Aurora R4 overheating problem SOLVED!!!

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Aurora R4 overheating problem SOLVED!!!

This question has been answered by Essay

I posted few days ago about my  aurora overheating problem but got no real answer... So i decided to find the problem by myself and look what i found ...

My theory was that my pump wasnt working because 1 hose ( the out ) was really getting hot ( almost can't touch it ) and the intake was cold.

So i removed my entire watercooling systems

the inside pump liquid was full no problem here

The input right side...  no problem

And finaly ... the problem the output of the liquid was complety blocked by that gelly thing

So i cleaned all this with alcool, putted new thermal paste on CPU and here we go Surprise



So i hope this thread will help someome because i did alot of search and found nothing that helped me.

And i got a question for alienware support wasnt the watercooling system was suppose to be maintenance free ??

This look like a bad quality watercooling liquid ! And its not old i bought my comp in june 2012 so warranty ended 1 month ago ...

Verified Answer
  • I know the people from Dell read these threads. It appears this is a known defect and is happening why too much. It should be brought to the attention of whoever makes the cooling systems and the powers that be at Alienware. This is just one forum out of many so how many of these failures are going unreported. The fact that it is happening right after the warranty runs out looks rather suspicious.

  • _

    Dude!  You are a frickin' GENIUS!  I have an Aurora R4 with the exact problem you posted.  I have been banging my head against every wall in my house for the last two weeks! I swear I have read every thread on the 'net twice to no avail. My mobo. just up and died 3 weeks ago and I called Alienware for a replacement (extended warranty, so good to go.)  I put in the new mobo., fired it up and instantly during POST my radiator fan goes full blast and STAYS there through POST, logging into Windows, and even at idle.  This never happened in the whole year+ I've had my system and it's not the first gamer's 'puter I've had through them with liquid cooling, either.

    At idle, my i7 3960 (not o.c.'d) had temps of 90C and sys. fan at 4K RPM's!  Never had that problem with the original mobo. (I bought my R4 in June '12.)  Playing Eve Online with 4 clients multi-boxed at max graphics I've never had the sys. fan kick in or had the CPU temps anywhere near those speeds or temps.  I have only had to turn the fans on the dual ATI Radeon 7800 HD cards to keep them cool but that's it.

    The pics you posted gave me hope, man.  I dove back into the case, yanked the cooling system, pulled the heatsink off and WHAMMO!  I saw the exact same crud/sludge on mine that you posted.  Since this is a closed-system cooler, I never would have thought to check this, ever.  My 5 yr. old Area 51 system has the original liquid cooler on it and still works fine to this day.  I should also point out, that the coolant appeared to be full.  With no reservoir, I could only tilt the pump from side to side slightly and gently (over a towel, though) and liquid came out either hole instantly.  So it looked full from what I could tell.

    Anyway, I cleaned it off like you did, (there is still a little crud stuck inside the heatsink between the intake and outtake fins.  I held it up to the light and can see little bits stuck in there.  I am going to pull it again soon, and try to get it out.  Running water through it, compressed air, nothing would get it all out,) I re-did thermal paste, etc., and re-installed and my overheating problem was solved!  My idle temps dropped to 38-42C now and under the loads I put normally put on it to play, and copy DVD's, my core temps haven't gone above 70C which is about where it was prior to the overheating.

    I feel there is still crud in the system so I plan to flush it out, and put some aftermarket coolant in there to hopefully prevent this from happening again.  I will, however, still start to check periodically to see how it's doing.  Taking the system out and unscrewing and popping off the heatsink only takes a few minutes.  

    If anyone else out there has this weird phenomenon where the sys. fan kicks into nuclear mode for no reason at all, (if you're comfortable) I would do this exact same procedure.  It can't hurt to just look and is fairly painless.  

    Thanks, again, to Goldfire for sharing his solution.  You saved me, bro!  Here are the before and afters I took of mine.

    Stop reading here if you don't want to read my tirade 'cause I'm real pissed at Dell.

