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Dell Alienware Area-51 ALX Desktop Desktop Manual PDF

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Summary of Content for Dell Alienware Area-51 ALX Desktop Desktop Manual PDF

ALIENWARE DESKTOP MANUAL

The contents herein are subject to change without notice.

2009-2010 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.

Reproduction of these materials in any manner whatsoever without the prior written permission of Dell Inc. is strictly prohibited.

Trademarks used in this manual: Alienware, AlienRespawn, AlienFX, and the AlienHead logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Alienware Corporation. Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista, and Windows Vista start button logo are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Intel and SpeedStep are registered trademarks and Core is a trademark of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Blu-ray Disc is a trademark of the Blu-ray Disc Association. Bluetooth is a trademark owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and is used by Dell Inc. under license.

Other trademarks and trade names may be used in this manual see either the entities claiming the marks and names or their products. Dell Inc. disclaims any proprietary interest in trademarks and trade names other than its own.

Model: D0IX Type: D0IX001 P/N: PH7RG Rev:A01 October 2010

Notes, Cautions, and Warnings

NOTE: A NOTE indicates important information that helps you make better use of your computer.

CAUTION: A CAUTION indicates either potential damage to hardware or loss of data and tells you how to avoid the problem.

WARNING: A WARNING indicates a potential for property damage, personal injury, or death.

This item incorporates copy protection technology that is protected by U.S. patents and other intellectual property rights of Rovi Corporation. Reverse engineering and disassembly are prohibited.

3 CONTENTS

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR DESKTOP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Before Setting Up Your Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Connect the Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Connect the Keyboard and Mouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Connect the Network Cable (Optional) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Connect the Power Cable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Press the Power Button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Set Up Microsoft Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Connect to the Internet (Optional) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOWYOUR DESKTOP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Front View Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Back View Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Back Panel Connectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Back Light Button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Top View Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

CHAPTER 3: CONNECTING DEVICES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Connecting Printers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Connecting USB Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Connecting IEEE 1394 (FireWire) Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24

CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Alienware Command Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Working With RAID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Optimizing Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Configuring the BIOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS . . . . 37 Before You Begin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Opening and Closing the Side Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Inside View of Your Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Removing and Replacing Memory Module(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Removing and Replacing Hard Drive(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Removing and Replacing Expansion Card(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Basic Hints and Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Backup and General Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Software Diagnostic Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Answers to Common Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

4 CONTENTS

CHAPTER 7: SYSTEM RECOVERY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 My Dell Downloads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

CHAPTER 8: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

APPENDIX A: GENERAL AND ELECTRICAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . 69

APPENDIX B: CONTACTING ALIENWARE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71

APPENDIX C: IMPORTANT INFORMATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 Graphics Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

5INTRODUCTION

Dear Valued Alienware Customer,

Welcome to the Alienware family. We are thrilled to include you among the growing number of savvy high-performance computer users.

The Alienware technicians who have crafted your computer have made certain that your high-performance computer is properly optimized and performs to its fullest potential. We build computers with a single unwavering purpose: Build It As If It Were Your Own. The technicians will not rest until your new computer meets or exceeds our very demanding criteria!

We have tested your computer extensively in order to ensure that you enjoy the highest levels of performance. In addition to a standard burn-in period, your computer has been evaluated using real-world tools such as synthetic performance benchmarks.

We invite you to share your experience with your new high-performance computer with us, so do not hesitate to either e-mail or call Alienware with any questions or concerns. The entire staff shares your enthusiasm for new technology and we hope that you enjoy using your new computer as much as Alienware enjoyed building it for you.

Sincerely,

Alienware Staff

INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION

6 INTRODUCTION

7CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR DESKTOP

CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR DESKTOP CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR DESKTOP

8 CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR DESKTOP

Product Documentation and Media

The documentation that ships with your Alienware desktop is designed to provide answers to many of the questions that may arise as you explore your new desktops capabilities. See the documentation for technical information or general use as required to answer questions in the future, or aid you in finding answers and solutions. The media included with your desktop is referenced in some sections of the documentation and may be needed to complete certain tasks. As always, our technical support staff is available to assist you.

Placing Your Desktop

WARNING: Do not place the desktop near or over a radiator or heating vent. If all or parts of your desktop are placed in a cabinet, ensure that adequate ventilation is provided. Do not place the desktop in a humid location or in any area where the desktop may be exposed to rain or water. Be careful not to spill liquid of any kind on or into the desktop.

When placing your desktop, ensure that:

It is placed on a surface that is both level and stable. The power and other cable connectors are not jammed between the desktop and a wall or any other object.

Nothing obstructs airflow in front of, behind, or below the desktop. The desktop has enough room so that optical drives and other external storage drives can be easily accessed.

Before Setting Up Your Desktop Congratulations on the purchase of your Alienware Area-51!

Read all safety and setup instructions before connecting your new desktop. Begin by carefully opening the box and removing all components that were shipped to you. Before setting up your desktop or components, be sure to inspect all items for any physical damage that may have occurred during shipment.

See the included invoice to verify that all items ordered are present. Report any missing components to customer service within 5 days of receiving the shipment. Anything reported missing after the first 5 days of receiving a shipment will not be honored. Some of the most common items to check for include:

Computer Microsoft CD-key located at the back of the desktop Keyboard (if ordered) Mouse (if ordered) Multimedia speakers and sub-woofer (if ordered) Joystick controllers (if ordered)

You may also need a small flathead and/or a Phillips head screwdriver for connecting peripheral cables to the desktop.

9CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR DESKTOP

Connection Type Computer Cable Display

DVI-to-DVI (DVI cable)

DVI-to-VGA (DVI-to-VGA adapter + VGA cable)

HDMI-to-HDMI (HDMI cable)

HDMI-to-DVI (HDMI-to-DVI adapter + DVI cable)

DisplayPort- to-DisplayPort (DisplayPort cable)

Connect the Display Connect the display using the connector available on the graphics card on your computer.

NOTE: A DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort connector may be available on the graphics card you purchased.

You can purchase the DVI-to-VGA adapter, HDMI-to-DVI adapter, and additional HDMI or DVI cables on the Dell website at www.dell.com.

Use the appropriate cable based on the connectors available on your computer and display.

NOTE: When connecting to a single display, connect the display to ONLY ONE of the connectors on your computer.

10 CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR DESKTOP

Connect the Network Cable (Optional)Connect the Keyboard and Mouse

11CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR DESKTOP

Press the Power Button Press the power button on the top of the computer.

Connect the Power Cable WARNING: The power connectors and power strips vary among countries. Using an incompatible cable or improperly connecting the cable to a power strip or electrical outlet may cause fire or equipment damage.

12 CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR DESKTOP

Setting Up a Wireless Connection

NOTE: To set up your wireless router, see the documentation that shipped with your router.

Before you can use your wireless Internet connection, you need to connect to your wireless router.

To set up your connection to a wireless router:

Windows Vista

Ensure that wireless is enabled on your computer.1. Save and close any open files, and exit any open programs.2. Click 3. Start Connect To. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the setup.4.

Windows 7

Ensure that wireless is enabled on your computer.1. Save and close any open files, and exit any open programs.2. Click 3. Start Control Panel Network and Internet Network and Sharing Center Connect to a network. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the setup.4.

Set Up Microsoft Windows CAUTION: Do not interrupt the operating systems setup process. Doing so may render your desktop unusable.

Your computer is preconfigured with the operating system settings that you selected while ordering your computer. To configure the remaining settings, follow the instructions on the screen.

NOTE: For more information on the operating system and features, see support.dell.com/MyNewDell.

NOTE: It is recommended that you create a full system backup as soon as you set up Microsoft Windows. To create a full system backup, see AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup on page 62.

