Ribbon cable replacement and clip lock for Alienware 18

Discussion in 'Alienware' started by Biotic, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. Biotic

    Biotic Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yeah it seems like that's gonna be the only possible fix, because buying a new mobo over a clip seems like a huge waste of money haha. It's located right above the dvd reader to the right, tried to make it as easy to see as possible on the screenshot, sorry if it wasn't clear enough haha.
     
  2. AstralBuoy

    AstralBuoy Notebook Enthusiast

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    my laptop was running a bit hot because it had had a bad job done on the thermal paste (before I bought it) I posted that with photos here recently- some of it had splattered out and there were areas of the gpu die that had no paste on them -- that may have caused an electrical failure from repeated running hot, but it had also had a impact that damaged the audio and the dc jacks, like it had been dropped on its side with cables still plugged in and cracked the casings of two ports -- I think this could also have caused the electrical failure of the primary graphics card - it didnt melt the cables, i'm just pointing out a risk of that happening in extreme case becuase the alienware ribbon cables are rated 105C (thats degress celcius) and the generic ones that I have ordered are 80C, so if they get that hot they might start curling up.

    and yes it is an awful feeling. the last thing I had been doing with the laptop before when the power button bit of the ribbon cable failed was overclocking, so I thought I'd really cooked her, and my first attempts to repair the cables werent good, when the wider ribbon cable doesnt line up or has certain combinations of breaks in the pins then the laptop was refusing to boot and giving 7 beeps which is cpu or motherboard failure - in fact its just incomplete connection between mainboard and all the many other bits that connect through the wider ribbon cable. then it was 5 beeps (something has changed and spooked the bios - just reboot and carry on usually, and it also hit me with 2 beeps which I think I got past by clearing the CMOS by disconnecting the cmos battery and rebooting then reconnecting it and rebooting again).

    ... after all that, she still hits the top 95% overclocking results in XTU for the 4940XM !
     
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  3. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Im usually on my phone when I check this forum and the images dont load so I didnt look probably lol
     
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  4. Biotic

    Biotic Notebook Enthusiast

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    Wow I didn't know bad repasting could cause so much damage, I'm sorry to hear your laptop got damaged from something so simple to do, i'd be so mad at the previous owner lol

    At least on my particular case I shouldn't have an issue with the lower temperature rate since my gpu's never go above 77c, though I still don't like those temps, as soon as the laptop is back up and running i'm gonna do some tweaking with hwinfo64 to get a better fans profile, I found a guide on imgur on how to set it up if you're interested!

    I think I broke 1 pin on the big ribbon cable but I should probably get away with it with no real consequences (or at least I hope so) it's really tight when putting it back in after the palmrest is set in.

    Nice!! I noticed these alienware parts tend to be like overall better than the average, my primary 860m scored second out of 10k gpu's in userbenchmark, albeit it's still not a great gpu even if it's above average haha.
     
  5. AstralBuoy

    AstralBuoy Notebook Enthusiast

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    apparantly the 880m is a bit prone to overheating anyway, people here dont seem to like them much, lol, and they are conspicously absent from many of the lists of GPUs on NVidia website, almost like they are ignoring them or embarassed about them. did i read them described as a overclocked rebranded 780? anyway I still must write to the guy again as he was gonna pay for some of the damage to the ports but that was before the laptop failed and I'm still working out whats what with that.

    I wasnt monitoring temps or using hwinfo then. I should have done the thermal past myself as soon as i got her but its quite a learning curve, and easy to say in hindsight.

    I didnt have any problems with 1 missing pin connection on the wide ribbon, but each time you have need to reconnect them they can get damaged further.

    the cables detach on both ends. I think it is easier to keep them connected to the keyboard, you can feed them through the gap when you put the keyboard on, and they are easier to connect with the keyboard secured and attaching them from the underneath.

    ah that's interesting, my surviving 880m has a high ASIC, 87% of all tested in GPU-Z.
     
