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Dell Alienware DRF37 Product Manual

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    The contents herein are subject to change without notice. © 2009-2010 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of these materials in any manner whatsoever without the prior written permission of Dell Inc. is strictly prohibited. Trademarks used in this manual: Alienware, AlienFX, and the AlienHead logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Alienware Corporation.;...

  • Page 3: Table Of Contents


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    Dell DataSafe Local Backup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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    Dear Valued Alienware Customer, Welcome to the Alienware family. We are thrilled to include you among the growing number of savvy high-performance mobile users. The Alienware technicians who have crafted your machine have made certain that your high- performance mobile is properly optimized and performs to its fullest potential. We build machines with one single unwavering purpose: Build It As If It Were Your Own.

  • Page 9: Chapter 1: Setting Up Your Laptop


  • Page 10: Before Setting Up Your Laptop

    Before setting up your laptop or components, see the included invoice to verify that all items ordered are present and be sure to inspect all items for any physical damage that may have occurred during shipment.

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    Do not place the laptop in a humid location or in any area where the laptop may be exposed to rain or water. Be careful not to spill liquid of any kind on or into the laptop.

  • Page 12: Connect The Ac Adapter

    CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR LAPTOP Connect the AC Adapter WARNING: The AC adapter works with electrical outlets worldwide. However, power connectors and power strips vary among countries. Using an incompatible cable or improperly connecting the cable to a power strip or electrical outlet may cause fire or...

  • Page 13: Press The Power Button

    CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR LAPTOP Press the Power Button...

  • Page 14: Connect The Network Cable (optional)

    CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR LAPTOP Connect the Network Cable (Optional)

  • Page 15: Set Up Microsoft Windows

    NOTE: For optimal performance of your computer, it is recommended that you download and install the latest BIOS and drivers for your computer available at NOTE: For more information

  • Page 16: Connect To The Internet (optional)

    CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR LAPTOP Connect to the Internet (Optional) Setting Up a Wired Connection • If you are using a dial-up connection, connect the telephone line to the optional external USB modem and to the telephone wall jack before you set up your Internet connection.

  • Page 17: Setting Up A Wireless Connection

    Save and close any open files, and exit any open programs. → Control Panel Start Click network, and then click Network and Sharing Center→ In the search box, type Connect to a network. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the setup. CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR LAPTOP...

  • Page 18: Setting Up Your Internet Connection

    CHAPTER 1: SETTING UP YOUR LAPTOP Setting Up Your Internet Connection ISPs and ISP offerings vary by country. Contact your ISP for offerings available in your country. If you cannot connect to the Internet but have successfully connected in the past, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) might have a service outage.

  • Page 19: Chapter 2: Getting To Know Your Laptop


  • Page 20: Left View Features

    CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP This chapter provides information about your new laptop to familiarize you with its various features, and get you up and running quickly. Left View Features...

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    NOTE: The USB PowerShare is automatically shut off when only 10% of the total battery life remains. Network connector device. CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP — Connects to USB devices, such as a — Connects your computer to a network or broadband...

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    CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP HDMI connector video signals. NOTE: For a monitor without built-in speakers, only the video signal will be read. DisplayPort connector projectors with DisplayPort. 3-in-1 Media Card Reader share digital photos, music, videos, and documents.

  • Page 23: Right View Features

    USB connectors (2) external drive, or MP3 player. CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP — Connect to a pair of headphones or to a — Connects to a microphone or inputs signal for — Connect to USB devices, such as a mouse, keyboard, printer,...

  • Page 24: Back View Features

    CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP Back View Features AC adapter connector — Connects to an AC adapter to power the computer and charge the battery.

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  • Page 26: Display Features

    CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP Display Features 1 2 3...

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    4 Display — Your display can vary based on selections you made when purchasing your computer. For more information about displays, see the Dell Technology Guide available on your hard drive or at CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP...

  • Page 28: Computer Base And Keyboard Features

    CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP Computer Base and Keyboard Features...

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    — Provide left- and right-click functions like those on a mouse. 4 Touch pad — Provides the functionality of a mouse to move the cursor, drag or move selected items, and left-click by tapping the surface. CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP...

  • Page 30: Power Button

    CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP Power Button You can program this button to perform actions like shutting down the operating system or entering the standby mode. For details on how to program this button, see Power Options in the Control Panel of Microsoft ®...

