Brand New $2000 Alienware M14x gives me 7 beeps but does not boot

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Brand New $2000 Alienware M14x gives me 7 beeps but does not boot

  • Friends,

    My brand new Alienware M14x (core i7 2720 CPU, 8GB 1600mhz ram, NVIDIA GT555 3GB GPU) has functioned for only a few months before dying a 7 beep death.  After calling Dell (and walking through removing the bottom laptop chassis cover and running diagnostics) it was determined that my Mother board needed replacement.  After a few days the technician came to repair the unit (I had to come back from work to have a brief discussion with him).  There was a language barrier in our conversation (but the gentlemen was nice).  I explained that I needed to have him validate all function after replacing the motherboard.  

    Here now an aside.  I worked for a large fortune 500 company that featured Dell product and loved their support.  The problem was, even in a single product line, their model of obtaining the cheapest chipsets, created a myriad of different driver scenarios even for a similar model.  I know from experience that without careful attention to detail, the systems will not be returned to full function.  At the very least, after a mobo replacement, one should boot the OS and take a look at the device manager to make sure all drivers are seated.

    And back to the story - after my laptop is returned to me, I check the device manager, and behold - my video card is not recognized.  Furthermore, the Killer network card is booting to a test screen which never completes.  iTunes store does not work so my iPhone cannot be synced and World of Warcraft is not launching.  These and many other problems plague me as a result.  

    For 2000 dollars, I expected more.  When this laptop worked, it was awesome.  Dell was solicitous and always there... now when its broken, and barely functioning I have to use every mechanism to contact support or they wont take me seriously.

    Think twice before buying a Dell/Alienware.  If you can afford down time and painful support calls - this is the place to be. 

    Rob MacGregor

  • Ther are a few of us with the M14x with the same motherboard problems, it seems to be a pretty  widespread problem. But how many times do they get to repair it before we can ask for a refund or replacement?

  • Waiting for my second set of replacements now. How many are you up to?

  • Yeah, I had the same problem.  Mobo swap, said it was fully tested and they didn't do anything.  Not only did it not work well the 2nd motherboard was defective as well.  On top of that Dell's support was beyond awful to deal with.

    Dell is quickly going from my very trusted always do business with list to avoid at all costs.  Normally it would take more than one incident for me to say this, but that is how bad Dell has been in this case.

    They have  known issue (bad motherboards) that tech support even said was an issue.  However they seem to be either ignoring it from a strategic sense, or completely fumbling it.

    If anyone from Dell is reading this:  You CAN NOT mess up this bad on your flagship products.  Having problems is ok.  It happens.  Not fixing or acknowledging them is unacceptable.  You need to take EXTRA care when fixing a known widespread problem.  Otherwise you lose loyal customers.  What is worse is those customers tell others and your reputation takes a huge hit.

  • This is my most frustrating issue with Alienware at the moment. The overall apathy they have when it comes to these issues is starting to wear my patience thin. I have not had a working computer for more than a week and a half at a time and for the price I was charged, I demand better. We need an official staement form the company regarding what they intend to do about this known, widespread issue and if any satisfaction or remedy will be offered to us.

  • You are right this is very frustrating.  I've been without a working computer for over a month.  Lets hope the 2nd time they try and fix it it works.  How many tries do they get before I get my money back?

  • We need an official statement from the company regarding what they intend to do about this known, widespread issue and if any satisfaction or remedy will be offered to us.

    * I am not sure what you mean by official, but as far as Technical Support is concerned, there is not a widespread systemic issue with the M14x. This is based on total units sold versus total motherboards replaced. For those with the 7 beep, follow standard Alienware Support protocol and get the motherboard replaced. The onsite technician should not leave until they have booted into windows and made sure there are no bangs in the device manager.

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
    Quick link for Manuals and Drivers

  • Hey, we are not blaming you ChrisM, you are one of the few that will try to help us. All I am asking is how many times do I get my M14X repaired for the same problem before I can get it swapped out for another one? I am not asking for a refund or upgrade, all I would like is for a working M14x. Thanks for your response to this also.

  • Thanks for the reply Chris.  By official I mean there is a FAQ you posted listing M14x issues.  Nowhere on it did I see 7 beep motherboard problem.  However after many weeks of talking to tech support for hours it is a known problem that there is a significant quantity of bad motherboards on the M14x.  They have come out and admitted this several times to me on the phone.

    Denying a problem isn't going to help out here.  Especially one as bad as this one.  I'm not angry at the fact that there is a problem.  I'm angry at the stumbling, bumbling tech support not fixing the problem, but telling me they did.  I'm angry at paying premium price for a laptop that doesn't work.

    You should be angry at the black eye that Dell is taking over this.  The worst thing you can do is make customers who buy your premium products angry.  That dries up your market for your higher end more profitable systems.

    Before this incident I was a huge fan of Alienware laptops for their toughness and reliability.  I'v bought two in one year.  After getting my laptop 'repaired' and 'inspected' by Dell tech support I'll most likely never buy anything with a Dell logo on it again.  I don't like dealing with customer support who promise me things they can't deliver.  Can't answer emails, leaves me hanging, hangs up on me, etc.  This is the worst customer service experience I've ever had with a laptop.

  • By official I mean there is a FAQ you posted listing M14x issues.
    * I do not see 7 beep here. That tells me that although the issue is prevalent on Forums, the total number of motherboard replacements worldwide has not reached the threshold that the L3s use when creating data for that document.

    All I am asking is how many times do I get my M14X repaired for the same problem before I can get it swapped out for another one?
    * My opinion is three dispatches and if still no fix, system exchange time.

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
    Quick link for Manuals and Drivers

  • Ok seing how this is my fourth time being repaired, do I just need to contact customer support while my laptop is at the repair center in Houston? Or should I wait till it goes down again?

  • okay from what i remeber and il try and find the info anyway i was told directly from tech support management when my M17XR1 went under surgery that they cant replace it till ATLEAST 3 attempts of repairing the same issue not different issues so 3 board replacements and no go... you can push for replacement which will be a refurb not a new one unless within the 21 days then just return it if its got an issue. mt M17X R1 was 7 video cards .. 1 primary then both were swapped 3 times then board 3 times ...

  • Now they called me today and stated that they are replcing the hard drive?  That Windows and my HD had a problem with each other? I ma pretty sure they will replace the MB which will be my fourth one in 3 months.

  • Chris,

    You may want to get somebody to listen and post the 7-beep info in that FAQ.  There is no reason not to.  If it saves you one customer then it is totally worth it.  The tech support people confirmed for me more than once this was a know issue.  If it is known it should be in the FAQ.  I don't care if only 1000 people have had their motherboards replaced out of 1,000,000.  That is a potential 1,000 customers that Dell won't get back.

    If you look at it this way it will cost what, an hour to update the FAQ.  So lets be generous and call it $200 worth of work.  Say I was a loyal customer of Dell or Alienware and I buy a new laptop every 2-3 years.  That is a potential sales figure of lets say $1,500 every 2-3 years for 20 years.  So to save $200 on updating an FAQ Dell is willing to forego a potential $1,500 x 7 or $10,500 in lifetime sales.  That is just the case for 1 customer.  There are several in this thread alone not to mention everybody who reads it.  

    Update the FAQ.  Its not hard and its the right thing to do.  Not only for the customer, but for your business.

  • They replaced my HD too.  I wonder if something on the MB is corrupting the hard drive?