Completely stumped with this X51 R1 problem.

Jan 23, 2018
25
9
#1
Ok guys, I'll start from the top. I managed to buy a rather cheap X51 R1 with i7 2600, 8gb RAM, 1TB HD and a GTX 555 TI.

The BIOS is running A03.

I tried it, all was working fine. I then decided to get hold of a blower style GTX 960. I took the comp apart and replaced the GPU etc, loaded up windows and managed to install nvidia drivers. Now this is where it gets weird...

If I use any other display port (hdmi, DVI or VGA) then the comp wont even post, it wont show any display and I just get 5 beeps repeatedly. I've tried re-seating everything, checking everything is plugged in secure etc. If I use the display port then it will eventually load into windows after a few minutes. It boots up the Alien splash screen with the options for F2 or f12 for settings and boot options. Now if I push either of those, the text highlights but doesn't actually load any setup options etc. I get a single beep then after about 60 secs, another single beep. Eventually it does load into windows. Once into windows, I can do normal stuff like install steam, run games etc with no problems.

Has anyone ever heard of this before? I was keen to install to the latest BIOS but cant even access any options etc. Ive tried putting the old GTX 555TI back in, but that just gives me no video signal whatsoever... Does anyone have any ideas?

Cheers in advance.
 
Likes: SadPCGuy78
Jan 23, 2018
25
9
#3
For anyone wondering how to update the bios... I couldn't get it to work at all on Windows 10. I had to run the Exe installers from Windows 7. Once I did that I was able to run them no probs and updated from a03-a06-a07-a14. Im hoping that the new bios runs the 960 card without any probs. Putting the card in tomorrow.
 
Likes: SadPCGuy78
Aug 2, 2018
10
2
#4
For anyone wondering how to update the bios... I couldn't get it to work at all on Windows 10. I had to run the Exe installers from Windows 7. Once I did that I was able to run them no probs and updated from a03-a06-a07-a14. Im hoping that the new bios runs the 960 card without any probs. Putting the card in tomorrow.
I have the issue with my new card. Any updates as to the results?
 
Jan 23, 2018
25
9
#5
I have the issue with my new card. Any updates as to the results?
Upgrade to a 14 bios by installing win 7 first, then reinstalling win 10. The current nvidia drivers do not play nice at all with current games like pubg and overwatch etc. I found a thread on the Dell forums stating that :

Install Nvidia Driver 362.00 (Windows 10)
  • Drivers above 362.00 have been unstable
  • Custom install - leave out both 3D apps and Geforce Experience (prevent auto updates)
  • You don't need: GeForce Experience, Nvidia network service, Nvidia streaming service, Nvidia backend, Nvidia ShadowPlay, Nvidia shield, Nvidia Stereoscopic 3D driver

I was going crazy trying to get it to work, undclocking gpu, messing with files all over the place. I installed that driver and it all works good with decent fps in the latest games. I'm gonna start going through drivers starting from 362 and see if a newer driver works. The only issue so far with this driver is that it causes battlefield1 to fail the driver check, prompting you to install the latest nvidia drivers which aren't actually compatible with ea games because of some sort stupid incompatibility with the x51 :/ sucks that alienware know there's issues with drivers above 362 but have done sweet f**k all to sort it. Anyways, hope this helps mate, let me know if you need help. I was ready to round house kick my x51 and wish someone could have helped me.
 
Aug 2, 2018
10
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#6
I am well passed the point of going back to Win7. I've had this machine on 10 for a while. I was hoping to do it by flashing the bios, but can get to the machine boot from the fat32 formatted usb whoch has the BIOS updates.
 
Aug 2, 2018
10
2
#8
I'm not really frustrated at this point. I understand the X51 R1 is an older machine and will struggle with newer hardware. I just can't afford a new rig anytime soon. I don't have a copy of Win7, but maybe I know someone who does. I doubt it though. I am however going to use Rufus to format a USB for Fat32, and see if I can get BIOs to do a Dos boot to flash the BIOS from A03 to A06. If I can do that, I think I'll be in a good spot.

Unless you've tried that, then well... I may need to ask a friend for help.
 
