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fixed: Alienware M17x R4 - AIDA64 caused fan stop


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After receiving my Alienware M17xR4, I experiencend two weeks later a strange behavior. After booting the system the CPU and GPU fan stopped turning. This caused a thermal shutdown as soon as the temperatures rised up to 105°C. Even in idle state, the temperature went from normal approx. 50°C up to 60°-70°C. This was a clear indication, that the fan did not worked anymore. I did loadtests with prime95 to force higher load and temperature.

I documented most of my tests, which could help DELL to solve the issue. The document is in German. nevertheless, you'll figure out the pictures and the youtube links within the following PDF file : https://dl.dropbox.c...blem_public.pdf - (on request I translate the test document in english).

I send this to DELL and they send a technician which replaced the CPU cooling Fan and the Processor Heat Sink. without success. the system fan's stopped turning shortly after booting the system and the temperature went up again. Then they send the technician a second time. He replaced the Graphic card and the GPU Fan. And guess what, no success. still the same behavior.

I updated the test documentation and asked DELL for a solution. well, they will replace now the whole system with a new one within the next weeks. one day after they confirmed my replacement I found a single report in a german alienware forum (http://www.aw-commun....html#post43671). This guy reported the same problem as I had. He had the problem with Version 2.30.1900. After he went back to Version AIDA64 2.20.1800, the problem disapeard.

Well I immediately removed AIDA64 from my system and rebooted the system. Since then I dont have this problem anymore. this is realy strange ! In the meantime I booted the system serveral times, stressed the CPU with prime95 and did load test with the GPU. The problem I've had, disappeard completely. Is this a coincident ? I dont think so. I assume that AIDA64 block the sensors or is influencing the control modul for the fan. maybe an API issue ?

I can't proove this with log files, since I dont know if AIDA is providing this out of the box. But I give AIDA64 another try when my replacement system arrive in approx. 4 weeks and I will see, if this behavior will come back.

In the meantime I stay away from using AIDA64 (as a longtime customer)

Did someone of you discovered the same issue ?

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AIDA64 uses fairly regular Dell SMI calls to measure fan speed and temperature readings on Dell and newer Alienware systems. If you suspect AIDA64 may stop your system from utilizing its fan control logic properly, then please try to disable Dell SMI sensor support in AIDA64 / main menu / File / Preferences / Stability, and restart AIDA64 to apply the changes. If that solves the issue, then we will completely disable Dell SMI calls on Alienware M17xR4 systems. So please let us know how your tests go on the replacement system.



PS: I'm not sure if Dell SMI calls are the actual problem, since we've only activated them on M17xR4 at AIDA64 Beta Build 2105. So both AIDA64 v2.20.1800 and v2.30.1900 should have the Dell SMI calls not utilized on M17xR4, and so there should be no difference in their behavior...

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Thanky your Fiery for the fast response.

I could not resist and reinstalled AIDA64 and disabled Dell SMI sensor support. And that does the trick and solved the issue. :) Now its working as expected. The side effect of disabling Dell SMI sensor support is that the CPU Fan speed is not any longer shown in the OSD.

If possible, please take this finding into account for your release planing and disable this feature (by default). Nevertheless I'll do the same tests as soon as I get my M17xR14 replacement and report back here.

Additional I report this solution back to DELL at a later time, in case someone else will report a similar issue in the future. This will improve their Tech Support and may save some money on their site.

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