Alienware M17X-R2 - Plethora of Issues

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by Jake Muttz, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. Jake Muttz

    Jake Muttz Newbie

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    Hey folks.

    Currently at my wit's end here.

    I bought an AW M17X-R2 used for only about $150 from someone. I knew going into it it would have issues but I figured I'd be able to figure them out myself. Little did I know the guy had modded the thing to have two AMD Radeon HD 7970m's. At this point I don't know what to do with the thing because I'm not good enough with computers to make sure he did this mod/upgrade right, what with the vbios (I don't even really know what that is) and the card seating and heatsink stuff and... Yeah. I'm good with bugfixing and troubleshooting unmodded computers.

    So the problems I've been having have been seemingly endless..Many of which I've been able to fix myself but there's four in particular that are irking me. In order of least to greatest, these are:

    1. The WPAN card doesn't seem to work. Device manager recognizes it's there but nothing from it works. I did make sure that it was seated properly, several times. I've installed every driver I could find. I'd like to use Bluetooth.

    2. The current RAM I have in it appears to be mislabeled, says I have two 8GB sticks but cpuz and other hardware thingies report two 4GB sticks, but no other sticks get read in this laptop. Am I just stuck with 8GB?

    3. Most drivers except a small handful (Crimson 16.2 & 16.4, Catalyst 13.11) cause "Thread stuck in device driver" BSOD. Crimson 16.2 caused bad overheating issues when idle, I had no fan control and also overheating issues on 16.4, and since Catalyst 13.11 I've been having issues getting stuck on a black screen following the windows logo. Not every time, just sometimes.

    4. Any game I play, whatsoever, crashes laptop power completely (with no sys log) at about 10 minutes in, except Skyrim which I got about 15 minutes out of. Skyrim, I had Crossfire disabled due to stuttering. This doesn't happen with the cards disabled, but then why would I do that? It's a gaming laptop, I kind of need the cards. It's also important to note that this just..started happening. I was at first playing all games smoothly with no crashes once installing Catalyst but now it's every damn game.

    I don't know what to do. I really fell in love hard with this laptop and I'm very low income so the concept of taking it somewhere to get fixed is not in my scope of possibility. That and I don't know how much I trust shops to do this. I'd be more likely trusting someone from here and shipping my laptop out to fix or redo this mod or whatever.

    I'm currently not able to go back to Windows 7 or 8 either. I am well aware some of my issues are probably due to Windows 10. Nonetheless, I don't have any access to W7 or W8 installation media and I'm not keen on pirating them.

    Thanks for reading, I really need some help here.
  2. TR2N

    TR2N Notebook Deity

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    I'd help you but not sure where you are located. At initial inspection I'd say your psu is failing as the crossfire of the 7970m needs correct wattage.
    If worse comes to worse I'd be happy to take it off your hands but that may involve international shipping.

    PM me.
  3. MrMogwai

    MrMogwai Notebook Evangelist

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    1. While fiddling with my first M15x R2 I was also puzzled why my WPAN card didn't want to connect with my bluetooth headphones. The problem appeared to be the fact that it didn't have bluetooth support, only WLAN. Check the specs online if the model is even supporting that. In my case it was showing bluetooth in Device Manager, but did nothing when trying to connect to a device.

    2. What brand RAM do you have? It is a fairly common issue for cheap Chinese sellers to greatly exaggerate what they sell (for example 1050 Ti with GTX 570 chip, or all those 10000000000000000 mAh powerbanks). My guess though would be the CPU - I've had similar issues at the start of my experiments with upgrading this generation of Alienware - the CPU. With stock CPU, 720QM I think, because it was 2 cores/4 threads it recognized 16GB RAM as only 8GB. Upgrade to 4 cores/8 threads CPU should solve the problem.

    With the rest, I'm not qualified enough to say too much, but the power supply issue mentioned above may be the case - 2x7970 setup is extremely power hungry.

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