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Alienware M9750 needs a graphics card and I am lost?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 15, 2010 2:46:57 PM

Hi,
I have the Alienware M9750 laptop with Nvidia 7950Go card.The card has stopped working , I don't see anything on screen , not even the BIOS screen. I was told by the company that I can replace the card myself. I just don't know what to even google for.
The Alienware rep said that I can put any card in there but alienware has its own fan and some design changes so I don't know if I should just blindly buy a mobile version of the same graphics card.

Has anyone has this situation before?

Please help , thankyou.
a c 1401 U Graphics card
July 15, 2010 3:25:08 PM

Will they sell you a card? They are not in retail and not plentiful and expensive on the used market. A newer better card would be in order though, maybe 9800m.
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July 15, 2010 3:28:56 PM

If the BIOS isn't even showing, you could very well have a dead screen.

Try hooking up a monitor to it and see if it works, if so, your screen is dead.

The reason I say that is that the computer should be able to run without the graphics card.
July 15, 2010 4:06:38 PM

Wolfram23-Thanks for the link , now at least I can buy a card.

rolli59 - I called them , and apprently this laptop is already 'legacy' so they dont support it anymore.

bertimus - I will tell you how this happened...

At first I saw the screen was decreasing brightness for a sec and then it was ok again.This went on for about 2 hours.
It stopped and then I saw some weird horiontal lines showing up on , like interlaced video. So I restarted and all was fine.
I shutdown for the day and when I started again....blank screen.

I found a guide online to diagnose laptop blank screen probs and have figured out its not my ram , hard disk .I have reseated the gpu as well.

I am going to attach another monitor when my friend comes home and then let see .

Thanks guys , I was really stuck...now I can go somewhere at least.
July 15, 2010 5:55:51 PM

Hey guys,
I tried another monitor and the systems working fine...So its the screen and not the GPU...

Thankyou I found a guy who can do it for me for cheap...

cheers :) 
a b U Graphics card
July 15, 2010 6:14:52 PM

When the screen is "blank" hold up a very bright light to it (or go outside) and if you can see the screen very faintly then either the backlight or the inverter has gone out.

@bertimus, you're wrong, while the computer can function without a graphics card it cannot display without a graphics card.
July 15, 2010 9:17:09 PM

Ok this is slightly weird,when I restarted the laptop,it worked just fine with proper display. Then after 2 mins I saw the horizontal lines again and then some red bars appeared and some gibberish appeared on screen.

So my screen seems to be fine otherwise it wouldn't display anything at all. Its the graphics card that's misbehaving.

Or am I wrong?

The same happens every third restart...please help,do I need to replace my card.
July 15, 2010 9:22:16 PM

sabot00 - I can see the screen faintly lit up when it goes black and it seems to work fine sometimes but not for long.
a c 201 U Graphics card
July 15, 2010 9:24:32 PM

Could be the cable to the screen is loose, next time it does the strange lines hook it up to another monitor, if your screen is acting weird and the other monitor is fine its your screen. Play with the angle of the screen see if you can find an angle where it works right.
a c 125 U Graphics card
July 15, 2010 9:25:22 PM

Could very well be severed circuitry (ie: wires) going up to the laptop that are getting disconnected. If you can keep it plugged into an outside monitor and see if it maintains stability.
July 15, 2010 9:28:24 PM

If it works on another display and you get this behavior on your laptops display, i'd be inclined to believe that it is a screen problem and not a GPU problem.

BTW, I wouldn't mess around with re-seating components inside your laptop. If something has been working fine for a long time and it just stops working, chances are that it did not come unseated. I have seen way too many people accidentily pinch or dislodge cables inside their laptops and have absolutely no idea what they did or why their stuff isn't working.
July 15, 2010 9:39:08 PM

Also, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of both your screen and GPU being dead. Alienware laptops are mini space heaters. I remember my roomate had one that got so hot that the exhaust coming out of the back of the computer would burn your hand. The laptop actually ended up doing some damage to my other roomate's, and my computer one evening when we had them sitting back to back while we were doing accounting homework. Needless to say, his laptop did NOT last very long. Him and his mother have gone through 4 of them in the past year
July 15, 2010 10:20:29 PM

Thanks guys for all the input,I really appreciate it.

The weirdness happens on both monitors so my screen is fine...I think. When things work it displays everything as it should.
The laptop seems to start normaly more often now. As long as I let it cool for 3 mins between restarts , on every sartup it gives me 2 mins of running time before going wonky again. This happens predictably...

So my uneducated guess is GPU or heat sink...
a c 125 U Graphics card
July 15, 2010 10:23:01 PM

Can you check the GPU temps? Keep an eye on them, might be heat.
July 16, 2010 10:23:05 AM

The machine doesn't run long enough to check anything conclusively. After the crazy behaviour with red bars and things,the screen freezes and I have to restart.Every time after 2 mins .I think this is how far I can go on my own,I have talked to a guy who can have a look at it. Will take it to him now and update this post when things are solved.

I wanna thank again to everyone who helped me out

Cheers guys.
July 23, 2010 10:14:42 PM

Hi everyone,
right so I took this lappy to this guy who checked it quite thoroughly. He changed the RAM and it seems to run for longer periods now. Though I still see the weird graphics issue sometimes and sometimes it just doesn't show anything on primary screen though the external monitor shows everything fine.

I am kind of certain now that its the graphics card. Do you guys think that the slot where the RAM goes could have something wrong or should I buy a new card and see what happens.

BTW the link to buy the card above shows the card as not available.I am going to call them tomo anyway.

thanks guys.
July 24, 2010 11:52:17 AM

Ok I am finding some graphics cards online on ebay and all,is there a place I can go where I can find which cards are compatible with this laptop ?

Please help.

The laptop now sometimes runs properly for hours at a stretch...I truly dont know whats going on...
July 24, 2010 3:49:36 PM

Thanks a lot,called alienware and found a friendly tech support guy. He said the same thing.
Cheers.
!