[FIXED]Aurora R4, 3 beep on boot, looking to upgrade

Rorshock

New Member
Apr 21, 2020
4
2
Philadelphia
I've got Alienware Aurora R4 bought in early 2013 manufactured in October 2012.
- Performance has progressively declined over the years, now it struggles with Rocket League on Low settings, it hiccups
- Currently, I
cannot boot at all without 3 beep error code (looked up chipset/motherboard issue) ***EXCEPT*** sometimes if I fold f2 it boots completely normal and everything is operational? (unreliable and cannot replicate consistently)
- I can't confirm the motherboard is the issue although I assume so since I've swapped graphics card, reseated the ram, reset bios, defragged hard drive, I'm at the end of my wits.
-Motherboards that are compatible (to my knowledge) with the processor (i7 3820) are all used and range from $200 - $1,000 + and terrible reviews.


Should I upgrade to another micro-ATX board & get a new processor?
I've got around $400 to throw at this rig.


Specs

Stock
-Liquid-cooled Intel Core i7-3820 3.6 GHz (Quad-Core, 10MB Cache) Overclocked up to 4.1GHz
-875w PSU
-Motherboard Intel® X79 Express Chipset (Intel® BD82X79 PCH))
- 8GB Quad Channel DDR3 at 1600M Hz (Four 2gb sticks)

Replaced
-1 TB WD HDD (intend to buy SSD depending on how much fixing / scrapping this rig will cost)
-GPU Originally Nvidia 660, currently AMD 6770 Intend to swap with an NVIDIA 1060 that I currently have
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,097
125
Adelaide, Australia
If you want to bring it into 2020 you can put in a more modern board and CPU. There is a guide on here that shows you how to keep the AlienFX functionality.
Just check the Dell Website for any chipset updates. Maybe you have a bad driver but it does sound like the board may be failing.
An SSD will make a huge difference and you'll wonder how you went without one for so long. You can even just get a cheap 250gb SSD and keep your HDD for storage.
 

Andrew_J994

Member
Aug 10, 2016
147
30
Reddit suggests a 3-beep as a motherboard failure, although no specifics are provided, meaning the cause of failure is undefined without further digging. My R4 ALX hasnt suffered any performance degradation, unlike my x58 area 51 using the same upgraded GPU, so its odd that yours is struggling.

The 3820 isn't (shouldn't be) overclockable so I'm not exactly sure how you managed to overclock, but that may have led to a cause of failure. If you'd look to keep it stock, a new motherboard should take care of the issue, however i recommend you upgrade the processor to at least a 4th gen i7 like a 4930k 6 core-12 thread but it isn't necessary, but definitely throw in some more RAM 16GB should be enough.

I definitely agree with Matty here though, an SSD in a system like this is a must and completely transformed my R4 ALX. And you could also consider a new build in the Aurora R4 chassis. Swapping BIOS keys to get AlienFX to work isn't hard at all as long as you can get in to the desktop for just a minute or two, or have someone provide a BIOS key for you.

Hope this helps, -Andrew
 
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Rorshock

New Member
Apr 21, 2020
4
2
Philadelphia
UPDATE: After cleaning up the daughterboard (I/O / lighting miniboard), reseating EVERYTHING, the machine rather much quieter but still 3 beeps

How I fixed it: Hard Drive wipe, BIOS Reset, Fresh Windows Installation.

Issue Hypothesis: Whenever I'd run all my antivirus software (Super Anti Spyware, Malware Bytes, CCleaner), I would use CCleaner's check registry for issues and fix all.
- im assuming I messed with files are tried to fix something integral that wasn't broken

Now running very quiet, smooth, like brand new.

New issue is that only 2 DIMM slots are detecting RAM. Is quad-channel disabled somehow and it's only seeing 2?

The 4 x 2gb Ram should be replaced regardless,
Ordered (coming next week) Timetec Hynix IC 16GB Kit (2x8GB) DDR3L 1600MHz
https://www.amazon.com/Timetec-1600...=1588280474&sprefix=ddr3+ram+,aps,158&sr=8-10

New Ram will only need 2 DIMMS but keeping further expansion in mind/ potential error, I'd like to know what's up w these DIMMS/ if it's fixable

- all 4 memory sticks confirmed working
- slots left of CPU work, slots right of CPU don't.
- I checked w bios and only sees 2
- says no ram detected if any of the 4 cards are in the 2 slots on the right
- no bent pins on CPU
-cleaned DIMM slots
-reseated RAM in different combinations
-Windows is 64 bit

Thank you everyone for the feedback!
 
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Rorshock

New Member
Apr 21, 2020
4
2
Philadelphia
Reddit suggests a 3-beep as a motherboard failure, although no specifics are provided, meaning the cause of failure is undefined without further digging. My R4 ALX hasnt suffered any performance degradation, unlike my x58 area 51 using the same upgraded GPU, so its odd that yours is struggling.

The 3820 isn't (shouldn't be) overclockable so I'm not exactly sure how you managed to overclock, but that may have led to a cause of failure. If you'd look to keep it stock, a new motherboard should take care of the issue, however i recommend you upgrade the processor to at least a 4th gen i7 like a 4930k 6 core-12 thread but it isn't necessary, but definitely throw in some more RAM 16GB should be enough.

I definitely agree with Matty here though, an SSD in a system like this is a must and completely transformed my R4 ALX. And you could also consider a new build in the Aurora R4 chassis. Swapping BIOS keys to get AlienFX to work isn't hard at all as long as you can get in to the desktop for just a minute or two, or have someone provide a BIOS key for you.

Hope this helps, -Andrew

I copied and pasted that from my product page on Dell's website. I have not OC'd but it does say that it is doable. No intention to with this machine as I am prioritizing Stability/ longevity