AW-HW
6 Indium

Alienware Aurora-R4, USB 3.0 Failures

Alienware Tech Support has not been able to provide a solution -- the Engineering Department has supposedly been working on the problem for the last three months, but now Tech Support tells me they are waiting for a BIOS update (with no indication that it would resolve the problem). Details below. My specifics:

Alienware Aurora R4, 16GB RAM, 64-bit Windows 7 Professional 

The computer experiences failures when ANY USB 3.0 Hub is attached or a USB 3.o Host Card is installed:
Startup failures
No keyboard found
Shutdown irregularities (frequently does a Restart instead of Shutdown)
Unreliable USB 3.0 hard drive behavior 

I've tried three different USB 3.0 Hubs and one USB 3.0 Host Card -- had to send them all back for refunds. I have eight USB 3.0 flash or hard drives on this system. Two are connected to the R4's two USB 3.0 ports; I have to connect the others to a USB 2.0 hub, unless I go to the inconvenience of swapping them around (which gets very old very fast). In June Alienware Tech Support had me insure the Renesas USB 3.0 Host Controller driver and the BIOS were up to date; they were. When they ran out of ideas, they asked me to submit all the details of the problem and all the Internet pages I had found where other R4 owners were having the same problems. I submitted all the information I could find (including here in the Alienware Club Forum) on July 18th, 2014, and they confirmed that it had been sent to the Engineering Department. That was a full three months ago, and the response I got from Tech Support to my inquiry yesterday (about waiting for a new BIOS update) leads me to believe that Engineering has dropped the whole thing. For those who have experienced the same thing: Are you as frustrated as I am? This is my third Alienware computer; I got a high-performance computer and expected my high-performance USB 3.0 devices to work with it. So far, Alienware/Dell has let me down. Does anyone have any ideas? 

Thanks! 

AW-HW

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11 Replies
8 Krypton

RE: USB 3.0 Failures on Alienware Aurora R4 – Need ALL Having Same Problems to Please Chime In!!

I had the exact same problem. What I did is on plug all my external devices. And then I uninstalled the current driver. I made absolutely sure everything was gone. And then re-installed version 3.0.8.0. Under system board that work for me.

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AW-HW
6 Indium

RE: USB 3.0 Failures on Alienware Aurora R4 – Need ALL Having Same Problems to Please Chime In!!

raysz -

I hope you can provide details about what you did. Please tell me specifically which driver you uninstalled and re-installed. In other words, I would like to know, step-by-step, exactly what you did to solve the problem. Also tell me where you found the driver 3.0.8.0 to install. Did you download it from the Internet or did you find it on the Aurora-R4 Resource DVD? Please explain what "Under system board" means.

Thank you for your help!

AW-HW

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8 Krypton

RE: USB 3.0 Failures on Alienware Aurora R4 – Need ALL Having Same Problems to Please Chime In!!

Okay sorry I wasn't very clear.
Go to the Dell website and download the version 3.0.8.0 under system board.

Disconnect all of your external USB devices

Now go to your programs and features and uninstall USB 3.0 Host Controller driver
and then restart your computer.

Now reinstall your new program that you just downloaded from the Dell website.
Restart your computer, now reconnect your devices one at a time. Let each device. Completely install.

That's what I did and it worked.

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AW-HW
6 Indium

RE: USB 3.0 Failures on Alienware Aurora R4 – Need ALL Having Same Problems to Please Chime In!!

raysz -

In Device Manager I should uninstall only the "Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller" but NOT the "Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Root Hub" --- correct?

I have found the 3.0.8.0 driver.  I see that it will install automatically when it is downloaded.  The Details page indicates it applies to the Aurora-R4 of "Late 2011".  I'm a bit uneasy about installing a 3.0.8.0 version when my current version is 3.0.23.0 dated 8/21/2012.  (My R4 was made in March 2014.)

So you had connected a USB 3.0 Hub to one of the R4 3.0 ports (or installed a USB 3.0 Host Card internally) but it gave you the problems I described until you followed the steps you stated above.  Then either the Hub or Host Card caused no further problems, right?

What brand and model Hub (or Host Card) is now working perfectly for you after your fix?

Thank you for putting up with all my questions.  I'm not at all new to computers, but after so many frustrations with USB 3.0 on my R4, I'm being cautious.

- AW-HW

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8 Krypton

RE: USB 3.0 Failures on Alienware Aurora R4 – Need ALL Having Same Problems to Please Chime In!!

You need to go to programs and features an uninstall it there.  not device manager.

I went to version 3.0.8.0 because it worked for me. I have an Aurora 4 also. And I just pass on information to my fellow r4 individuals who might have the same problems I've had. And let them know what I have done to fix the problem.

So the choice is really up to you. It doesn't hurt to try it. I had the same version, you did 3.0.23.0  and it cost me nothing but problems, until they fix it with a newer version. I plan on staying with 3.0.8.0

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AW-HW
6 Indium

RE: USB 3.0 Failures on Alienware Aurora R4 – Need ALL Having Same Problems to Please Chime In!!

raysz -

Sorry to be a pest.

Did you specifically have the same problems as mine after connecting a USB 3.0 Hub??

Are you now able to use a USB 3.0 Hub without the problems?

If so, what brand and model Hub?

Thanks!

- AW-HW

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8 Krypton

RE: USB 3.0 Failures on Alienware Aurora R4 – Need ALL Having Same Problems to Please Chime In!!

Well like I said in the past postings. I had the same problem and I fixed it. As I stated.
StarTech Mountable 7-Port Metal Industrial SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Hub    .
That's what I use

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AW-HW
6 Indium

RE: USB 3.0 Failures on Alienware Aurora R4 – Need ALL Having Same Problems to Please Chime In!!

raysz -

Okay, thanks.

- AW-HW

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AW-HW
6 Indium

RE: Alienware Aurora-R4, USB 3.0 Failures

raysz –

 I followed your procedures exactly as you stated them, but they did not resolve my USB 3.0 problems — I still have the same issues!

 I appreciate that you provided the information, and I'm disappointed that it didn't work for my system.

 Thank you.

 AW/HW

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