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Catpsyche
1 Nickel

Aurora-R4 Troubleshooting Issues & Upgrade Questions

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Hello, Alien Techies!... I come to you here, now, humbled, and needing superior guidance from the Mothership... Let me start off by listing my "original specs" followed by any/ ALL "modifications" directly beside or after (directly below), because I think it might be relevant to my issues and questions.  Please note, I started out at the time of purchase with a modified and upgraded version at my request, and they DO NOT reflect the standard.

HARDWARE - Alienware Aurora-R4 (X79 with ALX Chassis); 3rd Gen - Intel Quad Core i7-3820 CPU 3.60GHz (*Overclocked @ 4.1GHz, Quad Core, 10MB Cache), Seagate 3TB HHD @ 7200 RPM, 16GB RAM (out of 32GB max.) - 16GB Dual Quad Channel (4X4GB) *Overclocked DDR3 @ 1600MHz, nVidia/ GeForce GTX 660 @ 1.5GB - nVidia SLI - AMD Crossfire (Power Connectors: 2 6 pin 2 8 pin/ Power Bus Port: 2 PCI X16 slots/ Dual Video Card Supports 300 watts per card & single card 600 watts), Creative Sound Blaster PCIe-X-Fi, Integrated Real Tek ALC892 Codex 2 Optical Drives (Blu-Ray & DVD), 19-in-1 Media Card Reader, Network Wireless Real Tek Integrated10/100/1000 GB Card, MS3871 Bluetooth Wireless Combo WLAN802.11b/g/n, Power Supply is 875 Watt Muliti-GPU Approved Power, and Micro-ATX Motherboard 07JNH0.  SOFTWARE - BIOS A06, Windows 7 Home Premium Edition.

UPGRADE/ REPLACEMENTS - 1.) SSHD 4TB 5900 RPM w/ 64MB Cache & 8GB NAND Flash, 2.) Windows 10 Home Edition, 3.) BIOS A11... ONLY!  With the exceptions of some smaller driver upgrades I'm sure.

My problems surfaced around 7 months ago, somewhere around Thanksgiving thru Christmas, at the 3 year mark that I had purchased my Alienware.  It was a result of my first major upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10.  My PC wouldn't even acknowledge that Windows 10!  Instead, she/ PC was force-fed Windows 10 conversion-therapy by means of remote assistance from Microsoft Tech Support.  Shortly after, within the week, was my first BIG FREEZE MOMENT, where out of nowhere, while surfing the internet my systems seized.  I couldn't even Ctrl+Alt+Delete for Task to register, fans revved up, and I couldn't do anything but the very last kind of hard reboot - unplugging the PC from power outlet... It wouldn't happen again for another month or several weeks. And when my PC finally awoke from her drunken and sluggish slumber, very very slowly rebooting from black screen, to trying it's hardest to either take Windows or reject it.  It still took time once the main screen was up and running, and once it found Windows.  My processors working OT, until finally about 15 minutes after it startup in was resting peacefully, the demon banished.  I could game, no problem, but when I was either on a browser on the internet, and/ or when I got "Windows Automatic Updates" the chaos, the demon returned, and the Big Freeze came on again.  I know all of this only in retrospect, looking back, 20/20. 

It would only escalate slowly, until the point where 6 months I upgraded to Windows 10, it was having longer fits, anywhere from an half hour to sometimes a couple of hours at the end.  She tries to reboot, but seems completely catatonic and unable to respond from black screen alien screen OR find Windows, and to about every couple of days to a couple of times a day.

I did replace my hard drive, after it died, and had pretty much cloned it from the backup to the my new SSHD, listed above.  This is now my second upgrade in less than 2 weeks, at the second week of June of 2016 now.  My third upgrade, all now just weeks apart, with BIOS A06 to A11.  I don't know why or how that never showed up as missing an upgrade.  I did lots of checking, cleaning, defraging, and even added a new Trend Micro Security to protect my investment.  AND I AM STILL seeing hiccups like those from my old hard drive.  No one seems to be either willing or able to diagnose this problem as a problem that pre-existed prior to my new Solid State Hybrid Drive... Just a couple of days ago, I received an error message through troubleshooting with Trend Micro and doing an F5 run prior to start up.  *The Error Code 2000-8314 and Violation 119539" - something like Error CPU msg 100c thermal PC thermistor 100c exceeds thermal limit out of range.  I don't know.  Is that a one of my chipset, a processor, or fan around my motherboard?

I would apologize for dragging this all out, but I believe the devil is in the details.  So, thank you for your patience.  And I will and do appreciate any input at all into my ongoing troubleshooting.  I've spent enough money in the last couple of weeks.  And my own brain is pretty fried at this point troubleshooting via internet.

Now, A QUICK question(s) about a potential upgrade that I am hoping might actually alleviate part of the symptoms or even the problem(s) entirely... I would like top off my 32GB maximum RAM with 4x8GB's.  It appears as thought there are very specific sticks to get for my Alienware, and that I must stay with this margin to not overwork anything.  I'd also like to do it myself, like I did with my other Dell Dimension 4700 PC.  I just need directions if to wait, because I have other fires to put out still AND/ OR what specific 8GB RAM cards can I work with my Aurora-R4?

"Go Home and Game Hard!" 

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Accepted Solutions
Tesla1856
6 Thallium

RE: Aurora-R4 Troubleshooting Issues & Upgrade Questions

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REMOVE ALL OverClocks (I suggest permanently if you want a stable system that lasts a long time)

Run ePSA Diags. Repair anything that fails before continuing.

http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/t/19530277

Be sure machine is not over-heating and SMART is good.