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    For more details on standby and hibernate mode, see the Power Options in the Control Panel of your Microsoft Windows operating system. CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP The battery is fully charged. The computer is turned off or on and the battery is charging.

  • Page 32: Function Keys

    CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP Function Keys NOTE: Depending on the configuration of the laptop you purchased, some of the function keys may have no associated tasks. The <Fn> key is located near the bottom-left corner of the keyboard, and is used together with other keys to activate certain functions.

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    CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP F5 — Decrease Display Brightness Press <Fn><F5> to decrease the brightness of the display. F6 — Binary GFX Press <Fn><F6> to enable or disable hybrid graphics mode. The user can switch between the discrete and integrated graphic modes for performance and power savings respectively.

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    CHAPTER 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LAPTOP F11 — Play or Pause Press <Fn><F11> to play or pause a track. F12 — Fast Forward or Play next track Press <Fn><F12> to fast forward or play the next track. PAUSE — Alienware Command Center Press <Fn><PAUSE>...

  • Page 35: Chapter 3: Using Your Laptop


  • Page 36: Alienware Command Center

    CHAPTER 3: USING YOUR LAPTOP Alienware Command Center The Alienware Command Center gives you access to Alienware’ s exclusive software and is a ® continuously upgradable control panel. As Alienware releases new programs, they download directly into the Command Center allowing you to build a library of system management, optimization, and customization tools.

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    HDMI-to-HDMI (HDMI cable) DisplayPort- to-DisplayPort (DisplayPort cable) DisplayPort-to-DVI (DisplayPort-to- DVI adapter + DVI cable) NOTE: You can purchase the DisplayPort-to-DVI adapter and additional HDMI or VGA cables on the Dell website at CHAPTER 3: USING YOUR LAPTOP Cable Display...

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    If necessary, connect one end of the power cable to the display’ s power connector. Connect the other end of the power cable to a grounded three-prong power strip or wall outlet. Turn on your laptop, and then turn on your display.

  • Page 39: Using Removable Media And Cards

    When no media card (SD/MMC/MS cards) is inserted into media card slot, ensure that the blank cards that shipped with your laptop is inserted in the unused slot(s). The blank cards protect the unused slots from dust and other particles. When inserting a blank card, ensure that the correct side is on the top (indicated by an arrow mark on some blank cards).

  • Page 40: Using The Wireless Control

    <Fn><F3> the first time. Battery Pack Your laptop is equipped with a high-energy rechargeable lithium ion prismatic (Li-ion) battery pack. Battery life will vary depending on your laptop configuration, model, applications installed, power management settings, and features used.

  • Page 41: Power Management

    • High Performance — Provides the highest level of system performance on your computer by adapting processor speed to your activity and by maximizing system performance. CHAPTER 3: USING YOUR LAPTOP Windows operating system installed on your computer ® ®...

  • Page 42: Reducing Power Consumption

    Select a power plan from the options shown. To customize specific settings, click Change plan settings next to the selected power plan. Reducing Power Consumption Although your laptop (together with the operating system) is capable of power conservation, there are measures you can take to reduce the power consumption: •...

  • Page 43: Configuring The Bios

    Before you use System Setup, it is recommended that you write down the current System Setup information for future reference. CAUTION: Do not change the settings in System Setup unless you are an expert computer user. Certain changes can cause your computer to work incorrectly. CHAPTER 3: USING YOUR LAPTOP...

  • Page 44: Entering System Setup

    The BIOS Setup Utility window displays current or changeable configuration information for your laptop. Information is divided into five menus: Main, Advanced, Security, Boot, and Exit. Key functions appear at the bottom of the BIOS Setup Utility window and lists keys and their functions within the active field.

  • Page 45: System Setup Options

    NOTE: Depending on your computer and installed devices, the items listed in this section may not appear, or may not appear exactly as listed. NOTE: For the updated system setup information, see the Service Manual at support. Main Menu System Time Displays the system time.

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    CHAPTER 3: USING YOUR LAPTOP Main Menu Total Memory Memory Bank 0 Memory Bank 1 SATA Hard Drive Advanced Menu Switchable Graphics Summary Screen Displays the total memory available in your computer. Displays the memory size installed in DIMM 0.

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    Wireless Network Allows you to enable or disable the internal wireless device. • • CHAPTER 3: USING YOUR LAPTOP Disabled: Internal LAN is disabled and is not visible to the operating system. Enabled: Internal LAN is enabled. Disabled: The internal wireless device is disabled and is not visible to the operating system.