    On several phone calls to tech support about this problem, they told me that the fans kicking in like that and the temps being 90-95C was normal on this type of system even though I told them I have never used the overclock settings and have used CPU intensive programs daily on my original mobo. (that died and necessitated the replacement to start with)  for over a year without that happening, they still stuck to their guns. They said not to worry.  I told them the fan is so loud now, my wife and I have to yell to have a conversation in the same room as the computer.  Unacceptable!  My first computer was an Osbourne in 1980 followed by a Timex Sinclair, if that tells you how long I've been using computers.  I'm no expert, but I certainly know when the hell something isn't working right that I'm used to using.  

    This is my 4th Alienware system (I currently have 7 dells and 2 Alienware systems in my house and this system is my last I'll ever purchase from them.)  I have 5 kids 15-22 years old (4 are in college and have Dell laptops.) We buy at least one new computer each year for some reason, upgrade, whatever. Tech support went straight to hell when they sold to Dell.  I felt like they actually listened to me back when they were "Alienware" and actually wanted to help me (and the techs were all from America without heavy/thick accents I can hardly understand, too.)  I'm not racist.  My wife and her family is from another country, but when you need to communicate with someone, especially someone in tech support, you shouldn't have to have everything repeated slowly so you can understand what the hell they are saying.  Every person I have spoken to at tech support has a real thick accent and it was all I could do to not throw the phone across the room out of sheer frustration!  Dell, you have lost another customer who has purchased a bunch of systems from you.

    There, I'm done.  Dell, you suck. 

  • i signed up just to say thank you for this. teh fan was so loud for months and noone had any idea why, and this was exactly what was wrong. thank you so much!

  • Thanks for that info. I have printed it out and will keep it for reference, am sure I will be using it in the future. I totally agree with the price we pay for these Alienware computers the parts should be more than the 3rd class parts they put in them. As I stated once before, you buy and pay for a Rolls Royce and it has Yugo parts in it.

  • I had the same problem.  I got my Aurora R4 in June 2012, and around Aug 2013 (out of warranty) my CPU fan went nuts and under load, the processor would climb above 200 F.

    I replaced my Dell OEM water cooling unit today with a Corsair H80i.  Here's the post-mortem on the CPU cooler from Dell.

    The decision to cut corners on this Asetek OEM cooler, probably a $0.50 difference for good quality fluid versus the clogging detritus that came with my $3k computer, put my $800 processor at risk of early failure.  Dell, I am disappoint.

  • Hello, ive had the same problem with that stuff, But i found a other problem....

    Have you tried to take the pump off the 2 hoses and blow in the hose ? I did, the hose and radiator was BLOCKED tight.

    So i took the fan off the radiator and the pump off the hoses, boiled the radiator in hot water with alcohol in the hoses, i then flushed it with water pressure, and voilà everything got unblocked !

    Now my CPU temp is between 49 and 51 degrees C.

    Note: i have added a liquid made for CPU cooled pumps.

  • first and foremost, its obvious their is a serious issue with most if not all Aurora R4 systems cpu coolers.

    It is a total shame that Dell has not at the very least sent out a bulletin to all R4 owners warning them of a overheating issue. leaving it to the customer to find this out the hard way is pathetic, especially for these over priced systems stuffed with all these extra bells and whistles that didn't help or warn of this situation one iota.

    I can't believe anyone who bought a R4 would ever buy another Dell pc after they finds out how this issue has been handled. Dell should be offering replacement parts at a discount to anyone having this issue regardless of their one year warranty expiration. this seems to be occurring within twelve to fourteen months after purchase, oh how convenient.  my issue started two weeks after my warrant expired. I see the same for many posting here.    

    Dell.... own up !






  • No, not this time around,  it was still full of fluid, figured it was good to go for awhile again.  I am sure you do not want to use just regular water, I know there is solution you can buy and I plan to order a bottle of that so I have it handy next time I have to clear it out.  Distilled water may work but I will stick with the stuff you can order.

