Dell Alienware Laptop having a Identity Crisis

  1. DonMurray's Avatar
    Posts : 201
    os build 17143.950
       #1

    Dell Alienware Laptop having a Identity Crisis


    Jellybean thinks its a windows enterprise. Windows states that it is version 1903 0s build 18362.535
    So in belarc it shows a e on the end of my windows key the format that is xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxe But it does not show it like that in the window "About" it shows it as windows pro. Also the Bios shows Aleinware 17 r4 yet windows thinks its a Alienware 15 r3 that could be due to the fact that I installed drivers for the nvida 1050 from the dell website for AW 17 r4 But still why would that make it report it as a AW 15 r3 <br>I am trying to find that utility that you all like to have people run to see if they have a legitimate install of windows maybe that was only to check windows 7. ? I was thinking about pulling the m2 out of this and put a ssd drive in the bay and trying a clean install of windows pro and see if I still have these video problems. None of my other lower end systems have the problems of video flickering like this one does. None of them have any problems connecting to a large screen and they don't have any problems with dialog boxes being the wrong size when I save as. Last eve it had to shut down due to a error with a thread or something.
    Dell Alienware Laptop having a Identity Crisis-bios.jpgDell Alienware Laptop having a Identity Crisis-basicfunctions.jpg

    So if you notice the Bois says its a 17 yet windows thinks its a 15 No dell service tag number its all zeros.
    My theory is that I need to do a clean install of windows 1903 without any of the Alien ware software and things will work. The hardware is the Like maybe the things that were supposed to enhance gaming were not compatible with the newest version of windows. I was going to pull the m2 ssd out and try installing on a regular ssd. cpuzJH32M6.txtDxDiag.txt

    Its ironic that this computer has problems with video when its supposed to be the best at video. My other computers do not have any problems with my TV screen they do not flicker all the time or have problems with dialog boxes being the wrong size.

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    is it possible to install a regular version of the megatrends bios that is not alienware?

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    I am doing a install and it says I need to give it media drivers. I am asuming I can extract the graphics drivers for this or maybe its the intell chipset it needs >?

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    So it did have the m2 in it and I am trying to install on the regular ssd drive. maybe that is a bios setting needing to be sata or something different. ?

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    It made it through the install though ? I put in the windows key when it reboted it went back to the windows install - it is set to boot to the usb first so maybe that is the problem. ?

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    Also I maybe should not have started a new post for this. I originally post here
    Alienware 17 R4 Did they have it together with UEFI ? back then ?
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  2. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 8,635
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H1 Build 19043.1110
       #2

    Don,

    The command winver should also have identified the OS as Home / Pro etc

    About "No dell service tag number its all zeros" - the only time I have seen this has been on a refurbished computer. You can still get updated Dell drivers but only for the model range so you'll have to check through manually to make sure you only download the ones for your particular hardware.

    About "I need to give it media drivers" - I have seen this reported in other threads so you might get some help by searching for media drivers in the forum Advanced search facility https://www.tenforums.com/search.php?query=



    I think your video problems might indicate that an incorrect display driver has been installed [which is quite unusual, I think].

    Try searching for a driver by hardwareID - see my advice in My UMBus Enumerator is showing up as an unknown device with no driver
    - even if you think that a directly-Dell-sourced driver would be better, using this procedure would at least get you the proper hardware name so you could then search Dell for their version.



    Was it activated before all this work started? Perhaps the refurbisher jobbed the OS installation to make an unlicensed copy appear to have been activated correctly.

    I don't know that Belarc finds correct Product Keys for Windows 10. If Settings, Update, Activation has shown it as 'activated with a digital licence' then no Product Key would have been required during the reinstallation - that dialog could just have been skipped.

    Denis
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  3. DonMurray's Avatar
    Posts : 201
    os build 17143.950
    Thread Starter
       #3

    I have a dell Optiplex and I used the install usb created for that. The regular install with win pro 1903 with the mctool did not work as it said it needed a media driver. But the win 10 dell install created on a USB by dell. I am having trouble say this I made a Install USB for my other dell that did have a win 10 pro. I found my win key via Belarc adviser. I used that key and it worked. this Alienware dell a clean install of windows 10. Then I installed all the drivers that that dell did offer on their website But I did not install anything that had to do with Alienware. and i also used the most latest drivers for NVIDA and so far so good. not flickering. something felt really strange with that Alienware with its what seamed like a complete hijack of windows Pro. But now I have a Alienware with a clean install of win 10 with none of that "stuff" programs that comes with a alienware laptop. I still need to hook it up to a second screen but really if that is the only problem it has I will settle for it. If its stable and fast Ill be happy. I love dell stuff but this situation of not having a service tag sticker seams insane because Dells service tags so much my favorite and its much why I chose the Alienware was because of those service tag stickers. So I just do not get how they came to the conclusion not to put the stickers on the Alienware. If even on the inside back of the removable back. It has 7 screws on the back one stays put. then 6 1/2 inch long screws and this thing is 10lbs. So far it seams stable.

