Question Trouble with Alienware Laptop

tasmanianwolfe

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Alienware 17 R5
i9-8950HK
GTX 1080
32GB RAM

So I can't figure this one out and neither can Alienware support, and I've even shipped the laptop to them, so I'm relying on you guys and you've never failed me. To start, I'm probably not using the laptop as intended. I'm using it primarily as a desktop now connected to a 34in Alienware monitor, wired keyboard and mouse, and a couple external hard drives. The problem I'm having is when I have too many things connected and running at the same time everything starts glitching, the keyboard and mouse start disconnecting and reconnecting and I've even gotten the BSOD a few times. These problems magnify if I try connecting bluetooth peripherals like headphones or an xbox controller. These problems were much worse, and included several other problems, when I initially bought the computer due to Aliewares terrible software that came preinstalled. Alienware has since replaced just about all the hardware, the "smart board" I think they call it which includes the Mobo, CPU, and GPU and replaced some heat sinks. The problem isn't as severe as it was before since they replaced these and reinstalled Windows without the Alienware software, but it's still there, especially with the bluetooth peripherals. I know it's a laptop, not a desktop, but it's a $3000 laptop and I haven't had these kinds of problems with a $500 desktop. Thanks for the help guys
 

Simthaniel

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Have you tried using a usb hub instead of the built in ports, even though it would slow down the external drives by a lot I would try it to see if it is a hardware issue or if it is software. The glitches getting worse with Bluetooth devices being connected as well makes me think it might be software but then you said they did a clean install of windows which probably would have fixed a software issue like that.

Your issue could just be that the USB controller is being overloaded trying to cycle between all the different devices at the same time so if you combine all of those data streams into a single stream using a usb hub it might fix the glitches if it was that hardware issue.
 
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tasmanianwolfe

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Have you tried using a usb hub instead of the built in ports, even though it would slow down the external drives by a lot I would try it to see if it is a hardware issue or if it is software. The glitches getting worse with Bluetooth devices being connected as well makes me think it might be software but then you said they did a clean install of windows which probably would have fixed a software issue like that.

Your issue could just be that the USB controller is being overloaded trying to cycle between all the different devices at the same time so if you combine all of those data streams into a single stream using a usb hub it might fix the glitches if it was that hardware issue.
So the laptop only has 2 USB ports. I have the mouse and keyboard connected through the monitor in one USB port while the external drives are connected through a USB hub in the second port. I've also tried different configurations but it doesn't seem to make much difference, the only definitive thing I can say is that the more peripherals that are attached and running the more problems it has.
 
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Simthaniel

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So the laptop only has 2 USB ports. I have the mouse and keyboard connected through the monitor in one USB port while the external drives are connected through a USB hub in the second port. I've also tried different configurations but it doesn't seem to make much difference, the only definitive thing I can say is that the more peripherals that are attached and running the more problems it has.
Do you have a decent quality usb hub that actually runs the same or a faster usb speed than the port on your laptop, and does your monitor run through thunderbolt? If so, have you tried just connecting everything through your monitor’s ports without connecting to the USB A ports on the laptop itself. Then I was also wondering what exactly are some of the problems that it is having?
 
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Simthaniel

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Actually I just remembered that windows itself can suspend USB ports if it isn’t using them currently to save power and since you are using a usb hub for your drives and the monitor (if through thunderbolt) is also considered a hub then it could be that while multiple devices that are attached to the same hub are going into selective suspend, one of the devices on the hub can receive a wake request. If this happens before the suspend request has completed, the devices could become unstable.
 
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tasmanianwolfe

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Do you have a decent quality usb hub that actually runs the same or a faster usb speed than the port on your laptop, and does your monitor run through thunderbolt? If so, have you tried just connecting everything through your monitor’s ports without connecting to the USB A ports on the laptop itself. Then I was also wondering what exactly are some of the problems that it is having?
Haha no, it's a cheap amazon usb hub, but it's supposedly 3.0. The monitor only has 3 USB ports and it connects through USB not thunderbolt. The only reason I don't think it really has to do with the USB ports on the laptop is because connecting through bluetooth is even worse. It's like the computer is having a seizure, the mouse and keyboard will disconnect, for up to a couple minutes at a time when it's really bad, or just keep disconnecting and reconnecting, the monitor will start blinking and everything just kind of freezes. I've also used this same monitor and peripheral setup with a desktop I have and had none of the same issues, so it's definitely the laptop. There's a setting within Windows to disable that power saving feature on the USB ports which I've done, it hasn't changed anything.
 
Is the BIOS up to date?

While you are using bluetooth, is the USB hub connected as well?
Disconnect the USB hub and monitor USB cable. Is it happening then too?

While testing with the desktop, did you use the same USB cables as well?

How much devices are we talking about? Which external hard drives are connected? brand and model
 
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tasmanianwolfe

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Is the BIOS up to date?

While you are using bluetooth, is the USB hub connected as well?
Disconnect the USB hub and monitor USB cable. Is it happening then too?

While testing with the desktop, did you use the same USB cables as well?

How much devices are we talking about? Which external hard drives are connected? brand and model
Bios is up to date.

I've been dealing with this going on a year so yes I have tried using Bluetooth without the USB hub and/or monitor but I've always had to use at least one for the wired mouse and keyboard.

I used the exact same setup while using the desktop when Alienware had my laptop. I even connected a few more things at different points, no problems whatsoever.

I have up to six devices that I can connect at one time, 2 WD MyBook HDs, wired mouse and keyboard, bluetooth Sony WH1000XM3 headphones and bluetooth xbox controller.

The more I connect, and are running which is an important note, the worse it gets. If the HDs are asleep, but connected, and it's only the mouse and keyboard I don't normally experience any problems. From there the problems or seizures get worse as I connect more things. The seizures range from, on the light side, not registering keystrokes or entering a key 20 times and the mouse sticking at times and not always registering clicks to, when it gets bad, what I wrote in the previous post, completely disconnecting for up to a couple minutes and the monitor blinking and reconnecting and everything freezing. And I've even gotten the BSOD from it.
 
Without the mouse and keyboard but with other devices, does the problem persist?

Did you install all the drivers from the Alienware homepage and not via driver updater or directly from chip manufacturers?
Especially the network (LAN), wifi and bluetooth driver
 

tasmanianwolfe

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Without the mouse and keyboard but with other devices, does the problem persist?

Did you install all the drivers from the Alienware homepage and not via driver updater or directly from chip manufacturers?
Especially the network (LAN), wifi and bluetooth driver
I installed the drivers directly from the chip manufacturers. And literally the only program outside of Windows that I currently have installed is google chrome.

I haven't tried other devices without the mouse and keyboard. But there were no problems on the desktop.
 
Try it without mouse and keyboard then. The desktop is more powerful/stable when it comes to power supplies compared to a laptop with battery and charger.

Try installing all drivers from the homepage of alienware. Some might be different than from the chip manufacturers.
 
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tasmanianwolfe

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Try it without mouse and keyboard then. The desktop is more powerful/stable when it comes to power supplies compared to a laptop with battery and charger.

Try installing all drivers from the homepage of alienware. Some might be different than from the chip manufacturers.
I'll give that a shot and get back to you, thanks
 

tasmanianwolfe

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Wait, I’m stupid, that’s for Windows XP
Thanks for the try, I already disabled the selective suspend feature too to no avail. helpstar might have something with the power source of the laptop, I haven't found anything else that makes any sense, and the way it acts it's like it's overloading the systems resources. I don't know if that's due to the power source or the mobo or what though.
 
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