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M17x R4, Nvidia GTX 675m problem

Rapid_Sausage

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Mar 17, 2013
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Update: I'd like to inform the readers that i have contacted the international dell service number in Egypt, and filled them in with the details, they said that a support representative with a replacement GTX 675m will be contacting me within the next 48 hours to schedule an appointment for dropping by my house to solve the issue (hopefully he'll replace the card, because even if the one i have turns out to be unseated properly, i don't know what kind of damage it has suffered during its downtime).

Before i proceed, i would like to inform readers that i will be handing in my M17 to Dell tomorrow to get repaired, so please try to reply within the next 9 hours so i can try any suggested fixes.

for 10 days now i've been getting black screen a few minutes after launching any video game/3d application, the laptop would stop responding and automatically restarts after 10 seconds, when it turns on again i get an error report 116 from windows, which indicates that the nvidia driver has stopped responding and failed to recover. (check attachments for the specific error message)

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error2.jpg
error3.jpg
error4.jpg

Here's my exact M17x R4's components since the combination is not the same as on the internet:
-Windows 7 64-bit home premium
-I7 3720QM 2.6ghz
-16gb RAM
-2TB HDD
-Nvidia GTX 675M DDR5 2gb

Here is the list of troubleshooting i've done:
-Using windows utilities:
--Disc Cleanup
--Defragment
--HDD error check
--System Restore
--System Repair
--sfc /scannow via Admin command prompt
--Windows hardware diagnostic (by holding D and the start button)

-Using third party software:
--Full system Antivirus scan via Norton 360
--Registry cleanup via CCleaner (latest version)
--Clean reinstall of Nvidia drivers (stock driver, 314.07, 310.9, current alienware recommended drivers, and lastly 306.xx) (driver sweeper used after uninstalling old drivers in safe mode prior to updating some)
--All recommended updates on Dell support website using my service code

-Using AlienAutopsy:
--Gaming test: check attachments (i canceled some tests because they caused that error as well) (check attachment)
--Default scan (everything): everything passed, canceled same tests as above.



-Using OCCT (latest version):
--CPU test, Large Data Package (15 minutes) (5 runs): Temperatures peaked at 90 degrees Celsius when maximum processor state 99%, peak temperature 85 degrees Celsius when maximum processor state 92%
--GPU test, Shader complexity 3, max FPS 60, DX10, 1920x1080 fullscreen, 15 minutes (10~15 runs): Temperature peaked at 67 degrees Celsius, all tests failed (most within the first few seconds, some within the first minute, 2 runs lasted 13 minutes)

I've also encountered 3 instances where i'd get Six Short Beeps when my screen went black.

Can someone help me out here?

NOTE: This laptop is only 8 months old, bought brand new with 1 year warranty.
 

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SWAT_Glock

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After everything you have done, it sounds like a bad video card and/or the heatsink separated and needs to be re-pasted. Have you confirmed that all fans are working? I would still have Dell replace the video card at this point because who knows what damage has been done to it already.
 

Rapid_Sausage

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After everything you have done, it sounds like a bad video card and/or the heatsink separated and needs to be re-pasted. Have you confirmed that all fans are working? I would still have Dell replace the video card at this point because who knows what damage has been done to it already.

yes, the fans are working flawlessly.

i'm still within warranty, which can be a good thing AND a bad thing.

A good thing because any faulty hardware will get replaced at no cost, A bad thing because this is too early for this really expensive laptop to have any problems, if such a problem occurs again outside warranty it'll be a big monetary setback.

by the way, this laptop is only 8 months old.

p.s: i have run a Hardware diagnostic by holding 'D' and pressing the power button, everything checked out ok.

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something else you said i wanna ask about.
If the card turns out to be unseated and/or the heatsink needed to be refit properly or thermal paste needed reapplying, i can't just ask them to replace the card altogether for damage that may or may not have occurred, can i?
 
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SWAT_Glock

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I can't really say. I would asked them what the problem was before they ship it back, assuming you have to mail it in for repairs.
 