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    Last edited by DonMurray; 06 Apr 2020 at 13:03.
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  4. fireberd's Avatar
    Posts : 2,387
    Win 10 Pro, 20H2
       #4

    Have you been on the Dell Community Alienware laptop forum? If not I suggest you give that a try since there are those there more familiar with the Alienware's.
    https://www.dell.com/community/Alien...enware-laptops
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  5. DonMurray's Avatar
    Posts : 201
    os build 17143.950
    Thread Starter
       #5

    I have they key replying back Send your service tag - even though I sent them a picture of the bios showing it having all zeros. It really strange that the screen did not flicker at all until windows said "were getting things ready" The only thing I have not tried is linux and win 7 but I fear since the bios has been updated to the latest and greatest that the same issues will appear.

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    So I hooked this laptop up to a HP computer screen and I am not having video problems with flickering. But the 50" Samsung TV it does not like it. IT flickers and the sound stops and starts. So at least this dell Alienware does not need to go to the landfill ! Who knows why it does not work when all my other comptuer will do it. But at least it works with a regular computer monitor.
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  6. fireberd's Avatar
    Posts : 2,387
    Win 10 Pro, 20H2
       #6

    I don't know about the Alienware, but most Dell's use the Intel CPU video for everything except gaming. When gaming it switches to the NVIDIA or AMD graphics On the gaming laptops (I have an Inspiron 15 5577 gaming laptop) that is the way it works. I can force it to use the NVIDIA all the time by disabling the Intel CPU graphics in the Device Manager.
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  7. Posts : 68
    Windows 10 x 64 Home
       #7

    I used to be a contractor for Dell, including supporting Alienware, for a few years. And I also used to work for Philips-Magnavox for several years, and we often dealt with computers connecting to TV's and monitors. So, I hope I can bring some of my experience to bear on your problems.

    Before I go on to my tirade, I want to address your most recently-stated problem first. Since you are getting screen flicker when connecting to the Samsung television, you may want to change the Refresh Rate on your graphics card. I'm having a hard time following all of your discussion, but I am assuming at this point that you are on some version of Windows 10. Click on Start -> Settings -> System -> Display -> scroll down until you see Advanced Display Settings -> go to Display Adapter Settings for the relevant display -> go to "Monitor" tab if present. If the Refresh Rate in the Monitor tab currently says 60 Hz, change it to 120 Hz, and see if the screen flicker goes away when connected to the Samsung. The side effect of this is that it may cause flickering on the non-Samsung displays. But worth a try.

    Nothing is normal about your situation, so normal advice doesn't apply here. I noticed on your original post that you said that you purchased this system from eBay. The fact that the Service Tag is all zero's, and the fact that no Service Tag sticker is present are dead giveaways. Dell used to use a tool called the Asset Tag Utility to be able to alter the Service Tag of a system. While it was publicly-facing, it was generally reserved for field technicians. I don't know what it has been replaced with now, but I have seen people use the Dell Support Live Image utility, normally reserved for servers, to accomplish the feat more recently. Since we have no way of knowing now what the original Service Tag might be, I won't spend any more time on that. Suffice it to say that I feel that either the person you purchased it from is dishonest, or the person that they acquired it from is dishonest. So, I hope you got a good deal on it.

    Because it has been altered, no Windows, Dell or third-party utility can reliably identify anything about your system right now. Unless I physically inspected it, I couldn't even tell you if you have an Alienware 17 R4 or not. If it really is an Alienware 17 R4, I would only use drivers for that model.

    An altered Service Tag could have been done without replacing the motherboard, but I suspect that the motherboard has been replaced at some point. So, the Windows product key is not what the original system would have come with, but whatever the mobo was replaced with with. If you were able to reinstall Windows 10 and it picked up a valid, activated product key, I would consider yourself lucky. If you had called me when I was working for Dell, and you told me the BIOS said the Service Tag was all 0's, I would not have been allowed to help you. And I'm not sure Alienware forums will be able to help you either, because you are in a unique situation.

    You mentioned that you are using this computer as a CAD workstation. If you run into video glitches, try using ISV drivers. Since Alienware wasn't designed for CAD, no ISV drivers were developed for them. There are a lot of compelling reasons for using gaming models for high-intensity tasks like CAD. But, Dell and others develop models more specifically designed for CAD with appropriate ISV drivers.

    I'm curious that you replaced an M2 with a regular SSD, since M2 offers advantages.

    That's enough out of me. I went well beyond the scope of the question, but I am just frustrated that someone sold you inferior goods. I think we're lucky that you were able to achieve what you have so far. The best of luck to you.
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