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Uh oh - - this can't be good...

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December 2, 2011 3:37:11 AM

well, I've returned for another question designed to display my general techie ineptitude...

My primary (until Mon. anyway... that's when my new PC arrives... kinda excellent timing, actually) PC is a pre-2009 Alienware area-51 (the date is significant because, as I'm sure all of you already know, Alienware was taken over by Dell literally like six mo. after I purchased my computer, in the process managing to annihilate every last bit of intelligent help available via customer service and lowering build quality to laughable levels... I will readily admit that I used to really like Alienware, and owned 2 of their laptops and 1 PC - the only one that didn't eventually find another home was the PC - and I would defend them endlessly to all of my tech-interested friends. i know; i'm not proud. but they suck now. really suck. don't buy one. not that you would, but just in case.), which has never had a single issue until late last night, when at 3 AM (insomnia) everything went to hell. First the keyboard stopped working... I tried the usual methods of getting it to work, but it wasn't going to happen. luckily, i had a brand new keyboard (intended for the new PC) sitting right there. Plugged it in and no problems. Figured that the keyboard had just kicked it, and while that was sad, it was better than a problem w/ PC hardware and/or software. Then the PC did it's usual daily reboot thing at 3:30 AM... Only when it shut off, it didn't kick back on. OK, weird, but I wasn't really worried. yet. I hit the power button, and it turned on and booted up... very, very slowly. Usuallly when this particular model boots, the vent fins (i don't know what else to call them - - I think they are...were...specific to Alienware. Basically, they are 7 fins going down the length of the top of the PC case that raise and/or lower either manually or - when PC-controlled - according to cooling needs inside the case. essentially, they are aesthetic nonsense.) first raise all the way, then close completely, then, finally, raise to their final position (i keep them open all the way all the time). Around the time they hit their end position, the LEDs inside the case (more aesthetic nonsense) start up and begin their 3-color cycle. that's what it's supposed to do and what it has done for quite some time now. but last night, while the PC booted (sluggishly, at best), the fins stayed down and the LEDs dark. Also, the usual jet-engine roar of the fans turning on that accompanies hitting the power button was absent. Instead, there was an ominous high-pitched whining (like the damn thing was in actual pain -- maybe it was 4 AM-enhanced perception, but it sounded like a PC would sound if it was screaming in agony). Now I was concerned. Finally I got to the main windows 7 screen. looked normal. i tried a couple programs, everything worked. I opened the Alienware software (Alien Command Center something or another) and checked the thermal controls (guessing that this might be a hardware error in the cooling dept.) According to the readings displayed by the "command center", the graphics pump had failed, the graphics liquid temp. was at 0, and the graphics fan was operating at 0%. Bingo. Sort of. Assuming the alienware program is accurate (i checked for updates; it was recent), something pertaining to graphics-related thermals was dead. But - and this is where I got stuck - I have no clue whether the problem is with the software or with an internal (or multiple internal) hardware issue. 3 hours later, and a lot of internet combing performed, along with a visual inspection of the internals (looked normal), and I'm no closer to a solution. Calling alienware - excuse me, Dell - isn't an option. My service contract expired a long time ago, and judging from previous interactions with those guys, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be very helpful. I can't send the PC off to a private tech support place - - it weighs 80+ lbs. I have no clue what to do. I did find one vaguely relevant article on the Dell website, really more about problems with the venting system, that suggested shutting down, unplugging, restarting (after repplugging. duh.), and finally uninstalling and then reinstalling (from the now mostly defunct alienware site) the command center software. they said it might take several attempts. I tried that. 5 times. Nothing. I am totally flummoxed and w/o competent help.
If you managed to read this far, I would be extremely grateful to any and all suggestions, advice, ridicule combined with suggestions, anything... I'm desperate. I'm afraid to even turn the thing off, cuz I'm not sure it would even start up again. HELP!!!!

ps- oops, forgot to even begin to list the computer's specs... but I can't justify makign this post any longer. if you need the info, it's in my profile (#3, I think)...