Connect to the Internet (Optional)

Setting Up a Wired Connection

If you are using a dial-up connection, connect the telephone line to the optional external USB modem and to the telephone wall jack before you set up your Internet connection. If you are using a DSL or cable/satellite modem connection, contact your ISP or cellular telephone service for setup instructions.

To complete setting up your wired Internet connection, follow the instructions in Setting Up Your Internet Connection on page 13.

13CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR DESKTOP

Windows 7

Click 1. Start Control Panel. Click 2. Network and Internet Network and Sharing Center Set up a connection or Network Connect to the Internet. The Connect to the Internet window appears.

NOTE: If you do not know which type of connection to select, click Help me choose or contact your ISP.

Follow the instructions on the screen and use the setup information provided by your ISP to complete the setup.

Setting Up Your Internet Connection

ISPs and ISP offerings vary by country. Contact your ISP for offerings available in your country.

If you cannot connect to the Internet but have successfully connected in the past, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) might have a service outage. Contact your ISP to check the service status, or try connecting again later.

Have your ISP information ready. If you do not have an ISP, the Connect to the Internet wizard can help you get one.

Windows Vista

NOTE: The following instructions are applicable to the Windows default view, so they may not apply if you set your computer to the Windows classic view.

Save and close any open files, and exit any open programs.1. Click 2. Start Control Panel. Click 3. Network and Internet Network and Sharing Center Set up a connection or Network Connect to the Internet. The Connect to the Internet window appears.

NOTE: If you do not know which type of connection to select, click Help me choose or contact your ISP.

Follow the instructions on the screen and use the setup information provided by your ISP to complete the setup.

14 CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR DESKTOP

15CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR DESKTOP

This chapter provides information about your new desktop to familiarize you with its various features, and to get you up and running quickly.

CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR DESKTOP

CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR DESKTOP

16 CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR DESKTOP

1 Power button Turns the computer on or off when pressed. This button illuminates indicating that the computer is turned on. The color of the button rim indicates the power status.

Off the computer is either turned off, in hibernate mode, or is not receiving power. Solid white the computer is on. Blinking white the computer is in standby mode.

2 Optical drive Plays or records CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs.

3 Optical drive bays (2) Supports additional optical drive(s) (optional).

4 Alienhead Area-51 Standard Press the Alienhead and then manually lower or close the drive panel. Area-51 ALX Press the Alienhead to lower or close the drive panel using the motorized door. When the computer is turned off, push the drive panel down to lower it.

5 Drive panel Covers the optical drive(s) or optical drive bays.

6 Optical drive eject button Ejects the optical drive tray.

Front View Features

3

2

1

6

4

5

17CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR DESKTOP

1 Security lock slot Attaches a commercially available security cable to the computer.

NOTE: Before you buy a security cable, ensure that it works with the security lock slot on your computer.

2 Back panel connectors Connects USB, audio, and other devices into the appropriate connectors.

For more information, see Back Panel Connectors on page 18.

3 Expansion card slots Access connectors for any installed PCI and PCI express cards.

4 Power connector Connects to the power cable.

5 Latch Closes or opens the security lock slot and locks or unlocks the release panel. Slide the latch to the left to access the security lock slot and to lock the release panel.

For information on the side panel, see Opening and Closing the Side Panel on page 40.

Back View Features

1

4

2

3

5

18 CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR DESKTOP

1 PS/2 Keyboard connector Connects to a standard PS/2 keyboard.

2 Optical S/PDIF connector Connects to amplifiers, speakers, or TVs for digital audio output through optical digital cables. This format carries an audio signal without going through an analog audio conversion process.

3 USB 2.0 connectors (6) Connects to USB devices, such as a mouse, keyboard, printer, external drive, or MP3 player.

4 eSATA connector Connects to eSATA compatible storage devices such as external hard drives or optical drives.

5 Audio connectors Connects to speakers, microphone, and headphones. NOTE: For information on audio connectors, see Connecting External Speakers on page 22.

6 Network connectors (2) Connects your computer to a network or broadband device.

7 IEEE 1394 connector Connects to high-speed serial multimedia devices such as digital video cameras.

8 Coaxial S/PDIF connector Connects to amplifiers, speakers, or TVs for digital audio output through coaxial digital cables. This format carries an audio signal without going through an analog audio conversion process.

9 PS/2 Mouse connector Connects to a standard PS/2 mouse.

Back Panel Connectors

9

8

6

4

3

1

5

2

7

19CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR DESKTOP

Back Light Button Press the back light button to turn on the light to view the back panel connectors. This light automatically turns off after a few seconds.

Top View Features Accessing the Top Panel Connectors Press the top panel downwards to access the top panel connectors.

1

1 Top panel

20 CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR DESKTOP

Top Panel Connectors

1 2

3 4

5

1 USB 2.0 connectors (3) Connects to USB devices, such as a mouse, keyboard, printer, external drive, or MP3 player.

2 eSATA connector Connects to eSATA compatible storage devices such as external hard drives or optical drives.

3 IEEE 1394 Connects to high speed serial multimedia devices such as digital video cameras.

4 Headphone connector Connects to headphones.

NOTE: To connect to a powered speaker or sound system, use the audio o ut connector or one of the S/PDIF connectors on the back of your computer.

5 Microphone connector Connects to a microphone for voice or audio input into a sound or telephony program.

21CHAPTER 3: CONNECTING DEVICES

This chapter provides information about connecting optional devices to your desktop to enhance your audio, video, and digital experience.

CHAPTER 3: CONNECTING DEVICES CHAPTER 3: CONNECTING DEVICES

22 CHAPTER 3: CONNECTING DEVICES

Connecting External Speakers

Your Alienware desktop has five integrated audio out connectors and one audio in connector. The audio out connectors deliver quality sound and support 7.1 surround audio. You can connect the audio input connector from a home stereo or speaker system for a heightened gaming and media experience.

NOTE: On computers with a sound card, use the connector on the card.

1 2 3

56 4

1 Side L/R surround connector Connects to side L/R surround speakers.

2 Rear L/R surround connector Connects to rear L/R surround speakers.

3 Center/subwoofer connector Connects to a center speaker or subwoofer.

4 Line-in connector Connects to recording or playback devices such as a microphone, cassette player, CD player, or VCR.

5 Front L/R line-out connector Connects to front L/R speakers.

6 Microphone connector Connects to a microphone for voice or audio input into a sound or telephony program.

23CHAPTER 3: CONNECTING DEVICES

Connecting Printers

Connecting a Plug and Play Printer

If your printer supports plug and play, your operating system will detect it and attempt to install the printer automatically. In some cases, Windows may require a driver for the printer. This driver is located on the software CD that is included with the printer.

Connect the printers USB cable to an available USB connector, on your 1. desktop. Connect the printers power cable to a grounded, three-prong power-strip, 2. uninterruptible power supply, or electrical outlet. Turn on the printer and Microsoft Windows automatically detects and 3. installs the appropriate driver.

Two types of audio connectors:

1 2

1 Stereo jack Your headphone jack should have this type of connector.

2 Mono jack Your microphone jack should have this type of connector.

24 CHAPTER 3: CONNECTING DEVICES

Connecting a Non Plug and Play Printer

Windows Vista

Click 1. Start Control Panel. Click 2. Hardware and Sound Add a printer. Follow the instructions on the screen. 3.

Windows 7

Click 1. Start Control Panel. Click 2. Hardware and Sound Devices and Printers Add a printer. Follow the instructions on the screen. 3.

For further information, see the documentation that shipped with your printer.

Connecting USB Devices Connect USB devices into an available USB connector on your desktop. Microsoft Windows will detect the device and attempt to install the appropriate driver automatically. In some cases, Windows may require a driver. This driver is located on the software CD that is included with the device.

If your keyboard or mouse has a USB connector, connect it to an available USB connector on the desktop.

