Alienware notebook doesn't poweroff

I have a Alienware m17x notebook that after reloading for a friend who got some junk spyware on it will not power/shut down completely. The LED lights stay on and the fan quietly spins. I've pasted in the build info from the Dell Order Invoice

1 224-8330 Lunar Silver - Anodized Aluminum
  1 317-3657 Intel Core i7 720QM 1.6GHz (2.8 GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB Cache)
  1 317-3663 4GB Dual Channel Memory (2x 2GB DDR3)
  1 330-8812 Alienware M17x 150W A/C Adapter
  1 320-8856 17-inch WideUXGA 1920 x 1200 RGB LED (1200p)
  1 320-8987 1GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5870
  1 342-0667 320GB 7,200RPM SATA-II HDD
  1 330-3924 Name Plate Engraving
  1 330-6106 Personalized Nameplate Trigger
  1 313-8791 AlienFX Color, Mars Red
  1 421-2261 Alienware Command Center, M17x
  1 421-1400 Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
  1 420-9691 DataSafe Local BackUp
  1 420-6436 PC-Restore, Dim/Insp
  1 410-1883 Adobe Acrobat Reader 9.0 Multi-Language
  1 313-8569 Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BR-ROM, DVD+-RW, CD-RW)
  1 421-1304 CyberLink PowerDVD 8.0 Software
  1 421-1305 Nero 9 Media Burning Software
  1 313-8944 5.1 Channel Audio
  1 430-3688 Dell Wireless 1520 802.11n Half Mini Card
  1 330-6348 Automatic Updates: On
  1 908-2128 Dell Hardware Warranty Plus On-Site Service, Extended Year(s)
  1 908-2227 Dell Hardware Warranty Plus On-Site Service, Initial Year
  1 908-8722 Next Business Day Parts and Labor On-Site Response, 2 Year Extended
  1 922-3430 Next Business Day Parts and Labor On-Site Response, Initial Year
  1 993-8582 Warranty Support,2 Year Extended
  1 994-3730 Warranty Support,Initial Year
  1 430-0628 Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR
  1 421-1360 Steam and Portal Factory Installed
  1 330-5090 Thank You for Purchasing AlienWare
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This looks suspiciously like a firmware bug.  Have you gone to the dell site and updated BIOS, and all the drivers?

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(also, revert to all BIOS defaults.  The best way to insure there isn't something really nasty then you *could* remove the battery from motherboard for a few minutes to insure that all BIOS settings are factory default).  I know this is a pain, but it is a shot-in-the dark if you were current on all BIOS & driver settings.
I'd suggest booting into Safe Mode, letting it finish the boot process, then try a normal shut down.  If that works properly, I'd be looking into startup items (msconfig is an excellent way to manage them for this) to see which one is causing the problem.

How far does it get on the shutdown?
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ShafteyAuthor Commented:
I have installed the newest motherboard bios update, however I haven't tried resetting the bios to factory defaults, I will attempt that after the latest ATI drivers are done downloading, I am currently using the Dell Reference Driver. I did find a Dell ATI vbios update for the graphics card and intend to try that also prior to installing the newest catalyst drivers.

As for the shutdown, it does appear to shutdown, windows logs off and says its shutting down and even the LCD screen goes dark, but the LED lights under the keyboard and alienware logo stay illuminated and I can hear a fan spinning quietly in the chassis.
Is there any chance you have it set to do a "sleep" instead of a "shutdown"?
ShafteyAuthor Commented:
I don't think so because even when I tell it to Restart, or Windows Update tells it to Restart it hangs up at that spot and never reboots.
You could also try to burn an Ubuntu live CD (or USB-based) distribution.  Boot to another O/S, and do a shutdown.  This will tell you if the problem is specific to windows, or it happens (more or less) no matter what O/S you are using.  If it happens on Ubuntu, then you know it is a hardware-specific problem.  
ShafteyAuthor Commented:
Turns out that on the Dell ATI/AMD 5870 Notebook GPU, there is a needed firmware update to use newer graphics drivers, even the Dell Reference Driver.

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