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Optimus issue on Acer 5742G line (nvidia GT 420m)

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January 8, 2011 3:50:08 PM

Hello all,
So I got my Acer 5742G with the following specs:
CPU: Intel Core i5 460m
GPU: Nvidia GT 420m
HD: 5400 RPM HDD

So, here's my problem (and as far as I can tell from other forums, a lot of other people are complaining about this...just google "acer 5742g optimus?" and you'll see how many people really are complaining about this):
I have no access to the optimus options. I already checked for any virtual ram options in the bios--there are none. I've already updated my bios to the latest version from the acer website--still no cigar.

I can use the device manager to uninstall the Nvidia card, and on restart, the integrated graphics would be up and running; but as soon as I install the Nvidia adapter again, the intel stuff disappears again.

Anyone got any suggestions or know why this is happening?

Update (1/9/10): I called Acer, and they seemed to be aware of the issue-in the end, however, they just told me to call again on Monday since their 'level 2' technical support only works Mondays-Fridays

Update (1/10/10): Acer level 2 requires that I send the laptop back. This is total Foobar and they know it...they screwed something up in the entire line during manufacturing; and they're just lucky most of their users are too dumb to notice this missing feature.
January 13, 2011 4:13:01 PM

johnnygg said:
Hello all,
So I got my Acer 5742G with the following specs:
CPU: Intel Core i5 460m
GPU: Nvidia GT 420m
HD: 5400 RPM HDD

So, here's my problem (and as far as I can tell from other forums, a lot of other people are complaining about this...just google "acer 5742g optimus?" and you'll see how many people really are complaining about this):
I have no access to the optimus options. I already checked for any virtual ram options in the bios--there are none. I've already updated my bios to the latest version from the acer website--still no cigar.

I can use the device manager to uninstall the Nvidia card, and on restart, the integrated graphics would be up and running; but as soon as I install the Nvidia adapter again, the intel stuff disappears again.

Anyone got any suggestions or know why this is happening?

Update (1/9/10): I called Acer, and they seemed to be aware of the issue-in the end, however, they just told me to call again on Monday since their 'level 2' technical support only works Mondays-Fridays

Update (1/10/10): Acer level 2 requires that I send the laptop back. This is total Foobar and they know it...they screwed something up in the entire line during manufacturing; and they're just lucky most of their users are too dumb to notice this missing feature.

hello johnnygg,

I am also experiencing the same problem , did they some how fix the issue ?
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January 13, 2011 7:05:27 PM

they still have the laptop in their possession. I think they screwed something up during their manufacturing process. They might just end up doing a recall if you wait a few weeks because I don't think this is the kind of issue that can be fixed with some sort of software debugger/add-on. I'll update this post as soon as I hear from them.

PS: newegg and other electronic websites have already pulled this model from their online stores.
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January 21, 2011 1:29:38 AM

ammualr said:
hello johnnygg,

I am also experiencing the same problem , did they some how fix the issue ?


I just got the laptop back a couple of days ago. They didn't fix it. I called them, and talked to level 2 (the technicians in the US who actually handle the laptop). The technician read the notes on the laptop, here's what I got from him:
"all components tested fine [...] we know the switching capability works on some of our ati systems, are you sure your laptop, which has an nvidia, comes with this technology?"
After a few minutes of explaining Optimus and telling him that on the Acer site, the model is advertised with it, he tell me to hold while he "researches" this issue. Came back and told me that the laptop will be sent to 'CSL' the next time I send it in. When I asked what CSL is, he said they are 'expert technicians who know more about computers'.

I won't be sending it in until spring break though, since I need it for school. If I were you, I'd send my laptop in ASAP so they don't bother you with a shipping fee.
Here's how to get a hold of someone who knows what they're doing right away:

1. call 1800-571-2237
give them your ssid (you can just open up your 'myid' app that came with the laptop, or if you've already removed it along with the other junk that comes with all laptops these days, you can give them your s/n from the bottom of the laptop.

2. The people you talk to will just be people who CANNOT help you with anything, they just collect as much info as possible. You have to register the laptop with them, under your name. Don't waste TOO much time explaining the problem, just ask for level 2 support. They'll give you a service request number before switching you. Keep that number, its your free pass to level 2 service in case you need to call again (just tell level 1 the service request number and they'll forward you).

3. At level 2 (the technicians who actually do the basic servicing), let them know about the issue, and ASK for free shipping. They'll ask if you bought the laptop within the last 30 days, but since they don't know the vendor, they can't actually check (seeing as how this is a fairly new model though, I doubt many people have owned it for much longer).

