsuccessful. I have an Alienware Aurora (not ALX) from 2009 that will no longer start. The power button seems to not work (it turns on randomly when plugged in) however after the fans "flare" it immediately shuts off. Nothing appears on the screen. I first believed that this was a PSU issue, however after upgrading it the problem still exists. I also tried removing all RAM, and the computer beeps twice repeatedly for 'No RAM Detected". Could this be a graphics card issue? Or a faulty motherboard? Before the computer shuts off (with RAM installed) it does not beep at all.

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8 Replies
Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Alienware Aurora Desktop Cannot Start

If the little green light on the Dell PS comes on when you press the test button (on the back), the PS is likely ok ... but you also might need to test it with a PS tester or voltmeter.

Remove all cards and insert a known good working PCIe video card (even if it's older/slower/smaller).

If it still doesn't work, you know the problem is on the motherboard (or RAM, CPU, etc ... something original still installed in MB).


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ppolack
1 Copper

Re: Alienware Aurora Desktop Cannot Start

The light did come on when I pressed the button. I also attemped to use a different graphics card from another computer, but I had no success. Should I attempt to remove the processor and replace it with one from a different computer? I know the processor is liquid cooled, so does that mean that it will not leak when I remove it from the processor?

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Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Alienware Aurora Desktop Cannot Start

Not sure what all the green light tests (just read about it in the manual) ... A PS Tester would be better. You could move the PS to another machine for testing, but it won't be fun removing the wiring harness. Probably easier to just work on the table.

If the processor and RAM test good (in another machine) ... that really just leaves the MB itself. As a last ditch effort, maybe try re-setting the CMOS on it. Or ... this other machine you are getting the parts from ... install the AW parts in it for testing them all.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
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Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Alienware Aurora Desktop Cannot Start

The stock AW cooler is sealed and will not leak if removed. Just be carefull with it and don't bend the hoses too much. There have been reports of them failing and leaking all over everything ... but it's un-clear why or how it happens.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
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ppolack
1 Copper

Re: Alienware Aurora Desktop Cannot Start

I have discovered the problem to be the front power button. The button has always been slow to start the computer (you have to hold it down a few times to start the computer). When the computer started having problems, it would turn on automatically as soon as it's plugged in. When I remove the 'Front Panel' wires from the motherboard, the power supply remains in standby mode and the computer does not start. If I insert the connector back for a second and remove it, the computer starts and remains on. I'm not sure how I can get the computer to work if the switch is stuck on. I was able to use a screwdriver across two of the pins on the motherboard to start the computer. However, these pins (and the connector) are normally hidden behind the graphics card so the computer cannot start fully. Any suggestions?

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Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Alienware Aurora Desktop Cannot Start

Since the temporary quick shorting of the leads starts the PC, this indicates the AW power switch is a  SPST push-button switch ... but you might verify it with an ohm-meter. IIRC, this is the way it works on most PCs.

To put it back stock, I think you have to replace the switch with same part. Also, make sure the actuator isn't stuck and pressing on the actual switch properly (the silver part you touch isn't the actual switch).

If you don't care about looks or where the switch is located, you can install a more common switch somewhere else. You could install it on the USB panel, or even just dangle it out the back/front for now ... it's really just up to you and your mod abilities.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
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jamichau
1 Nickel

Re: Alienware Aurora Desktop Cannot Start

One of my customers has one of these machines that suddenly won't boot. It powers up from the pwr switch, the fans spin up and run continually, no video, no HD activity, accent LEDs for headphones, mic, FireWire, and two USB ports on front of case light and remain lit. Accent LED behind alien face pwr switch never lights. That's where it sits, doesn't progress any further. I have pressed the test button on the pwr supply and the green LED comes on and the fans run. Haven't tried booting with RAM removed. Any ideas? Thanks, -John
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Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Alienware Aurora Desktop Cannot Start

One of my customers has one of these machines that suddenly won't boot. It powers up from the pwr switch, the fans spin up and run continually, no video, no HD activity, accent LEDs for headphones, mic, FireWire, and two USB ports on front of case light and remain lit. Accent LED behind alien face pwr switch never lights. That's where it sits, doesn't progress any further. I have pressed the test button on the pwr supply and the green LED comes on and the fans run. Haven't tried booting with RAM removed. Any ideas? Thanks, -John
 
Don't worry about the lights for now. They are controlled by the MIO-Board (has a micro-controller on-board) . It can be reprogrammed and gets sensor data from the USB connection.
 
Just trouble-shoot like any normal PC what won't BIOS post (start removing stuff and swapping parts until it boots). PDF Service Manual is available.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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