Connecting IEEE 1394 (FireWire) Devices Connect the IEEE 1394 device into the IEEE 1394 connector on your desktop. Your operating system will detect the device and attempt to install the appropriate driver automatically. In some cases, Windows may require a driver. This driver is located on the software CD that is included with the device.

For further information, see the documentation that shipped with your device.

25CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

26 CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

Alienware Command Center The Alienware Command Center gives you access to Alienwares exclusive software and is a continuously upgradable control panel. As Alienware releases new programs, they download directly into the Command Center allowing you to build a library of system management, optimization, and customization tools.

To access the Command Center, click Start All Programs Alienware Command Center Command Center.

AlienFX

AlienFX lets you customize the lighting behavior on your computer. You can assign lighting behaviors to events like receiving new e-mail, computer going into standby mode, and opening a new application.

AlienFusion

AlienFusion gives you access to your Alienware computers power management controls to help increase energy efficiency.

Thermal Controls

Thermal Controls lets you control the thermal and venting capabilities of your computer by changing the fan speed and behavior of the vents present on the top of your computer.

Working With RAID A redundant array of independent disks (RAID) is a disk storage configuration that increases performance or data redundancy. There are four basic RAID levels discussed in this section.

RAID level 0 is recommended for higher performance (faster throughput). RAID level 1 is recommended for users who need a high level of data integrity. RAID level 5 is recommended for higher performance and fault tolerance. RAID level 10 is recommended for higher performance and data integrity.

NOTE: RAID requires multiple hard drives. The number of hard drives required varies depending on the RAID configuration.

27CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

RAID Level 0

CAUTION: RAID level 0 provides no redundancy. Therefore, a failure of one drive results in the loss of all data. Perform regular backups to protect your data.

RAID level 0 uses data striping to provide a high data access rate. Data striping writes consecutive segments, or stripes, of data sequentially across the physical drive(s) to create a large virtual drive. This allows one of the drives to read data while the other drive is searching for and reading the next block.

RAID 0

Disk 0 Disk 1

RAID 0 uses the full storage capacities of both drives. For example, two 2 GB hard drives combine to provide 4 GB of hard drive space on which to store data.

NOTE: In a RAID 0 configuration, the size of the configuration is equal to the size of the smallest drive multiplied by the number of drives in the configuration.

RAID Level 1

RAID level 1 uses data mirroring to enhance data integrity. When data is written to the primary drive, the data is also duplicated, or mirrored, on the secondary drive in the configuration. RAID 1 sacrifices high data-access rates for data redundancy.

RAID 1

Disk 0 Disk 1

If a drive failure occurs, read and write operations are directed to the remaining drive. A replacement drive can then be rebuilt using the data from the remaining drive.

NOTE: In a RAID 1 configuration, the size of the configuration is equal to the size of the smallest drive in the configuration.

28 CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

RAID Level 5

RAID level 5 uses data parity. RAID level 5 stripes both data and parity information across three or more drives. It provides data striping at the byte level and also stripe error correction information (rotating parity array). This results in excellent performance and good fault tolerance.

If a drive failure occurs, subsequent read and write operations are directed to the other surviving drives. A replacement drive can then be rebuilt using the data from the surviving drives. Since data is duplicated on the primary and additional drives, four 120-GB drives collectively have a maximum of 360-GB on which to store data.

RAID Level 10

RAID 10, a combination of RAID 1 and RAID 0, uses disk striping across mirrored disks. It provides high data throughput and complete data redundancy. RAID 10 can support up to eight spans, and up to 32 physical disks per span.

29CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

Optimizing Performance Your computer has been configured to operate optimally across a wide range of applications. Depending on the configuration you purchased, the computer may have been overclocked at the factory to achieve maximum performance in resource intensive applications including gaming and multimedia development.

CAUTION: Technical support verifies the full functionality of the computer at the factory configured settings. Alienware does not provide technical support for any hardware or software issues arising from operating the computer beyond the factory configured settings.

System Setup Based Performance Tuning

CAUTION: It is not recommended to operate the processor or other system components beyond the preset settings in the BIOS. Doing so may cause system instability, reduced component operating life, or permanent component damage.

For computers with the Intel Corei7 Extreme Edition processor, the BIOS has preset overclocking levels that allow you to easily overclock your computer. The following options are available in the Frequency/Voltage Control page of the System Setup:

Level 1 OC Setting Level 2 OC Setting Level 3 OC Setting

For more information, see Configuring the BIOS on page 30.

Software Based Performance Tuning

Your computer may be preinstalled with utilities like the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility, that allow you to optimize your computers performance.

For more information on the options available, see the help file of the utility.

30 CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

Configuring the BIOS

System Setup

The System Setup options allow you to:

Change the system configuration information after you add, change, or remove any hardware in your desktop. Set or change a user-selectable option. View the installed amount of memory or set the type of hard drive installed.

Before you use System Setup, it is recommended that you write down the current System Setup information for future reference.

CAUTION: Do not change the settings in System Setup unless you are an expert computer user. Certain changes can cause your computer to work incorrectly.

Entering System Setup

Turn on (or restart) your desktop.1. While the desktop is booting, press immediately before the operating 2. system logo appears to access the BIOS Setup Utility.

NOTE: If an error occurs during POST (Power On Self Test), press when the prompt appears to enter the BIOS Setup Utility.

NOTE If you wait too long and the operating system logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Microsoft Windows desktop, then shut down your desktop and try again.

NOTE: Keyboard failure may result when a key on the keyboard is held down for extended periods of time. To avoid possible keyboard failure, press and release in even intervals until the System Setup screen appears.

System Setup Screens

The BIOS Setup Utility window displays current or changeable configuration information for your desktop.

Key functions appear at the bottom of the BIOS Setup Utility window and lists keys and their functions within the active field.

31CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

System Setup Options

NOTE: The items listed in this section may or may not appear exactly as listed depending on your computer model and installed devices.

NOTE: For the updated system setup information, see the Service Manual at support.dell.com/manuals.

System Information Product Name Displays the product name. BIOS Version Displays the BIOS version, number, and date

information. Input Service Tag

Allows you to input the service tag.

Service Tag Displays the service tag of the computer. Asset Tag Displays the asset tag of the computer.

System Information Memory Installed

Displays the amount of memory installed in your computer.

Memory Available

Displays the amount of memory available in your computer.

Memory Technology

Displays the type of memory technology used.

Memory Speed Displays the memory speed.

CPU ID/uCode ID Displays the processor ID. CPU Speed Displays the processor speed. Current QPI Speed

Displays the QPI speed.

Cache L2 Displays the processor L2 cache size. Cache L3 Displays the processor L3 cache size.

32 CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

Standard CMOS Features System Time (hh:mm:ss)

Displays the current time.

System Date (mm:dd:yy)

Displays the current date.

SATA 1 Displays the SATA 1 drive integrated in your computer. SATA 2 Displays the SATA 2 drive integrated in your computer. SATA 3 Displays the SATA 3 drive integrated in your computer. SATA 4 Displays the SATA 4 drive integrated in your computer. SATA 5 Displays the SATA 5 drive integrated in your computer. SATA 6 Displays the SATA 6 drive integrated in your computer. SATA 7 Displays the SATA 7 drive integrated in your computer. SATA 8 Displays the SATA 8 drive integrated in your computer. IDE Master Displays the IDE master drive integrated in your

computer. IDE Slave Displays the IDE slave drive integrated in your

computer. Wait For F1 If Error

If enabled, the computer displays errors detected during POST. Press to continue.

Advanced BIOS Features Bootup Num-Lock Select power-on state for num-lock. ACPI APIC support Include ACPI APIC table pointer to RSDT

pointer list. OptionRom Display Screen

Set display mode for Raid Option Rom screen. (Hide; Display)

CD/DVD Drives Sets the CD/DVD drive boot priority.