Use usb.iso to try a clean-install of Windows-10/64bit (to a blank SSD/HDD) and rebuild from scratch. Maybe the migration of drivers and old apps during upgrade-install wasn't 100% or you still have a Win10 incompatible app or driver installed.

http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/t/19679918

A real SSD is much faster than any Hybrid SSHD. I like real 240gb SSD as boot C: and only install Windows and main Apps on it.

16GB Dual Quad Channel (4X4GB) is fine - Don't mess with it.

Never used Trend-Micro-Security. On Win10/64 I use Windows Defender & Firewall.

Maybe try this:
REMOVE ALL OverClocks
Disconnect existing SSHD (becomes a backup).
Install 240gb SSD (or 100% perfect drive)
Clean-install Win10-64 to blank drive
Use mostly only Microsoft supplied drivers from Windows-Update
Install only Win10 updated apps, use free Windows Defender & Firewall for now
See how that works.


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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5 Replies
Tesla1856
6 Thallium

RE: Aurora-R4 Troubleshooting Issues & Upgrade Questions

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REMOVE ALL OverClocks (I suggest permanently if you want a stable system that lasts a long time)

Run ePSA Diags. Repair anything that fails before continuing.

http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/t/19530277

Be sure machine is not over-heating and SMART is good.

Use usb.iso to try a clean-install of Windows-10/64bit (to a blank SSD/HDD) and rebuild from scratch. Maybe the migration of drivers and old apps during upgrade-install wasn't 100% or you still have a Win10 incompatible app or driver installed.

http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/t/19679918

A real SSD is much faster than any Hybrid SSHD. I like real 240gb SSD as boot C: and only install Windows and main Apps on it.

16GB Dual Quad Channel (4X4GB) is fine - Don't mess with it.

Never used Trend-Micro-Security. On Win10/64 I use Windows Defender & Firewall.

Maybe try this:
REMOVE ALL OverClocks
Disconnect existing SSHD (becomes a backup).
Install 240gb SSD (or 100% perfect drive)
Clean-install Win10-64 to blank drive
Use mostly only Microsoft supplied drivers from Windows-Update
Install only Win10 updated apps, use free Windows Defender & Firewall for now
See how that works.


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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raysz
3 Silver

RE: Aurora-R4 Troubleshooting Issues & Upgrade Questions

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Hi Tesla

I noticed on this thread you mentioned not to use trend Micro security May I ask why I've been using it for years and never had a problem, is it not compatible with Windows 10 maybe. just curious

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

RE: Aurora-R4 Troubleshooting Issues & Upgrade Questions

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Hi Tesla

 

I noticed on this thread you mentioned not to use trend Micro security May I ask why I've been using it for years and never had a problem, is it not compatible with Windows 10 maybe. just curious

The OP was talking like maybe it was part of the problem. So, get rid of TMS for a while to test that theory. A clean install would be the perfect time.


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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Catpsyche
1 Nickel

RE: Aurora-R4 Troubleshooting Issues & Upgrade Questions

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Thank you so much, Tesla!!!  I really appreciate you taking the time read my post, extracting what seems to be the most important components and important issues, drawing a list of course of actions, and communicating them forward, clearly.  And I'm taking note of ALL of your recommendations, and absolutely RUNNING WITH THEM!  Like a thief; caught, running, with his take, and his very life!  LOL Smiley Very Happy  

Your suggestion of incorporating a new somewhat modest 240GB (or 250GB?) SSD Boot Drive with Clean Install of Windows 10, I believe is the most valuable bit of information.  Especially when reassessing my most current errors and lag that I should NOT be experiencing with my Alienware Power Gaming Performance PC...  Such as the errors and lag I have been receiving just within the last hour here/ now; "Shockwave Flash stopped running in Windows."  Along with THREE other "Unresponsive Scripts: Warnings" (Freezes and Lag); 1.) "Chrome://browser/content/browser/js/7641."  2.) "Chrome://global/content/bindings/browser/xml:362."  3.) "Maybe busy or stopped responding.  You can stop plugin..." Blah-blah-blah.  And YES, ALL OF THIS with 8 tabs open on Mozilla Firefox Browser ONLY and as my Default, because I "DETEST" Internet Explorer, as I'm sure Microsoft Edge, and it's intrusive and power consuming ways.

I will continue to respond back here to follow up on my progress and updates in this matter AND to help assist others in communications that may find this even remotely useful.  I am also open to other suggestions.  I think it is very wise to keep in mind that as new information and facts materializes, as technologies advance quickly in rapid pace, so too shall we adapt, evolve, and quickly compensate to balance those scales and progress.

"Go Hard or Go Home!" Smiley Wink  

Tesla1856
6 Thallium

RE: Aurora-R4 Troubleshooting Issues & Upgrade Questions

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You are welcome. Yes, keep us posted.

I often see users struggling with unstable systems, often exhibiting multiple problems. Determining if problems are due to failing Hardware or Software is the first step.

Once system passes ePSA Diags (it's good, but doesn't always catch everything) I like to simplify hardware, and sometimes even temporarily remove anything questionable from config. Try to validate a core set of hardware as good/working ... and go forward from there.

On the software side ... Nuke-and-Pave it ... even if just to a spare drive. Start with a clean, perfect, un-violated and un-compromised copy of Windows. Windows-10/64bit has collected a good set (some online in WindowsUpdate) so use basic Microsoft drivers and security programs for now. Load manufacturer supplied OS-validated drivers only if needed and sparingly (to get a 100% error-free DeviceManager). Test as you go and don't progress until you are sure system is still 100% stable. Stick to 100% legit websites.

As you build the system back to it's previous glory it helps to take Full System Hard-drive Backup Images as you go (an external USB drive works nicely). Windows has a utility but I like Macrium Reflect Free now-days. If you work yourself into a deep hole or something gets corrupt, you can return system to previous stable software state in a matter of minutes, and re-capture all that time.


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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