Rapid_Sausage

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I can't really say. I would asked them what the problem was before they ship it back, assuming you have to mail it in for repairs.

i'm handing in the laptop myself at their partner in egypt.
of course i will ask them to tell me what the problem is once they figure it out, and what they did to fix it.

what i'm worried about though is unavailability of certain services/replacement parts.
 

SWAT_Glock

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i'm handing in the laptop myself at their partner in egypt.
of course i will ask them to tell me what the problem is once they figure it out, and what they did to fix it.

what i'm worried about though is unavailability of certain services/replacement parts.

What kind of warranty do you have? Any kind of express service included? You can always asked for an upgraded part. :)
 

Rapid_Sausage

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What kind of warranty do you have? Any kind of express service included? You can always asked for an upgraded part. :)


the warranty is supposed to be international, but the lack of proper services in other electrnics' aspects make me very worrysome about leavng such a precious piece of hardware in the hands of just a partner.

The laptop was bught from dubai as a gift from my parents, so i cant really tell what gnna be until i get there

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any more advice before i head off to sleep, i'll be taking the laptop for repair in 8 hours.
 
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AeonSoul

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Feb 21, 2012
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Yeah that sounds like a bad seated card or a poor thermal paste job. You could have tried to analyze the crash dump using WhoCrashed and check what it says, but then again, if the card itself is faulty or badly seated there's only that much you can do.
 

Rapid_Sausage

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Yeah that sounds like a bad seated card or a poor thermal paste job. You could have tried to analyze the crash dump using WhoCrashed and check what it says, but then again, if the card itself is faulty or badly seated there's only that much you can do.

i have checked the dump files with whocrashed, and it was a TDR thing.
but for the sake of simplicity i explained what it meant right away.
 

Rapid_Sausage

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I am pleased to announce that today the Dell technician came by and replaced my GPU and so far it's working flawlessly.

The problem seems to have resulted from an unscrewed screw from the Nearby HDD that somehow landed on the circuits of the GPU; There is no real confirmation that this screw was the culprit in this mess as there are no signs of short circuiting of any kind, but i can't find any other reason for this problem to so i'm blaming that little bastard for the whole thing, and subsequently Dell, for badly putting that thing together.

I've been hearing clinking in my M17 ever since i bought it, but never payed attention to it.

so here's a piece of advice for you buyers, check the laptop you're buying thoroughly before paying.
 

Meaker

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Yeah, shorts dont always leave physical signs (see static for instance), congrats on having it working again :)
 

Rapid_Sausage

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i'm probably being paranoid, but is it normal for fans (at min load) to cause a slight vibration in the chassis of the laptop and intensifies under load? (when i put my hand still near the touch pad, i feel this vibration)
 

Sleepy

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Feb 21, 2013
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I had a m17x with very similar specs , and I can confirm that vibrating from the fans is not normal even at extrem high speeds :( you are correct to be contacting dell and getting it fixed as it is clearly bust especially with all the other gtx675 faults you are getting
 

Rapid_Sausage

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I had a m17x with very similar specs , and I can confirm that vibrating from the fans is not normal even at extrem high speeds :( you are correct to be contacting dell and getting it fixed as it is clearly bust especially with all the other gtx675 faults you are getting

maybe i just never noticed this vibration, but now that i do, i don't know if it's normal or not.
the fans are the same since i got the laptop, the only thing that changed is the GPU and the GPU heatsink.

i tried tightening/untightening the screws but there's no difference.

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it's also not "vibration" vibration.

it's more like a buzzing feeling everywhere.

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there's also no sign of a faulty fan, the fan sounds very normal, it doesn't rev up for nothing, and the temperatures are normal.
 

Sleepy

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Have you contacted dell support yet ? And asked what they think about this issue
 

Sleepy

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Cool , and if it does turn out to be bad work man shop on their part , I recommend asking them to compensat you in some way ( ie something for free thrown in ) ;-)
 
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