My system: Alienware Aurora R4, i7-3820 CPU, 2 x Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 GPU in SLI, 8gb RAM, 1TB HDD, 24" Dell U2410 monitor.
I'm posting this here just in case anybody else has a similar problem. I've been working on this on and off for about 28 hours, which was when I got my computer in the mail.
Problem: after assembly, the power button on the desktop didn't work.
What I tried: I verified the outlet was working, the power bar was functioning properly, tried different outlets, different power bars, and no power bars. I tried switching the power cord with the one that came with my monitor (Dell U2410 24"). I opened the chassis and verified that all the required plugs were secure. I unplugged and replugged all of them. I reset the CMOS by removing the top GPU (Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 OEM 1.5GB) and moving the second CMOS jumper from the 2-3 pin to the 1-2 pin. I tried unplugging the power cord from the computer, at the insistence of the tech support representative I ended up speaking with, and holding down the power button for two minutes, even though the power button didn't actually work.
The only thing that managed to turn the computer on was holding down the power diagnostic button (the small black button on the power supply right beside where the power cord plugs into). The only problem was, as soon as I let go of the button, the spring pushed it back out and the computer would shut off again. I'm ashamed to admit that, after tech support told me that my computer was DOA and would have to be returned, serviced, or replaced (as I was still within my 21 day return time period as well as the warranty), I tried a workaround. I wedged something between the computer tower and the wall in such a way as to keep the power diagnostic button held down. This let me use the computer. I figured, since it was a Friday night, I'd use it like this for the weekend and then, some time during the work week, have a tech come over and replace the power button assembly (which I had assumed was the problem, since it was the only part of the computer's interior I couldn't physically get to). A quick check inside the chassis, near the front and just behind the bottom of the front bezel, showed that the amber power indicator light was on, which told me that the device was receiving power, and my being able to use the power diagnostic button at all confirmed it.
An hour ago, I gave up on the workaround I'd established. The slightest movement of the desk would turn the computer off. Not good when you're busy gaming.
What ended up working: on the regular Alienware Aurora chassis, as well as the Alienware Aurora ALX chassis, the very back louvre/panel lifts up at the back and releases the mechanism that holds the left side panel onto the chassis, which grants you access to the computer's interior (motherboard, hard drives, optical drives, etc). When the side panel is replaced, it clicks, but the back louvre/panel does NOT go all the way back down. As long as it is up, it appears that there is some kind of built-in switch that prevents the computer from powering on (unless you're pressing the power diagnostic tool for troubleshooting purposes). Make sure this panel is pressed all the way down until it is flush with the rest of the top of the chassis. There will be a click when it makes it, but you shouldn't have to force it.
I was very close to returning the whole works and buying my computer from some other company.
A few problems I have:
1) The rear louvre/panel was not pressed all the way down when I opened the box that the computer came in. This is what would cause the above problem, and I shudder to think of how many people might have returned their desktops for the same reason I experienced.
2) Where the dual graphics cards' plugs stick out of the back of the chassis (the DVI/DisplayPort/HDMI plugs), one of these sections is covered by a black plastic piece, preventing the end user from plugging the monitor into the wrong graphics card. My computer had the second (lower) GPU's plugs covered. When in SLI, the second (lower) graphics card functions as the primary video source. Plug your monitor into this one, not the first one (unless you're using more than one monitor).
Had I been less determined and less experienced with computers, if I were just your average user buying a nice computer to play games on, either one of these problems would have resulted in me mistakenly believing the computer to be defective in some way. In fact, one of them did, and I nearly returned the computer and monitor entirely.
I hope this can help some of you, as all of my Googling provided no results for my own problem.
So, you got it all working properly? If not, arrange (with phone support) to have a tech come take a look.
1. My Aurora R1 DOES NOT have a tamper switch on the side panel or "release lever/panel". Maybe they added that on the R4's? Yes, mine shuts all the way.
2. Common for them to cover the wrong one. Just move the little plastic cover.
Just shut it down and the power button stopped working again, so it looks like this post was premature. The only way I can get the computer to stay on now is to turn off the power bar, unplug the power supply, open the chassis, remove the top GPU, reset the CMOS, replace everything, plug the computer back in, and turn the power bar back on.
At least this way I can move the computer or bump the desk without everything turning off, but the power button STILL doesn't function. What a disappointment. Guess I'll call for a tech on Monday.
I don't even know what fixed it. I had to remove and replace the GPUs every time just to hit the motherboard reset switch. This let the computer stay on. One day the power goes out and after it came back on, my wife says she tried the power button and everything worked normally.
Sorry I don't have any real answers for you, man. At one point it wasn't working, and it spontaneously fixed itself for no reason that I could determine.
Hey, did u fix this? Im having the same problem now, and i think the problem is also in the back pabel thing preventing me from turning it on. If u know the solution please contact me
I am on my second Aurora R4 which I bought Jan 2013 , besides a new front panel was installed here by a tech (because the switch problem) and a new hard drive that came from the factory defective . I must say the best part of the Alienware is the service. Right now a few things came out of the blue.
The issue with the power on/of. I had from day one. The fact the box has interior lights told me something was holding a charge. From experience (I designed and built PCs by the thousands for an early Taiwanese clone) A discharge of whatever power was in the machine typically drains if you unplug the power cord, press the power switch (the WORST of any PC ive seen) count to 20 replug power and either it starts there or you press the button and starts. That problem was on both boxes. I also have had intermittent crashes with the Thermal Controller, sometimes it just throws a COM exception.
Recently I bought a second monitor and after two days on the phone, I realized they will nor work if crossfire jumper is installed . Support didn't know this) after that the only strange thing was that one monitor register as DIGITAL and not the other, but I couldn't tell the difference so this takes me to DEC 14 2013. Booting up was taking a long time and Id have to shut the unit down. One next power up id get "Machine didn't shut down correctly. Start Normally or try recovery. After 3 start Normally it did. it seemed like the machine in a good day. Suddenly windows on both monitors began freezing showing that Windows 7 whitish look. once a screen went white no way to close it so POWER down , go to back unplug power wait 30 seconds reboot this happened for a day, and I decided to get Windows CD in the mix. The reply was The version on this CD doesn't match the version in your PC !!!!!! Google this and apparently is a windows issue if you have more than the drive where the OS is installed. took second drive out and I got to the recovery screen. Recovery did not work and I didnt get an option for anything else. I did the ALienware diagnostics and it passed everything ok. I used some Advanced system Care and my registry all hives were fine. - this sounds fast but it was hours between one test and the other. Suddenly I get na errord that Drive "G" (I dont have one, ) was defective. I ignored that after trying to see if a partition had had a change of personality, nope okey. Booted 40 minutes later White windows. Oh in the middle of this I had two blue screens. Another try ... this time drive Y was defective. (dont have one) kept going . I decided to remove the second monitor replugged the xfire connector and use the lower card as it was from factory. Gave me a longer maybe 4 hours of use and screens frozen. This mind you with not ONE error being reported from any diagnosis software virus scanner etc. at about 2 AM today 12/16/13 I left Microsft looking for a problem got up at 6Am and NOPE no problem I had to send results to Microsoft. Microsft has not been delaing fairly here because although I have it set to INFORM me of available update not to down load or install. Microsft ignores this consistently so now at 7:00 Am I am waiting for the Alienwrae staff to come in and have a conniption. and I better end this before I go white again so... the switch on/off is something Alienware can not figure out since you found a solution and I a different one. this machine is HIGHLY overengineered and highly inadequate in assembly and QC. It is a shame .