M18x Aero issues

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M18x Aero issues

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Several M18x owners are having issues with Windows Aero/Transparency effects turning off randomly.  We are also having problems with aero effects being re-enabled after exiting a benchmark like 3dMark (the program sets aero to windows 7 basic during the bench).  Here is a link to the notebook review forums where a number of users are experiencing this problem.  As I stated on that forum, we all seem to have various setups with different CPUs, GPUs, type/size of memory, type/size of hard drive, different drivers, and we're using various versions of windows 7.  That being said,  I strongly believe this to be chipset or bios related.

 

M18x Aero issues on Notebook Review Forums

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  •  

    Originally Posted by steviejones133 View Post
    Anway, back to Aero.......

    Its flaking out on me upon booting randomly. Have had a few more instances of this since my last update but goes to show that its still a problem.

    Did we ever hear back from Chris & Engineering with confirmation of which AMD driver he/they wanted us to "test" with - I dont recall seeing 11.7 official or 11.8 preview as the package that is supposedly having AMD & Intel working on.....

    No, Chris never did confirm that. However, Dell released a new driver after he asked us to. He has not mentioned that either.

    I am running on Dell's latest driver. It performs well except for the occasional Aero crash and BSOD. Both are random. I have the BSOD at Windows startup and when Aero crashes, that is most frequently during Windows startup. I am beginning to think my GPUs are defective because it seems I am the only person experiencing the BSOD problem. 


    On Fri 8/12/2011 12:59:14 AM GMT your computer crashed
    crash dump file: C:\Windows\Minidump\081111-13026-01.dmp
    This was probably caused by the following module: atikmpag.sys (atikmpag+0x744C) 
    Bugcheck code: 0x116 (0xFFFFFA800E07D4E0, 0xFFFFF8800318044C, 0x0, 0x2)
    Error: VIDEO_TDR_ERROR
    file path: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\atikmpag.sys
    product: AMD driver
    company: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    description: AMD multi-vendor Miniport Driver
    Bug check description: This indicates that an attempt to reset the display driver and recover from a timeout failed. 
    A third party driver was identified as the probable root cause of this system error. It is suggested you look for an update for the following driver: atikmpag.sys (AMD multi-vendor Miniport Driver, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.). 
    Google query: atikmpag.sys Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. VIDEO_TDR_ERROR

    If this suggestion answers your question or leads to a solution, please click the green "Yes" button in the bottom of this post. _________________________________________________________________________________________


    Benchmark Results

    Alienware M18xR1 | Alienware M17xR2 | XPS 15 L521x | Inspiron M5030 | Inspiron 15 | Inspiron 910 [Mini 9]

  • Originally Posted by steviejones133 View Post
    Anway, back to Aero.......

    Its flaking out on me upon booting randomly. Have had a few more instances of this since my last update but goes to show that its still a problem.

    Did we ever hear back from Chris & Engineering with confirmation of which AMD driver he/they wanted us to "test" with - I dont recall seeing 11.7 official or 11.8 preview as the package that is supposedly having AMD & Intel working on.....

    No, Chris never did confirm that. However, Dell released a new driver after he asked us to. He has not mentioned that either.


    I am running on Dell's latest driver. It performs well except for the occasional Aero crash and BSOD. Both are random. I have the BSOD at Windows startup and when Aero crashes, that is most frequently during Windows startup. I am beginning to think my GPUs are defective because it seems I am the only person experiencing the BSOD problem. 


