Windows 10 and nVidia 980M GTX upgrades for Alienware (M17X-R4, without Optimus: Working Great!)

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by woodzstack, Jun 10, 2015.

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  1. woodzstack

    woodzstack Alezka Computers , Official Clevo reseller.

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    Currently, the working windows 10 previews I have tested and have worked are Windows 10130 and now with Windows 10159 , Windows 10162, and now 10166

    WARNING do not install EVGA Precision, it increases chances for EDID vulnerability and can lead to unrecoverable LCD failure in Windows 10.




    I saw a thread on T|I thanks to a friend, and J95 there posted a modified Driver for Windows 10 and 9XXM series videocards for Alienware's. **WARNING WINDOWS 10: Please fully update your system with ALL drivers and updates, and do all the multiple restarts you need to do, before installing, so there is no overlapping of driver installations. Also - ONLY install the drivers and the Physx drivers for Windows 10***
    (This should keep you safe, as a practice)

    After much deliberation, it is working great ! I gained roughly about 25% better performance, over all, with stock vBios this way. I also gained about 10% using a modified vBios, the latest overclocked vBios from SLV7 works great, very stable.

    I am using a 240Watt PSU, though I do have a 330Watt, I do not need to use it anymore, and it adds no more performance.

    Anyways, this is the thread : http://forum.techinferno.com/nvidia/6307-[alienware]-aftermarket-upgrades-driver-support-modded-inf-30.html#post135452
    (Pages 33-35 really)

    nVidia GTX 970M and nVidia GTX 980M both work, on the M17X-R4, tested them myself.

    Pads go here : [​IMG]


    I must have made every mistake in the book, and then some, figuring out how to make these work properly, what can be done what can not be done, so if anyone needs help, I do not mind adding my experience to it.

    If you need to modify your heatsink, here is an example on a MSI heatsink what one of my client did : (starts around 5 minutes in)



    From scratch I was instructed to do this :


    If using SG/Switchable graphics OR Windows 7, go to step 9, but enable Legacy Mode (this is to enable Optimus Mode/SG/Legacy/Windows 7 compatibility)
    For better performance, use dedicated mode, follow full steps.
    (OR if your a pro and have unlocked bios and can just click/select PEG mode, its much easier to toggle then trying to force it by chance.)

    First : BIOS reset M17X-R4 Optimus

    1- Unplug power cord
    2- Remove battery
    3- Hold power button for 30 seconds
    4- Remove CMOS coin battery(next to GPU fan)
    5- Remove nVidia GTX 980M/970M -> 2 screws only, there's no need to remove the heat sink.
    6- Reinsert CMOS battery


    • 120Hz Models only
    • (IF using PEG/120Hz model will require a "backup card" 680M, or 780M would be fine, to access BIOS settings, step 7 - 9)
    • 7- Install "backup card" -> Plug power cord
    • 8- Power on -> Beeps -> hold power button until shutdown.
    • 9- Power on -> F2 -> Boot menu -> "Boot list option" UEFI -> "Load Legacy Option ROM" Disabled -> "Secure boot" Disabled-> " Windows 8 Fast Boot" Disabled -> Exit menu 'Save Without Exit' -> Power off.
    • 10- Reinsert the nVidia GTX 980M/970M
    • 11- Power ON -> F2 -> shutdown.
    • 12-Re-install Windows.

    (IF USING OPTIMUS/60Hz)
    7- Plug power cord
    8- Power on -> Flashes and shutsdown > Beeps -> hold power button until shutdown.
    9- Power on -> F2 -> Boot menu -> "Boot list option" UEFI -> "Load Legacy Option ROM" Disabled -> "Secure boot" Disabled-> " Windows 8 Fast Boot" Disabled -> Exit menu 'Save Without Exit' -> Power off.
    10- Reinsert nVidia GTX 980M/970M
    11- Power ON -> F2 -> Checks settings are same, and not reset > shutdown.
    12- Re-install Win10/Windows 8/Windows 7


    Note:
    Make sure you have GPT and not MBR partition for Windows.
    (Incase you use a USB drive, like using Rufus, select GPT for UEFI option)
    Or see this link I just found after :
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/question-about-creating-the-uefi-boot-drive.776877/


    When installing the driver, make sure you have Driver Signature Enforcement : Disabled (DSE)
    Windows 8 :
    Disabling the Driver Signature Enforcement for