Boot Configuration Features 1st Boot Device Displays the first boot device. 2nd Boot Device Displays the second boot device. Hard Disk Drives Sets the hard drive boot priority. The items

displayed are dynamically updated according to the hard drives detected.

CD/DVD Drives Sets the CD/DVD drive boot priority.

33CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

CPU Configuration XD Bit Capability Enable XD Bit Capability to allow the

processor to distinguish between the bits of code that can be executed and the ones that cannot be executed.

Intel Speedstep tech If enabled, the processor clock speed and core voltage are adjusted dynamically based on the processor load.

Intel C State Tech If enabled, C State: Processor idle is set to C2/C3/C4.

Integrated Devices USB Functions Allows you to enable or disable the

integrated USB controller. HD Audio Controller Allows you to enable or disable the

integrated audio controller. Onboard IEEE1394 Controller Allows you to enable or disable the

onboard IEEE1394 controller.

Integrated Devices LAN1 BCM5784 Device Allows you to enable or disable the

onboard LAN1 controller. LAN1 Option ROM Allows you to enable or disable the

network controllers boot option. LAN2 BCM5784 Device Allows you to enable or disable the

onboard LAN2 controller. LAN2 Option ROM Allows you to enable or disable the

network controllers boot option. JMicron 363 ATA Controller Allows you to enable or disable the

onboard ATA controller. SiL3132 E-Sata Device Allows you to enable and disable the

e-SATA controller. Configure SATA#1-6 as Allows you to configure the integrated

hard drive controller to AHCI or RAID. AHCI CD/DVD Boot Time out Allows you to set the wait time for

SATA or CD/DVD in AHCI mode.

34 CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

Power Management Setup Suspend Mode Sets the energy-saving mode of the

ACPI function. AC Recovery Sets what action the computer takes

when power is restored. Remote Wakeup Sets the system to wake up from an

onboard LAN, PCIE-X1 LAN card, or a PCI LAN card.

Auto Power On Allows the computer to start up at a certain time.

Frequency/Voltage Control CPU Speed Displays the current processor speed. Memory Speed Displays the current memory speed. Current QPI Speed Displays current QPI Speed. QPI Frequency Allows you to change the QPI

frequency. Memory Ratio Allows you to change the memory

ratio.

Frequency/Voltage Control CPU Core (Non-Turbo) Ratio Displays the ratio between the

processor core clock and the FSB frequency.

Advance DRAM Configuration Allows you to access the Advance DRAM Configuration submenu

Overclock Configuration Allows you to access the Overclock Configuration submenu

Overvoltage Configuration Allows you to access the Overvoltage Configuration submenu

Load Level 1 OC Setting Allows you to restore the Level 1 overclocking settings that were shipped from the factory. Only displayed with an XE processor.

Load Level 2 OC Setting Allows you to restore the Level 2 overclocking settings that were shipped from the factory. Only displayed with an XE processor.

Load Level 3 OC Setting Allows you to restore the Level 3 overclocking settings that were shipped from the factory. Only displayed with an XE processor.

35CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

Advance DRAM Configuration Submenu Memory-Z Opens submenu to display the SPD

configuration for each memory module.

Advanced Memory Settings Allows you to toggle to Manual mode and set all of the timing parameters.

tCL Displays the Column Address Strobe Latency (editable in Manual Mode).

tRCD Displays timing of RAS to CAS delay (editable in Manual Mode).

tRP Displays timing of RAS Precharge (editable in Manual Mode).

tRAS Displays timing of Row Address Strobe (editable in Manual Mode).

tRFC Displays timing of Refresh to Archive/ Refresh cycle time (editable in Manual Mode).

tWR Displays timing of Write Recover (editable in Manual Mode).

tWTR Displays Write to Read Delay (editable in Manual Mode).

tRRD Displays RAS to RAS delay (editable in Manual Mode).

Advance DRAM Configuration Submenu tRTP Displays Read to Precharge Command

Delay (editable in Manual Mode). 1T/2T Timing Displays the Command Rate (editable

in Manual Mode).

Overclock Configuration Submenu Adjust CPU BClk (MHz) Allows you to adjust BClk of processor. Spread Spectrum Enable/Disable Spread Spectrum

Modulation. Adjust PCI Frequency (MHz) Allows you to adjust PCI Frequency. Adjust PCI-E Frequency (MHz) Allows you to adjust PCI-E Frequency. Intel Turbo Mode tech If enabled, allows processor to run at

faster frequencies than marked. [1-4] Core CPU Turbo Ratio Limit

Limit ratio for cores 1-4.

Turbo Mode TDC Limit Override

Allows you to program the current thresholds for the processor while in turbo mode.

Turbo Mode TDP Limit Override

Allows you to program the power thresholds for the processor while in turbo mode.

36 CHAPTER 4: USING YOUR DESKTOP

Overvoltage Configuration Submenu CPU Temperature Sensor Displays the processor temperature in

Celsius and Fahrenheit. VCore Displays processor Core voltage. Dynamic CPU VCore Offset Processor Core Voltage Offset. DDR3 Memory Voltage Adjust the DDR3 Memory Voltage.

IOH Voltage Adjust the IOH Voltage. QPI and Uncore Voltage Adjust QPI and Uncore Voltage.

BIOS Security Features Change Supervisor Password Allows you to set or change the

supervisor password. Change User Password Allows you to set or change the user

password. You cannot use the user password to make change to the BIOS settings.

Exit Exit Options Provides options to Save Changes and

Exit, Discard Changes and Exit, and Load Optimal Defaults.

37CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

This chapter provides guidelines and instructions for increasing the processing power and storage space by upgrading equipment. You can purchase components for your desktop at www.dell.com or www.alienware.com.

NOTE: See the Service Manual at support.dell.com/manuals for installation instructions of all serviceable components. Parts purchased from Dell and Alienware ship with specific replacement instructions.

CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

38 CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

Before You Begin This section provides procedures for removing and installing the components in your desktop. Unless otherwise noted, each procedure assumes that the following conditions exist:

You have performed the steps in Turning Off Your Desktop and Before Working Inside Your Desktop in this section. You have read the safety information that shipped with your desktop. A component can be replaced orif purchased separatelyinstalled by performing the removal procedure in reverse order.

Turning Off Your Desktop

CAUTION: To avoid losing data, save and close all open files and exit all open programs before you turn off your desktop.

Save and close all open files and exit all open programs. 1. Click 2. Start Shut Down. The desktop turns off after the operating system shutdown process finishes. Ensure that the desktop and any attached devices are turned off. If your 3. desktop and attached devices do not automatically turn off when you shut down your operating system, press and hold the power button for at least 8 to 10 seconds until the desktop turns off.

39CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

To avoid damaging the desktop, perform the following steps before you begin working inside the desktop.

Ensure that the work surface is flat and clean to prevent the desktop cover 1. from being scratched. Turn off your desktop (for more information, see Turning Off Your Desktop 2. on page 38).

CAUTION: To disconnect a network cable, first unplug the cable from your desktop and then unplug the cable from the network device.

Disconnect all telephone or network cables from the desktop. 3. Disconnect your desktop and all attached devices from their electrical 4. outlets. Press the power button to ground the system board.5.

Before Working Inside Your Desktop

Use the following safety guidelines to help protect your desktop from potential damage and to help to ensure your own personal safety.

