Laptops forum


Alienware black screen help.

by Sabotab / August 30, 2016 2:35 AM PDT

Hello everyone. so I've got a Alienware M17XR3 with a 6990M GPU that stopped working (I have been working on my Intel on-board for a while) and have finally decided to replace it, in my case, upgrade it.
So i have purchased a GTX880M after a deep research and used guides on the web (see video description for the full upgrade "to do" list). When things went a bit wrong with my windows 7 refusing to load up (BSoD), I thought i should load the windows up somehow and see if i could work things out from that point, so I've decided to play with the bios settings ended up activating back the internal graphics (which were disabled and by the guide suggestion should have stayed disabled), accepted the changes and boom, black scary screen, no beeps, no bios, just 1 big abysmal black hole.

Hope i am able to challenge a few of you.
Best regards.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Alienware black screen help.
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Alienware black screen help.
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Here's what I do.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 30, 2016 8:35 AM PDT

I reset the BIOS to defaults and try a factory OS restore. If that fails I boot and try a few Linux OSes. If all that fails, I call it hardware and get the hardware fixed.

There are some that want it to be settings or try to get by with bad hardware but at the shop, office and home, it's too much work to keep broken gear.

-> I can't guess the state of the machine now but if you can't get the BIOS or Dell to show (and do try the D button on power up) then it's really gone. Get estimates.

Collapse -
Good news, up and running again
by Sabotab / August 31, 2016 2:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Here's what I do.

Hello and thank you for the response, so the state of the Alienware was no boot at all, black at startup. I got it fixed, here's what happened for future troubleshooting:

In order to upgrade the GPU on the M17XR3 from ATI/AMD to Nvidia, one must upgrade the bios to an "unlocked" version that will allow you to enable/disable the integrated graphic device.
Before replacing the GPU to the newer one, you must disable the IGD, enabling it at any stage while the new card is placed, will result in a black screen. The fix is simple, install back the original card and disable the IGD once again. In my case, i did try it with no success, simply for not placing the old GPU right, I then took it away, placed it back again with much more concentration this time and it worked again (people that are used to dealing with notebooks' hardware, sometimes forget the basics - be patient, gentle and respectful). The blue screen is still showing with the new card with the stop error 0x0-------7B which indicates a driver issue. I did try to use a GPU uninstaller tool to get rid of everything that has to do with my old AMD but it still didn't fix the blue screen. I will try a fresh installation of Windows 7 with the new card and hope it will be all.

Best regards.

Collapse -
BSOD when changing video cards is
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 31, 2016 4:50 PM PDT


There are graphic driver uninstallers so yes try those.

However I usually find a boot to SAFE MODE WITH NETWORKING to be useful to get into device manager to remove the old video card driver. Since I'm an old school use what the OS provides type person, you can imagine that's how I roll.

Collapse -
Tried it all
by Sabotab / September 1, 2016 2:43 AM PDT

Including a DDU tool in safe mode, but i wasn't able to get the windows running, so i did a fresh installation which resulted in another issue. See everything is ok, the nvidia is installed (had to modify a few .inf files in the nvidia installation folder to get it to work) but there was no sound due to disabling the IDT in the bios, the issue is, enabling it makes my computer freeze with some blueish screen (not the BSoD). I have recently learned that i should actually enable and install the IDT BEFORE installing the Nvidia graphics, i will see if that works and update once again.

Collapse -
Here's another nugget.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 1, 2016 8:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Tried it all

My background is more about electronic design, embedded design and now code. Along the way I ran computer repair (pre-PC and to now) so here's my old way.

When I change hardware I try the BIOS defaults and then a clean install. I may have to try a few install methods and driver install order to get it right.

On laptops you may have machine specific apps (Dell's Quickset for example) to add.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!