    On Fri 8/12/2011 12:59:14 AM GMT your computer crashed
    crash dump file: C:\Windows\Minidump\081111-13026-01.dmp
    This was probably caused by the following module: atikmpag.sys (atikmpag+0x744C) 
    Bugcheck code: 0x116 (0xFFFFFA800E07D4E0, 0xFFFFF8800318044C, 0x0, 0x2)
    Error: VIDEO_TDR_ERROR
    file path: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\atikmpag.sys
    product: AMD driver
    company: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    description: AMD multi-vendor Miniport Driver
    Bug check description: This indicates that an attempt to reset the display driver and recover from a timeout failed. 
    A third party driver was identified as the probable root cause of this system error. It is suggested you look for an update for the following driver: atikmpag.sys (AMD multi-vendor Miniport Driver, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.). 
    Google query: atikmpag.sys Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. VIDEO_TDR_ERROR

    If this suggestion answers your question or leads to a solution, please click the green "Yes" button in the bottom of this post. _________________________________________________________________________________________


    Benchmark Results

    Alienware M18xR1 | Alienware M17xR2 | XPS 15 L521x | Inspiron M5030 | Inspiron 15 | Inspiron 910 [Mini 9]

  • I must have missed that Dell had released an updated video driver for AMD 6970....I knew of the 6990 driver and thought thats what SkyGunner was referring to. As I am typing this, I am still on 11.8 Preview which is behaving apart from the odd "flip out" (once is still too many times if you ask me.....)

    Have the Dell drivers rectified the brightness problem Fox? - I havent tried them yet but if the brightness issues is as prevalent in the latest Dell drivers, I am not even going to waste my time installing them - only to be faced with continued issues.

    Personally, I have not had a BSOD whilst on 11.8 preview. In fact, I dont recall getting ANY errors apart from Aero freaking out....sure, when I had the M17x R2, now that WOULD gimme a BSOD after the brightness control was lost......

  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by steviejones133 View Post
    How's the brightness control on the new Dell 6970 drivers? - TBH, I completely missed them being released.....

    It works. I had to reinstall OSD after installing the new Dell drivers, but brightness controls work OK. It took several reboots to get Aero to work after the Dell driver install and it does not recover from WEI. *To clarify for our Dell partners - it was a squeaky clean installation, not an overlay.*

    The Aero bug is about the same as 11.8 preview, but the BSOD issue is driving me nuts. Seems to happen most when desktop is loading, but has happened to me at other times randomly. Also having an issue with black screen after exiting gameplay. This has happened to me with Crysis and Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood so far. I'm thinking I may have a video card problem and will be contacting Alienware Tech Support about it. This is starting to become frustrating. I've had this machine one month today and have spent more time trying to fix it than I have been enjoying using it.
    .

    If this suggestion answers your question or leads to a solution, please click the green "Yes" button in the bottom of this post. _________________________________________________________________________________________


    Benchmark Results

    Alienware M18xR1 | Alienware M17xR2 | XPS 15 L521x | Inspiron M5030 | Inspiron 15 | Inspiron 910 [Mini 9]

  • Stevie:

    I had to reinstall OSD after installing the new Dell drivers, but brightness controls work OK. It took several reboots to get Aero to work after the Dell driver install and it does not recover from WEI. *To clarify for our Dell partners - it was a squeaky clean installation, not an overlay.* I recommend you update to the current Dell driver.

    The Aero bug is about the same as 11.8 preview, but the BSOD issue is driving me nuts. Seems to happen most when desktop is loading, but has happened to me at other times randomly. Also having an issue with black screen after exiting gameplay. This has happened to me with Crysis and Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood so far. I'm thinking I may have a video card problem and will be contacting Alienware Tech Support about it. This is starting to become frustrating. I've had this machine one month today and have spent more time trying to fix it than I have been enjoying using it.
    .