WARNING: Before working inside your desktop, read the safety information in the SAFETY, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND REGULATORY INFORMATION that shipped with your computer. For additional safety best practices information, see the Regulatory Compliance Homepage at www.dell.com/regulatory_compliance. CAUTION: Handle components and cards with care. Do not touch the components or contacts on a card. Hold a card by its edges. Hold a component such as a processor by its edges, not by its pins. CAUTION: Only a certified service technician should perform repairs on your desktop. Damage due to servicing that is not authorized by Dell is not covered by your warranty. CAUTION: To avoid electrostatic discharge, ground yourself by using a wrist grounding strap or by periodically touching an unpainted metal surface (such as a connector on the back of the computer). CAUTION: When you disconnect a cable, pull on its connector or on its pull-tab, not on the cable itself. Some cables have connectors with locking tabs; if you are disconnecting this type of cable, press in on the locking tabs before you disconnect the cable. As you pull connectors apart, keep them evenly aligned to avoid bending any connector pins. Also, before you connect a cable, ensure that both connectors are correctly oriented and aligned.

40 CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

Opening and Closing the Side Panel CAUTION: Before opening the side panel, disconnect the power cable from your desktop.

Follow the instructions in Before You Begin on page 1. 38.

NOTE: Ensure that any attached security cable is removed before attempting to lift the release panel.

Lift the release panel to open the side panel.2.

NOTE: Theater lighting turns on automatically when the side panel is removed. Theater lighting is powered by internal batteries.

NOTE: To open the side panel on the right side, lift the release panel on the right side.

To close the side panel, push the side panel against the side of the computer until it locks into place.

1

2

1 release panel 2 side panel

41CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

Inside View of Your Computer

1

2

1 memory module connectors (3) 2 expansion card slots (6)

42 CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

To replace memory module(s):

Align the notch on the bottom of the memory module with the tab on the 1. memory module connector.

1

2 3

5

4

1 memory module connector 4 securing clips (2)

2 tab 5 memory module

3 notch

Removing and Replacing Memory Module(s) Follow the instructions in Before You Begin on page 1. 38. Open the side panel (see Opening and Closing the Side Panel on page 2. 40). Locate the memory module connectors on the system board (see Inside 3. View of Your Computer on page 41).

CAUTION: The memory module(s) may become very hot during normal operation. Allow the memory module(s) to cool before touching them.

NOTE: For better access to memory module(s), remove the graphics card if the card is full length.

Spread apart the securing clips at both ends of the memory module 4. connector. Lift the memory module off the memory module connector. If the memory 5. module is difficult to remove, gently ease the memory module back and forth to remove it from the memory module connector.

43CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

CAUTION: To avoid damage to the memory module, press the memory module straight down into the memory module connector while you apply equal force to each end of the memory module.

Insert the memory module into the memory module connector until the 2. memory module snaps into position.

NOTE: If the memory module is not installed properly, the computer may not boot.

If you insert the memory module correctly, the securing clips snap into the 3. cutouts at each end of the memory module. Close the side panel (see Opening and Closing the Side Panel on page 4. 40). Connect the power cable, and all the external peripherals to the computer.5. Turn on the computer.6.

As the computer boots, it detects the additional memory and automatically updates the system configuration information. To confirm the amount of memory installed in the computer:

Windows Vista

Click Start Control Panel System and Maintenance.

Windows 7

Click Start Control Panel System and Security System.

44 CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

Press the two release tabs together and slide the hard drive towards the top 3. and out of the computer.

1

2

1 release tabs (2) 2 hard drive

Removing and Replacing Hard Drive(s) Follow the instructions in Before You Begin on page 1. 38. Lift the release panel to open the side panel on the right side. 2.

2

1

1 side panel 2 release panel

45CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

To replace a hard drive:

See the documentation that shipped with your new hard drive to verify that 1. it is configured for your computer. Slide the new hard drive into the hard drive bay and press it down until the 2. hard drive snaps into place. Close the side panel on the right side.3. Reconnect the power cable, and all the external peripherals to the computer.4. Turn on the computer.5.

46 CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

1

3

2

1 expansion card 3 shroud

2 shroud button

Removing and Replacing Expansion Card(s) Follow the instructions in Before You Begin on page 1. 38. Open the side panel (see Opening and Closing the Side Panel on page 2. 40). Press the shroud button to release the shroud and then rotate the shroud 3. away from the computer. Locate the expansion card on the system board (see Inside View of Your 4. Computer on page 41). Disconnect any cables connected to the card (if applicable).5. Remove the card. 6. For a PCI or PCI Express x1 card, grasp the card by its top corners, and ease it out of its connector. For a PCI Express x16 card, push the retention mechanism on the card connector as you grasp the card by its top corners, and then ease the card out of the connector.

47CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

Align the card with the connector on the system board.3. Place the card in the connector and press down firmly. Ensure that the card 4. is firmly seated in the connector. If you are installing the PCI Express card into the x16 card connector, gently push the retention mechanism and place the card in the connector.

Connect any cables that should be attached to the card (if applicable).5. Push the shroud to snap it into place.6. Close the side panel (see Opening and Closing the Side Panel on page 7. 40). Connect the computer and devices to electrical outlets, and then turn 8. them on.

2

3

1

1 PCI Express x16 card 3 PCI Express x16 connector

2 retention mechanism

NOTE: If you are not replacing a card, install a filler bracket in the empty card-slot opening.

To replace a card:

Remove the filler bracket to create a card-slot opening (if applicable). 1. For information on configuring, customizing, and making internal 2. connections on the card, see the documentation that shipped with the card.

48 CHAPTER 5: INSTALLING ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT COMPONENTS

49CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

50 CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

When troubleshooting your computer, remember the following safety guidelines:

Before touching any of the computers internal components, touch an unpainted portion of the chassis. Doing so will safely discharge any static electricity, which could damage your computer. Turn off your computer and any connected peripherals. Disconnect any peripherals from your computer.

Things to check before troubleshooting

Ensure that the power cable is properly connected to your computer and a power outlet. Make sure that the power outlet is working. Make sure the UPS or power strip is turned on (if applicable). If your peripheral devices (such as keyboard, mouse, printer, and so on) are not working, ensure that all connections are secure. If any computer components were added or removed before the problem began, check to see if you performed the removal and installation procedure properly. If an error message appears on the screen, write down the exact error message prior to calling Alienware Technical Support to aid in diagnosing and resolving your issue. If an error occurs in a specific program, see the programs documentation.

Basic Hints and Tips Computer does not turn on: Is your computer securely connected to a working electrical outlet? If connected to a power strip, ensure that the strip is actually working. Connections: Check all the cables to make sure that there are no loose connections anywhere. Power Savings: Make sure that your computer is not in hibernate or standby mode by pressing the power button for less than 4 seconds. The power status light will fade from blue to black while in standby mode; in hibernate mode it will be off.

Backup and General Maintenance Always backup your important data on a regular basis and keep copies of your operating system and software safe. Do not forget to note the serial numbers if you are storing them outside of their original cases - for example in a CD wallet. Run maintenance programs as often as you can. You may schedule these programs to run at times when you are not using your computer. You can use those provided with your operating system, or buy more powerful, dedicated programs to do so. Write down your passwords and keep them safe (away from your computer). This is especially important if you choose to password-protect your computers BIOS and operating system. Document vital settings such as network, dialup, mail and Internet settings.

51CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

If the Pre-boot System Assessment completes successfully, the following message will appear on your screen.

Do you want to run the remaining memory tests? This will take about 30 minutes or more. Do you want to continue? (Recommended).

Press to continue if you are experiencing memory issue, otherwise press 5. to finish PSA testing. The following message will appear on the screen.

Pre-boot System Assessment complete. No Diagnostic Utility Partition identified. Select OK to reboot your computer.

Press to reboot your computer.6.

Software Diagnostic Tools

Pre-Boot System Assessment (PSA)

The computer runs the Pre-boot System Assessment (PSA), a series of initial tests for the system board, keyboard, display, memory, hard drive, and so on.

To invoke PSA: Restart the computer.1. Press to access the 2. Boot Menu. Select 3. Diagnostics and press . During the assessment, answer any questions that appear on the screen.4.

