1 Nickel

Alienware Blackscreen Fix

So I have seen so many threads about the common Blackscreen problem everyone has. I got it myself on my Alienware M17X R-1.

I'm not the best when it comes to computers and all. But recently I've been quite eager to attempt to fix this problem, because the only way to avoid it has been to run my computer on my intergrated card instead of my SLI GTX 260m. And I must say that the intergrated one is quite worthless compared to SLI.

So for those who do not know about the problem. I personally get it when I some times play games or watch youtube videos. What happens is often that I might first get a error saying that "Nvidia drivers has crashed and been restored..." after my screen turns black for a second. If I continue watching or playing, it turns all black and I have to turn my computer off by holding down the power button. Once this blackscreen appears my sound messes up as well. It makes some glitchy noises for a second or two.

I know there are alot of suggestions on how to fix this problem. I've been trying out a few, so I will write my result here and update as I try out different things.

-Deactivate Intergrated card and run on SLI only.
Result: Got the blackscreen just as quickly as when I got both cards on.

-Reinstalling all drivers.
Result: Makes no difference

-Download different drivers, old and new.
Result: Does not seem to make much of a difference either, yet I had not tried very many.

-Make sure GPU or CPU does not overheat
Result: It has never gone above 65c as I have seen. Not sure at what temp they crash but I heard there should only be a problem if they stay at 90c+

-Set the power settings to high preformance
Result: I believe this is important to avoid the black screen yet I have got it with the settings on High Preformance.

-Set the NVIDIA Power Management Mode to Prefer Maximum Performance
Result: After doing this it worked problem free for a good while. Played a whole day, watched videos no problems. I just suddenly got the blackscreen when doing nothing and running no applications. Also it was instant without any glitchy sound, after reboot it seems to be running fine again.

-Disable physX, SLI and readyboost. Reboot and turn on SLI
I have not tried it yet but will do so soon.

-Lower the clock speed
I have not yet tried this since I have never been messing with the clocking settings before and I am a bit afriad to do so. I read that it should be possible and might fix the problem. Do it at own risk though.

Please add your suggestions, tips and solutions if you have any. I am as I mentioned earlier not very good when it comes to computers and I have only been hunting different solutions on different forums.

I am not happy before I get a reason to why the black screen appears or until I find a stable solution for it.


If you are interested where I got all this information from I will add a few links to this thread incase you wanna look it up yourself.

-Another discussion here on the DELL Alienware forums

-Another discussion whit a possible Fix by BatBoy, I have not yet fully tried it

In my case it might be that the Blackscreen problem is connected to the "Nvidia drivers has crashed and been restored..." problem. So here are some links to that as well.

-A several different fixes for the problem

-A discussion about the problem in the NVIDIA forums



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Re: Alienware Blackscreen Fix

I have yet to read through all of the links but have you tried this?

* Remove the video card driver
* Reinstall the video card driver choosing Custom Install, unchecking the box for Stereoscopic 3D
* After the installation is finished, reboot the system
* Go into the Nvidia Control Panel and Disable the following - Phys-X, SLI, ReadyBoost
* When done, Save the changes. Close the Nvidia Control Panel and reboot the system
* Go back into the Nvidia Control Panel and Enable SLI, save the change and close the Nvidia Control Panel. Does it still have the black screen issue?

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1 Nickel

Re: Alienware Blackscreen Fix

I have tried to reinstall all the video card drivers. Last time I did it I didn't even get any option of Steroscopic 3D and there is no steroscopic 3D drivers on my computer either so don't think that is a problem.

I have not tried the last thing you mentioned though. So far it has been doing fine since i put the NVIDIA Power Management Mode to "Prefer Maximum Performance". If I get a blackscreen again I will try the last thing you mentioned 🙂

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1 Nickel

Re: Alienware Blackscreen Fix

Okay just got blackscreen again, this time it was instant, did not make any weird sounds and it did not have the NVIDIA card crash error before it happend. I could not see the light when I toggled Num lock or caps lock, had not tried doing that during the blackscreen before but I read in another topic that I should try it out to get a hint of where/what the problem might be. Still it does not tell me much since I don't know shit :P.

Very well, this means that setting the NVIDIA Power Management Mode to Prefer Maximum Performance does not fix it. Even though the computer ran problem-free for a good while.

Will now try the thing Chris M mentioned, disable physX, sli, readyboost. reboot and turn on SLI

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1 Copper

Re: Alienware Blackscreen Fix

I have had the same issue on my M17x R3, and tried everything until i flashed the bios from a9 to a12. Also installed nvidia 314.22 drivers (gtx580m). Have left on downloading overnight and most of the morning, then restarted and played guildwars2 for a few hours to find no problems. Before i did these things it would black screen within 10 mins of being on, and gw2 would insta crash it! It took a while due to black screening whilst trying to update stuff but i managed it. Hope this helps anyone else as there is not alot of stuff about this online as usually when people get there computer running they dont bother replying to forums.

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