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Need help with what seems to be video card driver issue

by flows69 / April 19, 2013 3:18 PM PDT

Hello guys,

I have an Alienware M17X R2. To sum up, I had the screen and one video card replaced (one of my two HD Radeon 4870). Since then I have had problems.

Windows 7 can be installed but after a few hours I get blue screens of death at startup. Ubuntu 12.04 cannot really be installed. At the end of the day the only operating system that will run is Ubuntu 12.10.

I believe I have understood why the only operating system that would run on my laptop is Ubuntu 12.10. It is the only operating system I have tried that does not install the proprietary drivers for the video cards. Even then, if I try to install those drivers on Ubuntu 12.10 in order to use my HDMI connections I end up with permanent black screen. As long as those drivers are not installed Ubuntu 12.10 runs just fine.

I would like to add, for what it's worth, that when I install Windows 7 (before getting BSODs) the device manager does not detect any problem with my video cards.

Does it sound like a hardware issue or a software issue ? Any idea what could lead to this mess ? Any fix ?

Sorry for this quite long post ... I try to be as precise as I can.

Any help is greatly appreciated Wink


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after a few hours I get blue screens of death at startup.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 20, 2013 1:34 AM PDT

That's a classic hardware issue. If it's fine when cold and not after a few hours on the next boot, you are back to Dell to get it fixed.

Then again I'm still finding folk that will not accept you can't use this on a couch or bed! Those folk will be great for the industry as they burn through the gear.

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It is unfortunately not linked to temperature
by flows69 / April 20, 2013 6:34 AM PDT

Hi Proffitt,

The problem cannot come from temperature. The laptop is on my desk on a cooling pad and the BSODs and or/black screen happen whether the laptop is cool or hot.

What is really weird is that when I install Windows 7 and the video card drivers I can use my video cards for a few hours without problems. After a few hours (with constant additional cooling from the fans of the cooling pad + internal fans of the laptop work normally) I get a BSOD and Windows will not start after that, even after a whole night unplugged.

I am sure you get many people who underestimate needs for cooling Wink I wish I had such a simple problem ....

Thanks for taking the time to answer my post anyway,


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Then let's see what Dell and others write.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 20, 2013 6:56 AM PDT

If it is a software issue, a restore to the factory OS will cure it.

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Formated and reinstalled everything with factory settings
by flows69 / April 20, 2013 8:03 AM PDT

Dell included a Windows and original drivers DVD when IO ordered the computer. I formated my hard drive and reinstalled everything using those factory ressources the problem remains the same ...

It is amazingly frustrating.

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Then it's a hardware issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 21, 2013 12:30 AM PDT

If the factory load fails on a factory stock machine, then it's hardware. This can frustrate those that want it to be a software/driver issue.

Dell needs to fix it.

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