I recently purchased an Alienware M14x R2. I'm having one major issue with the laptop: after playing some sort of game that leverages 3D graphics and the Nvidia graphics card, the laptop completely locks up and I have to power down. Just before the freeze occurs, I always see the Intel(R) HD Graphics icon in the lower-right corner. This occurred while playing L4D2 and Starcraft 2, both on very high graphics settings. I've also experienced this freezing while playing the game on several occasions. To me, it seems like there is some issue switching back and forth between the two modes, but it's hard to say for sure since it has happened while playing. Here is what I've tried thus far to troubleshoot this:
- installed all Windows updates, still froze
- re-installed Windows using the provided disc as well as all included Dell/Alienware drivers and software; did not install any anti-virus or Windows updates; attempted playing Starcraft 2 but consistently freezes when exiting the application
- played with Nvidia control panel settings (i.e. explicitly set to use Nvidia graphics card, etc.), still froze
- installed Nvidia beta drivers, still froze
I have a replacement M14x R2 on the way in case this is a hardware problem, but I wanted to see if anyone has experienced this behavior in the past. I really don't want to receive new hardware and continue having the same issue if it turns out that this is an inherent driver issue.
When you installed Windows, did you delete and formatted the OS patition?
Also, did you update the BIOS? When you installed the drivers, did you follow the recommended installation order?
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Yes, I deleted & formatted the OS partition. I did not touch the other partitions.
I forgot to mention that I troubleshot the issues with live tech support. He had control of my computer and we updated the BIOS. He also ran a benchmark test, which ran from beginning to end successfully.
I did follow the recommended installation order after re-installing Windows. However, as I said, this was occurring prior to the re-install.
have you tried running the games at medium settings with the same thing happening?
Alienware 17 - i7-4700MQ - 16 GB MEM - 750 GB - 4 GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 780M
I started up SC2, changed all settings to medium and lowered the resolution. I alt-tabbed back to the desktop, then back into the game. I started to load up a replay, but it froze halfway through. This doesn't happen when I don't alt-tab out, but then the laptop will inevitably freeze when I exit the game. Seems to be indicative of the switching between Intel Integrated graphics and the Nvidia card.
When I first got my M14X, i could not run some games. The solution was simple: Right click on the game's shortcut, choose the option about graphics, then choose the option about running the high integrated graphics as default (something of that nature). Have you tried this by any chance? Not sure if it will help you but it's worth a shot.
I tried this with Starcraft 2. In the Nvidia Control Panel settings, I set it to explicitly use the Nvidia graphics card. Still experienced freezing. It ran the game just fine before the freeze occurred.