If a component fails the test, the computer stops and beeps. To stop the assessment and restart the computer, press ; to continue to the next test, press ; to retest the component that failed, press . If you receive error code(s) during the Pre-boot System Assessment, write down the error code(s) and contact Alienware (for details, see CONTACTING ALIENWARE on page 71).

52 CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

NOTE: The next steps change the boot sequence for one time only. On the next start-up, the computer boots according to the devices specified in the system setup program.

When the boot device list appears, highlight 3. CD/DVD/CD-RW and press . Select 4. Boot from CD-ROM from the menu that appears and press . Select 5. Alienware Diagnostics from the numbered list. If multiple versions are listed, select the version appropriate for your computer. When the Alienware Diagnostics 6. Main Menu appears, select the test you want to run.

NOTE: Write down any error codes and problem descriptions exactly as they appear and follow the instructions on the screen.

After all tests have completed, close the test window to return to the 7. Alienware Diagnostics Main Menu. Remove your 8. Resource DVD, then close the Main Menu window to exit the Alienware Diagnostics and restart the computer.

Alienware Diagnostics

If you experience a problem with your Alienware desktop, run the Alienware Diagnostics. It is recommended that you print these procedures before you begin.

NOTE: Back up all data before initiating a system recovery.

NOTE: The Resource DVD contains drivers for your computer. You can also download the latest drivers and software for your computer from support.dell.com.

Review your desktops configuration information, and ensure that the device that you want to test appears in the system setup program and is active. Start the Alienware Diagnostics from the Resource DVD.

Starting Alienware Diagnostics From the Resource DVD

Insert the 1. Resource DVD. Shut down and restart the desktop. 2. When the Alienware logo appears, press immediately.

NOTE: If you wait too long and the operating system logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Microsoft Windows desktop; then, shut down your computer and try again.

53CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

An audio CD does not produce sound

Check to see if the audio CD is properly placed on the drive with the label facing up. Check the volume controls to ensure they are turned up. Make sure that the mute control is not enabled. Check the speaker cables to ensure they are properly connected to the audio connectors. Clean the CD. If the computer has two CD drives, try the audio CD in the other drive. Shut down and restart your computer. Reinstall the audio device drivers.

A DVD or Blu-ray Disc does not play

Shut down and restart your computer. Clean the disc. Reinstall the provided DVD or Blu-ray Disc playback software. Try another disc. Some discs may have conflict with the drive if the encoding on the DVD or Blu-ray disc does not match the encoding recognized by the drive.

Answers to Common Problems CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-R/W, DVDR/W, or Blu-ray Disc Drive

The computer does not recognize the disc or drive

Check to see if the disc is properly inserted into the drive with the label facing up. Try another disc. Shut down and restart the computer. Clean the disc. Restart the computer and enter the BIOS setup utility by pressing as the computer restarts. Check the BIOS to ensure that the SATA controllers are enabled. Check the drive configuration to make sure it is properly configured; see any documentation that may be included with your drive.

WARNING: Before working inside your desktop, read the safety information in the SAFETY, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND REGULATORY INFORMATION that shipped with your computer. For additional safety best practices information, see the Regulatory Compliance Homepage at www.dell.com/regulatory_compliance.

Shut down your computer, disconnect the power cable, and open your computer. Make sure that the cables are properly connected to the drive and the SATA connector on your system board or controller card (see the Service Manual).

54 CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

The computer stops responding or a solid blue screen appears

WARNING: You might lose data if you are unable to perform an operating system shutdown.

If you are unable to get a response by pressing a key on your keyboard or moving your mouse, press and hold the power button for at least 6 seconds until the computer turns off, then restart your computer.

A program stops responding or crashes repeatedly

End the program:

Press simultaneously. 1. Click the 2. Applications tab and select the program that is no longer responding. Click 3. End Task.

Check the software documentation.

If necessary, uninstall and then reinstall the program.

Computer

The computer fails the POST:

The computer POST (Power On Self Test) ensures that all hardware is working properly before starting the remainder of the boot process. If the computer passes the POST, the computer will continue to start normally. However, if the computer fails the POST, the computer will emit a series of beeps during start- up if the monitor cannot display errors or problems. The following repetitive beep codes help you troubleshoot problems with your computer. For assistance, contact Alienware (for details, see CONTACTING ALIENWARE on page 71).

NOTE: To replace parts, see the Service Manual at support.dell.com/manuals.

Beep code Possible problem

One Possible motherboard failure - BIOS ROM checksum failure

Two No RAM detected NOTE: If you installed or replaced the memory module, ensure that the memory module is seated properly.

Three Possible motherboard failure - chipset error

Four RAM read/write failure

Five Real Time Clock failure

Six Video card failure

55CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

A program is designed for an earlier version of Microsoft Windows

Run the Program Compatibility Wizard:

The Program Compatibility Wizard configures a program so that it runs in an environment similar to non-Windows operating system environment.

Windows Vista

Click 1. Start Control Panel Programs Use an older program with this version of Windows. In the welcome screen, click 2. Next.

Follow the instructions on the screen.

Windows 7

Click 1. Start Control Panel Programs Programs and Features Use an older program with this version of Windows. In the welcome screen, click 2. Next.

Follow the instructions on the screen.

Other software problems

Back up your files immediately

Use a virus-scanning program to check the hard drive, or CDs

Save and close any open files or programs and shut down your computer through the Start menu.

Scan the computer for spyware:

If you are experiencing slow computer performance, you frequently receive pop-up advertisements, or you are having problems connecting to the Internet, your computer might be infected with spyware. Use an anti-virus program that includes anti-spyware protection (your program may require an upgrade) to scan the computer and remove spyware.

Check the software documentation or contact the software manufacturer for troubleshooting information:

Ensure that the program is compatible with the operating system installed on your computer. Ensure that your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements needed to run the software. For more information see the software documentation. Ensure that the program is installed and configured properly. Verify that the device drivers do not conflict with the program. If necessary, uninstall and then reinstall the program.

Run the PSA Diagnostics:

If all the tests run successfully, the error condition is related to a software problem.

56 CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

Hard Drive Problems

Allow the computer to cool before turning it on

A hot hard drive may prevent the operating system from starting. Try allowing the computer to return to room temperature before turning it on.

Run Check Disk:

Windows Vista or Windows 7

Click 1. Start Computer. Right-click 2. Local Disk C: Click 3. Properties Tools Check Now. If the User Account Control window appears, click Continue. Follow the instructions on the screen.4.

Internet

Cannot browse the Internet or the Unable to locate host error message appears

Check if you are connected to the Internet. Check if the web address typed into the address bar is correct. Try a different web address, or URL. If the error message still appears, disconnect from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and close the browser. Reconnect and open the browser. If the problem persists, your ISP may be experiencing technical difficulties.

Internet connection is slow

Internet performance can be affected by the following factors:

The condition of the telephone or network cables being used. The condition of the network equipment at your ISP. The graphics or multimedia on Web pages. Multiple browsers, downloads, or programs open on your computer.

57CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

Keyboard

The keyboard is not responding

Clean the keyboard by using an aerosol can of compressed air with a proper extension to remove dust and lint trapped under the keys.

A keyboard character is repeating

Ensure that there is nothing resting on any of the keys. Check that no key on the keyboard is stuck. Press each key to loosen any keys that may be stuck and then restart your computer.

Spills on the keyboard

If liquid of any kind is spilled on the keyboard, turn off the computer. Clean the keyboard using the appropriate cleaning materials and turn it over to drain the keyboard. Once the keyboard has dried, turn on the computer. If the keyboard does not work, it needs to be replaced.

Keyboards damaged due to spills are not covered under limited warranty.

Memory

Memory errors detected on start up

Check memory modules for correct seating and orientation. Reseat the memory modules if applicable. For more information, see Removing and Replacing Memory on page 42. Computers using a dual-channel memory configuration require that memory modules be installed in pairs. If you require assistance, contact Alienware Technical Support (for more information, see CONTACTING ALIENWARE on page 71).