    Windows 7 Driver Installation in Windows 8

    --Installing new Video Card drivers in Windows 8

    Instructions
    • From the Metro Home Screen
    • Go to the bottom right corner of the screen and hover over the “Minus” sign
    • Select “Settings”
    • Select “Change PC Settings”
    • Select “General”
    • Scroll down, to “Advanced Startup”, select “Restart Now”
    • Select “Trouble Shoot”
    • Select “Advanced Options”
    • Select “Startup Settings”
    • Select “Restart”
    • After restart, select #7 “Disable driver signature enforcement” by pressing your #7 key
    • Back in the Metro Screen. Install Drivers.
    •In the Metro Home Screen
    •Hover over the minus symbol in the bottom right corner.
    •Select on “settings”
    •Select “Change PC Settings”
    •Select “General”
    •Scroll down, select “Restart Now”
    •Select “Trouble Shoot”
    •Select “Advanced Options”
    •Select “Startup Settings”
    •Select “Restart
    •Select #7 “Disable driver signature enforcement” by pressing your #7 key
    •Back in the Metro Screen. Install Drivers.

    Windows 10 DSE:
    a) Press the Win + C and click on PC settings.
    b) Switch over to the “Update & recovery” section.
    c) Then click on the Recovery option on the left hand side.
    d) Once selected, you will see an advanced startup section appear on the right hand
    side. You will need to click on the “Restart now” button.
    e) Once your Computer has rebooted you will need to choose the Troubleshoot option.
    f)Then head into Advanced options.
    g) Then Startup Settings.
    h) Since we are modifying boot time configuration settings, you will need to restart your computer one last time.
    I) Here you will be given a list of startup settings that you can change. The one we are looking for is “Disable driver signature enforcement”. To choose the setting, you will need to press the F7 key.

    The driver I used had a Modified NV_DISPI.INF
    It was driver version 352.84
    Heres my drop box to it (Windows 10 modified driver for M17X-R4):
    (REMOVED, USE THE ONES FROM OUR SITE)

    Here is a (Modified) driver List for my Alienware friends :
    (Already Modified, and usually kept up to date. Multiple confusing versions is thanks to nVidia)
    http://downloads.eurocom.com/support/drivers/upgradeyourlaptop/Alienware/


    Here is a drop box to the drivers I use on M17X-R4, if anyone has a complete list like this for other systems, for this 900 series, give me the link and I will upload it.
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6i8ejny8o86kzji/AAAh8_sEXYAL50gAP-_CYvkYa?dl=0

    There are three drivers and also all the drivers for the Alienware M17X-R4 and various setups.
    Some drivers outdated.
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Here are some other tips, because people have asked for them, these apply to M17X-R4, and are fro my personal experience.


    M17X-R4 has sata 3 speed limitted to 300MB/s on the mSata. So do not put an mSata for speed, its slow. The two HDD bays though are both Sata 3 6G i.e can both do 600MB/s ea. RAID 0 in those with 2 850 Samsung pro SSD should give you over 1GB/s bandwidth on your drives. Very fast !
    If your always using the LCD on the laptop and not an external monitor, you could always go 120Hz. Makes things look incredible. Its insane how much nicer things go. Its the same as basically upgrading your videocard so things look nicer and play smoother. Your mouse movements will have less lags etc..
    You need the LCD itself and the CHIP and the LCD cable for it. "thegh0sts" that you see in that thread you were on, knows where to get both, you can tell him I sent you. (which is funny cause he's probably reading this too..haha:p)

    The DVD drive can be turned into a HDD Caddy, and thus stick your 1-2TB mechanical drive in there for storage/backup, then you can use a cheap small SSD to run as Cache for the mechanical drive. You could also use the mPCI-E slot for the WiHD card and set that all up to have wireless gaming to a monitor. (difficult though, expert installation and knowledge required)

    RAM, (I would recommend Cas 9 1600 LoVo SoDimms instead of regular, and run them at lowest voltage. Mushkin makes some. Cheap and EXCELLENT quality, get 2 sets of 2x8Gb(16GB total x2) for 32GB.

    Then get the M14X-R2 CPU fans and use it instead of the M17X-R4 CPU fans. Tis should be 4CFM vs 11+ CFM. You will have to cut the tabs off on the M14X-R2 Fan and then just use some black cloth/hockey tape to hold it on, if your careful you can suspend it with the tape and thus lower the noise (still very silent) but it lowers temps by 5C easily.