  • I cleaned mine out while awaiting delivery of the Corsair H55. I managed to get it apart and only spilled a small amount of the cooling fluid. Mine was gummed up as shown in the original poster's photos. After cleaning, I chose to use a small amount of distilled water to replace the small amount of liquid lost in the process. It wasn't more than a tablespoon or so. In doing research, there are a lot of opinions floating around about what the best cooling formula is. The most appealing to me was to use distilled water with a couple of drops of "PT Nuke". This is a biocide from an outfit called Petra Technologies. It's available from various places for about $7.00 for a small bottle. Note that I did this while considering keeping the original cooler in my R4. Once the H55 arrived, it was no longer a consideration. I pulled the old one out, installed the H55 using the same bolting hardware and frame off the old unit. I used the old Nidec fan and bolted it onto the radiator in a pull configuration as it was originally installed. I bolted the new fan on the inside of the radiator in a push configuration. I left the Nidec fan plugged into the Sys Fan slot and plugged the pump into the CPU fan slot. I have ordered a Molex to ATX fan connector for the other fan ($2.95 delivered). There will doubtless be other comments about the proper cooling formula, but I would point out that the coolant used smelled of antifreeze, and still sludged up on what was supposed to be a closed, "no maintenance" system. Good luck.
  • Hello Essay,

    Welcome to the club of Alienware Failing Cooling system owners Lightning

    Well, to respond to your question, the best system that fits is the 80i from Corsair. The thermal paste is already applied on the radiator, so you won't have to purchase any other stuff. Follow the documentation provided with the cooling system and you'll be done quickly. The only issue i had was with the bios that warned me at every boot that the cpu fan failed. It's only because h80i system is not plugged to the r4 cpu fan plug anymore. I've found the option in the bios at last to prevent the system to halt at every boot ! here it is !

    Cheers !

    Don't forget when the time to change your computer will come, never again an Alienware ! Angry

  • Hi, I recently installed a Corsair H80i into my Aurora R4. The H80i plugs its power into any available SATA power connector. The H80i also needs to connect to the 4 pin connector labeled " CPU Fan" on the top lighting board connector and an available USB connector on the motherboard (found on the bottom end of the board on the R4s). The H80i lowered by temps around 10 degrees C at idle and performance even when my system was new a year and a half ago. The only draw back to the H80i is the noise of the twin corsair fans is much higher on performance than the stock single R4 fan.  The noise though can be dramatically lowered by replacing the Corsair fans with twin Noctua NF-12 PWM static pressure fans, though Noctua fans are pricey.

  • Hi, I just installed h80i, replacing my 2 years old alienware aurora r4 cooling system

    Thanks to Darkpool with help!!!
     and credits to him, I am posting some pictures of where all the cables should go

    SATA power connect

    The "3 pin" cable connects to cpu fan

    H80i fans - these are very simple.

    USB connector located at the bottom of motherboard (took me a little time to plug in because of the space limited)


    All above are for a standard Aurora R4, not the MXL one or whatever the case is.

    I suggest you installed the pump unit first before you installed the last fan,

    this standard case has a tight space to work with


    Everything works perfect with the plugs, and download the corsair links on product page,

    so you can controls these fans.


    Again, thanks to Darkpool

    hope this helps people with same overheating problems in the future

All Replies
  • That's great that you found the problem and posted here for all of us who have the Aurora R4 to see. If I have a overheating problem I will now know where to look first. I too thought the liquid cooling was maintenance free?. I have tried a couple times to see who makes the system and so far no luck. If anyone here knows who makes the liquid cooling system, please post back.

  • The units used to be made by Asetek for Dell/Alienware. They are designed to be sealed and maintenance-free.

    It looks like the coolant turned to jelly and was blocking the fins. Maybe it was contaminated or they changed the formula?

    Good work. This would explain why so many Aurora R4 owners are reporting over-heating machines, and getting a new Asetek cooler installed seems to be fixing the machines. Other users are describing cooling performance that gets progressively worse over time. Some machines are only a few months old.

    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Thanks Tesla1856. It looks like I was asking the wrong people before. I bought my Alienware in Oct 2012 and all cpu cores are running in the mid 40c at idle and get up to the mid 50s to low 60s under load. I have a i7-3820. I will keep an eye on those temps just in case.

    Thanks again.

  • Goldfire
    This look like a bad quality watercooling liquid

    Excellent work. Where was the bulk of the coolant? What did it look like? Oh wait, you saw the liquid in the tubes, so you are assuming the tubes and radiator was still filled up?

