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area 51 mj12 7700i / ripoff

1 Miami, FL, United States Review updated:
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This computer was the worst purchase I have ever made, I wanted an Alienware laptop for several years after seeing them on display when Best Buy used to sale them. I started DJing my sophomore year of college and needed a computer that was powerful enough to run the software that my mixer uses. I took out a 3000 dollar loan to by what I thought would be a very nice laptop. I read reviews about alienware which were mostly negative and but figured like anything else, the people that have bad experiences are the ones that write reviews so I chose to ignore the reviews. I ordered my Mj12 7700i loaded with a 3.2 gig Pentium 4 processor with HT technology, 3 gig of RAM, and dual 80 gig processors in raid 0 format. (at the time this was very impressive) the computer ran great for about 8 months. When I hooked any type of audio device up to my laptop I heard a lot of background noise. Alienware said I could send it back to them and they could fix it, but I decided to just clean it up by adjusting my mixer. After the first 8 months I started having problems with my laptop cutting off after about 5 minutes. I worked with Aleinware trying to reinstall different things and get it working. It was eventually determined that I needed to send the computer back to alienware and pay 500 dollars to have it fixed. After receiving it back 2 months later I tried to use the Laptop and it did not work, I was told the motherboard had to be replaced. To make a long story short after sending the computer back and forth with alienware 4 more times I finally complained to the BBB and was contacted and told I could send the laptop to their VIP repairs at my own expense since I originally sent the laptop to them over a month ago, after pointing out that I have also sent it back 4 other times I was told I could send it to them and they would repair it for free. I sent the computer to them and got it back. It worked great! For 1 month, then the same thing happened. I opened the computer up and got a first hand look at their repairs, the original motherboard was still in there and wires had been taped to the motherboard with Electrical tape. So I now have a 3500 dollar paperweight, that is out of date and I got a total of 8 months of use out of. I would never recommend anyone buy a computer from this company, you will be better off buying a 300 dollar e-machine computer from Walmart.

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Comments

  • Ma
      6th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    Let me start off by saying this is more help then a review/complaint

    I own 2 of these and the early ones were prone to problems, and i do agree that alienware support is substandard. however now that you own it lets look at it this way:

    Its very easy to fix these your self, (the right way...) make sure to take your time and remove every screw, as you will break the plastics if you don't.

    the v5.2 mobo is notorious for burning the vrms (for no reason)
    v5.3 (i cant think of any problems with this mobo other then it lacks support for the 7800 and 7950)
    v6.1 - you want either this or 6.2/6.2n they have all the defects worked out of them and support the geforce 7950 video card (6.1 and up require the 11a power brick, the 9a will not work, you will end up burning/wasting a $50 power brick it if you try)
    v6.2 - same as the other but it seems the higher the revision the less problems so i would go for v6.2n

    the rev number is clearly marked on the lower sodimm banks on a white sticker.

    Trouble shooting:

    When you plug the laptop into the wall is the led on the power brick on? (if not you have a bad video card, and it burned your power brick too)
    when you turn it on do you only get a black screen, leds and fans? (most likely a mobo problem, ive fixed a few of these boards before, but they never seem to work 100% after that)

    Parts sources:
    www.rjtech.com - has d900t and d900k mobos and video cards
    www.ebay.com - has mobos and video cards (avoid buying from z*tronics at all costs, he will send you a dead mobo, happened to me and had to take paypal action against him after he never replyed to my emails)

    You can ask us on the support area of http://www.notebookforums.com/ or on www.thenextbench.com (I'm more active on thenextbench) if you ask there i will definitely help you troubleshoot it and get it up and running (should you wish).

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