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MikauSchekzen
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Alienware M17-R3 stuck on integrated graphics card in Windows 8

Howdy!

Don't know for sure if I should post this here, but this seems like the most logical place for this in my current drowsiness. Anyway, I installed Windows 8 Preview  on my Alienware M17 R3 a few days ago, and I booted without the power cable plugged in one time, so the machine disabled my good GPU. However, I don't know how to make the machine enable it again. I've downloaded the OSD and tried the FN+F7 combo, and then it asked me whether I wanted to switch GPUs. When I clicked yes, nothing happened. Tried rebooting my system, but it really didn't do anything. Can't enable it in my BIOS either, since there's no option for it there. I've heard there's an option for it in the R2, but apparently, it's not in the R3, for whatever reason.

Any ideas would be helpful.
-Tim

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Jacob_R
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Re: Alienware M17 R3 stuck on integrated graphics card in Windows 8

Hi Tim,

I would try to uninstall video drivers through /My Computer>Properties>Device Manager. After that, Win will ask to reboot the laptop and you will be able to do a 'clean' video driver install.

Then the usual installation: Intel's GPU, then descreet GPU.

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MikauSchekzen
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Re: Alienware M17 R3 stuck on integrated graphics card in Windows 8

Howdy!

Thank you for your response.

I just tried that, but it still only sees the integrated GPU. It's not really disabled in the software, by the way, but rather, it's as if the GPU is disconnected. Don't know a better way to explain it.

The FN+F7 command should be able to change something in the BIOS(if the names of the DLLs with the OSD are any indication) to make my machine see the discrete GPU again, but it does not seem to work.

Maybe something else would help, too, but I really don't know at this stage.

-Tim

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Moderator
Moderator

Re: Alienware M17 R3 stuck on integrated graphics card in Windows 8

What options are in the Bios- Advanced- Primary Display?

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MikauSchekzen
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Re: Alienware M17 R3 stuck on integrated graphics card in Windows 8

Howdy!

That's just the thing. There are no options in advanced for my GPUs or displays. I see a lot of Intel SuperSpeed(or whatever), and processor and memory bank overclocking, and an option for my RAID setup. But no options for GPUs anywhere. Which is unfortunate, because it would make things a lot easier, and I probably wouldn't have to bother anyone else.

I've flashed my BIOS to the latest version that was retrievable from the driver page of this machine, but that did not seem to add any options regarding my GPUs.

-Tim

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Moderator
Moderator

Re: Alienware M17 R3 stuck on integrated graphics card in Windows 8

Very odd. Here is a picture of the M17x-R3 Bios page and it shows Primary Display.
* Power the system off
* Disconnect the AC adapter from the system
* Remove the battery from the system
* Connect the AC adapter to the system
* Power the system on
* Open the Device Manager and tell us what is listed under Display Adapters

7752.M17x-R3Bios.jpg

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MikauSchekzen
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Re: Alienware M17 R3 stuck on integrated graphics card in Windows 8

Just to be sure, I went into the BIOS again, but Charger Behavior is the last thing on the list for me. Pressing Page Down didn't reveal any additional options, either. Very strange.

Alright, I removed the battery cell after having turned off the notebook, and booted  the machine with power from the AC adapter only, and unfortunately, it displays the same as before under the Display Adapters in Device Manager:

Intel(R) HD Graphics Family (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM 1.2)

And that's it. It should be noted that it didn't show (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM 1.2) until a bit ago, when I replaced the driver as a test.

There's a device without a driver which appears to be a digital accelerometer, but I should think that's not a problem now. I will install a driver for it later.

-Tim

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Moderator
Moderator

Re: Alienware M17 R3 stuck on integrated graphics card in Windows 8

Ok. If your up to it, removing the back cover and reseating the video card would be the next troubleshooting step. Download and review the Service Manual. Pretty good video here.

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MikauSchekzen
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Re: Alienware M17 R3 stuck on integrated graphics card in Windows 8

I would be up for that, however, I don't have any screwdrivers at the moment. I'll purchase them soon, and respond back with the results.

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MikauSchekzen
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Re: Alienware M17 R3 stuck on integrated graphics card in Windows 8

Right, I don't know what just happened. I don't have my screwdriver kit yet, but I did some other things.

I reinstalled Windows 7 on the machine, but that hasn't helped at all in hindsight. Then I downloaded some drivers for my chipsets, network card, etc. Then I left my notebook on for a night, and when I woke up and checked on the notebook, had a BSoD, and when I got into Windows yet again, the machine suddenly detected my discrete GPU again.

I've seen Ren and Stimpy cartoons that made more sense than this Smiley Tongue

It's unfortunate that this answer probably won't help anyone else with the problem, but I just hope this is permanent.

-Tim

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