How do I make MXM2 as primary dGPU? Primary MXM slot is borked.

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by AstralBuoy, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. AstralBuoy

    AstralBuoy Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have a wonky M18xR1,

    The primary MXM slot is damaged, graphics card in it glitch red and blotchy.

    I've installed a Quadro M2000M,

    ... it rocks Doom in the primary slot but the blood in the eyes glitch-mod soon loses its 'charm'.
    ... in the secondary MXM slot it doesn't show at all in Bios and eGPU software fails to switch it on.

    CMOS reset hasn't helped.

    How can I activate MXM2 Slot?

    How do I force dGPU2 over iGPU?

    Thanks,
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  2. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Deity

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    Can you describe the issue more or include a picture of the issues when using the primary slot?

    Please link a motherboard schematic if you can, and I'll try to figure out what may be going on with the secondary slot with no primary card. I'm guessing the MXM2 only powers on if there is a MXM1 detected. If so this should be an easy fix with a schematic if you are willing to solder a little.
     
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  3. AstralBuoy

    AstralBuoy Notebook Enthusiast

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    how to add photos?
    where would I post them to be able to add image url?

    My Profile Picture is a photo of the alienware boot screen with the card.
    Colours are corrupted. and there is ghosting and blotchy pixel effects.
    The rig was sold as not working for parts, but it boots and does 120hz refresh rate display in Ubuntu Linux and butter smooth high FPS Team Fortress at medium res and settings on the iGPU so I got a HDD cable for it even though the CPU fan port gets no power and I had to wire an extension from one of the GPU fan ports, so the board has likely been baked, it's a 2670QM but has all the performance options in the Bios which I thought were only in Extreme CPUs.

    Oh I wish I had a schematic, where would we find one?
    I can open her up again and photograph.

    I was thinking about putting the M1000 in the primary, just to see the M2000M, but then how to set the better one as primary, and what then if it also has a corrupt signal, what might be causing it on the board?

    what would we solder? a power supply to the mxm2? maybe replacing a burnt mostfet I just read somewhere might actually fix it better?

    thanks for your offer to help.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=WGpCc1ZXUEVoUHVVSDRQSTJPN0FSWXkzZFdYRkt3
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=WGpCc1ZXUEVoUHVVSDRQSTJPN0FSWXkzZFdYRkt3
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=WGpCc1ZXUEVoUHVVSDRQSTJPN0FSWXkzZFdYRkt3
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2019
  4. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Deity

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    That is completely an LVDS signal issue. Since you say the iGPU displays fine then there must be an issue with one of the red color signals on the card or an issue with an MXM slot pin.

    The easiest thing to do is brush the slot out with a toothbrush. Also check the slot for bent pins.

    Have you tried another GPU?
     
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  5. AstralBuoy

    AstralBuoy Notebook Enthusiast

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    I did clean and brush the port a bit, but I should have inspected it a lot closer, with a loupe and light.
    I will also try the M1000 card in that port, and I have a £10 512MB AMD card to try too to compare.

    So, just a signal issue? not any damaged components on the mainboard? Good to know, I'll take a closer look at the ports and pins.

    The Previous owner said it was working fine for him. we had to modify the inf driver file because it is from an HP, but that wouldn't explain this would it.

    this would be a good time to ask if anything can be done about the CPU fan port not ever getting any power.

    What could be done about red signal issues on the card itself?
     
  6. AstralBuoy

    AstralBuoy Notebook Enthusiast

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    #
    I cleaned the motherboard and mxm slots with rubbing alcohol, there was no sign of damage, and redid the thermal paste on the funny little cpu die that sits next to MXM1 and has a flat metal covering over it - the paste in here had gone weird with a blob of salt like crystalisation.
    That seems to have fixed the issue with the red color signal from the primary mxm slot. it is working fine now for 2 different gpu cards that I tried in it.

    the 880m driver installed when modded for the M18x, but wouldnt stay, after reboot it refused to load for either gpu -- but that didn't stop Doom from running and using the 880m in the secondary slot -- all the other games installed there default to the primary gpu which this time around was an old 1000M that is worse than the iGPU for 3d gaming.

    now the 880m is back in the Alienware 18 but she wont work, she thinks shes a secondary but she is in the primary slot, and gives error 43 in device manager, and Doom wont load, and normal games are using the iGPU. how do I flash her bios to make her primary? or how else can I get her properly installed? I cant find any nv flash software anymore, i think nvidia have 'cleaned' the internet of anything that can modify their hardware or be misused to scam people with fake graphics cards I guess -- so what can I do?
     