The good news in all this:
1. the wait time to talk to level 1 is negligible (they almost always pick up within the first minute)
2. you'll have your laptop back within 10 days

The bad news:
1. level 2 only works 8am-8pm central time
2. wait time for level 2 technician is anywhere from 5-15 minutes, they only work from 8am to 8pm M-F
3. During the 'servicing', they do hard recovery, mess with settings (setup different accounts), install crap, and, worst of all, dirty up the laptop, and if you haven't removed the protective plastic layer thats on the laptop yet, they will.

Good luck, if they manage to fix it for you, let me know.
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Anonymous
January 30, 2011 10:19:59 AM

There is nothing to "fix it"!

Acer 5742G with the GT 420 does not support optimus!

Do you have a Optimus sticker on laptop? Optimus is advertised on the box? No!? Then there is also no Optimus!

Only with the new graphics cards:
GT 315M, 410M, 520M, 525M, 540M, 550M, 555M is Optimus supported on 5742G!

Excuse my bad English!
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February 2, 2011 6:20:23 AM

sorry for the late reply, but this is for all the fellow 5742g owners out there:

lol you are mistaken, buddy.

1. I had originally ordered the Acer 5745G-7671; which came with a 420m, and guess what? it had optimus!

2. google "acer 5742g optimus?" and open any link that comes up; the entire line was announced before it was ever released to come with optimus, and once it was released, it was advertised to have optimus on Acer's site; and my specific model was advertised with optimus on newegg (before they pulled my model off of their site).

3. If I go to check the updates for my Acer, some of the bios updates target optimus directly (just look at their update description ON THE ACER SITE)

4. The folks at Acer from level 1 AND level 2 support both acknowledged that it comes with optimus.

If you don't know the solution to a problem, please don't make the problem any more convoluted than it already is by posting erroneous information.
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Anonymous
February 2, 2011 12:20:20 PM

Sorry johnnygg , but you do not know much and you're right there where I was three months!
I deal with this issue intensely for three months!

I have no Optimus, you did not Optimus, ammualr not and many more people I know!
Also I know many people who have the 5742G with Optimus!

So I checked out is the difference between these two groups:
People with the old graphics card (GeForce 310M, 415m, 420m, 425m, 435m, 445m) do not Optimus! It also helps not a bios update or something!
People who have a 5742G (series in late December / early 2011) with new graphics cards and "Optimus sticker" have Optimus!

I have countless times with the Acer support spoken and my laptop as you posted but no solution!

Why Acer has not repaired your laptop? Because there is nothing to "fix it"! In my case it was exactly the same!

Please do not people false hope, there is no solution!

If I could better English, I would explain everything in detail! Sorry
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February 4, 2011 7:34:59 AM

I'm sorry for your disappointment, rocky.
From what I understand from your message, you tried to talk to Acer about this, and they refused to service you?
What exactly did Acer tell you, because they told me they would fix it when I send it in during the Spring. As for whether or not the 5742g-7200 was advertised to come with optimus, the answer is that it was. Acer customer service, as well as their own site, confirm this. I don't know what the person you spoke with at Acer told you specifically, but there was probably a misunderstanding, or you own a different model than the one in question in this post.

By the way, the nvidia 400 series is not 'old'. You can find the 420m's technical specs off of the nvidia website here, where it specifically states that it is Optmius-capable. Also, I don't just "know people" who have optimus, I had actually originally bought the Acer 5745G-7671, which comes with the 420m; and had optimus working just fine (I returned it because it had a loud space bar; in hindsight, I should have stuck with it).

Anyways, per the Acer technicians I spoke to, the issue isn't in the 420m; its something else preventing the laptop form recognizing the intel graphics. They don't know what it is without having 'advanced' technicians look at it, and I would have sent it to them already, but I need it right now for school.

Quick note: You ARE right about one thing: a bios update won't fix anything; it was one of the first steps we took before deciding to send the laptop for servicing in January, and it didn't work. I had originally posted this thread here on Tom's Hardware to get input from the community in regards to what might be causing this issue; but there doesn't seem to be much response.

[Edit]: here is the newegg advertisement of the 7200, clearly stating it comes with Optmius:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 15, 2011 2:39:40 AM

Hey!

Possible solution. I also have this Graphic Card and I have a download that includes the: "Display.Optimus" folder when you extract the setup files and I know the optimus thing is properly installed.

The only thing is. It's from the Dell site. So I don't know for 100% sure if it works. Either way, you can just try it. It's version 266.39 (8.17.12.6639)

Here is the link to the Dell site.

http://support.euro.dell.com/support/downloads/download...

I tryed downloading this Graphic Card Driver from other sites and I indeed saw that the "Display.Optimus"folder WASN'T included.

Ok. Good Luck!

~Sander aka Lifell
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