Question My Motherboard Died Alienware r7 2018 How would you fix this?

Squander

Distinguished
Apr 19, 2011
36
0
18,540
1
I have an aurora r7 Core i7 8th Gen

2x 2080ti
HDD 2tb 7200
SSD 870 evo 1tb
SSD 120
m.2 256gb OS
Ram 4x16 ddr4 3600

I was replacing the ram from 2 8gb 2600 stock sticks with 2x 16 gb 3600 sticks. (I could get 1 stick to work fine at 3600, but had trouble getting the 2nd one to be seen. Eventually I disabled XMP and got both working.)

Then I went to put the cover back on, and the whole computer died.

What I think happened, was that the metal touched the led reactor and caused a short as I missed the lock in holes. But who knows. (I did have to restart the computer 100 times to figure out what was going on with the ram. Slight exaggeration, but I tried a lot of configurations. Seated and unseated it a lot.)

I have replaced the battery on the motherboard. I've put the old ram back in. I have pushed the test/reset button on the Power supply (Power supply lights up and all the fans spin, including the fans on the GPUs.)

When I press the power button, nothing lights up, nothing happens at all. Just dead.

Looking online, the motherboard is expensive. 350-500 and google was sending me to some sketchy looking vendors or ebay. As this pc is from 2018 it doesn't look like it's supported anymore from dell.

What would you do in this situation? I have found some used i5 R7s on facebook marketplace for around 700.

I'm open to suggestions. If you had $700 you were willing to spend to solve this problem, how would you solve it? (I'm thinking about researching/buying new case/motherboard/psu/cooler - am open to upgrading cpu but don't think I can keep it under 700 then?) Current motherboard is proprietary to run LEDs on case and the cooler seems proprietary too.

I'll add, I don't like the idea of replacing the motherboard as it looks hard to get out, though it's something I'm willing to do.

Thanks for any advice/suggestions you've got on this.
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
This, taken from elsewhere, states the problem you will face.

the standoff’s are standard atx but, the I/o punch outs are integrated into the case and, the case power switch and led’s are integrated into a single molex connector.
The led controller is built into the main board.

In other words, you would have to cut out an I/o shield space in the back, splice connections from the oem harness or use an external switch to turn it on and, definitely loose the led lighting effects.
edit; to clarify, it's an MATX form factor, I had been referring to the presumption that it follows a standardized 'ATX' form factor (of some kind)
3
So, you will either have to modify the integrated I/O shield to allow an aftermarket microATX motherboard to be used, or find a direct replacement for the factory motherboard so that the outputs on the back of the board line up with the holes integrated into the case.

If you wanted or are capable of cutting out the existing I/O section, leaving just a hole there, you could use practically any microATX motherboard that is compatible with your 8th Gen CPU, BUT, I'd really recommend if you are going to go through all that that you simply upgrade both the CPU and motherboard to something that is latest Gen but still has DDR4 compatibility (Since some of the Intel boards from the Alder lake family support DDR4 and some support DDR5, and all current Ryzen platforms support DDR4) so that you don't have to repurchase memory as well. And, it might just be even better to simply change cases while you're at it. You can usually find something fairly decent AND with a lot better compatibility for future upgrades, on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace and since cases are one of the few components that don't bring a great risk when buying used, it isn't the worst idea to at least look at in order to eliminate the future issues of compatibility with your Alienware case.
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
What would you do in this situation?
I'd buy a new PC, so that you can rid yourself from the Dell proprietary parts.

As explained by Darkbreeze above, you have Dell proprietary parts and replacing them is a pain. You'd be far better off with standard ATX system.

Now, if you want to salvage some parts, to make it cost less, you could salvage:
  • CPU (if it survived)
  • RAM
  • disk drives
  • case fans
Rest would go into dump, meaning that you need to buy new:
  • MoBo (300-series, e.g Z370 chipset)
  • CPU cooler
  • PC case
  • PSU
Or go with new CPU-MoBo combo (e.g 11th gen CPU, 500-series MoBo), if you want more bang for your buck.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
I'm not certain that the CPU cooler or PSU would need to be replaced since this is a mid tower case and a micro ATX motherboard. It's not a proprietary board and the only reason I can see why the case ought to be replaced is the fact that unlike an aftermarket case, the I/O shield is integrated into the case so that no motherboard other than the original one can fit without modification. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't even recommend replacing the case. But I also didn't do a deep dive into the configuration either, so I guess it COULD be a proprietary power supply, but it seems unlikely since the motherboard has a standard 24 pin ATX power connector and a standard 4 pin EPS power connector.
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
the only reason I can see why the case ought to be replaced is the fact that unlike an aftermarket case, the I/O shield is integrated into the case so that no motherboard other than the original one can fit without modification. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't even recommend replacing the case.
Far better airflow would be good reason why to replace the case as well. (Better eyecandy too. :D )

