m17x r4 Screen upgrade

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,110
126
Adelaide, Australia
I have replaced screens in an M17x a few times and it's not overly difficult but you do have to be very careful. There are a few good youtube videos showing how to do it. I have never upgraded a screen from the basic one to the 3D though. Just a straight swap of a 3D screen.
I can only assume that the mobo is the same and will support the upgrade. I believe the cables are different for the 3D one but the standard mobo may just have space for the 3D cable.
You will lose your optimus tech though so your machine will only use it's NVidia card all the time. Not ideal if you will have the machine unplugged for any great length of time.

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I found removing the back panel of the screen from the LCD itself was the most difficult part until I did it a few times.
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,110
126
Adelaide, Australia
Yeah that is what I've done. I had to separate the panel from the whole assembly which was a little difficult. There are only two small screws holding the back panel on to the LCD (next to the hinges) but you have to push down on the back panel and use a lot of force to get the panel to slide up and off. It was a little unnerving the first time but then it got easier to do after a few more tries. Don't forget to remove the webcam from your old assembly as the new one probably won't come with one.
Be very careful with the LCD cables!
I would check with Dell to see if the motherboard is the same. Just for peace of mind.
 
I talked to them before and they said all I needed was the $750 screen assembly. But I can get a panel for about $150 and an assembly for about $450. But i read somewhere that you need an aditional part that is not in the 2d models in the screen but the mobo has a connection for it. but since you have done this before I was hopeing to pick your brain a bit. This is currently my main machine and want to cover my bases before I demolish it.

Does the screen fit right in the assembly?
cant you tell it was replaced?
Any additonal parts do you need?
What brand/type of glasses do you use?
Any recommendations on where to find parts?
Any additonal tips before I dig in? rare tools that will be needed and what not.
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,110
126
Adelaide, Australia
I was repairing a friends machine which already had a 3D screen before I replaced it with a new one. I don't know if there is anything else you will need to upgrade yours though. I can't see why. The only thing I remember being left in the rest of the assembly was the webcam. As long as the screen you get has all the proper cables you shouldn't need anything else. I could be wrong though.
If you get the OEM Alienware 3D panel it should fit straight in your old LCD lid and you will never know the difference. Ebay should have the screens you need but there are probably plenty of parts stores in the US that you could contac toot. Very little of that way down here unfortunately.
The NVidia 3D Vision glasses are the ones that usually come when you order from Dell I believe.
No special tools are needed. Just some small screwdrivers and a prying tool. The bezel around the keyboard can be tricky the first time. Don't do what my friend just did and assume that it just clips out. There are screws holding it in! He snapped his. Take your time.
Use a second computer showing a teardown vid at the same time you're doing yours so you can take it step by step.
When you get to removing the back shell of the LCD, you may think it's not coming off (mine was on there pretty hard). I just put some soft material down, put the screen face down and put some firm but careful pressure down and forward on the back of the case.
gesamt2_21.jpg
I would just order the actually LCD panel first and see how you go. Like I said, I've never upgraded a screen, only replaced an exact one.
Good luck! It's really not that hard. Be very cautious of the cables and their connectors. Use a prying tool!

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This may help you get the bezel off

alienware-m17x-3d_keyboard.jpg

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Don't forget to remove the 5 screws that hold the bezel in though!! I think they are labelled with an 'I'
 
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I dug around a little bit. Cable I was talking about was the 3D emitter cable. And the more I dig the less I think that I am going to be able to correctly remove the glass in front of the screen without scratching the paint or scratching or cracking the glass. Also yes your right dug some more and it was the nvidia vission that came with the laptops. Thanks for all the help, some surprise bills showed up and might have to put this off for another few weeks but hoping to get it done soon. Getting a SSD boot drive and hoping a 1tb storage drive for Christmas and hoping to do one major overhaul very soon.

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Just realized that my non 3d screen will not have the break in the paint for the 3d emitter to work correctly.
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,110
126
Adelaide, Australia
Oh you wanted to get the front pane off! Sorry, I thought you just meant the back part. The assembly I got already had the front on it. I'm not sure what you would have to do to get that off. You would be better off getting it from Dell but their prices are ridiculous.
Maybe a project for another time then.
The other option would be to buy another M17x off ebay (even an R3) and just swap the whole top part (or any other parts which are a better spec) then sell the downgraded one.
 
Got the screen on, looks awesome but now when I try to use HDMI in the screen turns off.

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Got the whole assembly from ebay.

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adn nvidia is not seeing my screen as a 3d. I know it is becuase its a C30PY but I am run out of ideas