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  6. AstralBuoy

    AstralBuoy Notebook Enthusiast

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    photos of my cable repair - plastic makes the connection firm.
    if clip is missing, if you can find thin enough plastic that is stiff enough, ideally just like the blue plastic that makes the grip tag on the original cables - put the cable in, then a thin plastic strip of same width, and then a thin piece can go between the cable and the first plastic and this can make the perfect firm fit, (the knack is sliding the last piece inbetween the other two and it works better becuase the other piece and the cable are smooth. I tried superglueing a bit on to recreate the blue grip tag on the original cables, but the glue makes it too thick to fit.
    P.S. using tweezers really helps connecting the cables, but those in the photo dont grip, I use a pair with ceramic ends that are non conductive and have better grip, and a pair like in the photo but not needle tipped - they are a bit wider and I have put a thin strip of gorilla tape on the inside of each tip to act like grip pads, otherwise they are just slippery with cables - tweezers help with all the connectors as it happens.
    20190305_054613.jpg 20190305_054603.jpg 20190305_054919.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
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  7. Biotic

    Biotic Notebook Enthusiast

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    Went at it for an hour with no success, I don't know why, I think I wasn't able to clear the pins well enough from the plastic that was covering them, your method was pretty smart it just seems like I am not cut out for this kind of job lol, I used a bit of duct tape to bridge the gap in the connectors and the cable and it seemed to do the trick, but yeah the plastic not being removed correctly seems to be the issue :(
     
  8. AstralBuoy

    AstralBuoy Notebook Enthusiast

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    Its a good job if it works. I used duct tape in a similar way at one point too. It took me at least half a dozen attempts to get good at it, and as many failures before that to force me to think of using fine sand paper to reveal the metal tracks and cut off the frayed end. I think I forgot to mention the most important tip for doing it really well is that I used various magnifying glasses, one that does 8x at about 4" distance from eyes that one wears like glasses, a jewellers loupe, and a bright headtorch so that I could really see what I was doing becuase the pitch distance between the pins is only .5mm and some of the breaks in the cable could only be seen with magnification, at least with my eyes.
     
  9. AstralBuoy

    AstralBuoy Notebook Enthusiast

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    The generic ribbon cables that I ordered arrived, and they work really well. have a look. they are a tad thinner than the originals but they do grip, and they are a bit longer which makes it much easier to feed them through the gap when un-tearing down, and allows more different ways of routing them around the ODD bay, and can even lift the keyboard without disconnecting them and rest it against the open screen to allow more quickly changing the RAM if not much else because its a bit too awkward to take of the screen with the kb so loosly connected - longer ribbons is so much better for regularly going into the computer.

    The funny thing is that I had managed to miscount the number of tracks on the wider ribbon (they so tiny), so I ended up with 30pin and 40 pin cables, where we need 30 pin and 60 pin cables, and each cable comes in a pack of two, the maddest thing is I was so impatient to get them that I clicked through to buy just as I noticed there was an option to upgrade to first class post, so I ordered them all again, which turned out to be a perfect accident of two mistakes making it all good becuase I ended uphaving to doubling up the 30 pin cables to make the 60 pin connection and I only had enough of them becuase of the mistakes in ordering, lol. I think he doesnt even stock the 60 pin ones, so I saved myself some futile searching too.

    to fit the 2x30 pin ribbons for the 60 pin connection I had to very accuratly shave precisly half a millimeter off of both ends of one side of one of the 30 pin ribbons at the point that they meet, so that all the tracks line up with only .5mm pitch (gap). and it worked fine first time, and tfft! I was getting really fedup with the tattered bodge job cables and random keys and tron lights not working.

    20190305_160347.jpg 20190318_062854.jpg 20190305_160332.jpg
     
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  10. Biotic

    Biotic Notebook Enthusiast

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    After literally two months of waiting due to circumstances out of my control, I finally got mine today, it was a rather annoying job for me to get it to sit there perfectly with tape but finally did it, now I can finally be at peace with myself, don't wanna mess with the laptop again unless it is to upgrade something lol

    This might be of interest to you: I undervolted my i7 4710mq with my old broken cable still inside and after a while turns out the laptop would turn on but give me a black screen, I figured it was the cable finally dying since it was giving me problems but turns out I actually bricked my mobo, because the same thing was happening again with the new cable, so I had to follow the steps on how to do a cmos bios reset on a very useful thread here on the forums which was annoying, kinda scary but finally fruitful, it's finally up and running again, holy hell. So don't undervolt too much unless you feel like going thru all that lol. Dell really made something so easy to do rather difficult
     
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