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    CHAPTER 3: USING YOUR LAPTOP Advanced Menu Bluetooth Receiver Allows you to enable or disable the internal Bluetooth device. High Definition Sound USB Emulation • Disabled: The internal Bluetooth device is disabled and is not visible to the operating system.

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    Allows you to enable or disable CPU bus clock Over-Clocking. • • CHAPTER 3: USING YOUR LAPTOP ATA: SATA is configured for ATA mode. AHCI: SATA is configured for AHCI mode. Disabled: The IEEE 1394 A connector is disabled and is not visible to the operating system.

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    CHAPTER 3: USING YOUR LAPTOP Security Menu System Password Status Set System Password User Password Status Set User Password Enable Password on Boot Displays if the supervisor password is clear or set. Allows you to set the supervisor password. The supervisor password controls access to the system setup utility.

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    Monitoring Server will enable its agent security module through an interface provided by the BIOS. • • • CHAPTER 3: USING YOUR LAPTOP Service from Absolute ® Deactivate: the Computrace module interface is not active. Disable: permanently block the Computrace module interface.

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    Allows you to enable or disable the Phoenix FailSafe™ security software to protect, track, and manage your laptop and your digital files if your laptop is lost or stolen. Displays the asset tag.

  • Page 53: Hard Drive

    USB port in battery power mode. This feature allows users to charge external devices using the stored battery power through the USB PowerShare connector on the laptop, even while the laptop is turned off. For more information on USB PowerShare connector see “Left View Features”...

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    CHAPTER 3: USING YOUR LAPTOP Exit Menu Exit Saving Changes Exit Discarding Changes Load Setup Defaults Discard Changes Save Changes Allows you to exit System Setup and save your changes to CMOS. Allows you to exit utility without saving Setup data to CMOS.

  • Page 55: Chapter 4: Installing And Replacing Components


  • Page 56: Before You Begin

    You can purchase components for your computer at or NOTE: See the Service Manual at for installation instructions of all serviceable components. Parts purchased from Dell and Alienware will ship with specific replacement instructions. Before You Begin This section provides procedures for removing and installing the components in your laptop.

  • Page 57: Turning Off Your Computer

    Click Start The laptop turns off after the operating system shutdown process finishes. Ensure that the computer and any attached devices are turned off. If your computer and attached devices did not automatically turn off when you shut down your operating system, press and hold the power button for at least 8 to 10 seconds until the computer turns off.

  • Page 58: Before Working Inside Your Computer

    CAUTION: Only a certified service technician should perform repairs on your computer. Damage due to servicing that is not authorized by Dell is not covered by your warranty. CAUTION: To avoid electrostatic discharge, ground yourself by using a wrist grounding strap or by periodically touching an unpainted metal surface (such as a connector on the back of the computer).

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    CAUTION: To disconnect a network cable, first unplug the cable from your computer and then unplug the cable from the network device. Disconnect all telephone or network cables from the laptop. Press and eject any installed cards from the Media Card slot.

  • Page 60: Replacing The Battery Pack

    This battery pack can easily be removed and replaced. Ensure that the laptop is properly shut down before changing the battery pack. CAUTION: To avoid damage to the laptop, use only the battery designed for this particular Alienware laptop. Do not use batteries designed for other Alienware or Dell laptops. To remove the battery pack: Follow the instruction in “Before You Begin”...

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    captive screws (8) Loosen the two captive screws that secure the battery pack to the computer base. Disconnect the battery pack cable from the connector on the system board. Lift and slide the battery pack out of the computer. CHAPTER 4: INSTALLING AND REPLACING COMPONENTS 2 compartment door...

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    CHAPTER 4: INSTALLING AND REPLACING COMPONENTS battery pack 2 captive screws (2) To replace the battery pack, perform the removal steps in reverse order. 3 battery pack cable...

  • Page 63: Upgrading Or Replacing Memory

    Upgrading or Replacing Memory Your laptop is equipped with a configurable memory unit. The industry standard JEDEC PC3-8500/PC3-10600 (DDR3) SODIMM memory module connectors are available for memory upgrade. The table below illustrates all the possible ways system memory can be configured.

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    CHAPTER 4: INSTALLING AND REPLACING COMPONENTS memory module 2 spring locks (2) 3 tab To replace the memory modules, perform the removal steps in reverse order. While inserting the memory module into the connector align the notch on the memory module with the tab on the memory module connector.

