M17x R4 not showing discrete graphics in device manager.

my80chevette

Member
Jan 9, 2022
11
2
Ohio
Hello all. I've been searching for an answer for my problem for a few days now and hoping to get some help here. Picked up a fairly clean M17x a few days ago and it seems to work pretty well for the most part. However, when I went to install new drivers and tidy up I found that the Nvidia Graphics weren't showing up in windows. I downloaded one of my favorite investigative programs, HWinfo, and took a look. HW found the GTX 780m immediately and I then checked the BIOS and found Nvidia listed there as well. I've tried installing drivers and get an error about no compatible hardware found. This is even with the older versions from Dells website. I use to be pretty handy with computers but have been out of the scene for the last couple years and I'm definitely rusty. Here's a link to a page with an identical model, https://www.notebookcheck.net/Alienware-17-GTX-780M.100500.0.html
I'm running windows 10 and bios A15. Would love to get this old beast up and running properly but not sure where to go from here.
 

MattyB

Resource Administrator / Forum Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,197
137
Adelaide, Australia
Hello, does it say, Microsoft Basic Display Adapter in Device Manager? If it does then this is your 780M without a driver installed. You need to use a modded driver for any Nvidia card that isn't in the 600M series. There are a few guides on how to do it. I used the guide below to help me learn and now it only takes about 5 mins. If you need any help then I'm happy to help out. If there is only the Intel 4000 graphics then you could have a problem with your card.

https://null-src.com/posts/nvidia-n...e Manager and right,a blank notepad for later.

One thing that isn't noted in this guide is that when you first try running the driver installer and it fails then you keep it open but you go to the C: drive and find the NVIDIA folder. Copy and paste this folder in the same C: drive, it will auto-name itself NVIDIA - COPY. Now you close the failed installer and the NVIDIA folder will disappear (assuming you had previously used DDU to remove all old drivers first) and you can mod the NVIDIA - COPY folder. You can't mod and Save the NVIDIA folder as it's protected.

My mate Sunny also recently uploaded a video on Youtube which may help you out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8igM5DcTukw&t=59s
 
Thanks for the quick response. It does list Microsoft Basic Display Adapter in the device manager. So weird that a factory sku lacks official driver support and that no one at Dell or Nvidia has responded to this. I do wonder if a script could be written to automate this process for less technically savvy owners. I will take a wack at this over the next few days and then tell you how it went. Thanks again!
 

MattyB

Resource Administrator / Forum Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,197
137
Adelaide, Australia
I'm not sure why Nvidia do this, it's not just limited to Dell laptops. AMD give driver support for cards that weren't released with certain laptops. Basically if the laptop wasn't released with the Nvidia GPU you have in it then the code isn't listed in the driver folders so it will tell you that no compatible hardware is found. By modifying the .inf file to include your hardware ID information you can trick the driver into installing, as long as you have Driver Signature Enforcement disabled.
 

MattyB

Resource Administrator / Forum Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,197
137
Adelaide, Australia
I only just noticed the link in your original post. The link is for the 17 R1 but your title is for the M17x R4. They are very different models with the M17x R4 being the old sharper edge design with the front grill lights and they were black or red and the 17 being a dull grey and has the halo light around the palmrest area. The 17 R1 should have native driver support for the 780M (up to version 425.xx) as it was released with these but the M17x will need the modded driver as mentioned before.
Just to confuse things, Dell put little stickers on the bottom of many 17 R1's that said M17x R5 but they were never officially considered an M17x laptop.
 
I screwed up. Had several windows open and accidentally linked the wrong one. Mine is definitely the m17x r4 but somehow got a 780m in it. Kinda wish it hadn't since its such a pain. I still haven't gotten around to messing with the driver but hopefully soon.Thanks for the help once again.
 

MattyB

Resource Administrator / Forum Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,197
137
Adelaide, Australia
It won't be a pain once you work it out. The M17x R4 is a great machine and I easily prefer it over the 17. If you let me know the hardware ID then I can quickly write the line that needs to go into the .inf file and that will make it easier for you. To get the Hardware ID you go to Device Manager - Display Adapters - right click on the Basic Display Adapter - Properties - Details - Select Hardware ID from the dropdown box. I just need the first or second line
 

MattyB

Resource Administrator / Forum Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,197
137
Adelaide, Australia
%NVIDIA_DEV.119F.057B.1028% = Section001, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_119F&SUBSYS_057B1028

So you'll need to insert this line into the nvdmi.inf file. Let me know if you don't know where this is. You can put it anywhere in the long list of similar looking hardware lines. The older cards had support for Windows 7, 8 and 10 so there will be up to 3 sections of lines where you'll need to insert this line just to make sure you get the OS that you have. Once you put it into the first list, scroll down until the list starts again and enter it again. Scroll down again and there may be a third list to put it in.

The scroll almost down to the bottom and find the list of Strings. Insert this line below. I like to put it in order under the other 780M strings but it shouldn't really matter

NVIDIA_DEV.119F.057B.1028 = "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M"

Save and exit the .inf

Restart the laptop with Disable Driver Signature Enforcement (In Win10 you hold SHIFT and click on Restart) - Troubleshoot - Advanced Options - Startup Settings - Click Restart on the screen - Select option 7.

Now it will restart and you go into the International folder of the NVIDIA folder, find the setup.exe and run the installer.

Your driver should start installing if you did it right and then a red/white warning screen will pop up. accept it and the driver will finish installing.