    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Yes the tubes were almost full, needed to keep the pump  at 90 degree or i was losing some liquid. The liquid looked like clear water. Im running my comp since 4 days now and still got no fan or overheating problem so im assuming the liquid still doing the job.But i will probably change all the liquid to be sure the problem dont come back again or block somewhere else.

  • That's really good you took it upon yourself to troublshoot the problem and correct it, bravo.

    Alienware's M18X, m5750, 5550 Dell m1710 Lenovo X1 Carbon
    PC enthusiast since 1988 IBM PS/2 Model 70

  • Just wanted to post here that a day before you posted this my fans were acting up in the same way. I also bought my computer June 2012 and like you the warranty ended a month ago. I was searching like crazy for a fix. Found your post, opened up my computer and had the exact same problem. Fixed it just like you and I've been running fine all week. You're my hero thanks big time for this post/fix
  • Your welcome Wink , Happy to see my post helped you  Yes

  • Thank you so much for posting this.

    I have an Aurora R4 that is 2 months out of warranty with these exact symptoms.  

    I figured out it was the pump, but unfortunately could not find anything online about repair or maintenance, and decided to just replace it.

    In any case, I ordered a replacement from a 3rd party and fixed the problem ($150 later)

    I have my original part and will break it down and see if it the same issue.

    /begin rant

    Even though I just wanted to order a replacement part, Dell would literally not talk to me by phone or respond to email since my $2.8k computer was 60 days out of warranty (no response for 2 weeks)

    Since I explained this was a serious heat failure to the CPU, I can only suppose they hope you just cook it and have to buy another system.

    I have been buying Dell systems for my family almost exclusively for 10 year (including the first gen XPS laptop), I currently own two Auroras and two XPS 13 laptops.

    Given that Dell had no regard for me as a customer or the slightest inclination to address a serious part performance defect, this is sadly my last Dell.

    /end rant

  • I bought my Aurora a little over a year ago and it just recently started to roar, too.  Of course my warranty was up last month; so, I began to research online what the issue might be and came across your thread.  Sure enough, my cooling system was clogged.  I went out and bought a Corsair Hydro Series H55 cooling system from Best Buy for 70 bucks.  With very few adjustments (I simply didn't use the washers that attached the fan and radiator to the back and installed the fan backwards,  as exhaust, like the Nidec fan that was attached to my Asetek radiator) I was able to fix my system and bring my temperatures down from 105 Celsius to 40-50 Celsius. 

    Note:  I have very little computer assembly/disassembly skill (hence, the reason I bought an Alienware instead of putting my own kit together on TigerDirect like the rest of my friends), yet I was able to figure out how to install the Corsair fan listed above.


    Thank you for posting this thread! I know that we are not alone...just google "Aurora R4 overheating" and you will see the mess of people complaining about this.  I'm very happy with my Alienware, otherwise.

  • my Aurora R4 is overheating,  stops and starts, some times i get a black screen at start up. power bution sticks. lights change or turn off. I have 44 days before warent expirer. but i dont know were i boought it from, becuse my paper work is in an old pc, that will not start up.. so i can copy it from my email, and know were to send my pc for repair.  

  • If it's still under warranty call Alienware Tech Support, give them the service tag number, your name etc. and they should have it on file. Which country you bought the computer and live in may make a difference.

  • Thanks for the post on this Goldfire.

    Turns out I'd the same issue; followed your guide and was able to resolve issue.

    Cheers mate!

  • I know the people from Dell read these threads. It appears this is a known defect and is happening why too much. It should be brought to the attention of whoever makes the cooling systems and the powers that be at Alienware. This is just one forum out of many so how many of these failures are going unreported. The fact that it is happening right after the warranty runs out looks rather suspicious.

  • Wayne3842,

    There are many complaints, but those complaints are not translating into part dispatches. Because of this "non-translation", there are not enough Liquid Cooling units being replaced in the field for Dell to define this as a systemic issue. I will of course send this data up the line to the Alienware team.

    For systems still under warranty, we will replace the Liquid Cooling unit 5560W.

    For out of warranty systems, the user will need to either buy part number 5560W:

    Or replace it with a 3rd party Liquid Cooling unit:

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