M18x-R2 not detecting 980m

Slagr

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Apr 16, 2021
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I picked up an R2 a while back that was having video issues and at the time I determined it to be the dual 675m cards it came with as both cards individually produced either artefacts or boot failure. I wanted to upgrade to a 980m and followed the online guides to do so. But despite using A11 Unlocked BIOS and setting the video mode to SG the card is not recognized by BIOS. 8 beeps in PEG and PCI. Windows 10 sees two "unrecognized devices" in device manager. This is a brand new install and no Nvidia drivers or software is on the system. I was hoping NVFlash could help but it also does not recognize the card as an Nvidia device. Does anyone who has done a successful unsupported upgrade have any advice?

Is it possible that the motherboard/MXM slot is bad rather than the card? I am outside the return window for the card. I also have an R1 for spare parts and testing but I don't know if the 980m can work on that platform at all.
 

MattyB

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Hi. Did you set the BIOS to pure UEFI? This means setting the Legacy ROM and Secure boot to Disabled. Possibly the Fast Boot too
 

Slagr

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here is my boot config
 

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Slagr

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So I left the card in the machine and just let it run on igfx until OSD prompted me to switch to the video card it apparently detected after all. Fn+F7 just caused a failure to POST with 8 beeps though, and after removing the card 5 beeps, then after a CMOS reset I was able to get back running on igfx. Not sure if this is helpful but it's data.
 

Slagr

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I swapped in the 680m pair I pulled from my other R2 and still get 8 beeps when running anything but igfx. I'm thinking the motherboard is bad at this point. Are there any other troubleshooting steps I can do?
 

MattyB

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It's possible you have a problem with the MXM slots which would be a shame. Replacement boards are getting harder to find and are expensive. I'd start by trying one 680M at a time, in the primary GPU slot which is the one with the short stubby heatsink.
If you are still having issues then I'd revert back to a Dell BIOS and try again.
 

MattyB

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What do you have the BIOS set to? It won't work in SG mode with two GPU's installed.
 

Slagr

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I've tried PEG, PCI, and Auto. But most notably BIOS itself doesn't recognize discrete graphics being present. The mobo slots themselves would definitely explain why the 980m, 680m, and original 675m cards all don't work. Do you have any idea which components might be responsible for this? I looked briefly and saw a zener diode that looked a little crooked in that area but nothing else obvious. It would be a shame to have to get a new mobo for like $400 and have this otherwise okay one sit in a box forever. It's almost tempting to pick up a whole new unit if I can find one cheap.

I'm done opening this up tonight but I'll try one card in A14 soon.
 

MattyB

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Yeah it really does sound like a bad MXM port. I'm no electrical engineer though so I can't help you much there.

Finding a cheap donor machine is usually the way to go or you can retire this one as a donor for your other one, unless your other one is also dead. I could possibly spare a board but it would be $300USD+shipping.
 

Slagr

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Alright I might regret it later but I ordered another unit with a 980m already installed for what seemed like a decent price considering what motherboards are alone. This will give me a chance to test 980m SLI as well.
 
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