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Ztalavia
1 Copper

Alienware 14: "Hard Drive Not Installed", No Boot Device & Strange Internal Clicking Sounds

Hello,

Ever since I purchased my Alienware 14 laptop back in September, it has made strange noises internally on the right side, underneath the region of the keyboard that holds the Enter/Backspace/End/Delete keys and the USB/Ethernet ports on the side.

The sound is mechanical, there are faint hums (which I assume to be the fan, which is fine) and a sequence of repeating clicking sounds. It is usually a series of very quiet (but quite noticeable) rapid ticking sounds immediately followed by a final, louder "Click!" sound. This sequence of noise can last 1-3 seconds. Sometimes these sounds vary in volume, getting louder then softer randomly.

At first it was a rare occurrence, happening mostly when a lot of programs where running and the laptop was overheating. More recently, however, it has become much more frequent. As I sit here and write this post now, the sound described above is constant and happening within quick succession of one another, with the addition of the occasional 'popping' sound, which is new and significantly louder than the other sounds.

My laptop has been running very slow the past couple days, some programs have been freezing/crashing. This may be unrelated as I have uninstalled many large games and unused software and it has seemed to speed up again. The noises still persist and appear to be getting worse.

Should I be worried about this? Does something internally need replacing?

To try and answer some of your questions in advance:

- No, there is no disc inserted in the disc drive.

- The frequency of the sounds does not change with the usage of USB/Ethernet ports.

- No, nothing is running on my laptop right now apart from my browser.

- I don't think viruses can cause these problems, but just to be safe I have none.

- My laptop does not overheat normally, only when I use it in bed which is rarely. On it's desk it remains cool.

- The noises begin on startup and persist until shut down. They do not persist through sleep mode.

Thank you in advance for your responses.

P.S. Please see my reply to this post a bit further down about my diagnostics results and strange startup behaviors I've been having.

Cheers!

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5 Replies
Ztalavia
1 Copper

RE: Alienware 14 - Constant internal clicking/ticking sounds

Bump. Still need help.

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8 Krypton

RE: Alienware 14 - Constant internal clicking/ticking sounds

There are only two things inside the system with moving parts - the hard drive and the fan.  Run an extended diagnostic on the system (F12 at powerup to get to the diagnotics).  From the sound of it, the hard drive is the source of the noise.

Some drives make more noise than others - it may or may not mean you have a failing drive, but the diagnostics are a good place to start.

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Ztalavia
1 Copper

RE: Alienware 14 - Constant internal clicking/ticking sounds

Hi, thank you for your response.

I tried to run diagnostics, but here's the problem:

(Please refer to my post script paragraph in italic in the original post) - Because of this, I am not given the opportunity to start diagnostics. I cannot press any button apart from [ESC] which boots the system up. I have written down what the screen says:

>>Start PXE over IPv4, Press [ESC] to EXIT..._ 

***EDIT: The situation worsens***

My laptop just blue screened, said that something went wrong and that it needs to restart.

This time I successfully opened up and ran diagnostics, I received the following message:

Warning: Hard Drive - Not Installed

Everything else worked fine, all green ticks. Except for the Hard Drive, which was marked with a yellow exclamation point.

After finishing the diagnostics, I exited and tried to reboot the system when I faced faced with this message: "No Boot Device Found, Press any key to reboot the machine"

After pressing a key, it took me to the >>Start PXE over IPv4, Press [ESC] to EXIT..._ screen yet again. After pressing ESC it instantly brought me to the exact same screen again, but this time it said "IPv6" instead of "IPv4". Pressing ESC for the second time I was taken to the screen that said No Boot Device Found again. Going in circles.

I hard-shut down my laptop and restarted it. I was faced with both the IPvX screens but after the second ESC my PC successfully rebooted, however it began "Scanning & Repairing Drive" which took about 15 minutes. It restarted one last time and now I am back on, everything running smoothly.

What is going on?!?!

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Ztalavia
1 Copper

RE: Alienware 14: "Hard Drive Not Installed", No Boot Device & Strange Internal Clicking Sounds

4 days later and I am STILL waiting for an adequate response. I thought this was the support forums?

I need to know if my hard drive is about to die or not, I use my laptop for my work and cannot afford to lose it.

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Moderator
Moderator

RE: Alienware 14: "Hard Drive Not Installed", No Boot Device & Strange Internal Clicking Sounds

Hi Ztalavia,

I suspect the hard drive is the source of the issue. I would suggest you to back up all data possible and in the event the hard drive eventually fails, you could have it replaced and your data restored.

If the system is under warranty, then you could contact us via Twitter - @alienwaretech 

Let us know if you have any further questions.

Thanks and Regards,
DELL-Rishi
Social Media and Communities Professional
#IWork4Dell
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