Can't install ATI video drivers (radeon 7970m x2) - boots to black screen

So Here's Whats happening

My drivers weren't working right (couldn't play any game) and whenever i tried to update them the computer would boot into a black screen.

I booted into safe mode just fine, cleaned out my drivers (uninstall through amd cleanup utility [works in safe mode], Driver fusion, ccleaner) and was able to boot back into windows just fine. attempted to reinstall drivers and everything finished successfully, restart, and black screen.

so i decided it might be time for a fresh windows install, seeing how it was past my usual 6 month wipe.

fresh install, its all working, installing drivers and such, and then when i get to the video driver, it installs fine, requires a reboot and the exact same problem.

i've tried various versions of the drivers, including the one my laptop shipped with (still same problem) and the newest beta driver and many in-between that were working for me prior to the black screening

I've tried just about every recommendation i've come across from editing the registry to disable crossfirex, installing the drivers through the hardware manager, then installing the software, old versions, beta versions, updating the bios. At this point the only thing i haven't tried is actually opening up my laptop and taking the cards out and plugging them back in

Specs
Alienware m18x R2
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
i7-3610QM 2.3GHz
8g RAM
2x RadeonHD 7970m

The device manager lists it as Standard VGA Graphics Adapter, and when I update the driver through there (updating, then selecting where the driver has been extracted to) it recognises it as Radeon 7970m x2 and requires a reboot when the drivers are installed, and black screen on boot.

Thank you for any help

Edit 1: this is probably just me being paranoid /tinfoil, but i'm starting to think that dell intentionally makes these computers to last only a certain length of time before "something" happens to them. My paranoid reasoning is that there was nothing wrong with the card or my os or the drivers, and after a restart one day it just stopped being functional. it wasn't overheating, my games weren't performing any worse than when the card was new, it just stopped working. and refused to work even after a fresh install.
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  1. Update:

    I Took my whole system apart to dust everything and remove and reinstall the two video cards (unplug and replug), I am in the process of reassembling it, and will update here if its a success or failure

    finished reassembling, and still broken :(

    so any help will be greatly appreaciated
  2. Update 2:

    Also tried removing my secondary video card, same problem
  3. Not a solution sadly, just wanted to say I have the same problem....I've been dealing with this the whole day.
    Last time I buy a shitty AMD card.
  4. I had the same problem with two 7970s in windows 7, upgraded windows to 8.1 with two R9290's and the problem persists. Our systems aren't vaguely the same, but I'm starting to wonder if there is maybe a problem with the south bridge on my motherboard.

    By the way, did someone ever find a solution?
  5. I had the exact same problem with my 7970m recently (in a Sager NP9170, not a Dell, but same graphics card) and have finally discovered a solution. Specifically, off and on for a while my 7970m had given me problems, errors, restarts, etc. Eventually it got to the point where if I had it enabled and drivers installed I could only get a blank screen with a cursor flashing in the top left corner.

    After a lot of investigation, I came to the conclusion that it had to be a hardware issue. I came across an article about reviving dead graphics cards by baking them in the oven. So, that's what I did. Disassembled my laptop to get the 7970m out. Removed any of the foam material, heatsink thermal compound, etc. Preheat oven to 385F, ball up some aluminum foil to prevent the card from touching the baking sheet, and pop it in the oven. Bake for 8 minutes (I think mine was about 9 total by the time I got to the timer. I read anywhere from 5 to 10 is good). Let it cool, then apply new thermal compound as per instructions, reassemble, and reinstall drivers. Keeping your fingers crossed of course. Apparently it works sometimes, doesn't others. It worked for me.

    Also, make sure to clean out the fans/heatsinks while you're in there. Mine had built up quite a bit. I have a hunch that's what happened to my card. The fan had been running a lot heavier recently. I blew it with compressed air and got a lot of stuff out, but there was a void between the fan case and the heatsink fins that was completely blocked. I think this caused my 7970m (an already hot running card) to overheat repeatedly, eventually weakening the solder. Baking it resets the solder. Worked like magic for me. Hope this helps.
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