The dreaded 8 beeps. Need some advice.

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by Clawz114, May 16, 2016.

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  1. Clawz114

    Clawz114 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi all.


    So, I've had my M18x R1 for about 4 years now. It's had a relatively easy life. It gets a lot of use but mainly non-intensive stuff. Haven't done much gaming on it over the last couple of years. I've never had to replace any parts on it thus far.


    So about 6 months ago, I turned it on one day as normal and got the dreaded 8 beeps. Searched on here and the general consensus is that it could be LCD, Graphics or Motherboard. Tried the method to get to 5 beeps, but it just reverted back to 8 beeps after that.

    I took the system apart. Removed the LCD, removed both graphics cards (GTX 560s) and fitted it all back together, and it worked first time! For the next 6 months, it has been fine. It gets used roughly 5 days a week too. About a week ago, the 8 beeps returned, so I did what I did last time. Disassembled and reassembled. It worked again, but this time it lasted about 4 days before the 8 beeps returned. Now it seems, I'm having more of an issue.

    I dissembled and reassembled but this time it didn't work. I tried a whole bunch of things including no cards at all, each card in the primary slot (which I understand to be the left hand side under the ESC key), using a monitor over HDMI. I put new thermal paste on the GPUs while I was there too. I managed to get the laptop running with both cards plugged in but the resolution was lower than full HD with no option to go higher. Nvidia Control panel wouldn't open, and the screen looked like it was using a smaller color range. There was a lack of gradient to my wallpaper and out of place colors. While booting there was a bunch of red pixels next to any of the white text. Definitely not right. When switching to an external monitor however, the picture was clear and correct. I took the casing off the LCD to check that the cables were seated properly. They seemed to be. I disconnected and re-connected them with no change to the symptons.

    So this morning I pulled it out, turned it on and to my surprise, the screen looked fine, albeit a lower resolution. NVidia Control Panel still didn't load, Device Manager showed both cards but had exclamation marks and said 'Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. Then the screen suddenly changed to the less colourful, redish tint that it had before.

    This is what I have tried today.
    Removing the secondary card. No change, 8 beeps, nothing on-screen.
    Placing the secondary card in the primary slot. No change, 8 beeps, nothing on-screen.
    No cards at all. No change, 8 beeps, nothing on-screen.

    This leads me to believe that this is not a problem with my graphics cards, but maybe the motherboard? What other tests can I run to try to figure out what isn't working here? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    You don't happen to have non-turbo flex support enabled in the BIOS do you? That could do it too
     
  3. Clawz114

    Clawz114 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I don't know to be honest. I wouldn't have adjusted that setting though, so it should be on whatever the default is.
     
  4. kenny27

    kenny27 Notebook Deity

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    You could try running system diagnostics. I believe holding FN + Power button should do the trick (works on the R2 anyway), someone correct me if I'm wrong please
     
  5. Clawz114

    Clawz114 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I still get a black screen when I use fn+power. Still the same 8 beeps. Nothing on screen. I have been able to plug an external monitor in over HDMI out and by repeatedly pressing fn+F6, I can get the external monitor to display the info about the hard drives, but after that it goes black and I get the 8 beeps. I can enter the hard drive config menu where you can set up RAID etc, but I can't get to the BIOS.
     
  6. kenny27

    kenny27 Notebook Deity

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    I'd like to give you some good advice but I don't really know if there is anything else you can do... If it were me, I'd start with replacing the motherboard.
     
  7. GodlikeRU

    GodlikeRU Notebook Deity

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    Sounds like screen destroyed by edid corruption for me.

    Did you used EVGA precision?
     
  8. Clawz114

    Clawz114 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I haven't used EVGA precision. I've never overclocked the laptop or used any kind if performance tweaking software. It's all run completely stock from the day I got it. The only thing I changed was adding a solid state on day 1, and upgrading to Windows 10 last year.
     
  9. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    I've never seen a motherboard die and give 8 beeps, usually it is 7 beeps or 4 beeps, but never 8. I would try the LCD first.

    But I would do this first:
    Pull your graphics cards out, leave them out, power drain, and see if you can run only on intel.
     
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  10. GodlikeRU

    GodlikeRU Notebook Deity

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    Yeah, Raidriar is right. Try to run them without GPUs.

    8 beeps are usually
    • GPU damaged so much that it can't even start
    • Screen damaged or it's connection
    • Screen EDID destroyed by Windows 10
     
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