May 11, 2018
6
1
#9
is there something different about updating the bios on the r3 compared to the r1? I'm asking because I didn't have any problems updating my bios on win 10 x64 (can't recall what build). Also seems weird that it wouldn't boot from a fat formatted usb:\ only thing that comes to mind, are old-days issues like too big of a usb drive for dos or whatever to load without pre-loading special drivers, or some systems having different settings for how usb drives are treated (like i have an asus which allows you to automatically treat/load a usb drive like a hard drive, floppy, or cd, and there were various "legacy" options and a default "auto" setting, but I haven't spent enough time in the alienware bios to know what choices available in there, if any), or... well i forgot the other thing lol.
one thing i recall seeing, was that somebody said there was a problem with the earlier model power distribution boards, and they solved their video card power-related problems by "upgrading" to one of the newer boards. I'm not sure of the official name of that board, I call it the power distribution board because that seems to be what it does. The one i mean is the one that sits next to the motherboard. the 24 pin connector attaches it to the motherboard. so basically, if you have a good 330 brick, it sends the power up to that distribution board, but if that board has a problem, then you can still end up with an unstable system short of power.
I don't know what the power draw is like on those other cards, but right now I'm running a gtx 1080 off the normal 330 brick, but this is an r3 so it'd have the newer distribution board.
As far as "old hardware" goes, well, mileage may vary, but just before I bought this x51 r3 I was using my same 1080 in my previous computer, which I built back around 2008 or 09, based off an original asus rampage extreme x48 board (not a rex II or III or IV or however many they are up to now) with an e8400 core2 duo (pretty sure that's back before any of the i-processors even came out) and it still did pretty darn good with this 1080. Unfortunately even upgraded with an ssd and 16 unsupported gigs of ram, it just wasn't able to deliver smooth vr, so I had to find something a bit more modern. But I would think if a card this modern could still work on a 10 year old pc, then surely it could work on an r1 and/or r2 :D Well... at least as long as you can get enough stable power to it and keep it from overheating:p
Anyway, I don't know if anything in there helps much, but I posted it just in case. I wish you guys good luck:)
Oh! and I was gonna say, I don't know about your model, but mine has an hdmi port for the intel video that's built into the cpu. I think models that came with dedicated cards had a little rubber plug inserted into the built in hdmi port, but the hardware is still there, so if you are having troubles installing/testing with the dedicated card, you might be able to use the built in hdmi. (again, mine is an r3, and i'm not sure what all changed between revisions, so i appologize if this is inaccurate)
and one last thought, on my x51, many of the pins/plugs/connectors on my system were *very* loose. they wobbled around in their sockets more than any i've ever seen. Some were so loose i don't even know how they were carrying power. So that might be worth checking out if you are having power-related problems.
again, i wish you all luck:)
 
Aug 2, 2018
10
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#10
I did not need to go back to Windows 7.

I was able to update the BIOS, a version at a time, from a bootable USB, I just had run BIOSin legacy mode as opposed to UEFI, do each updates one at time, rebooting between updates, then switch back to UEFI before booting windows.

There were no power issues. Nothing was loose. It was a matter of making sure the BIOS was updated and that all previous nVidia drivers and software were removed to installing the new card.

This card is working just fine with the current up to date nVidia drivers with no conflicts on any of the games I play. I am seeing better performance than when I first purchased it.
 
Aug 20, 2018
9
2
#11
Well im at the same point guys... Im currently running win10 on my R1 (bios A03) I7-3770 IVB 16g ram 330w gtx555 (about to be gtx1060 6g) ive tried as above and downloaded the win 7 and 10 bios i tried booting from os and 4g flash drive properly formatted.. I read somewhere else to try re flashing A03 again and it could work... I'm about to try find win7. Thing is i just moved 3000km from home and all my mates with any knowledge and software are back there.. Any ideas or help would be most appreciated.

Update:
I just tried using the old win7 bios update no luck. I also tried A03 but it say Mem allocation fail!
Far out im going crazy!!

UPDATE_2:
I got it to work! The issue is with the rufus usb flash software is missing some key files for the legacy based X51's. I followed this post:

https://www.dell.com/community/Vost...-Adventures/m-p/6071757/highlight/false#M1311

I now have A14 bios firmware! I did A03-A06-A07-A012-A014. So GTX 1060 6GB Here we come!! Any one who is struggling with updates this post is an absolute God send!
 
