Alienware m17x black screen

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Alienware m17x black screen

  • I've got this problem from the very beginning when I bought this laptop. After several replacement of hardware months ago, I still have this problem. I am tired with the restore back to factory default. Hope someone can help me. 

  • What specific hardware was replaced?

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
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  • Wireless adapter, Monitor and the display driver GeForce 280m

  • Anyone help?

  • What do you mean monitor? Do you mean that the Laptop LCD Display was replaced? Did you reinstall the 280m driver or did we replace the 280m video card?

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
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  • I've been through black-screen issues on a laptop with GeForce 280Ms in SLI.  There are multiple possible solutions I have found, but it's probably going to be best if you can narrow it down a bit.  Chris is asking for some good information.  I'd like to also suggest some other information:

    - When does the black screen occur?  Is it during startup, at random, or is there anything in particular that you are doing when it happens?

    - When the black screen hits, are you able to hit Ctrl + Alt + Del and bring up the Task Manager, or does the unit just stop responding completely?

    - Next time you have the black screen, tap the Caps Lock a couple of times and tell us whether you see the Caps Lock light come on and off when you do--that helps narrow the problem down to whether your hardware is crashing at a low level

    - Are you on battery when this happens?

    - Have you tried setting your Power Savings to "Performance"?  With a power-hungry 280M, it may not like Windows 7 deciding to save energy, particularly on battery.  For my laptop(s) that have SLI, I keep my Power settings at the top and just cope with the fact that I can't rely on my battery.

    That should be enough for now, but I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that your Dell Technician might walk you through

    a) ensuring you have the latest BIOS updates for your laptop; and

    b) checking the Event Viewer for details, or looking through dump files if this black screen is a crash

    Hope that helps.

    Alienware Area-51 ALX:  Intel Core i7 980X, 12GB (3x4) G.Skill RAM,  2 x nVidia GeForce 480s in SLI, 1.8TB RAID0 (WD Caviar Black@ SATAII/64MB cache) on 48" Toshiba REGZA 1080p screen.

  • Yes, the LCD Display was replaced and the 280m video card was replaced by the company.

    The black screen occurs randomly, but mostly when I playing video or game. When black screen occurs, I can hear sounds but no image. Other than black screen, sometimes I can see colorful screen with Bi~~ sound.

    When black screen occurs, the unit just stop responding.

    Battery is on all the time. Balanced is my power saving option. My BIOS is A06.

  • Definitely try cranking up the power settings to "Performance".  If you're using a USB drive for ReadyBoost, try also taking that out.  I'm assuming you have the latest nVidia video card drivers; try doing a "clean install" and customizing the install by not checking the box for stereoscopic 3D drivers (one less thing to worry about).

    My wife's laptop is the machine with the 280Ms (she has two, in SLI).  And just like you, it would happen for her randomly, but only when playing a video or game.  I've done multiple little things here and there, but the pointers I just gave you are probably good for starters.

    One other thing:  heat.  If you don't have a laptop cooler like the Targus Chillhub, go ahead and get one.  If you see dust in your fans, blow it out with a can of compressed air.  That should help, but if not, post back here and I'll give you the lower-level stuff.

    Alienware Area-51 ALX:  Intel Core i7 980X, 12GB (3x4) G.Skill RAM,  2 x nVidia GeForce 480s in SLI, 1.8TB RAID0 (WD Caviar Black@ SATAII/64MB cache) on 48" Toshiba REGZA 1080p screen.

  • I tried to install latest driver 275.33 for my 280m but it said that my laptop is not compatible with the driver. Therefore, I installed the second latest one which is 270.61.

    Yes, I will set my power setting at high performance now.

    Could you introduce a good cooler for me, I am totally noob in that area.

    One more thing, I always disable my SLI because I found my laptop hang more often when I enable it.

    Thank you

    When I try to reply, access denied pop out...

    Yes, I mean my AC adapter is connected with my laptop all the time.

    I still have the driver problem after I update it.

    And now the problem is getting worse. It hang few times in hour.

  • "Battery is on all the time.". Are you saying your gaming without the AC Adapter?

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
    Quick link for Manuals and Drivers

  • Finally, I can reply.

    Back to the topic, yes I mean my AC adapter is always connected with my laptop all time.

    And I still experience driver problem after I upate.

    However, the problem doesn't seem like solved but getting worse sometimes.

    Thank you

  • Wow - I had problems replying too.

    Hellomonto, I've used the typical Targus laptop cooler that has two fans, but if you want something excellent (but not portable), I'm currently really pleased with my CoolerMaster Storm SF-19.  It's been well worth the money.  It's bigger than the laptop, but then I take my older Targus with me on the go and leave this one on my desk.

    I have a review and some pictures here, in case you'd like to know more:

    www.amazon.com/.../ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

    Alienware Area-51 ALX:  Intel Core i7 980X, 12GB (3x4) G.Skill RAM,  2 x nVidia GeForce 480s in SLI, 1.8TB RAID0 (WD Caviar Black@ SATAII/64MB cache) on 48" Toshiba REGZA 1080p screen.

  • Hrm....that compatibility message got me to thinking.  When you install the driver, make sure you're downloading the correct (64-bit) driver.  I once pulled down the 64-bit and for some reason nVidia gave me the 32-bit.  Typically they're nice enough to include that in the filename:  32-bit drivers might have "x86" in the name and 64-bit say "x64".

    Also,

    a) choose to do a "clean install"

    b) custom install, unchecking the box for Stereoscopic 3D

    c) after install, reboot and be sure Phys-X is either disabled or set to "Automatic" in the nVidia control panel, and try running without SLI enabled.  My wife's laptop is the one with the black screen problem and disabling ReadyBoost and turning off SLI have thus far given her two weeks of black-screen free gaming.

    Hope that helps!

    Alienware Area-51 ALX:  Intel Core i7 980X, 12GB (3x4) G.Skill RAM,  2 x nVidia GeForce 480s in SLI, 1.8TB RAID0 (WD Caviar Black@ SATAII/64MB cache) on 48" Toshiba REGZA 1080p screen.

  • Well, I am very very sure the driver I downloaded was 64-bit but it is still not compatible to my laptop.

    And I tried to find out whether is the problem of display driver or the programme in laptop so I connect my laptop to my TV. When I connected my laptop to the TV with HDMI cable, the TV consistently produce noisy sound. What is this?

    PS: my cable is working well with my PS3 connected to TV.

  • I am still considering the cooling because it is quite expensive but thank you for your suggestion.