  7. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Deity

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    I am confused on what is currently wrong.

    My understanding is when set to PEG you had a red image. This is now corrected.

    You were trying to use optimus out of the secondary slot. Was there an issue with optimus when using the primary slot?

    If you have the BIOS set to PEG it can only use the primary GPU. You would need to have optimus/ iGFX set for games to choose a GPU.

    There is no difference in vBIOS between primary and secondary cards.
     
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  8. AstralBuoy

    AstralBuoy Notebook Enthusiast

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    yes the red image is corrected.
    So I then successfully installed the M2000M in MXM1 in the R1 with modded driver, now I am swopping out all the GPUs from 3 alienware 18's into the 2 surviving alienware for reasons that might soon make it into some new threads here.

    What is PEG? I dont recall a PEG option in my BIOS.
    It is a production unit engineering sample, with overclocking options.
    I didn't think it was possible to activate optimus on an alienware, i thought Dell disable it. I have not seen any options at all for gpu in any of my 3 alienware- they either show up in BIOS or they don't.

    Thank you for confirming the no difference in vbios, i did eventually work that out, and meant to come back and correct my assertion here.

    after my post here, I called Dell UK tech support and spoke with a cool guy about Doom and stuff, he looked up my service tag and informed me that my Alienware 18 was not from USA but actually from Romania. after the call, the 880m was auto-magically working again without so much as a reboot, got it working great again, briefly, with a cheap £25 860m in secondary doing phys-x that nicely sparkled up the gaming to ultra without much affecting the FPS - hard to tell exactly but as good if not sometimes better than the 880m SLI once was, since then the 4940mx in that AW18 has died, its quite a tale and I have a bunch of post mortem questions and photos to post on that soon but here back to the prod unit m18xR1, and I am trying to install that 860m and it shows in BIOS, and some details of it are showing in GPU-Z, but device manager is only seeing a generic graphics adaptor and Nvidia installer cannot find gpu or windows version, and I am expecting that for a modded driver to work that device manager should be recognising an nvidia GPU so before I try to cook up a modded nvdmi.inf file for it I am going to put the old M1000M into the MXM2 slot in the hope that Nvidia will install for that GPU and may then recognise the 860m, I also need to do it this way to get both GPU fans on before windows loads because the CPU fan connector never gets power (any ideas about that?) so i have spliced extension to connect CPU fan to GPU2 fan port but currently have to remember to manually click through hwinfo64 > sensors > fans > custom auto to force all fans on which is a race to do before she gets to 102 celcius at which point she can get a tad unresponsive, lol.

    is there a better windows fan control software? would you guys use the old speedfan program? Is there any other?
    with your hardware knowledge, is there a more sensible solution / workaround for CPU Fan power?

    thx.
     
  9. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    Could you not spam the board with threads and just make one thread for yourself? I've seen many things on the internet but your posts are by far the most irritating I've seen to date. They're all over the place. Collect your thoughts and make a list of what you've tried, what works, and what doesn't.
     
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  10. AstralBuoy

    AstralBuoy Notebook Enthusiast

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    yeah, you're right Raidriar, I'm sorry. how awful, it's like I was thinking out loud. I should also get some sleep, and get over the loss of my 4940mx during the weekend.
    I would like to delete some of my posts, but I don't see how to.

    I've now got it working anyway. the M18xR1 is working well with the 860m and with a moderate overclock plays a decent doom game, the fan cooling is good enough - the 2nd gpu is triggering the fan for the cpu as hoped for even though windows has disabled it because there is nothing for it to do, and I modded the driver using the section reference for the r2, it seems simple and obvious now that the panic has passed. I also got some excellent advice and feedback from Dell tech support in UK during an epic two and a half hour long phone call, and one of the wins from that is they gave me an unlisted but public link to a page that has every driver and document that Dell has ever released for the M18xR2, I'll try to make a sensible and useful post with that sometime this week, and after I've checked if it helps solve my ATI driver isssues.

    I always appreciate some straight talking feedback, so thank you, and how do I clean up the messy posts that are not helpful or accessible for other people? .. and its a good idea i stick to one thread. cheers.
     
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