     

    If this suggestion answers your question or leads to a solution, please click the green "Yes" button in the bottom of this post. _________________________________________________________________________________________


    Benchmark Results

    Alienware M18xR1 | Alienware M17xR2 | XPS 15 L521x | Inspiron M5030 | Inspiron 15 | Inspiron 910 [Mini 9]

  • I had been running the new ATI drivers for 2 days, however I have now rolledback. I was getting random BSOD and also Minecraft is completely unplayable on the new ATI drivers. rolledback and although aero is dropping out here and there, at least I am not getting BSOD and minecraft is again playable. Shame :(

  • Chris - should the posts on this thread be merged with this one? >>> en.community.dell.com/.../19388893.aspx

    If this suggestion answers your question or leads to a solution, please click the green "Yes" button in the bottom of this post. _________________________________________________________________________________________


    Benchmark Results

    Alienware M18xR1 | Alienware M17xR2 | XPS 15 L521x | Inspiron M5030 | Inspiron 15 | Inspiron 910 [Mini 9]

  •  

    Originally Posted by skygunner27 View Post
    bump, bump, bump!!! So has anyone heard any info from Dell/AW on a fix? Anytime I run PowerDVD 11, Aero Flakes out!
    I am not having that issue with PowerDVD, but I have the standard 9.6 that shipped with my system, not version 11. Yes, they are actively working on trying to verify the cause and a fix. I had a lengthy diagnostic session last night. More details below... 

    Apparently, something similar is affecting desktop systems with AMD CFX graphics as well. Users are having to manually install drivers through Device Manager before running the Catalyst Install Manager because running the Catalyst package crashes multi-GPU desktops in some cases. Seems buggy AMD drivers are the cause of this and other unresolved issues on multiple brands and types of systems with CFX.

    Originally Posted by steviejones133 View Post
    I was kinda wondering the same too Gunner....I see that the Dell Thread on the same has been moved to the Alienware forums.....I have nothing to update with at the moment either. Still no fix so still in the same position.

    I dont even know if Chris has "captured" a PC from one of us yet.....

    I was on the phone for more than an hour last night with my Tech Support Rep. My case is being escalated to a L3 support rep or engineer.

    I am having an issue with clock speeds on one GPU not increasing to full speed under load. Disabling and re-enabling CFX sometimes causes the GPU running at lower clock speeds to catch up with the other GPU. It's not consistently happening on GPU0 or GPU1 (it can change from one to the other). I discovered this while searching for a reason why my benchmark scores vary so widely and why sometimes a resource heavy game runs as smooth as silk, while other times the same game is as choppy as a stormy sea. 

    This also explains why my temps on one card can be sometimes be significantly higher than the other... one card is doing all of the heavy lifting whenever they are not synchronized. This happens sporadically and I cannot identify a trigger... seems totally random, just like the random BSOD.

    Take a peek at the screen shot attached. (This is with CFX enabled... can turn CFX off/on and it can be corrected, remain the same, or switch to the opposite card depending on the mood my system happens to be in at the time.)

    I believe my GPUs are defective and need to be replaced. There are too many things misbehaving besides only Aero flaking out.

    Quote:
    [WhoCrashed Home Edition 3.01]
    On Mon 8/15/2011 1:22:25 AM GMT your computer crashed
    crash dump file: C:\Windows\Minidump\WD-20110814-1822.dmp
    This was probably caused by the following module: atikmpag.sys (atikmpag+0x744C) 
    Bugcheck code: 0x117 (0xFFFFFA8010ED14E0, 0xFFFFF88004E9544C, 0x0, 0x0)
    Error: VIDEO_TDR_TIMEOUT_DETECTED
    file path: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\atikmpag.sys
    product: AMD driver
    company: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    description: AMD multi-vendor Miniport Driver
    Bug check description: This indicates that the display driver failed to respond in a timely fashion. 
    A third party driver was identified as the probable root cause of this system error. It is suggested you look for an update for the following driver: atikmpag.sys (AMD multi-vendor Miniport Driver, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.). 
    Google query: atikmpag.sys Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. VIDEO_TDR_TIMEOUT_DETECTED

     

    As a side note, the latest Dell drivers are based on Catalyst 11.4 according to GPU-Z. If you are running Dell's latest, launch GPU-Z and take a look at what is in the "Driver Version" field on the main tab... (see thumbnail below)
    .
    Attached Thumbnails
    Click image for larger version
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    If this suggestion answers your question or leads to a solution, please click the green "Yes" button in the bottom of this post. _________________________________________________________________________________________


    Benchmark Results

    Alienware M18xR1 | Alienware M17xR2 | XPS 15 L521x | Inspiron M5030 | Inspiron 15 | Inspiron 910 [Mini 9]

  • How is it a fix if the drivers are 11.4!!! - C'mon guys.....can't you do anything other than give us old drivers to play with....