58 CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

Mouse

The mouse is not working Check if the mouse cable is properly connected to the USB connector on your computer. Check if the mouse cable is damaged. If the mouse cable is damaged, the mouse will have to be replaced. Restart your computer. Try a mouse that you know works in the same connector, to ensure that the USB connector is working. Reinstall the device driver.

Display

If the display is blank

The computer may be in a power saving mode:

Press a key on the keyboard or press the power button to resume normal operation.

Test the electrical outlet:

Ensure that the electrical outlet is working by testing it with another device, such as a lamp.

If the display is difficult to read

Adjust the Windows display settings:

Windows Vista

Click 1. Start Control Panel Hardware and Software Personalization Display Settings. Adjust 2. Resolution and Colors settings, as needed.

Windows 7

Click 1. Start Control Panel Appearance and Personalization Display. Adjust 2. Resolution and Calibrate color, as needed.

59CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

Power

When you press the power button, the computer does not turn on

If the computer is connected to a surge protector or UPS, make sure that the surge protector or UPS is securely connected to an electrical outlet, is switched on and is working correctly. Ensure that the electrical outlet is working properly by testing another device such as a radio or lamp that you know works. If the electrical outlet is not working, contact an electrician or your power company for further assistance. Ensure all devices on the computer are properly connected to your computer and that the computer is properly connected to the surge protector or UPS.

For further assistance, contact Alienware support (for more information, see CONTACTING ALIENWARE on page 71).

Printer

The printer does not turn on

Ensure that the power cable is properly connected to an electrical outlet. Check if the electrical outlet is working properly by testing it with another device such as a radio or lamp that you know works. If the electrical outlet is not working, contact an electrician or your power company for further assistance.

The printer does not print

Check if the power cable is properly connected and the printer is properly connected to the computer. Make sure that the printer is turned on. Check if the printer cable is damaged. If the printer cable is damaged, a replacement may be required. Check if the printer is online. If the printer is offline, press the online or offline button to switch it to online. If the printer is not the default printer, make sure that it is selected in the printer setup. Reinstall the printer driver.

60 CHAPTER 6: TROUBLESHOOTING

Speakers

There is no sound from the speakers Ensure that subwoofer and the speakers are turned on:

See the documentation that shipped with your speakers. If your speakers have volume controls, adjust the volume, bass, or treble to eliminate distortion.

Adjust the Windows volume control:

Click or double-click the speaker icon in the lower-right corner of your screen. Ensure that the volume is turned up and that the sound is not muted.

Disconnect headphones from the headphone connector:

Sound from the speakers is automatically disabled when headphones are connected to the headphone connector.

Test the power outlet:

Ensure that the power outlet is working by testing it with another device, such as a lamp.

Reinstall the audio driver Run PSA Diagnostics

NOTE: The volume control in some players overrides the Windows volume setting. Ensure that you did not turn the player volume down or off.

Game Controllers

The computer does not recognize the game controller Check if the cable connecting the game controller to the computer is not damaged and that it is properly connected. Reinstall the device driver for the game controller.

61CHAPTER 7: SYSTEM RECOVERY

CHAPTER 7: SYSTEM RECOVERY

CHAPTER 7: SYSTEM RECOVERY

Your computer has the following system recovery options: Operating System Reinstallation DVD Contains operating system installation media. AlienRespawn/Datasafe Local Backup Your computer is pre-installed with AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup (see AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup on page 62). Dell DataSafe Online Dell DataSafe Online is an online data backup service (see Dell DataSafe Online Backup on page 63). System Drivers You can download the latest drivers for your computer from support.dell.com. Resource DVD Contains drivers for your computer. You can also download the latest system drivers from support.dell.com. System Applications Some of the software that is pre-installed on your computer does not include a backup CD/DVD. This software is available at My Dell Downloads (DownloadStore.dell.com/media).

NOTE: My Dell Downloads may not be available in all regions.

62 CHAPTER 7: SYSTEM RECOVERY

AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup CAUTION: Using AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup permanently removes any programs or drivers installed after you received your computer. Create backup media of applications you need to reinstall on your computer before using AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup. Use AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup only if System Restore did not resolve your operating system problem.

CAUTION: Although AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup is designed to preserve the data files on your computer, it is recommended that you backup your data files before using the AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup.

NOTE: AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup may not be available in all regions.

You can use AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup to restore your hard drive to the operating state it was in when you purchased your computer, while preserving data files.

AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup allows you to:

Backup and restore your computer to an earlier operating state.

Create system recovery media.

AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup Basic

To restore the factory image while preserving the data files: Turn off your computer.1. Disconnect all devices (USB drive, printer, etc.) connected to the computer 2. and remove any newly added internal hardware. Turn on your computer.3. When the Alienware logo appears, press several times to access the 4. Advanced Boot Options window.

NOTE: If you wait too long and the operating system logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Microsoft Windows desktop; then, shut down your computer and try again.

Select 5. Repair Your Computer. Select 6. AlienRespawn/DataSafe Restore and Emergency Backup from the System Recovery Options menu and follow the instructions on the screen.

NOTE: The restoration process may take an hour or more depending on the size of the data to be restored.

NOTE: For more information see the knowledge base article 353560 at support.dell.com.

63CHAPTER 7: SYSTEM RECOVERY

Upgrading to AlienRespawn/DataSafe Local Backup Professional

AlienRespawn provides additional features that allow you to: Backup and restore your computer based on file types Backup files to a local storage device Schedule automated backups

To upgrade to AlienRespawn Professional: Double-click the AlienRespawn icon 1. in the notification area of your desktop. Click 2. Upgrade Now! Follow the instructions on the screen.3.

Dell DataSafe Online Backup

NOTE: Dell DataSafe Online is supported only on Windows operating systems.

NOTE: A broadband connection is recommended for fast upload/download speeds.

Dell DataSafe Online is an automated backup and recovery service that helps protect your data and other important files from catastrophic incidents like theft, fire, or natural disasters. You can access the service on your computer using a password-protected account.

For more information, go to delldatasafe.com. To schedule backups: Double-click the Dell DataSafe Online icon 1. on the taskbar. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen.2.

64 CHAPTER 7: SYSTEM RECOVERY

My Dell Downloads NOTE: My Dell Downloads may not be available in all regions.

Some of the software pre-installed on your new Dell computer do not include a backup CD or DVD. This software is available on the My Dell Downloads website. From this website you can download available software for reinstallation or create your own backup media.

To register and use My Dell Downloads: Go to 1. DownloadStore.dell.com/media. Follow the instructions on the screen to register and download the software.2. Reinstall the software or create a backup media for future use.3.

65CHAPTER 8: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS

This chapter provides the basic specifications of your desktop. For more detailed specifications, see the Comprehensive Specifications at support.dell.com/manuals.CHAPTER 8: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS

CHAPTER 8: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS

66 CHAPTER 8: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS

Computer Model

Alienware Area-51

Dimensions

Width 249 mm (9.8 inches)

Depth 635 mm (25 inches)

Height 557.6 mm (22 inches) (with top vents closed)

595.5 mm (23.4 inches) (with top vents open)

15.4 mm (0.6 inches) (added height with the rear foot deployed)

Weight (starting at) 31.7 kg (70 lb)

NOTE: The weight of your desktop will vary depending on the configuration and the manufacturing variability.