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December 2, 2011 4:01:01 AM

c'mon, I know this is like 3rd grade math for you guys... but I can't figure it out. please. something...anything...
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December 2, 2011 4:16:57 AM

Getting an answer requires getting to the point, not writing an essay. Apparently this comp uses water cooling and the squeel is the pump running dry. Fill the reservoir with tap water and try again. The water cooling loop might have to be bled of air, check an owners manual on how to do that.
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December 2, 2011 4:23:40 AM

sorry for the "essay". i was attempting to provide all available info. 'course, nobody forced you to read it. i don't know enough about this particular area of computing to know what symtomology/pc behavior is relevant to diagnosis. If you would really like to help instead of just being rude, let me know what a more knowledgeable user needs to know about a problem to fix it. Or just resort to being a supercilious ass. whatever you think would be more personally satisfying.

as for your suggestion, i'll give it a try. thanks.
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December 2, 2011 4:47:34 AM

Well, dexi, this is the way it is. You posted your problem and 24 minutes later you come back begging. I took the time to read your post, twice. I wonder how many people looked and passed because of it's length. I offered an answer. Take it or leave it.
December 2, 2011 5:19:59 AM

it's unfortunate that so many people have difficulty retaining their attention span long enough to read anything longer than a short-handed paragraph. It's a useful skill, btw - - might want to look into it. And, as you apparently didn't understand when I initially explained it, I have no clue what info is pertinent to solving this particular problem. So (as I said and will reiterate for those with reading comprehension issues, as evidenced by everything you've said up til now), I included all available info.

You might also notice (more reading, I'm sorry; I know it's tough), that I've only ever posted one other issue to this particular forum. From that you might gather - or someone w/ basic social skills would gather - that I'm unfamiliar with the usual generic posting style around here. Progressing from that revelation (still w/ me?), we might conclude that the correct response, if we feel that it is absolutely crucial to make a point w/r/t poor posting technique, would be to offer constructive criticism (which might actually get somewhere other than just alienating a complete newcomer and admitted non-expert)
Tell you what: I'll work on my posting and computing skills, and you try to get your reading up above a 3rd grade level (might want to take a stab at the overly aggressive and obnoxious responses while you're at it)...
thanks again,
A
December 2, 2011 6:34:45 AM

deximate said:
it's unfortunate that so many people have difficulty retaining their attention span long enough to read anything longer than a short-handed paragraph. It's a useful skill, btw - - might want to look into it. And, as you apparently didn't understand when I initially explained it, I have no clue what info is pertinent to solving this particular problem. So (as I said and will reiterate for those with reading comprehension issues, as evidenced by everything you've said up til now), I included all available info.

You might also notice (more reading, I'm sorry; I know it's tough), that I've only ever posted one other issue to this particular forum. From that you might gather - or someone w/ basic social skills would gather - that I'm unfamiliar with the usual generic posting style around here. Progressing from that revelation (still w/ me?), we might conclude that the correct response, if we feel that it is absolutely crucial to make a point w/r/t poor posting technique, would be to offer constructive criticism (which might actually get somewhere other than just alienating a complete newcomer and admitted non-expert)
Tell you what: I'll work on my posting and computing skills, and you try to get your reading up above a 3rd grade level (might want to take a stab at the overly aggressive and obnoxious responses while you're at it)...
thanks again,
A



you're obviously new and don't understand how it works. delroy was kind enough to explain that to you but you attack him after he gives you a valid suggestion, and then you try calling him obnoxious. you're the only one being obnoxious. your post was long winded and filled with useless info that could have been said in 3 sentences. if you don't like how the forum works then deal with it or leave but being a prick won't get you anybody's help
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December 2, 2011 10:39:38 PM

First, Wall-O-Text is incredibly difficult to read and automatically deters people from your thread.


Second, you already degraded into insulting someone who offered a suggestion on how to get better help.


Third, try being patient, wanting an answer within 30 minutes is like wanting your 5 minute pizza to be done in 3, it might happen but its not likely.


Try again in another thread, and this time avoid insulting people in your second post within 30 minutes of starting your thread.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277636-28-read-first
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