    Take Both your heatsinks out, and clean them with a wool pad from the grocery store. you know the disposable kind, and do some circles on the parts that make contact with the GPU/CPU die, until the varnish and oils and color comes off/changes and it becomes increasingly smooth, this will increase temps by 1-2C on the top end of OCing. Using better thermal paste too like TX-4 or even better Gelid Extreme for an additional 5-10C extra of cooling. Google and youtube how to apply them perfectly. Buy two tubes and keep doing it until you learn to smooth it properly. Tip - stick the tubes ina glass of hot water for 5 minutes before using, so they're warm. Run the heatsinks under hot water (keep them dry afterwards) just so the paste doesn't get cold and solid, so you can smooth it as thinnly as possible afterwards.

    On your heatsink for your RAM on the GPU, add 4 small 1cm^2 0.2mm thick copper shims. make sure they do not short circuit anything, but stick these directly on the RAM parts after touching the Thermal pads, but before touching the heatsinks. Make sure they fit though, do a proper inspection. Triple inspect even. Then test and be careful. This will add some life to these. (Add paste between the copper and the heatsink, but like super super thin gelid extreme, just to cover air gaps.

    there are some Components near the CPU that the CPU heatsink also cools, do the same and add a small shim of copper to those, and make sure not to short anything out, make proper contact with the thermal pads. Always do the paper test to see what kind of contact a heatsink/pads/shims make. Too much os no good, and not enough contact is bad. Should be able to pull a paper strip out, with tension, but not easily or not at all.

    Jimmy a single 3v or 5v wire red or orange if you know,. from somewhere on the motherboard connecting a different port like an HDD or something, to the Fans + voltage IN to get more RPM out of them. Double the noise, but get like 5k RPM. Lowers temps by 15-20C easily when OCing. This is how I also beat Fox for a few months in XTU when we were testing AW17 R5...


    Drivers:
    depending on hardware ID of the GPU
    AW17 :(358.50)

    05AA:http://downloads.eurocom.com/suppor...ptop/Alienware/17_R5_05AA1028_9xxM_358.50.zip
    05AD: http://downloads.eurocom.com/suppor...ptop/Alienware/17_R5_05AD1028_9xxM_358.50.zip
    05AE : http://downloads.eurocom.com/suppor...ptop/Alienware/17_R5_05AE1028_9xxM_358.50.zip


    M17X-R4: (358.50)
    0551: http://downloads.eurocom.com/suppor...top/Alienware/M17xR4_05511028_9xxM_358.50.zip
    057B:http://downloads.eurocom.com/suppor...top/Alienware/M17xR4_057B1028_9xxM_358.50.zip
    0580:http://downloads.eurocom.com/suppor...top/Alienware/M17xR4_05801028_9xxM_358.50.zip



    If hardware ID says 057B...(358.91 Day 1 Fallout Driver)
    ((Warning - bad drivers for SLi capable Alienware!))
    For those of you with a M17X-R4 and Playing Fallout 4 on Windows 10 with 980M
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/cxlltm72fe24lox/AAAPonvzqli11KueVllgQxY8a?dl=0


    THERMAL PADS : the ones I provide are EXTRA to make BETTER contact : Observer the follow photo's

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    See how I used the extra thin thermal pads to make a PROPER contact, over time these things sometimes do not make proper contact, if you have too, use the supplied extra thermal pads to make better contact like this. It helps. Now remember, if it is already make contact, do not just cram them in there and have them squished, that is bad !



    Extra options :


    Skip DSE permanently :



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To TURN ON Optimus/Verify if Optimus is present... (R4/R5)

    How to verify Optimus is turned on in your Alienware R4 Before installing your New GPU, make sure you are running in optimus mode. Go into device manager and verify that there are 2 cards listed. One being the intel, and the other being your current card. If you DO NOT have both listed, press FN+F7, and they system will request a reboot. Then they both will be there.