Processor and System Chipset

Processor Intel Core i7

System chipset Intel X58 Express

Memory

Connectors three internally-accessible DDR3 DIMM sockets

Capacities 2 GB and 4 GB

Memory types DDR3 and DDR3-XMP

Minimum 6 GB

Maximum 12 GB

Back Panel Connectors

IEEE 1394 one 6-pin serial connector

Network adapter two 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ45 connectors

USB six 4-pin USB 2.0-compliant connectors

eSATA one 4-pin eSATA connector

S/PDIF one optical and one coaxial output connector

PS/2 two 6-pin PS/2 connectors

Audio 7.1 channel line output, stereo microphone and stereo line input connectors

Expansion slots eight full-height expansion slot openings to six physical expansion slot connectors on the system board

67CHAPTER 8: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS

Top Panel Connectors

IEEE 1394 one 6-pin serial connector

USB three 4-pin USB 2.0-compliant connectors

Audio stereo headphone and microphone connectors

eSATA one 4-pin eSATA connector

Communications

Network adapter 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet LAN on system board

Wireless (optional) WiFi/Bluetooth wireless technology

Drives

Externally accessible three 5.25-inch drive bays for Blu-ray Disc combo, Blu-ray Disc writer, DVD+/-RW, or DVD combo one 3.5-inch drive bay for media card reader

Internally accessible six 3.5-inch drive bays for SATA-II hard drives

Expansion Bus

PCI:

Connector one

Connector size 124-pin connector

PCI Express x1:

Connectors two

Connector size 36-pin connectors

PCI Express x16:

Connectors two

Connector size 164 pins connectors

Lanes 16

PCI Express x16:

Connector one

Connector size 164 pins connector

Lanes 4

68 CHAPTER 8: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS

Computer Environment

Maximum shock (measured with hard drive in head-parked position and a 2-ms half-sine pulse):

Operating 40G for 2 ms with a change in velocity of 20 in/s (51 cm/s)

Non- Operating 50G for 26 ms with a change in velocity of 320 in/s (813 cm/s)

Altitude (maximum):

Operating 15.2 to 3048 m (50 to 10,000 ft)

Storage 15.2 to 10,668 m (50 to 35,000 ft)

Airborne contaminant level G2 or lower as defined by ISA-S71.04-1985

Power

Voltage 100-240 V AC, 50-60 Hz

NOTE: For information on voltage settings, see the safety information that shipped with your computer.

Computer Environment

Temperature ranges:

Operating 10C to 35C (50F to 95F)

Storage 10C to 45C (14F to 113F)

Relative humidity (maximum) 20% to 80% (noncondensing)

Maximum vibration (using a random-vibration spectrum that simulates user environment):

Operating 0.25 GRMS

Non-Operating 2.2 GRMS

69APPENDIX A: GENERAL AND ELECTRICAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Computer Use

Route the power cable and all cables away from where people might walk or trip over them. Do not allow anything to rest on the power cable. Do not spill anything on or into your computer. To avoid electrical shock, always disconnect all power, modem and any other cables from the electrical outlets before handling the computer.

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Warning

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) can cause damage to internal system components if precautions are not taken. ESD is caused by static electricity and the damage caused is usually permanent.

APPENDIX A: GENERAL AND ELECTRICAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Computer Setup

Read all instructions marked on the product and in the documentation before operating your computer. Retain all safety and operating instructions. Never use this product near water or a heat source. Only set-up the computer on a stable work surface. Only operate the computer using the power source type indicated on the rating label. Never block or cover any openings or fans in the computer case. These are required for ventilation. Never insert objects of any kind into the ventilation openings. Make sure that your computer is properly grounded when in use. Do not attempt to connect your computer into an outlet that is not properly grounded. If an extension cable is used with your computer, ensure that the total ampere rating on the computer does not exceed the maximum rating on the extension cable.

70 APPENDIX A: GENERAL AND ELECTRICAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

When Should You Contact Alienware?

The, power cable or connector is damaged. Your computer has had liquid spilled into it. Your computer was dropped or the case was damaged. Normal operation of the computer does not occur when the operating instructions are followed.

Replacement Components or Accessories It is only advised to use replacement parts or accessories recommended by Alienware. Retain all boxes that were originally shipped to you in case you need to return any merchandise.

Computer technicians wear a special wrist-strap that grounds them to the computers case to prevent ESD damage. You can reduce the chances of ESD damage by doing the following:

Turn off your computers power and wait several minutes before starting to work. Ground yourself by touching the case of the computer. Touch only those items which must be replaced. Avoid walking around while replacing items inside the case, especially if you are on a carpet or during low temperature and low humidity. If you have to remove peripheral cards for any reason, place them on the portion of the computers case that was removed. Do not touch the edge connectors at the bottom of the card that mate to the system board.

General Safety Precautions

Mechanical Shock: Your computer should never be subjected to severe mechanical shocks. Careless handling of your desktop may cause damage. Mechanical Shock is not covered by the warranty. Electrical Shock: If you do not open up your system unit, there is nothing to worry about. Your computer protects itself against most irregularities in the power source.

71APPENDIX B: CONTACTING ALIENWARE

Websites

You can learn about Alienware products and services on the following websites:

www.dell.com www.dell.com/ap (Asian/Pacific countries only) www.dell.com/jp (Japan only) www.euro.dell.com (Europe only) www.dell.com/la (Latin American and Caribbean countries) www.dell.ca (Canada only)

You can access Alienware Support through the following websites:

support.dell.com support.jp.dell.com (Japan only) support.euro.dell.com (Europe only) support.la.dell.com (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico)

APPENDIX B: CONTACTING ALIENWARE NOTE: If you do not have an active Internet connection, you can find contact information on your purchase invoice, packing slip, bill, or Dell product catalog.

Dell provides several online and telephone-based support and service options. Because availability varies by country and product, some services may not be available in your area.

To contact Dell for sales, technical support, or customer service issues:

Visit 1. www.dell.com/contactdell. Select your country or region.2. Select the appropriate service or support link based on your need.3. Choose the method of contacting Dell that is convenient for you.4.

72 APPENDIX C: IMPORTANT INFORMATION

APPENDIX C: IMPORTANT INFORMATION

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 Graphics Cards When you utilize dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 graphics cards in a Quad SLI configuration, HDMI output is not supported.

NOTE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 graphics cards HDMI output is limited to single-card configurations only.

When Quad SLI is enabled on a GeForce GTX 295 graphics card, the video quality can be optimized using the Dual Link DVI. When you utilize a single GeForce GTX 295 graphics card with HDMI output and not DVI or VGA, no image is displayed for about 30 seconds until Windows loads the display driver.

For more information about the functionality of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX295 graphics card, see the NVIDIA website at http://nvidia.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/ nvidia.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=2354.

Manualsnet FAQs

If you want to find out how the Alienware Dell works, you can view and download the Dell Alienware Area-51 ALX Desktop Desktop Manual on the Manualsnet website.

Yes, we have the Desktop Manual for Dell Alienware as well as other Dell manuals. All you need to do is to use our search bar and find the user manual that you are looking for.

The Desktop Manual should include all the details that are needed to use a Dell Alienware. Full manuals and user guide PDFs can be downloaded from Manualsnet.com.

The best way to navigate the Dell Alienware Area-51 ALX Desktop Desktop Manual is by checking the Table of Contents at the top of the page where available. This allows you to navigate a manual by jumping to the section you are looking for.

This Dell Alienware Area-51 ALX Desktop Desktop Manual consists of sections like Table of Contents, to name a few. For easier navigation, use the Table of Contents in the upper left corner.

You can download Dell Alienware Area-51 ALX Desktop Desktop Manual free of charge simply by clicking the “download” button in the upper right corner of any manuals page. This feature allows you to download any manual in a couple of seconds and is generally in PDF format. You can also save a manual for later by adding it to your saved documents in the user profile.

To be able to print Dell Alienware Area-51 ALX Desktop Desktop Manual, simply download the document to your computer. Once downloaded, open the PDF file and print the Dell Alienware Area-51 ALX Desktop Desktop Manual as you would any other document. This can usually be achieved by clicking on “File” and then “Print” from the menu bar.