My Alienware M17x R3 took a bump and now it beeps 7 times and will not boot past the blue screen.

A few years back my Maxed out Alienware M17x R3 laptop was knocked off of the end table but my brother cat, (yea, I almost killed that cat), and now on startup, it stops loading and then goes into the 7 beep sequence which Dell says means the CPU is bad. I have tried replacing the CPU chip with a new one and the beeping still continues. I have also cold started it and held down ( D ) and pressed start, still the same thing. I have also cold started it and held down ( Fn ) and pressed start and still the beep, (no other change at all for any of these steps, the reaction is unchanged). Like I said, I bought it with pretty much all of the bells and whistles, (over $5000.00 worth), back in 2011 and if it starts working again it still should be very fast, even by todays standards. I called Dell and they tried to help some but mostly spent their time trying to get me to buy another laptop. I was however able to get my specific build information from them so that I knew what was inside, so that's nice. Any idea's on what else might be wrong or what else I can do to try and see what is wrong? I am now thinking that it may be the motherboard but I do not want to buy one without knowing for sure. Last thing, who should I trust to send it to if it needs special, (in-depth), diagnostics and or repair beyond what I can do because I'm thinking it would be a waste of my time, (and money), to send it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy, right?
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Resource Administrator / Forum Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
Adelaide, Australia
Hello, Yes the 7-beep code relates to a CPU failure but this could also mean that the system board has failed. Without some spare parts to use for testing, it can be hard to diagnose but since you've tried another CPU then it's a fair chance that it's the board.
These laptops aren't very expensive these days so it may be a waste of money sending it in for repair. Another option would be to grab yourself a replacement board and replace it yourself or find another R3 or R4 and use your laptop for spares. Sending the board to someone who can find and repair the fault could cost more than just replacing the board.
If you were to replace the board then I would suggest to get an R4 board. It fit's perfectly in the R3 chassis and it allows more GPU upgrade options than the R3 and it also has an mSata SSD port.
Replacing a board may seem daunting but it's not too hard if you follow some teardown videos and take your time, or you can take the new board and laptop into a local repairer to replace for you. This will obviously cost more than doing it yourself but it should cost less than getting them to source the board for you.

EDIT: One thing you can try is to remove the power adapter, battery, HDD's and all the RAM (two sticks under the keyboard if you have 4 installed). Hold the power button down for 30-60 seconds to do a power drain. Just insert one RAM stick in and then the power adapter and see if there is any change. If not, then it's almost surely your motherboard.
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