Question Problems with Alienware Aurora M9700 ?


Dec 21, 2018
Hello Everyone.
I am trying to fix a friends Alienware M9700 gaming laptop.
I am trying to restore is back to factory fresh condition. That is the Alienware skinned Win XP Pro. I have both the Respawn DVD and Restore CD sets. They are pretty clean, with very light surface scratches.
The system was upgraded to 2GB of ram sometime in the past. There is nothing on the either HD that needs to be saved.
It appears that the recovery partition was wiped out with a Linux install, and a failed Vista to Win 8 upgrade that will not recover or boot. I do not want these anyway.

The system will not read anything from the internal DVD drive. It will not boot either of the recovery discs. It seems like it can't find track 0 to start a read from. It sound like it is resetting every few seconds.
I have an external USB DVD/BD drive the system appears to start the boot process.
It reads the Respawn disk and gives an error. "TZ environment variable not found, cannot use UTC times! General Failure reading drive P"
With the CD restore disk, it starts to load the XP files then hangs when loading the XP Kernel file.
I have tried with the USB data cable plugged in to all available ports with no change.
I have swapped the position of the ram modules with no change in behavior.
I am doing all this on AC power.
I have reset the BIOS to defaults with no change in behavior.
I have cleaned the internal dvd drive optical lens and no change in behavior.
The system is fairly clean on the inside with just a light coat of dust on the fans. The vent look clear. But I put some compressed air through them anyway when I had the back open.

I'm kind of stuck on this. Any suggestions on what I should try next?