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Alienware Laptop does not detect its discrete video card(s)


Alienware Laptop Does not detect its Discrete video card (s)

Article Summary:

This article will help you to troubleshoot you Alienware Mobile systems, it contains the most common solutions / fixes.

Note: Please bookmark this article as restarts of the computer are recommended during the process to help resolve issues.

1. What is happening?

The Alienware M17x R3, R4, M18x R1, R2, Alienware 14, 17 and 18 includes an integrated graphics adapter, whose main purpose is to provide video display in an energy-efficient, power saving way (i.e. when running the system on battery with no AC outlets available).

This mode can be manually set by:

a) Pressing [Fn]+[F7] (for Alienware M17x R3, R4, M18x R1, R2) and [Fn]+[F5] (for Alienware 14, 17, 18) in the Windows desktop, and restarting the computer when requested.

b) It is automatically set, whenever the computer is started in battery mode (not connected to a plugged AC Adapter) and systems equipped with nVidia Optimus Technology (Integrated gpu + 1 Nvidia Discrete gpu).

When the Alienware M17x R3, R4, R5 (Running an ATI Discrete Video card) & M18x R1, R2, R3 running SLI / Crossfire (Dual Discrete Video cards) or Single ATI GPU, mobile system is running on integrated graphics card mode, Windows' Device Manager will only show the Intel HD Graphics as the Alienware Mobile current video adapter.

2. Solution

To use all the Alienware M17x R3, R4, R5 & M18x R1, R2, R3 video adapter(s), it is required that you to switch the computer to Discrete mode. To do so, follow the next procedure:

a) Connect the Alienware M17x R3, R4, R5 or M18x R1, R2, R3 to its AC Adapter. Then, connect the AC adapter to a wall outlet.

b) Press [Fn]+[F7] or [Fn]+[F5] to switch from integrated graphics mode to discrete graphics mode. Restart the computer when requested.

Note: If the [FN]+[F7] or [Fn]+[F5] does not work, please uninstall and reinstall the On Screen Display Driver (OSD Driver) using the latest version available at the Drivers & Downloads section.

If your system still appears to have the discrete video turned off or missing look at Windows Device Manager, and at the Display Adapters section you should see the discrete card (ATI/NVidia), if none check in the BIOS Setup and make sure is detected there. You can also change the primary display at the advance tab and choose PEG/SG.

Picture1: Discrete Graphics not Detected / Enabled

Picture 2: Discrete graphics detected / Enabled and Integrated graphics disabled.

If still you cant enable the Discrete graphics, you can try Re-Flashing / Updating the systemBIOS to the same or latest version. Look under the Drivers & Downloads section your system bios and run it. How to update the system BIOS.

Tip: If after running the bios update you system doesn’t boot please check if you system was built with RAID and set it up and the BIOS menu then it will boot up again.




Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN85593

Last Date Modified: 04/21/2016 12:36 PM


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