Speakers no longer working after unhooking Subwoofer


New Member
Sep 4, 2019
I have been having a lot of issues with this Alienware 17 R4 laptop, started with instability, crashing, stuttering, micro freezing, overheating(90c on 1070 GPU) ect.

Last week I remounted the heatsink with fresh paste and changed some of the thermal pads, after re-assembly I ran into an issue where after the initial BIOS setup the thing would no longer POST properly, just turned on, screen came on, lights lit up, then shut down.

After the last week tearing it down, re-assembling and troubleshooting everything I could think of I believe I worked it out. By chance last night I got the thing running good, booting up normal and running good with no overheating, while I was booted up into windows(at this point I had not yet re-installed the exhaust shroud yet) I reached around to plug the AC in and accidentally bumped the Power Button Ribbon cable and the PC immediately wigged out and shutdown. When attempting to re-start it, it began doing the same thing it was before, Start up, screen on, turn off. So I pulled the Power Button Ribbon cable and after examining it, it looks like 2 of the copper pins are broken about half way up. I believe was the cause of the Post/Boot issue all along.

Anyways in the process of the last week of tearing down and re-assembling so many times, I accidentally damaged the cord for the Right USB/IO hub circuit board(witch powers the sub woofer as well). So for now I just removed that cable from the motherboard and kept the USB hub/Subwoofer unhooked for now until I order the new cable.

However ever since then, my front speakers are not working(they worked randomly a few times) but now they won't initialize at all. The driver is working correctly, just no sound. I do get sound from Headphones or external speakers just fine.

My question, before buying a new set of speakers, is could not having the sub woofer hooked up be the cause of the speakers sporatically working/not working? I was thinking maybe the driver expects the subwoofer to be present and throws a fit because its not active? Is that at all possible or more likely I damaged the speakers in the process as well?


Apr 14, 2012
The Realtek ALC3266 audio chip is actually soldered onto that small USB sub-board. You need a new cable or a new board or both, depends on damage. You could have damaged the audio chip power or data lines (if is not appears in the device manager) or could be just the loop-back lines damaged that loops back to the main speakers.