Alienware M18x graphics problem

Alienware M18x graphics problem

  • 52

Trexo

Well i have Alienmware m18x with huge graphic problems.

it all started maby 1-2 years ago when i played starcraft, the picture got upside down and it was really messy. After a restart i just hear the computer piiip as it dont have a graphic card. But in my mind i should guess that the other graphic card should take over? the built in card? or iam wrong? anyway i like this computer so i wanna figure out what the problem is. maby buy a new card for it. or can it be the motherboard? anyone have simular problem or have a ide about this? i searched the service tag and found out that my card is AMD readon HD 6990M crossfire.

Please help me out here. i have a another alienware aswell with other problem.. i make a new thread about that computer.

Sorry if my writing is wrong here and there but i do my best.

Replies 10

MattB79

Does it give you the beep code? If so, how many beeps in the cycle? This will help pinpoint the issue. 

You usually have to manually switch the graphics options on the M18x by using the Function buttons and restarting (can't remember which F button it is). I'm not sure if it will do this automatically if you have an issue with the dedicated cards. You could try opening the machine up and taking your crossfire cable off and if that doesn't work you could pull both cards out and just try one at a time. 


Trexo edited

Ok! right now i dont have any HDD in my machine but if i remeber it right it behave same when there was a HDD in it. Right now nothing happen, not even the screen turns on and it beep 8 times. I will try to add a HDD and see what happen then to be sure about it.

If my graphic card is done shouldnt it not even fire up my monitor then?

there is a HDD in it


MattB79

An 8 beep code relates to the LCD. First thing to do would be to check your LCD cable and connection to the mobo. If these look fine then your screen could have failed. You'll have to take apart your machine but if you haven't done this before there are teardown videos on youtube to help you. 


Trexo

yeah i used videos on youtube to figure it out and i made it but i dont know what happen when i was done.  Removed one card and same beep, placed it back again and took of the other and then i see the alienware logo when i fired up. Yeah.. now i need to install windows on the disk, but when i check bios now i see that my graphic card is Sandy brige. do i need to do something to find the other card or what happen now? i will reinstall in about 12 hours. need some sleep now. tnx alot for ur answers so far!


MattB79

If it says that your graphics is Sandy Bridge then your machine is using the Intel graphics.

Your machine will have a primary GPU slot and secondary slot. If the card in your primary slot has failed then you will get the beep. If you removed the card from your secondary slot but left the primary slot in then it will still beep. If you removed the primary card but left the secondary card in then the machine will use intel graphics because it thinks there are no dedicated cards in there. Try swapping the card that is in you secondary slot into the primary. If it still beeps then both your cards could be toast and hopefully it's not the mobo. Now that the machine seems to have switched to Intel, you may have to use the Function keys to switch back. 

When you reinstall windows, make sure you follow the correct order for driver installation. It should be easy to find with a google search. I just reinstalled windows on my M18x R2 recently. 


Trexo

Yeah windows is on and it work, when i check now its say Intel graphic 3000.

The problem is that i cant swich slot on my cards they are made for left/right side on my computer. not my computer but it looks the same.Dell-Alienware-M18x-Disassembly-25-1024x737.jpg


Trexo edited

its just the cooling that are left and right! i repace them and try again!

 

after trying the cards around i got Intel HD 3000 one time and another time windows intrigated graphic it said..

So i tryed to swap some more, now i get 7 beep.. wrote that this i the sound of death. I will take a break now..


MattB79

7 beeps is the CPU. Strange that you would suddenly have a problem with this unless something was touched while the machine was apart. 

You can switch the cards but you have to remove the heatsinks attached to the top of the cards. If you take them off then you have to get some new thermal paste. When pulling your machine apart it's best to use an anti-static wrist strap to help stop you frying your parts. I never use one but you take your life in your own hands doing laptop surgery like this. Do not stand on carpet, remove the battery and do a power drain.

If you do decide to pull the heatsinks off make sure you keep the GPU thermal pads in place and clean off the old paste carefully. Use youtube to see how to do this properly and how to reapply your paste. 


Trexo

could it be that easy that i get this peebs becorse i might have disconnected the cpu fan or someone of all the other cables.. i will check more in to this tomorrow.


MattB79

Yeah it could be I guess.