  • Page 65: Upgrading Or Replacing The Hard Drive Assembly

    NOTE: If the memory module is not installed properly, the computer may not boot. Upgrading or Replacing the Hard Drive Assembly Your laptop is equipped with one hard drive socket. Removing the Hard Drive Follow the instructions in “Before You Begin” on page Remove the battery (see “Replacing the Battery Pack”...

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    CHAPTER 4: INSTALLING AND REPLACING COMPONENTS pull-tab Remove the four screws that secure the hard drive to the hard drive bracket. Lift the hard drive bracket of the hard drive according to the illustration. 2 hard drive...

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    CHAPTER 4: INSTALLING AND REPLACING COMPONENTS hard drive bracket 3 hard drive 2 screws (4)

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    CHAPTER 4: INSTALLING AND REPLACING COMPONENTS Remove the interposer from the hard drive. hard drive 2 interposer To replace the hard drive, perform the removal steps in reverse order.

  • Page 69: Chapter 5: Troubleshooting


  • Page 70: Basic Hints And Tips

    Brightness: Check and adjust the brightness of the display by pressing the key combinations <Fn><F4> or <Fn><F5>. • Display Choice: Press the key combination <Fn><F1> to ensure that the computer is not set to “External Only” display. • Use only the AC adapter that shipped with your laptop.

  • Page 71: Backup And General Maintenance

    Backup and General Maintenance • Always backup your important data on a regular basis and keep copies of your operating system and software safe. Do not forget to note the serial numbers if you are storing them outside of their original cases - e.g., in a CD wallet. •...

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    CHAPTER 5: TROUBLESHOOTING When troubleshooting your computer, remember the following safety guidelines: • Before touching any of the computer’ s internal components, touch an unpainted portion of the chassis. Doing so will safely discharge any static electricity, which could damage your computer. •...

  • Page 73: Software Diagnostic Tools

    To invoke PSA: Turn on (or restart) your computer. Shut down and restart the laptop. When the Alienware logo appears, press <F12> immediately. NOTE: If you wait too long and the operating system logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Microsoft try again.

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    NOTE: Back up all data before initiating a system recovery. Review your laptop’ s configuration information, and ensure that the device that you want to test displays in the system setup program and is active. Start the Alienware Diagnostics from the backup disc.

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    Insert the drivers and utilities backup disc that you created. Shut down and restart the laptop. When the Alienware logo appears, press <F12> immediately. NOTE: If you wait too long and the operating system logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Microsoft try again.

  • Page 76: Answers To Common Problems

    CHAPTER 5: TROUBLESHOOTING After all tests have completed, close the test window to return to the Alienware Diagnostics Main Menu. Remove the backup disc, then close the Diagnostics and restart the computer. Answers to Common Problems System The computer fails the POST The POST (Power On Self Test) tests the computer, ensuring that it meets the necessary system requirements and that all hardware is working properly before starting the remainder of the boot process.

  • Page 77: A Program Stops Responding Or Crashes Repeatedly

    The computer stops responding or a solid blue screen appears CAUTION: You might lose data if you are unable to perform an operating system shutdown. If you are unable to get a response by pressing a key on your keyboard or moving your mouse, press and hold the power button for at least 6 seconds until the computer turns off, then restart your computer.

  • Page 78: Other Software Problems

    CHAPTER 5: TROUBLESHOOTING A program is designed for an earlier version of Microsoft Run the Program Compatibility Wizard: The Program Compatibility Wizard configures a program so that it runs in an environment similar to an earlier version of Microsoft Windows operating system environments. →...

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    Scan the computer for spyware: If you are experiencing slow computer performance, you frequently receive pop-up advertisements, or you are having problems connecting to the Internet, your computer might be infected with spyware. Use an anti-virus program that includes anti-spyware protection (your program may require an upgrade) to scan the computer and remove spyware.

  • Page 80: Hard Drive Problems

    CHAPTER 5: TROUBLESHOOTING Hard Drive Problems Allow the computer to cool before turning it on A hot hard drive may prevent the operating system from starting. Try allowing the computer to return to room temperature before turning it on. Run Check Disk →...

  • Page 81: If The Display Is Blank

    Memory Memory errors detected on startup • Check memory modules for correct seating and orientation. Reseat the memory modules if applicable (see “Upgrading or Replacing Memory” on page 63). • Computers using a dual-channel memory configuration require that memory modules be installed in pairs.

