Getting No Boot and 1 beep

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by DoubleHelixx, Aug 22, 2020.

  1. DoubleHelixx

    DoubleHelixx Notebook Guru

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    Hi!

    Everything was running beautifully. I just installed 4940MX, 16GB DDR3L 2130, Nvidia 980M and EVO 860 Pro 1TB.

    I had the 980M showing in Device Manager. Then the screen went blank.

    I restarted the machine and now I get one beep when I try to restart.

    Any advice would be most appreciated. Is something overheating?
     
  2. electrosoft

    electrosoft Tick Tock Clarice....

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    In my encounters with dead/dying Alienware 18's, one beep usually means system board failure of some sort. Could be physical or BIOS issues but usually it's physical.

    What were you doing when it suddenly borked out?

    980m(s) and extreme chips will reveal a weak Alienware 18 system board sooner than later.
     
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  3. DoubleHelixx

    DoubleHelixx Notebook Guru

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    @electrosoft I was looking at modifying the RAM speed in Taiphoon Burner.

    UPDATE: After repeated attempts to restart, it booted up. I've switched to the integrated graphics and its running again but not on the 980M.

    One thing I did not do was modify the stock GPU heatsink (came with 770Ms) to accommodate the (980M). Could that be causing the issue? What happens is: it runs fine then freezes on a solid colored screen kind of a translucent blue or sometimes pink. I don't need to be doing anything intensive. It just seems to be a matter of time before this happens.
     
  4. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    1 beep is usually a motherboard issue and also covers BIOS corruption and ROM. Is your system BIOS up to date? The 18 was released with the 980M at the end of it's life so your card should be supported just as long as you have one of the latest BIOS'. Maybe test with slower speed memory first just to rule that out.
    The 980M shouldn't heat up to a point of causing an issue just during regular use.
     
  5. DoubleHelixx

    DoubleHelixx Notebook Guru

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    G'day @Maxware79 Thank you for your reply. That is good to know that this one had the 980M and explains why the Windows Update auto-installed a working driver! I have an older bios A12 and I see the latest is from November 2019 (A15).

    Should that make a difference? I'll give it a try if so.
     
  6. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    It's hard to know but it does sound like a BIOS issue with the 1-beep. If it was a motherboard fault then I doubt the machine would boot at all. If it auto-installed your driver then it sounds like the BIOS is high enough to support the card.
    What driver version did it auto-install?
     
  7. DoubleHelixx

    DoubleHelixx Notebook Guru

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    @Maxware79 Thanks. I actually have A13 but am thinking I will flash to A15 just in case.

    It installed NVIDIA Graphics Driver 389.12.

    What do you think? FYI, the machine runs perfectly on integrated graphics. No problems at all.
     
  8. electrosoft

    electrosoft Tick Tock Clarice....

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    The 770m heatsink is a miss for two reasons:

    1. It only dissipates 75w vs 100w design of the 780m/880m & 980m models
    2. The 980m heatsink is slightly modified to fit the 980m properly

    Here is the proper part (or you can mod a 780m/880m heatsink):

    Left: https://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=21461

    Right: https://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=21460

    Check this thread for more details:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/step-by-step-980m-install-in-alienware-18.768916/

    BIOS A12+ supports 980m's just fine.

    --------

    If you're able to at least boot but then the 980m gives up the ghost and you have to switch to IG, it could be your system board and a power draw issue or the improperly fitted 980m or the 980m itself.

    Swap back to a single 770m and see if the problem(s) persist.


    You just did so many upgrades at the same time that it makes it more difficult to see what triggered what.

    I would have started with the CPU upgrade and dialed that in and let it run for a few days for stability.

    Then I would have moved to the memory, dialed that in for stability (especially using thaipoon)

    Then finally I would have narrow focused on the 980m upgrade knowing everything else was locked in and stable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
  9. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    Try installing the latest driver and see if it works. It's strange that it installed such an old driver. I'd be interested to see if the latest driver installs without modding.
     
  10. Chivalrous Roamin Knight

    Chivalrous Roamin Knight Notebook Enthusiast

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    I too have the AW18 4940MX CPU and also a Nvidia GTX 980M; I believe the 389.12 driver is an exclusive proprietory driver. After a Windows update, the driver I had before wasn't working properly; somehow, and I'm not really sure how, I'm thinking Alienware Assistant installed the 389.12 driver. With that driver, everything is working flawlessly. (When I made attempts to find out about this driver, searches of it turned up nothing; needless to say, I was amazed that it "literally" fixed itself.) :)

    For some reason, I've always had a temperature issue with this 980M; I finally thought I would try an external fan and so at a suggestion, I applied an Opolar fan to the left rear vent (vent the side that the power button is on) as this sucks air out. That's worked absolute wonders; I now have no heat issues as temperature dropped at least 10-15 degrees depending on what is being done with the laptop. Like as you were doing, DoubleHelixx, I would use the FN+F5 button and switch to the IGPU; I no longer have to do this. I've also explained using this Opolar in another comment I made in NBR. Hope this helps you in some way. Btw, I've had my AW18 for over 2 years now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
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