    R5 Before installing your New GPU, make sure you are running in optimus mode. Go into device manager and verify that there are 2 cards listed. One being the intel, and the other being your current card. If you DO NOT have both listed, press FN+F5, and they system will request a reboot. Then they both will be there.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    How to Find Hardware ID's

    How to Find your GPU Hardware ID go to device manager, select the GPU, in W7 it will be listed as “standard VGA adapter”, in W8 it will be listed as “Microsoft display adapter”. double click on it and select the 3rd tab labeled details select the second item from the drop down menu labeled hardware ID's.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PDF to download to DISABLE DSE
    http://downloads.eurocom.com/support/drivers/upgradeyourlaptop/Digital signature disable instructions.pdf

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SUPER MASTER LIST OF VBIOS's (not really, but if needed, might be here)

    http://downloads.eurocom.com/support/drivers/VBIOS/


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    People have asked me for these cooling pads that can go underneath the GPU's to help cool the RAM. I have them, but this is not a sales thread, however you can see them here in these photo's what they look like. I do not know the difference, between not using them and using them, for sure they contribute to the longevity, but I doubt they add performance. mainly they would keep your videocard alive longer instead.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Latest AW17 driver for windows 10 in dedicated mode : Thanks to Gh0st
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jhnrz1g4g7wehpv/AADevY_qIoJQ1ZTY6Jl-9GEca?dl=0
    (it should be the folders created by the 359 driver, and then the modified inf's)

    here is a windows 10 64bit 364.51 driver
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/02idfagm63mfzyo/nv_dispi.inf_v364.51_Win10_PEG_Dedicated.zip?dl=0

    should also be this windows 8.1 64bit 364.51 driver : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/k7d1jr57tdv1bg6/AAA74IN9HDqcn-wNpRSbCvFha?dl=0



    a windows 10-64bit driver more recent 376.19 : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ptxii8rqai320nu/AADi_lL6DjW3XnRIgj6Th1ama?dl=0
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  2. Game7a1

    Game7a1 ?

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    I'm guessing this works with Windows 7 and 8.1, but with a different driver (say 352.86)?
     
  3. thegh0sts

    thegh0sts Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    windows 7 no, because you need a pure UEFI environment to get the 980M to work correctly. only Windows 8.1 and 10 will work in pure UEFI environment.
     
    clevo-extreme likes this.
  4. i has m11x

    i has m11x Notebook Evangelist

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    This is good news! I was waiting on info regarding the r4 with 980m and Windows 10.
     
  5. thegh0sts

    thegh0sts Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    hmmm....cold boot = black screen.
     
  6. woodzstack

    woodzstack Alezka Computers , Official Clevo reseller.

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    Black Screen ? What did you do ? You have a R5 though, no ?
    I know this works for R4.. thanks to J95
     
  7. thegh0sts

    thegh0sts Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    from a cold boot it would load the alienware logo and then go black like no signal black. this didn't happen in win 8.1.

    not sure what the cause is either :(

    hmmm....looks like if i turn it off for a few mins and turn it back on it goes black: no back light or anything.

    EDIT: Reinstalled the nvidia drivers....i didn't even need to change the boot menu policy.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2015
  8. woodzstack

    woodzstack Alezka Computers , Official Clevo reseller.

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    wait wait, no you do need to disable DSE and boot menu policy, When I didn't it looked like things worked, but didn't use the 980M. Remember?
    If this worked on a M17X-R4, surely it works on the AW 17. I had to , like a child, follow baby steps step by step to get it working. But I got it working, and its amazing!

    Anyways, the Alienware logo is part of boot/Post. So, something is working. Advice at this point is going to be tough, since we're both Pioneering into the unknown, right ?

    There was a point where I had to force shut down the computer, when the logo would norm ally come on..(but it does 4-5 beeps instead..) then after the forced shutdown/poweroff, I am able to go into bios and change all the settings to work.

    What exactly happens for you ? AFAIK, you should be able to at least get windows 10 going..even without the driver working for 980m/970M right away. Like the Optimus way. From there, you MIGHT** be able to force full UEFI (If you installed via Full UEFI/GPT boot etc..) Then you can just switch to PEG/Dedicated and UEFI boot doesn't need to change. just install the card (Again in this case, if you tried it with optimus)
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  9. thegh0sts

    thegh0sts Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    First boot it does not show the spinning circle of dots and it just went straight to black no backlight.

    Going back to 8.1 to see if it isn't a hardware issue.

    So bummed.

    EDIT: there's so many variables when it comes to installing preview OS oh well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  10. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    Get it sorted yet? Working OK with Windows 8.1?
     
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