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    CHAPTER 5: TROUBLESHOOTING Power When you press the power button, the computer does not turn on • If the AC adapter cable is connected to a surge protector or UPS, ensure that the surge protector or UPS is securely connected to an electrical outlet, is switched on and is working correctly.

  • Page 83: Chapter 6: System Recovery


  • Page 84: Recovery Options

    — You can download the latest drivers for your computer from System Applications • does not include a backup CD/DVD. This software is available at My Dell Downloads ( NOTE: My Dell Downloads may not be available in all regions. — Contains operating system installation media.

  • Page 85: Dell Datasafe Local Backup

    Dell DataSafe Local Backup Dell DataSafe Local Backup is a backup and recovery application that can restore your computer if you lose data due to a virus attack, accidentally delete critical files or folders, or if the hard drive crashes.

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    NOTE: The restoration process might take an hour or more depending on the size of the data to be restored. NOTE: For more information on Dell DataSafe Local Backup, see knowledge base article 353560 at ®...

  • Page 87: Dell Datasafe Online Backup

    NOTE: Dell DataSafe Online Backup may not be available in all regions. NOTE: A broadband connection is recommended for fast upload/download speeds. Dell DataSafe Online is an automated backup and recovery service that helps protect your data and other important files from catastrophic incidents like theft, fire, or natural disasters.

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  • Page 89: Chapter 7: Basic Specifications


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    CHAPTER 7: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS This chapter provides the basic specifications of your computer. For more detailed specifications, see the Comprehensive Specifications at Computer Model Alienware M11x Dimensions Height (Front and Back) Width Depth Weight with 8-cell battery (starting at)

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    Memory Connectors Capacities Memory type Memory configurations possible Ports and Connectors IEEE 1394 A Network adapter HDMI DisplayPort Audio CHAPTER 7: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS two internally-accessible DDR3 SODIMM sockets 1 GB, 2 GB, and 4 GB 1066 MHz (dual channel configurations) 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB one 4-pin serial connector one RJ45 connector 10/100 Mbps...

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    CHAPTER 7: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS Ports and Connectors 3-in-1 Media Card Reader SIM card AC Adapter Type Output current Rated output voltage Communications Network adapter Wireless Drives/Cards Supported Hard drive one combo connector one SIM card slot 65 W 3.34 A 19.5 VDC 10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN on system board •...

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    Drives/Cards Supported Media Card Reader types Video cards Display Type (WLED) Keyboard (Backlit) Layouts Camera Pixel CHAPTER 7: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS • Secure Digital (SD) memory card • Multi Media Card (MMC) • Memory Stick PRO • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD (Integrated on system board) •...

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    CHAPTER 7: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS Battery Type and dimensions 8-cell “smart” lithium ion (63 Whr) Depth Height Width Weight Voltage Operating time Life span (approximate) Temperature range Operating Storage Coin-cell battery 109.4 mm (4.31 inches) 11.2 mm (0.44 inches) 173 mm (6.81 inches) 0.43 kg (0.94 lb) 14.8 V Battery operating time varies depending on operating...

  • Page 95: Appendix


  • Page 96: General And Electrical Safety Precautions

    APPENDIX GENERAL AND ELECTRICAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS Computer Setup • Read all instructions marked on the product and in the documentation before operating your computer. • Retain all safety and operating instructions. • Never use this product near water or a heat source. •...

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    Computer Use • Route the power cable and all cables away from where people might walk or trip over them. Do not allow anything to rest on the power cable. • Do not spill anything on or into your computer. •...

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    APPENDIX • If you have to remove peripheral cards for any reason, place them on the portion of the computer’ s case that was removed. Do not touch the edge connectors at the bottom of the card that connect to the system board. General Safety Precautions •...

  • Page 99: Contacting Alienware

    CONTACTING ALIENWARE NOTE: If you do not have an active Internet connection, you can find contact information on your purchase invoice, packing slip, bill, or Dell product catalog. Dell provides several online and telephone-based support and service options. Because availability varies by country and product, some services may not be available in your area.

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    APPENDIX Websites You can learn about Alienware products and services on the following websites: • • (Asian/Pacific countries only) • (Japan only) • • (Latin American and Caribbean countries) • (Canada only) You can access Alienware Support through the following websites: •...

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