Student-Contributed Wiki

Student-Contributed Wiki

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Computer Will Not Power On ¶ 

The laptop will not respond or show any sign of powering up.

Faulty Charger ¶ 

Ensure the charger is plugged into an electrical outlet fully. If the charger is plugged in, but is not charging your battery, consider purchasing a replacement charger.

Faulty Battery ¶ 

Make sure the charger is connected to the laptop and into an electrical outlet. If the laptop only powers up when the charger is plugged in, regardless of charging time, then the battery is faulty.

Faulty Motherboard ¶ 

There is another rare issue with this computer where both the battery and charger are good, but the battery will still not charge. This case would result in a faulty motherboard, which would need replacement. However, this is a costly component. Confirm that both the battery and charging cable are in good condition first.

Keyboard/Keys Not Responding ¶ 

The keys on your keyboard won't respond or appear to be broken.

Faulty Keyboard ¶ 

If the entire keyboard fails to respond, try replacing it with this keyboard replacement guide.

Computer Won't Connect to Wi-Fi ¶ 

When Wi-Fi is enabled but will not connect to the internet

Outdated Driver ¶ 

Ensure the drivers of the laptop are up to date. To check this, first connect your computer to the internet with an Ethernet cable. Then go to Device Manager, right click on your Wi-Fi card (Intel(R) Centrino(R) Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250) and select "Update Driver Software...". Then select "Search automatically for updated driver software". The computer will determine if the card needs an updated driver and automatically install it for you.

Faulty Wi-Fi Card ¶ 

If the drivers are up to date, Wi-Fi is enabled, and the computer still cannot connect to the internet, then you may have a faulty Wi-Fi card. Please follow this replacement guide.

Computer Won't Boot ¶ 

Your computer does not load the Operating System and instead takes you to an error message.

Not Enough RAM ¶ 

If your computer crashes during normal operation, crashes during memory intensive tasks, or beeps and will not boot up, this means you have bad RAM or that you do not have enough RAM. This link will help you install more or new RAM into your computer.

Outdated BIOS ¶ 

If your laptop looks like it is on but is not doing anything, try entering your laptop's Basic input/output System, or BIOS. This can be done by either pressing the F2 key or the F9 key. Once there, reset the BIOS to the factory defaults. If resetting the BIOS to factory defaults does not resolve the issue, you may also try to update the BIOS to the latest version to resolve issues related to the BIOS of your laptop.

Hard Drive Error ¶ 

''My files on my computer seem to be disappearing"

"My save files are all corrupted"

Corrupted Operating System ¶ 

If you turn on your laptop and nothing happens after it is turned on, it is likely that there is an issue with your operating system on your hard drive. What you should do is make sure that nothing should be externally plugged into the laptop. Analyze and research potential error messages that pop up to notify you of what went wrong.

Infected Hard Disk Drive ¶ 

If the laptop get malware installed on it, then it could wreak havoc. Run your antivirus program (default is Windows Defender) and perform a full system scan. If you are unable to uninstall the malware, then you could reformat the disk. Reformatting the disk will cause you to lose everything on the hard drive, but it gives you a blank slate to work on. You can attempt to move files before you reformat it, but you would be at risk of infected whatever storage device you move this files to. Make sure to scan each file with antivirus before moving it.

Physical Hard Disk Drive Damage ¶ 

If your Operating System and BIOS are up to date and your computer still doesn't boot, then your Hard Disk Drive, or HDD may be damaged. Damage can be caused by several things, such as dropping or roughly handling the computer, spilling a liquid on it, or if the computer is excessively overheated. It could display several symptoms all pointing to physical damage to the component. These symptoms include:

- Irregular crashing, especially when starting up

- Error messages that don't make sense when moving files

- Extraordinarily long wait times when opening folders and files

- The HDD is very loud when powered

- Files and folders being changed, moved, or deleted without your input

- The computer fails to recognize the disk during booting

If the hard drive does not boot, then chances are your data is gone. If it can still boot, try to back up whatever data you can, and then follow this repair guide.

Audio is Distorted ¶ 

The audio is not as clear or is no longer playing when volume is on.

Loose Headphone Jack ¶ 

Test audio through the computer speakers, then test it using headphones. If the audio is only distorted while listening via headphones, the audio jack or the headphones themselves may be faulty. Audio that cuts in and out is often a sign of a loose audio jack, so make sure the audio jack is fully inserted in the computer.

Faulty Driver ¶ 

If the audio is distorted when listening through the laptop’s speakers, the audio driver may be corrupt. Follow this link to look for possible updates. In the box titled "Get updates for your specific system." click the "System Analysis" button. Read and accept the terms and conditions and download the latest update for your laptop. (NOTE you may need to restart your laptop after updating.)

Blown Speakers ¶ 

If the audio sounds fine through headphones, but is still muffled or distorted through the speakers, the speakers may have been damaged. Ensure the audio drivers are up to date, and then inspect the speakers for physical damaged. If they are damaged, they will need to be replaced.

No Display ¶ 

The monitor on your Alienware M11x R3 doesn’t show anything, and you know the computer is turned on or there are some pixels not turned on.

Disabled Display ¶ 

Make sure that the display is not accidentally disabled. To do this, press one of the “Fn” keys in the lower corner of the keyboard and then press “F1.” If the display was disabled by accident, then this will re-enable the display.

If the above action does not fix the problem, repeat the previous instruction once more, hold down the Windows key, and then push “P” twice. The computer may have been previously set to “Projector mode;” doing the action above will convert it back to “Computer Only.”

Display Disconnected ¶ 

If the computer was recently worked on, the display may have not been plugged back in. The plug for the display is under the keyboard. Follow the keyboard replacement guide to locate the plug. Ensure that it is connected properly.

Bad Display ¶ 

If the display is not disabled and plugged in, then it is most likely broken and will need replacing.

Video is Distorted ¶ 

Video image is distorted, blurry, or discolored.

Incorrect Resolution ¶ 

The computer may be operating in an incorrect resolution. To fix this, double check the Resolution settings by right-clicking the desktop, and selecting “Screen Resolution.” The ideal resolution for the Alienware M11x R3 is 1366 x 768.

Outdated Video Driver ¶ 

If certain videos flicker, appear blurry, or change to incorrect colors, the most probable cause for this issue is an outdated video driver. To update the video driver, go to this site and download the appropriate video driver by checking for the correct operating system.

Device is Overheating ¶ 

While you are working, the computer randomly shuts off without notification.

Lack of Ventilation Space ¶ 

Ensure that the computer is not in an enclosed space or on a blanket. The fan takes air in on the base of the laptop and the exhaust is on the rear. Ensure the computer is on a hard, flat surface with open space in the back.

Dust in Vents or Fans ¶ 

Computers can overheat due to excessive dust and other materials stuck in the vents or fan. To fix this, use a compressed air duster to carefully blow the dust off the vents and fan.

Inadequate Amount of Thermal Paste ¶ 

Your computer may not have adequate contact between the heat sink and processor. This is usually caused by a lack of thermal paste or by air in between the two components. To fix this, completely clean off any old thermal paste, then apply a bead of new thermal paste directly in the center of the processor. Gently push the heat sink back in place and tighten screws to lock down the heat sink.

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