Aurora crashing randomly

Hello all,

So I'm new here and have been trawling the internet for ages to find a fault which matches my current issue but to no avail.

I have had an Aurora for three years now and at least once a day it crashes once, sometimes twice, but then seems to run fine after a hard shutdown from the machines power button, then restarting normally after being told windows was not shut down correctly.

The crash usually happens within 10 - 15 mintues of starting the machine. If I am playing a game, it will freeze and you get a constant drone from the speakers like it can't stop playing the last sound before the crash and I get either a blank screen or an Olive screen with white lines across. Sometimes it will just crash and the screen freezes (on desktop for instance, with no mouse response).

The lights at the front flash red-orange-yellow constantly in either case.

At first I attributed it to Windows trying to install an update. I noticed that it would try to install an update every night and take about 20 minutes to shutdown, there was an update everyday which I thought odd, so I turned off automatic updates and things went well for a day or two before the crashes started again.

The other odd thing was that the machine would crash when I was using a particular tank on WOT, so I avoided playing that tank and used others, again, that worked fine until the machine decided that it didn't like not crashing and now crashes randomly on whatever tank I play.

Also now, one of the fans seems to sound a little unhealthy, previously when the machine was working hard during gaming you would get a nice smooth Alienware hum, but it sounds like perhaps a fan is loose. It's a kind of rough spinning sound or perhaps could be likened to some cheap HP desktop playing a CDR. Not sure how to describe it.

I've opened the machine up and cleaned it (I usually do this every two weeks any way) and made sure that all the connections are in securely.

Anybody got any ideas? I suspect the graphics card, but not sure. Problem started about 4 months ago.

I'm not exactly a genius when it comes to plugging/unplugging devices and hardware but any ideas on the fault would be great.




Resource Administrator / Forum Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
Adelaide, Australia
Do you get a BSOD?

I have recently had a problem with random crashes on my ALX. It seems that it was due to bad RAM. Try running Memtest. You will need to download the .iso and burn it to a blank disc. Then boot your machine from your cd drive. The whole test will run for over 5 hours.

If you don't want to go through all this then get your hands on some different RAM to test. At least it will cancel it as the issue if problems still occur.


Mar 25, 2013
Sulphur, LA
My gut tells me that it may be the fan on the graphics card itself causing all your problems. I would

1. open the case
2. turn the machine on
3. look in it with a flashlight, just to see that everything is as it should be
4. run a benchmark, ie
5. while the benchmark is running look and listen to which fan is making the noise

If you find that it is the fan on the graphics card itself you may be able to just replace the fan, I know on some models you can but you didn't specify what card you have.

The problems your describing sounds to me like the fan on your graphics card is going out, causing the processor to overheat, inturn causing your machine detect a problem and shutting down to prevent further damage. Make sense?

Good luck brother, let us know how it turns out!
Thanks guys,

I don't get a BSOD matty, not yet anyhow.

To show you how much of a noob I am, I had never considered opening the machine whilst it was on in case I died from electric shock XDXDXD.

Anyways I started wondering about the fans and which one did which and found a video on You Tube from Alienware Services which shows a complete disassembly of the machine. This showed me a couple of areas which I had never cleaned out before. I cleaned behind the HDD shield and also removed the shield over the optical drive. Well.......the fan there, opposite the graphics card (ATI 5870) was absolutely caked in dust and the grille opposite that for the front air intake was solid. I had cleaned the bottom half of that grille regularly as it was easily accessible.

So, just had a game on WOT and the machine is nice and smooth with graphics setting back up at maximum. The Ati fan was whirring away when I looked and seemed quite happy. Cannot hear the harsh grinding any more. I will run the tests above shortly just to check everything else is okay.

Defo gonna spend a lot more time learning about the machine now, like I said, I'm a total noob!!

One more thing; when I turned the machine back on just now. I got a thermal controller error message along with those annoying red-orange-yellow flashing lights:

System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
at AlienLabs.ThermalControls.Domain.Classes.CommunicationServiceClass.get_IsChassisSupportingVenting()
at AlienLabs.ThermalControls.Domain.Profiles.Classes.ProfileReaderClass.newProfileFor(ProfileData ProfileData, ProfileRow profileRow, Int32 position)
at AlienLabs.ThermalControls.Domain.Profiles.Classes.ProfileReaderClass.Read()
at AlienLabs.ThermalControls.Domain.Profiles.Classes.ProfileRepositoryClass.ReadProfiles()
at AlienLabs.ThermalControls.Controller.Classes.ProfileManagerClass.Init()
at AlienLabs.ThermalControls.Controller.Main.processWindowsLoaded()
at System.Windows.EventRoute.InvokeHandlersImpl(Object source, RoutedEventArgs args, Boolean reRaised)
at System.Windows.UIElement.RaiseEventImpl(DependencyObject sender, RoutedEventArgs args)
at MS.Internal.FrameworkObject.OnLoaded(RoutedEventArgs args)
at System.Windows.BroadcastEventHelper.BroadcastEvent(DependencyObject root, RoutedEvent routedEvent)
at System.Windows.BroadcastEventHelper.BroadcastLoadedEvent(Object root)
at System.Windows.Media.MediaContext.FireLoadedPendingCallbacks()
at System.Windows.Media.MediaContext.FireInvokeOnRenderCallbacks()
at System.Windows.Media.MediaContext.RenderMessageHandlerCore(Object resizedCompositionTarget)
at System.Windows.Media.MediaContext.RenderMessageHandler(Object resizedCompositionTarget)
at System.Windows.Threading.ExceptionWrapper.InternalRealCall(Delegate callback, Object args, Int32 numArgs)
at MS.Internal.Threading.ExceptionFilterHelper.TryCatchWhen(Object source, Delegate method, Object args, Int32 numArgs, Delegate catchHandler)

Any ideas on that now? It happened once before a few months ago.

Thanks again!!!!



Mar 25, 2013
Sulphur, LA
I'm not to savvy on codes and stuff, I've just been tinkering with computers since the 80's so.....

I would try a hard reboot

1. shut down your computer from the start menu
2. after it has completely shut down unplug the power cord from the back of the machine
3. wait 15-20 seconds then plug it back in

I don't know what to tell you beyond that, sorry. Hope you get it up to snuff.