Here's how Alienware R7 2018 looks inside:



But I also didn't do a deep dive into the configuration either, so I guess it COULD be a proprietary power supply, but it seems unlikely since the motherboard has a standard 24 pin ATX power connector and a standard 4 pin EPS power connector.
PSU looks to be standard ATX, however, Dell OEM PSUs usually have questionable quality and PSU itself is at least 4 years old. Better to go with new PSU, rather than risking it with old OEM PSU.
 

Squander

Distinguished
Apr 19, 2011
36
0
18,540
1
@Darkbreeze

@Aeacus

If you have links, I'm open to buying a new case/PSU/MOBO/CPU/cooler

Looking at the cooler I'm hesitant regarding my ability to get it onto a diff cpu.

Really bummed this upgrade went so sideways on me. And looking at prices and options on all of the above I find myself overwhelmed by the options.

Thanks for this discussion and your help so far.
 

Squander

Distinguished
Apr 19, 2011
36
0
18,540
1
It's hard to see in the picture you showed, but in the top right corner, right above where the PSU is pushed out, but along the main case walling, there are 3 sets of golden switches. My first set is bent out of shape, and that's what I think caused the Motherboard to fritz out.


The only thing I can think of, as it was working fine until I snapped the case back into place. Then it just died 100% no power down just shut off.
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
If you have links, I'm open to buying a new case/PSU/MOBO/CPU/cooler

Looking at the cooler I'm hesitant regarding my ability to get it onto a diff cpu.
Here's one, latest tech build:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i5-12600 3.3 GHz 6-Core Processor ($226.99 @ Walmart)
Motherboard: Asus PRIME B660M-A D4 Micro ATX LGA1700 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($63.66 @ Best Buy)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($49.99 @ GameStop)
Case: Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L TUF Gaming Edition MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($64.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS GX 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($79.98 @ Amazon)
Total: $605.59

Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-07-26 17:09 EDT-0400


Few words:
CPU cooler is included with CPU.
PC case is personal choice and feel free to switch it out. Current build theme is small box. :D
You can ditch the 970 Evo Plus (and save some money), if you want to use your current storage drives. <- Same actually applies to RAM as well.

Oh, what GPU you have in your current PC? Since i might need to up the PSU a bit, so that it is good for your GPU, that you can transfer over.
 

Squander

Distinguished
Apr 19, 2011
36
0
18,540
1
Here's one, latest tech build:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i5-12600 3.3 GHz 6-Core Processor ($226.99 @ Walmart)
Motherboard: Asus PRIME B660M-A D4 Micro ATX LGA1700 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($63.66 @ Best Buy)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($49.99 @ GameStop)
Case: Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L TUF Gaming Edition MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($64.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS GX 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($79.98 @ Amazon)
Total: $605.59

Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-07-26 17:09 EDT-0400


Few words:
CPU cooler is included with CPU.
PC case is personal choice and feel free to switch it out. Current build theme is small box. :D
You can ditch the 970 Evo Plus (and save some money), if you want to use your current storage drives. <- Same actually applies to RAM as well.

Oh, what GPU you have in your current PC? Since i might need to up the PSU a bit, so that it is good for your GPU, that you can transfer over.
Thanks for this run down I added my drives in the top post as well. But I have 2x2080ti.
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
But I have 2x2080ti.
Holy hell. o_O Why? :LOL:

--

Due to huge power consumption of dual RTX 2080 Ti, i refined the above build, to fit the GPUs:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i5-12600 3.3 GHz 6-Core Processor ($226.99 @ Walmart)
Motherboard: ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming 4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($63.66 @ Best Buy)
Storage: Kingston A400 120 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (Purchased For $0.00)
Storage: Samsung 950 PRO 256 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (Purchased For $0.00)
Storage: Samsung 870 Evo 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive (Purchased For $0.00)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11 GB Founders Edition Video Card (Purchased For $0.00)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11 GB Founders Edition Video Card (Purchased For $0.00)
Case: Fractal Design Focus G ATX Mid Tower Case ($65.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic PRIME 1000 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($216.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $713.60

Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-07-26 18:35 EDT-0400


Changes made:
MoBo: Asus B660 micro-ATX -> AsRock Z690 ATX
(this Z-series MoBo goes with a good price currently on the Egg and it's PCI-E x16 slots are 4 slots apart, making possible to plug 3 slot GPU into each PCI-E x16 slot).

