Discrete Graphics Constantly Disappearing

wniffene

New Member
Jul 24, 2020
2
0
Denver, CO
I have an Alienware M17, it is a bit on the older side, I think I got it in 2014. It has worked well since purchase and while I'm hoping to upgrade soon it can still run plenty of modern games very well. Recently, however, the discrete graphics (radeon m290X), has been disappearing from the system constantly. The first time it happened I followed troubleshooting steps I found online and what fixed it was flashing the BIOS. It would then work for a few days and then while I was playing a game the computer would hard lock, after holding the power button down to turn off the computer and restarting it the Radeon card would be gone. For a week or so every time this happened flashing the BIOS again would work. Recently however I get a day or so out of it then it locks and the card vanishes, if I flash the BIOS right away the card is still missing, if I wait a few hours or a day to flash the BIOS the card will return. Then after a day or so the same thing happens all over again. I have a feeling that this thing is shot but I'm hoping maybe someone out there experienced this issue and was able to recover from it. Seemed worth a shot at least.
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,110
126
Adelaide, Australia
Hello. Yes it could be a sign of a dying GPU unfortunately. It sounds like a really strange issue that I've never come across before and I'm not much of an expert on Radeon cards. Have you ever repasted the GPU and CPU? It's possible that it's overheating and crashing.
 

wniffene

New Member
Jul 24, 2020
2
0
Denver, CO
Thanks, I was reluctant to try this because I'd never done it before but given that it wasn't working anyway I figured it was worth a shot. The thermal paste was in a pretty sorry state and it seems to have worked. I haven't tested it over multiple days but after applying the paste the video card appeared immediately upon booting so that is a good sign.