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Likes: SadPCGuy78
Aug 2, 2018
10
2
#12
Awesome! I did not have that issue with Rufus though. I wonder why> hm.


Keep in mind the GTX 1060 has a recommended power supply of 400W, and you come across some power issues over the PCIe 3. A GTX 1050 Ti would be a great fit for this machine. That's my next step fro 1030 GDDR5 I currently have. Not a bad card, but it's not going to rock out newer games like Shadow of War (I'll ned 16gb of ram for that as well)
 
Likes: RC_ED
Aug 20, 2018
9
2
#14
Awesome! I did not have that issue with Rufus though. I wonder why> hm.


Keep in mind the GTX 1060 has a recommended power supply of 400W, and you come across some power issues over the PCIe 3. A GTX 1050 Ti would be a great fit for this machine. That's my next step fro 1030 GDDR5 I currently have. Not a bad card, but it's not going to rock out newer games like Shadow of War (I'll ned 16gb of ram for that as well)
Awesome! I did not have that issue with Rufus though. I wonder why> hm.


Keep in mind the GTX 1060 has a recommended power supply of 400W, and you come across some power issues over the PCIe 3. A GTX 1050 Ti would be a great fit for this machine. That's my next step fro 1030 GDDR5 I currently have. Not a bad card, but it's not going to rock out newer games like Shadow of War (I'll ned 16gb of ram for that as well)
Well im hoping this Card will work, from what I have read alot of others have had good success with it, I researched for weeks everyday, as I could only afford to get it once. In the post above you will see he talks about why the rufus doesn't work. On alot of dell based legacey systems. It took me a while to work out his re coding. Im a electronics tech not a PC or software tech, i beleive most peopke with med-adv PC skills will be able to do this quite easily. So many posts online and others with the same issue, so hopefully this info will help people get there bios to update. Also from what he says. The post states X51 R1 are legacey based units so booting in UFEI doesn't work, I tried booting in Ufei as thats what I kept reading to do, but it didn't work. Also from what i have seen the 330w PS runs the 1060 fine, there are a few reviews on the EVGA GTX 1060 saying even though it states you need 400w minimum, you don't..and it doesn't draw anything like that. Well Im about to find out! Hopefully they are right well wish me luck and once its up and running I'll post again.
 
Likes: SadPCGuy78
Aug 2, 2018
10
2
#15
I've seen good results as well, at least initially. I haven't seen any "six months later" results even when I dig around. I'm a PC and Software tech, and I guess these issues others had with Rufus just didn't fall in my lap. Booting in legacy worked fine as long as I didn't try and go into Windows with it. I avoided that as I figure the old R1 might throw a fit if I did.

I am also noticing everyone using the 1060 is also using an SSD, which draws less power than an HDD, and that the 1060 uses the power connectors and not the PCI e. Which likely mitigates the wattage requirements. My original HDD is still in the machine. I'm upgrading in pieces on a budget, which why the 1030 DDR5 was the best bang for my buck.

It's amazing we're keeping these machines running and still kind-of-sort-of relevant. It's like working on an old muscle car.
 
Likes: RC_ED
Aug 20, 2018
9
2
#16
I've seen good results as well, at least initially. I haven't seen any "six months later" results even when I dig around. I'm a PC and Software tech, and I guess these issues others had with Rufus just didn't fall in my lap. Booting in legacy worked fine as long as I didn't try and go into Windows with it. I avoided that as I figure the old R1 might throw a fit if I did.

I am also noticing everyone using the 1060 is also using an SSD, which draws less power than an HDD, and that the 1060 uses the power connectors and not the PCI e. Which likely mitigates the wattage requirements. My original HDD is still in the machine. I'm upgrading in pieces on a budget, which why the 1030 DDR5 was the best bang for my buck.

It's amazing we're keeping these machines running and still kind-of-sort-of relevant. It's like working on an old muscle car.
Well update EVGA GTX 1060 6GB is fully installed and running very well! Thanks for all your help! Card is amazing! Been using it very heavily over the last 10days and no issues whats so ever!