SSD: 970 Evo Plus -> none
(to stay within budget)

SSD: added m.2 (256 GB), 870 Evo (1TB) and 120GB SSD, as a placeholder (purchased for $0)

GPU: added dual RTX 2080 Ti as a placeholder and for compatibility checks (purchased for $0)

Case: CM MasterBox Q300L -> Fractal Design Focus G
(again, PC case is personal choice and feel free to switch it out. Oh, Focus G has good airflow and it is essentially the mini version of Corsair 760T that i'm using).

PSU: Seasonic Focus GX-550 -> Seasonic PRIME Gold 1kW
(while 850W unit would do, it's a tad bit close, especially when considering GPU transient power spikes, so 1kW unit gives more headroom. Btw, all PRIME series PSUs have 12 years of warranty).
(All three of my PCs are also powered by Seasonic, while i have two PRIME series PSUs as well. Full specs with pics in my sig.)

Overall, slightly over the budget but if you re-use your RAM, you don't need to buy new one and get all new components under 700 bucks.
 

Squander

Distinguished
Apr 19, 2011
36
0
18,540
1
Holy hell. o_O Why? :LOL:

--

Due to huge power consumption of dual RTX 2080 Ti, i refined the above build, to fit the GPUs:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i5-12600 3.3 GHz 6-Core Processor ($226.99 @ Walmart)
Motherboard: ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming 4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($63.66 @ Best Buy)
Storage: Kingston A400 120 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (Purchased For $0.00)
Storage: Samsung 950 PRO 256 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (Purchased For $0.00)
Storage: Samsung 870 Evo 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive (Purchased For $0.00)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11 GB Founders Edition Video Card (Purchased For $0.00)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11 GB Founders Edition Video Card (Purchased For $0.00)
Case: Fractal Design Focus G ATX Mid Tower Case ($65.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic PRIME 1000 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($216.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $713.60

Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-07-26 18:35 EDT-0400


Changes made:
MoBo: Asus B660 micro-ATX -> AsRock Z690 ATX
(this Z-series MoBo goes with a good price currently on the Egg and it's PCI-E x16 slots are 4 slots apart, making possible to plug 3 slot GPU into each PCI-E x16 slot).

SSD: 970 Evo Plus -> none
(to stay within budget)

SSD: added m.2 (256 GB), 870 Evo (1TB) and 120GB SSD, as a placeholder (purchased for $0)

GPU: added dual RTX 2080 Ti as a placeholder and for compatibility checks (purchased for $0)

Case: CM MasterBox Q300L -> Fractal Design Focus G
(again, PC case is personal choice and feel free to switch it out. Oh, Focus G has good airflow and it is essentially the mini version of Corsair 760T that i'm using).

PSU: Seasonic Focus GX-550 -> Seasonic PRIME Gold 1kW
(while 850W unit would do, it's a tad bit close, especially when considering GPU transient power spikes, so 1kW unit gives more headroom. Btw, all PRIME series PSUs have 12 years of warranty).
(All three of my PCs are also powered by Seasonic, while i have two PRIME series PSUs as well. Full specs with pics in my sig.)

Overall, slightly over the budget but if you re-use your RAM, you don't need to buy new one and get all new components under 700 bucks.
The 2x 2080ti ... I got the founders cards and believed the hype that they'd support NVLink.

And I was too dumb to sell the one when it was worth a lot of money. NVLink basically never worked. But I do run 3 monitors. And so one is dedicated to playing games on 4k TV. And the other is dedicated to 4k ultra wide and a resource monitor.

BUT!!!

It those 2080s were the issue. I didn't short my board putting the cover back on. Somehow, the card came unseated. I felt them and pushed them down, but I didn't actually pull them out, wipe off the dust and put them back in.

When I did that... the system booted back up.

I have my new ram in, and the PC is running again. As delicious as that i5 looks I think I will be waiting to upgrade.

(Other things I tried which I don't think helped... replaced the CMOS battery again. And ran the PSU fans while holding the power button for 10 seconds. Leaving it unplugged for 10 min. But as soon as I took the cards out it booted up. And then when I put them back in, it was fine again.)
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS