Display Issue on M17X R4

Blaze0510

Member
Jan 14, 2013
16
0
USA
On Thursday afternoon my R4 display suddenly started to display flickery static/snow. I took the time to troubleshoot it until I ran out of ideas. I've pretty much come down to there being something wrong with my LCD screen or a bad connector on the motherboard itself. Has anyone else ever experienced this problem that can tell me what your solution turned out to be?

I've tried to prepare myself for likely having to change out the LCD screen, but I cannot seem to locate a reliable guide or video to show me how to properly take apart the lid without damaging something. What I have managed to find seemed rather unnerving.

I feel like I'm at such a loss at this point. I've only had the laptop slightly over a year, just in enough time for my warranty to expire... So I can't even speak to an Alienware Tech Support to see what they could do for me because I'm "out of warranty" and have to wait until Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday to may be talk to somebody.
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,110
126
Adelaide, Australia
I've taken he screen apart a few times on the M17x. It's not too hard. The first time is definitely the worse though. I'm just on my phone right now so I can't help too much.
Are you ok with removing the whole lid? Once you've done that there are 2 small screws near the hinges holding the plastic lid on. Once you remove them, you have to place the screen down (on something soft) and push down firmly and up. I've put a pic of it up here somewhere.
 

Blaze0510

Member
Jan 14, 2013
16
0
USA
I have run the pre-boot diagnosis and everything passed those tests.

I have taken the laptop apart to the point of lifting the lid from the rest of the computer... removed the two small screws near the hinges and that's where my confidence in the matter falters. I have laid the lid down face down (on something soft) pressed on the back and tried to slide it up... nothing budged. Since I wasn't 100% sure that is how your even supposed to work the lid lose, I didn't force it.

I've watched a couple videos on Youtube on how some other people just snap the back off without sliding it or anything of that sort but in those videos the people also caused damage to the lid on the R3/R4 models they were using.
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,110
126
Adelaide, Australia
Yeah you don't want to just snap it open. You definitely need to push down and slide it up, away from the hinges. It is difficult the first time but gets easier the more you do it. I didn't think it was going to budge either. I did do it with my mates R3 model but I couldn't see why it would be any different on the R4. Maybe don't rest the screen on something too soft. The back needs to flex in enough to release from the LCD part.
You can do it! Just take your time and use firm but controlled force. If that makes any sense.....
 

Blaze0510

Member
Jan 14, 2013
16
0
USA
What your saying does make sense... it just sounds intimidating. I'm so afraid of breaking something. When sliding the lid up and away from the hinges, does it slide all the way off or does it only slide up a short distance and then you lift it up and away from the rest of the screen?

I do not have a 3D screen. I do have myself presently set up with a external monitor, from an 6 year old desktop I don't really use anymore. The picture is clear as ever (on the other monitor).

The photo is what I'm currently working with. Dell monitor nice and clear... Laptop screen full of static/snow.

1656250_594983117262715_98307905_n.jpg

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I do have a rather big fear that if I was to replace the LCD screen itself... who is to say this will fix my problem and its not a bad connector wire or something on the motherboard?
 
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MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,110
126
Adelaide, Australia
Well you never really know what the exact issue is until you test a few parts. You're right, it could be a bad connection on the mobo but it would more likely be the LCD or even the cable.
From memory, as soon as you get the back released a little it just pulls straight off. You just need to get it started. Just make sure you take the whole unit off from the main computer first. Once you do it you'll wonder what all the fuss was about ;) I don't think there is anything important attached to the plastic backing part. The light and camera are on the LCD.
There is also the issue of the glossy front panel. I have never removed that bit. I believe it's glued to the front of the LCD. It's best to try to find a new LCD with one of these already attached but it may not be too difficult.
 

Blaze0510

Member
Jan 14, 2013
16
0
USA
Since today is currently Tuesday (in the states) I had finally gotten ahold of Alienware Tech Support for out of warranty computers. I can't shake the feeling that there may be a bigger issue then just swapping out the LCD screen, even if I were to muscle up the nerve to take the screen apart. I arranged for Alienware to fix it, they have extra LCD screens on hand so I was able to easily do so... The repair order is set up as such that I won't be charged extra if they were to replace the LCD screen and it turns out being a motherboard problem.