[Guide] Curing Shorted Support Plate - GTX 580M (Error Code 43 - Revision FF error)

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by Zer0WaitState, Mar 18, 2012.

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  1. Zer0WaitState

    Zer0WaitState Notebook Geek

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    Here are the before images for the "garbage" that I have seen when my brackets were causing shorts against the video cards.

    On POST, BIOS and Windows 7:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I attempted the blow dryer method suggested by Mr. Fox on my primary and secondary GPU brackets without completely removing them.
    I inserted electrical tape where I could see contact being made.

    Visible points of contact highlighted in green:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Insertion of tape under gently heated bracket with heatsink screws loosened:
    (Guitar thumb pick being used to keep bracket raised :))

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Completed brackets:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Slightly raising the brackets and inserting tape on visible points of contact may be enough to resolve the issue.
    If it works for you, consider yourself very fortunate. ;) If not, read further.

    The "garbage" disappeared from POST, BIOS and Windows 7. I then installed the latest Nividia WHQL 296.10 drivers with no problems. There was no "garbage" during rebooting or when entering Windows 7 but when I attempted to use GPU-Z to inquire the second GPU or enable SLI the "garbage" came back. :(
    I would see a message saying that the Nividia graphics "display driver stopped responding and has recovered". The screen then defaulted to a lower resolution. I did a clean removal of the Nvidia drivers and tried the Dell stock driver... same results. I guess the Nvidia drivers were trying to turn on specific circuits on the video cards that were shorting out on the brackets in areas that I could not see. Just a theory :D

    Here is a screenshot with the infamous "error code 43" on both cards and the second GPU showing the dreaded FF code:

    [​IMG]

    I repeated the blow dryer technique but this time I removed both brackets completely without disturbing the heatsinks and thermal pads. The brackets came off cleanly without mangling and they still retained their sticky adhesive.

    The tools I used. BTW, different gauge guitar picks make great "pry tools" in a pinch. ;)
    Also, note "The Official Nvidia Blow Dryer"... just kidding, my wife just happens to have a "Nvidia Green" colored blow dryer. :p

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Both brackets had potential areas that could have been shorting out that I could not see. I highlighted the areas in green in the following photos.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I proceeded to cut pieces of electrical tape and poked small holes through the tape so it would fit snug over the posts:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I then trimmed the tape to cover the potential "hot spots", positioned the brackets onto their respective video card and tightened the heatsinks. Using a small plastic tool I smoothed out the tape to make sure it was secure.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I reinstalled both video cards and once again noticed no "garbage" on POST, in BIOS or in Windows 7. I "cleaned out" the stock Dell driver and tried the Nividia WHQL 296.10 again; this time..... SUCCESS!!!! :yes:
    I can now enable SLI and use GPU-Z to query both cards; no more error code 43; no more FF errors and finally no more "garbage". :)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I wish I could give MEGA-REP to everyone in this forum and on this thread for bringing this issue to light. THANK YOU! :notworthy:

    *** EDIT - SEPTEMBER 07, 2012 ***

    Recently Alienware support sent me a set of revised GPU back brackets that have fixed the shorting issue that was evident with the original brackets. No more tape needed to hold my Alien together.. LOL! :D This is just another example of Dell and Alienware's willingness to "do right" by their customers. Yeah I know.. it's been several months, but as a reminder; a little patience, courtesy and co-operation go a long way when working with Dell / Alienware support to solve issues that effect us all. ;)

    Below are pictures of the new brackets. Highlighted red boxes show the generous coverage of insulated material and revision numbers. See my original post to compare the old and new brackets. Both brackets have revision number REV:0B(A00). Click on the pictures below to see the full part numbers if needed.

    Revised Primary GPU Bracket:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Revised Secondary GPU Bracket:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    reborn2003 and woodzstack like this.
  2. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    Thank you for the update. Your original post was buried in another thread and this information is important enough to be a stand-alone thread. The original post has been a helpful resource to numerous GTX 580M owners experiencing the code 43 and revision FF error. Having it separate will make it easier to locate through a Google search.

    "Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems (code 43)" no longer needs to strike fear in the heart of any GTX 580M owner. :D It is also pretty awesome that Alienware has released an updated support plate to fix it.
     
  3. LannBot

    LannBot Notebook Consultant

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    Yep yep, I can also confirm that they are now shipping the 580M with the revised insulation on the brackets! Nice one Dell/Alienware!
     
  4. Zer0WaitState

    Zer0WaitState Notebook Geek

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    Thanks Mr. Fox! I am glad that this post has been helpful to other owners out there. ;)
    Yes, it is really great that they have provided a fix for this known issue.

    Kudos to Dell / Alienware Support for taking notice and providing a solution.!!! :thumbsup:
     
  5. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    I'm putting the quote below from another thread here as a point of reference. It might be important later on.

     
  6. evil_mike

    evil_mike Notebook Evangelist

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    OMG thank you for posting this!! I just called Dell b/c my 580Ms keep shorting,even with the insulation (I get the feeling the tape either isn't that great or it's melting), and they're sending me the new brackets. I'm going to make a Dell tech put them on b/c then, if anything goes wrong, it's on them to get it resolved (this isn't my primary laptop anymore).

    +1 rep!!
     
  7. davidescu.b

    davidescu.b Newbie

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    Nice thread for GTX 580M owners.

    I just have one question: I just ordered a GTX 580M as an upgrade from my GTX 460M for my R3 and I am waiting delivery. The card comes without backplate. For which backplate should I go? This shorting issue is only for the M18x?

    From my point of view, to be on the safe side, I would go ahead and order the revised primary GPU bracket as in the M18x.

    What are your toughts?
     
  8. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    That should be the only ones offered as they are a design revision and not a different part. To be safe, I would add a small piece of plastic in each corner to avoid any hassles down the road if I were doing the assembly. But, as long as the rubber gasket extends well beyond the metal part of the support plate you should have nothing to worry about.
     
  9. lqm

    lqm Notebook Consultant

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    So it looks like I have the infamous X bracket GPU short. I have gone through the threads and found Dell released an updated bracket, but of course Dell will not sell me one. I am working on getting from third party, but is there something I can do in the meantime to correct properly or must I hunt down the updated insulated X bracket Dell released? Thanks for any info.
     
  10. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    Yes, you can just add a plastic or electrical tape insulator. I will merge this with the appropriate thread covering the subject.
     
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