X51 R1 GPU Upgrade

Aug 2, 2018
So, I have finally upgraded my X51 R1 from it's GTX 555 oem card to GT 1030 GDDR5 card. 8GB RAM and i7 3770 3.4g processor. 330w PSU Brick

Sadly, I just get the Alien head, and press f2 or f12 , and after that, nothing. I can't go BIOS are boot settings. Windows 10 won't boot.

Works fine when I get the old card back in, the new card won't fly for some reason.

Any insight?
May 11, 2018
I think I already posted in a similar thread that you were also a part of, but I'll go ahead and pass on a few thoughts just in case it might help:)
1) Not sure if the 1030 needs the extra power cables or not, but if those aren't connected or have a loose connection on either end (the end that attaches to the card, or the end that attaches to the power distribution board), then it could be highly unstable or not even work at all, so that might be worth checking.
2) Might make sure the power distribution board is good if you have a way to test it. I saw somebody say that there was a problem with the older versions of the distribution board, so that might be worth checking.
3) i would think if you can't get into the bios, then your problem probably isn't with windows 10 directly, since I wouldn't think windows would have anything to do with things until *after* the f2 message disappears. So maybe something to do with power or bios related issues causing problems before that point.
4) if you have a way to test that video card in another machine to verify you didn't get a defective one, that might be a good idea.
5) it might be worth running a ram check. don't know why it'd be different with the card as opposed to without, but memory issues can be weird, so who knows?
6) with as tightly as things get packed into this case, you may want to verify that no wires are getting pushed into a place where they could block any of the fans. either on the card, or the power distribution board or front port (i assume all those are present). i don't know if it'd happen on an x51, but some boards will shut down right away if they sense a fan failure, and some systems might cause an overheat-shutdown before even getting past posting if some of the fans aren't cooling.
And on that note, you might want to make sure the video card's fan is actually spinning. stranger things have happened;)
That's about all i can think of for now. other that if you go to update the bios, do it with the working card in the system, cause lord knows you don't want a hiccup in the middle of a bios update;P
Anywho, take care and good luck! :D
Aug 2, 2018
I was able to resolve this, and it wasn’t all that complicated.

1) the BIOS must be updated to version A-14. I did this by using a bootable USB with the BIOS updates on it and running BIOS in legacy mode. Installed the BIOS updates one at a time, rebooting after each install and verifying the updates took. Once that’s done, the BIOS must be set back to UEFI before booting into Windows.

2) Once your back into windows, uninstall all other nVidia cards and drivers and software. Make sure it’s clean.

3) Shutdown, fit new card into slot. I used a spare clip I had on hand to keep it secure. YMMV.

4) Boot into windows. Go and Manage Devices. Windows will detect new hardware. Install the drivers for the new Hardware using the tools provided by Windows.

5) Enjoy the new card. The power draw is only 30 watts on the PCI 3.0 slot (The BIOS updates make this possible). A few cable ties keeps power cables away from fans, etc.

This Machine is now running better than the day I first got it. I have had no issues at all. I did not have to roll back to or install Windows 7.

Been over a week, maybe two, and no problems.

I am certain I could upgrade to 16gb ddr3 RAM and a GTX 1050ti with no issues at this point, as the X51 actually meets the standards for that hardware.

I went wth the GT 1030 as the old GTX 555 had quit and I could only afford a $100 or less. Money and time well spent, as I play things like WoW and Shadow of Mordor on this. Games like that run at quality frame rates on high settings.

The lesson here is, keep your BIOS up to date. If I had done that I wouldn’t have had this hassle.

Thanks to everyone who responded.

I’ll be happy to help anyone else seeking to use available upgrades to keep their X51 going for a little while longer.

Eventually, a new rig will be needed, for now I can keep this thing kicking in a manner where it isn’t struggling.