Alienware 17 R1 780m change to 1070 gtx no screen

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by chokolademan, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. chokolademan

    chokolademan Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello all,

    After reading a lot about the possibility to upgrade my Ranger to a 1070, I decided to get one.
    But even after reading all the info and preparing, I sadly got stuck. After swapping and setting up I just have a black screen. It even won't let mee see the bios or alienware logo.
    Also the HDMI or Mini Display output won't show anything.
    There are no beeps or other signals.
    The fans do turn on for a couple of seconds like they normally do. And I hear a harddrive sound starting up.

    My specs are:

    Alienware 17 r1
    nvidia 780m
    4900mq cpu
    120 3d screen
    a14 bios (still original)

    A 1070 pulled from a zotac, I believe it is a en1070 model. It's a perfect fit.

    Bios and laptop settings were optimized for the 1070 as far as I could find info.
    -UEFI only
    -Disable legacy
    -Disable fastboot
    -Windows 8.1 on GPT and UEFI setup.

    Possible solutions or questions I have so far about the black screen which could help me on the way.

    -Can an a14 unlock bios help me, by setting a display function (PEG)?
    -Is the NVRAM reset really really necessary when installing the a14 bios unlock? (because it sounds a bit risky to do).
    -Do I have to flash a MSI bios to the Zotac model? Because the Zotac bios won't display if not in a Zotac computer?
    -If I need to flash the MSI bios on the Zotac, how can I do it, if the 1070 won't display a screen?
    -Does the 780m 120hz screen by default have an EDP connector? Or do I have to check if it is the LVDP, which won't work with 1070?
    -Did you have when putting in a 1070 always have a startup screen, logo or bios?
    -Possible the GPU is broken?

    Sorry for so many questions, but thanks for answering :) And hope it will also help other people if they are encountering the same problems.
     
    Rengsey R. H. Jr. likes this.
  2. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    If the panel is 120hz then its using an eDP panel.

    The MSI vBIOS is needed for the zotac to output to eDP, as its pulled from a desktop unit that function isnt enabled.

    Possibility of a dead GPU is always possible of course, but as its a first time leap for you its likely that there is a step missing, like the missing MSI vBIOS for instance.

    Im not sure if PEG is required to get Microsoft Basic display adapter (basic output to screen) until you get drivers installed (of which you will need to mod the INF file to bypass the security check). I believe PEG is required to attempt this, if you have your 780m still then best to keep it so you can edit things in the sBIOS (as you lose access to it after Pascal upgrade), one such item would likely to set your system to PEG mode.

    I didnt personally do the same upgrade and when I bought my card it already had an appropriate vBIOS. So I will call upon much more experienced members to guide you on your upgrade if they have the time.

    @Striker1234 @EepoSaurus

    Would either of you be able to explain how you went about flashing the MSI vBIOS to the Zotac cards?
     
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  3. EepoSaurus

    EepoSaurus Notebook Evangelist

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    you can flash a Zotac 1070 mxm card by putting it in a ranger and then connecting it to an external display then using the msi flashing software to flash the card. Then boom it will work on the internal screen. Here is the software. https://drive.google.com/open?id=16jokZB8qdLDcWtQ8Tre2BBSh0ii1J9tS
     
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  4. Rengsey R. H. Jr.

    Rengsey R. H. Jr. I Never Slept

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    You need flash unlocked bios for the ranger is the first step.
     
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  5. chokolademan

    chokolademan Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thank you for your answers, nice to see so much knowledge about the alienwares in this place!
    I'm happy to see a 120 screen is always EDP.
    And thanks so much for bios and flash files! Only if I connect to an external display (with hdmi or mini display) it stays black unfortunately.

    But I plan this:
    -I'll try the unlocked A14 bios and hope it will display a screen internal or external. (is the nvram reset necessary for this a14)?
    -And the second step when a screen is available to NVFlash the MSI vbios onto the Zotac.

    Are my following thoughts correct?
    -If the unlocked A14 bios won't give a screen, then I must use a external hardware flasher? (I saw a brand Skypro programmer mentioned)?
    -And somewhere I read something about Nvidia mxm series 9xx and lower can be flashed with NVFlash. But 10xx series have to be external hardware flashed.
    Is that information which is now outdated and NVFlash can be used on any card?
     
  6. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    The only way to customize pascal is tdp and via hardware programmer but a signed unaltered vbios should be able to flash according to what I can remember. I recall striker flashing it that way iirc

    You can customize any vbios but the card will refuse it if it's not signed.
     
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  7. Ashtrix

    Ashtrix ψυχή υπεροχή

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    NVflash will flash the 10xx series too, but for custom vBIOS/TDP mods, you need a SkyPro external flasher because Nvidia doesn't want users to OC their cards and buy their BS game of SKUs for OC like Turing's -A SKUs for OC and others having locked down bins. (Plus Pascal has a throttling mechanism - 13Mhz loss for every Degree rise in temp, from 43C, temp mark I don't remember exactly) that's why you see Eepo's link having only NVFlash and MSI vBIOS 1070 one works great on Zotac 1070 form the users here again this is stock MSI vBIOS and it is signed as per Ngreedia's rules. And don't raise TDP of the Zotac 1070 until and unless you add the missing MOSFETs on the top of the card (small black squares)

    Also IIRC the A14+ is not needed as a mandatory step for any upgrade. But it's recommended due to the updates it has (A14+ and subsequent versions as you can see in that thread's update changelogs, please give them a read). And one more thing, first when you are running any Windows first disable the Hibernate file (Useless, and you'll lose a few convenience options, doesn't matter since UEFI boot with an SSD is very quick, been running like that since 4+ years), It gave me headache due to the BS Nvidia QC on Drivers esp on 8.1 more here, And next disable the stupid driver signing (to install INF mods easily and other stuff which YOU want control) and to remove the damn watermark as well (Included in that link, Thanks to Mr. Fox).
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  8. Rengsey R. H. Jr.

    Rengsey R. H. Jr. I Never Slept

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    This is what you should do.

    1) Pop in your original GPU
    2) Flash Bios
    3) Change Bios to PEG
    4) Install the 1070 card.
     
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  9. chokolademan

    chokolademan Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for all your suggestions again!
    I have succesfully setup the a14+ unlocked bios.
    Set the display to PEG. And disabled the Integrated graphics (which would be disabled anyway I think with the 120hz)
    My old 780m boots up fine when testing.
    But when swapping it with the 1070, I get 6 beeps.
    The screen won't turn on, no backligh or anything. And HDMI or Mini Display won't display anything.
    After researching the beeps, I know 6 beeps mean a GPU error.
    Does this by default mean the GPU is dead?
    Or could it be, because it still has the Zotac vBios it can also give the 6 beeps error?
    Because I had no screen, I could not execute the NVFLASH to get the MSI vBios on it.
    Thinking now about getting a hardware flasher.
     
  10. Rengsey R. H. Jr.

    Rengsey R. H. Jr. I Never Slept

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    O.k. try this. remove the card, change the bios to SG mode, then install the gtx 1070 and see if it's able to boot and see if it display the card adaptor.

    Edit: SG mode , you would have to swap back the non edp screen back in.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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