newbcake
1 Nickel

Hard Drive Troubles on new AlienWare 15

I have the new Alienware 15.

It came with an SSD which has Windows 8.1 installed on it, and a secondary 1TB WD HDD.

CrystalDiskInfo reports both drives as Good and Healthy.

However, here is my problem.

1. Occasionally, when putting the laptop to sleep (i.e. closing the lid), it will not wake back up and I have to turn it off and on.

That is problem 1.

2. Problem 2 (probably has something to do with problem 1 or vice-versa) has occurred twice, 1.5 weeks apart.

What this problem is is that the secondary drive (the HDD) will completely disappear and Windows will not be able to detect it (not even in Device Manager), but in BIOS it is fine.

I would have to reboot the computer a few times before the hard drive comes back.

3. The third problem is not too common. What I understand is SSD improves boot time, but some boots of my system take longer than an HDD boot.

I know any other sensible person would send in this computer to have it repaired and such, but the reason I'm trying to avoid that is that this is my only laptop right now. Is it something I can easily remedy?

One notable thing is when the HDD disappears, 2 reboots will bring it back. Which is weird.

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7 Replies
8 Krypton

RE: Hard Drive Troubles on new AlienWare 15

In my experience, sleep and wake problems are more often than not caused by video driver issues, but given what you are seeing I would suspect a faulty connection between the motherboard and the drive or a bad logic controller on the drive itself.  Long boot time could be caused by this.  If the UEFI is seeing a change in hardware, it will not allow fast boot as it wants to scan for all hardware changes.

If you are uncomfortable opening the computer to check the connectors, call customer support.  I have never had to send in an Alienware or XPS, they dispatch someone to your home or office.  I don't believe that this policy has changed.

Alienware 15

I7-4710HQ @ 3.50 GHz
16GB RAM
128GB M.2 + 1TB Samsung EVO PRO 850
4GB NVidia GTX 980M
ASUS VG248QE Monitor
Razer DeathStalker Keyboard
Logitech G700s Mouse

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Moderator
Moderator

RE: Hard Drive Troubles on new AlienWare 15

There might be a problem with windows however you can try the following:

For the problem number 1 try to uninstall the video card driver and install the latest driver you find in the Dell support site.

For number to 2 and 3 they might be related, first check if the hard drive is been detected in the disk management and you can follow the steps on this article in order to troubleshoot the system. 

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newbcake
1 Nickel

RE: Hard Drive Troubles on new AlienWare 15

For now, I reseated the hard drive and the problem is not occuring after a reboot

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Joebud36
1 Copper

RE: Hard Drive Troubles on new AlienWare 15

I am having the same issue. I have had the Alienware 15 for 2 months now and I have had to re-seat the cable from the 1TB HDD 2 twice. I called support the first time it happened and that is what they instructed me to do. They said that is was that the cable came unseated. My bull *** detector went off on that one as I had to pull so hard on the connector that I thought I was going to break it just to get it off. Anyway that fixed it for about 1.5 months and it just happened again.

When the secondary drive disappears this causes major havoc, the computer won't wake up, won't restart and if it does happen to restart it takes forever and the secondary drive is missing. Just like the other post it shows up in the bios and even checks out as healthy.


My 2 cents. Something is locking the secondary drive up (windows, hardware, not sure) and the only way to get the drive to release is to unplug it (cut power). This is why unseating and re-seating the drive seems to fix the problem for a while.

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Kairu
1 Copper

RE: Hard Drive Troubles on new AlienWare 15

Having the same issue with my Alienware 15. Except I can't shut mine off without needing to reseat the hdd every time I wanna log in.. In fact I'm in the process of reseating it right now and am writing this by iPad. It's very annoying to have to do and I just leave my laptop on so I don't have to constantly do it.

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fartsmcgee
1 Nickel

RE: Hard Drive Troubles on new AlienWare 15

Yup, my issue is identical.  They told me it was the HDD cable, sent out a replacement, which unsurprisingly didn't fix the issue.  I'm now awaiting a technician to come out and replace the drive.  I'm hopeful that it will be the solution, but frankly i think it's a windows talking to the UEFI issue.  Cause the hardware always detects it, i've never failed to find the drive in the UEFI but windows is variable.  I wonder if there is a security signature that gets reset when the cable is unplugged.  Still though, this is either the HDD itself, windows or the uefi, the drive works find when i test it outside of windows. 

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Joebud36
1 Copper

RE: Hard Drive Troubles on new AlienWare 15

I had a technician come out about 5 months ago and they replaced my Hard Drive cable. I have not had the issue since. Good luck!

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