  • I am just wondering why we have not had any update on things from a Dell Official.

    Last time I had contact with a Dell Official was over a request for Dell to "capture" a system for testing. I volunteered my system for testing. I was told that I could not be considered for a "capture" because I am not in the United States....how ridiculous is that!!!

    Just because I am in the UK does not mean that my system does not suffer from the very same problem as someone in the US....or Outer Mongolia for that matter.

    Yet Dell saw it fit to disregard my offer for them to test and try and cure this problem with the pretty poor ecuse that they could not take my system for testing.

    Actually, to this date, I do not know of anyone who HAS been elected to undergo this "capture" procedure...it all seems to "cloak and dagger" for my liking.....sure, the offer is there but when we offer, it gets declined.

    I really do not know what else to do on this subject....I have tried and tried my very best to work with Dell on this problem to no avail (which is EXACTLY what I did over the problems with sleep and brightness with the M17 not so long back).

    Really didnt think we would be going through the hoops again so soon with the M18x......GOD...do Dell not quality check these things before they decide to market them? - I mean, its not hard.....all you have to do with a M18x with dual 6970's is turn it on, run a few 3dmark06 benchamraks and its plain as the nose on your face.

    I am feeling really let down at the moment...yet again......

  • While I do understand why having a newly released driver based on an older driver is something to be displeased about in concept, in practice I would prefer to see them using the most stable and all-around best performing reference driver as the basis for Dell's approved driver for the masses versus something that was more buggy and less stable.

    If this suggestion answers your question or leads to a solution, please click the green "Yes" button in the bottom of this post. _________________________________________________________________________________________


    Benchmark Results

    Alienware M18xR1 | Alienware M17xR2 | XPS 15 L521x | Inspiron M5030 | Inspiron 15 | Inspiron 910 [Mini 9]

  • My M18X - with Dual 6970 CFX in Crossfire Configuration is becoming a pain! I am growing very frustrated with this machine considering I have paid over £2300 for it. I have yet again tried the NEW ATI Drivers released only last week, but after MANY BSOD's and the inability to run smoothly even the most basic of applications - "Minecraft". Driver support is abysmal considering the amount of money I have spent on the machine and also the age of the product "Less then 1 month old". Please, please release some new Drivers which firstly DO NOT BSOD my machine every day several times a day, which does not break Windows Aero every 3 reboots. Please work on this issue! If I could fix it myself I really would. I dont want to start proceedings with regards to retunring the product for money back, but I think I may have to!

  • Now that Catalyst 11.8 (WHQL final release) is out, who has tried it? Is there a change of any kind, such as Aero not crashing as frequently as it did with previous drivers? If there is any sign of improvement, perhaps Dell and AMD can look into what changes were made in the latest release and it could lead to something that results in a cure.

    If this suggestion answers your question or leads to a solution, please click the green "Yes" button in the bottom of this post. _________________________________________________________________________________________


    Benchmark Results

    Alienware M18xR1 | Alienware M17xR2 | XPS 15 L521x | Inspiron M5030 | Inspiron 15 | Inspiron 910 [Mini 9]

  • I have been on 11.8 WHQL for 3 days now. I have experience over a dozen "Aero Flake Outs". Today I experienced my first one from a cold boot and the second one from running a blu-ray in PowerDVD 11.

    Does anyone have any info/update on a official fix for this problem?

  • My guys are on it. The engineers for video cards and operating system are looped in. We are also talking to Microsoft .

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
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