Need help troubleshooting P150HM failure - BIOS / GPU / Hardware specialists wanted! ;-)

Discussion in 'Sager and Clevo' started by jaybee83, Oct 2, 2014.

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  1. jaybee83

    jaybee83 Biotech-Doc

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    Alright folks, even though its actually a little embarassing for me to be posting this, being the author of the 7970M blind-flashing guide for the HM machines and all, Im posting this in hopes that one of you guys can help me out here.

    So here goes:

    A week ago my beloved machine suddenly black-screened on me while i was watching a flash video online. I switched it off, tried to reboot, but all I got were blue dots during the Bios Splash Screen, followed by a ton of exclamation marks on a black screen, followed by a slightly "off" or distorted Windows Boot Logo. It wouldnt go any further, so I did a little research online and came to the conclusion that my gpu was the reason for this culprit.

    Which made sense to me: Graphical glitches during Bios load can only mean a hardware issue, not software-related. Plus, all the posts ive found relating to blue dots in Bios screen and those weird exclamation marks could be resolved by swapping out the video card.

    So, next step for me was to try my luck baking the card, unfortunately without success. After baking and letting it cool down to room temperature, I re-installed it, started the machine and was then greeted with a black screen, nothing else.

    Thus I did some research on ebay and luckily found myself an affordable replacement card, namely a Clevo 7970M Revision 1.2 2G (as we all know, rev 1.1 cards dont work in HM machines, even when trying to blind-flash them). I actually bought it from Clevo-Extreme, who has a Notebook-Retailer account here at NBR (hope youre seeing this as well, btw!)

    Today I received the card, installed it, tried to boot up and still got a black screen. Ok, i said to myself, this was expected, thats why I prepared myself a usb stick with atiflash and the non-enduro vbios from my blind-flashing thread beforehand.

    Since i wasnt able to set the boot order in the bios i just removed the primary hard drive and also the dvd drive and also did a cmos reset just for the heck of it. Reconnected the power, put in the prepared usb stick, switched on the laptop and waited.....
    Unfortunately, nothing happened! Normally, the fans would spin up to max at some point, indicating that the vbios flashing process has begun, followed by an automated system shutdown as coded in the autoexec.bat file from my blind-flashing guide.

    Ive tried different USB ports, did another CMOS reset, all to no avail. What I also did was to install my SSD and watch the hard drive indicator LED when powering up, it doesnt look like it boots to windows without display output, so naturally, a blind-flash wouldnt help out in this case i guess.

    Soooo, aside from the obvious, namely that i got a defective card, what other possibilities are there that you guys can hopefully come up with? Maybe a different component, other than the gpu that failed? the CPU maybe? or a corrupt bios chip? or the mobo? Ive tested the usb stick on another machine first, doing a "dry run" where i purposefully changed the included .rom file so that the flashing process would be interrupted by an error. It booted fine into DOS and executed the autoexec.bat commands just as intended, so thats not the culprit here.

    Alright, thats it so far from my side, thanks in advance for any input you guys might have!

    Cheers.

    edit: almost forgot - when i power it up, only the bluetooth led comes on, while the hdd led flashes shortly and then switches off when the ssd is installed. power and battery led function as expected.

    edit2: i do have the ability to switch on max. fans, aint that an indicator for a functioning bios/ec?
     
  2. Prema

    Prema Your Freedom, Your Choice

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    Sounds like trying to boot the "baked" card may have caused a "hickup"

    Take one RAM out and retry, this rewrites the nvram clean.
     
  3. jaybee83

    jaybee83 Biotech-Doc

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    yea i was thinking about that as well@baked card messed up smth. ill try it asap once i get home, at the gym right now letting off some steam ;) thx for the input!
     
  4. jaybee83

    jaybee83 Biotech-Doc

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    no luck :(

    tried it with one ram stick, cmos reset, boot without ram, then with one ram stick again, nothing.....crap!

    also what ive noticed now: when i press the power button, the system comes on for a second, then switches off and then switches on again on its own. like it needs two tries to properly switch itself on.

    would a system start without gpu help? and then reseat it?
     
  5. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    The other thing could have been solder running and shorting on the baked card and then taking out the motherboard with it when putting it back in.

    Try going through lots of different component combinations, run at a minimum, one stick of ram, motherboard outside the case too if you have the time to help rule out a freak short somewhere. I suppose no one around has a testable rig?
     
  6. jaybee83

    jaybee83 Biotech-Doc

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    ugh, thats the thing, dont know anyone around here with a similarly equipped rig that i could use for testing...

    and yeah, im afraid that i mightve messed up the mainboard with the baked card. although i made sure it was cooled down to room temp. before i installed it again!

    ok, heres to hoping that its just something unimportant keeping the system from booting up, like the wifi adapter or the subwoofer or smth :p
     
  7. Prema

    Prema Your Freedom, Your Choice

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    It wasn't doing the auto-reboot with your old "baked" card, right?

    What vBIOS does the cards label read? If it's just really incompatible vBIOS then you could swap the vBIOS chip from the old to the new card.


    Also put the old card back into the oven...
     
  8. jaybee83

    jaybee83 Biotech-Doc

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    nope, it didnt do that with the baked card. it only started doing that with the new card after i took out the ram, i think.

    ill come back to you concerning the vbios, the new card is installed in the laptop atm so i cant see the stickers on it. unfortunately though, i dont have a soldering iron... but if it were just the vbios, wouldnt the blindflash take care of it?

    put it back into the oven? u mean try and bake it again?
     
  9. Prema

    Prema Your Freedom, Your Choice

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  10. jaybee83

    jaybee83 Biotech-Doc

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    but thats exactly what i did initially! :D i baked the card for 8 min at 200C and it didnt work.... :(

    sigh, my parents are here now for the weekend so dont have time to take care of the laptop... thanks a lot for the input guys, u have no idea how much i appreciate this!
     
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