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Alienware M15x crashes due to nVidia driver GTX260m

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Alienware M15x crashes due to nVidia driver GTX260m

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Received my Alien M15x back in March.  Purchased the i7 processor, 8GB RAM, and the nVidia GeForce GTX260m video.  Began having problems with BSOD almost immediately, not often but they happened. I installed MS WinDBG so I could decifer the dump logs and the cause is always nvlddmkm.sys, the nVidia driver.  I have re-installed the OS and have tried all the recent non-beta drivers from Dell and nVidia; 186.47, 186.81, 195.62, and 197.16.  If anything the problem is worse. The only way I can use my laptop is to remove and uninstall the display driver and use the standard VGA driver.  I cannot get more than 1600x900 resolution which isn't terrible but the graphics drag all the time.  Updated the BIOS to A05 in hopes that that would help resolve the issues.  BSOD occurred even faster, essentially the PC was unusable until I uninstalled the driver.

I would greatly appreciate any assistance offered.  I read a post where someone had switched to Ubuntu and ran Win7 in a virtual machine.  That is not too far off the horizon.  That would be dissapointing because I do like Win7.

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  • Hey Dell!  Do you ever read these posts and offer your customers any help?  Do you not care because I cannot send my laptop back?  I work with and support Dell equipment at work all day long.  I recommend Dell equipment for personal use to a lot of people.  Maybe it's time to change that attitude.  You are not earning any points with this.  Lots of people having the same problem with their nVidia video drivers and I haven't seen a response from Dell on any of them.  If I provided this type of support to my clients I would be looking for a job.

    A very disappointed customer.

    Splinters

  • Hi Splinter,

    Before I owned an M15X with a 260M, I had a Dell M1730 which I adored but it's SLI GPU gave away to heat and exhaustion and I was unable to use my system like I intended. Under Customer support obligations, they have to assist you in figuring out what the issue is. A phone call would no doubt accelerate the solving of your issue. I have the Alienware  tech support number for you: 08443381000.

    Make sure you have your service tag readily available and be patient.

    Non need to do this if you are void of a warranty, which I would doubt since the oldest systems are only 6-7 months old now :)

    Veni, Vidi, Vici!

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    Hi,

    I think I have a solution to your problem (because I had the exact same one and had to look around a lot). Try this

    1. Download the latest version of RivaTuner here: http://www.guru3d.com/index.php?page=rivatuner
    2. Install RivaTuner and Run the program.
    3. When it loads, scroll down in the main window, make sure all the files are the same version. nvlddmkm.sys tends to stay from the old driver if not uninstalled properly and then causes crashes when you get a new one. If it is the wrong version, check this link http://en.kioskea.net/faq/6210-handling-nvlddmkm-sys-crash it explains how to replace it with the one that belongs to your driver.
    4. In the Main tab, click on the arrow next to Customize under Driver Settings to bring up more options then click System Settings (the first Icon)
    5. In the Overclocking tab, where it says "Force constant performance level" select performance 3D.
    6. Click apply, and reboot the system when prompted.

    If for some reason the "Force constant performance level" drop-down is grayed out you will need to go to the "Power users" tab in the initial RivaTuner window. Then click on the "+" next to "RivaTuner \ NVIDIA \ Overclocking". Look for "EnablePerfLevelForcing" and under Value type 1. Click apply, this should allow you to modify "Force constant performance level." Finally, follow steps 3-5 above.

    Since i did this, I haven't had any BSoD or freezes. Although I am still annoyed by the unreasonably loud fans on the i720qm, its like having a jet engine in your room