My laptop screen keeps going off

Alienware m7700
June 24, 2007 at 08:28:36
Specs: win xp, 3.0Mhz \ 1GB

About 2 weeks ago my laptop started messing up. When I first start it up it would have forword slash marks everywere on the page and the text would be jumbled up. It would start up like normal but then when it would get to windows the screen would go blank. The sound still worked and i could hear all my programs booting up like normal. I rebooted the computed untill the slash marks did not show up and it would boot up without a problem, however after a while of the laptop being on the screen would start to go off and on. I think that this is a graphics card problem but i want to get a second opinion before i try to buy one.

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June 24, 2007 at 10:40:09

How about warranty repair?

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June 24, 2007 at 11:10:14

"How about warranty repair?" ..... *roll eyes*

There's at least two strikes against the OP.

Alienware has perhaps THE WORST warranty or customer support out of all ODMs out there. Secondly, the Area51 m-7700 is regrettably a notebook no one should ever purchase. It cost a pretty penny, yet it is so unreliable because of the notoriously problem-prone Clevo D900T motherboard that the model is equipped with.

Looks like it's time for a new motherboard. I have one sitting right next to me as I type this with a similar issue, that I'm debating getting rid of or replacing the motherboard.

Either way, this is my last Alienware purchase.

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June 24, 2007 at 11:28:44


I see that the GPU on your Laptop is accessable. That must mean it is some type of plugin module. Might be worth attempting to reseat it on the chance it may have worked loose. Looks to be one very expensive unit. I would still try for warranty repair, assuming you are still under warranty.

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June 24, 2007 at 11:45:23

If you ever crack that notebook open - regardless, if it was at the advice of or while actually talking on the phone with an Alienware support rep - your warranty is voided instantly!

If it is still under warranty - which I strongly doubt - since that particular model has been out of production for a while now, you can arrange to send it in to an Alienware depot. But do expect to be out of a system for couple of months or more.

Lastly, if it is indeed just the GPU that's acting up here - you may not have to dispense of the whole notebook if you think the cost of repair is worth it. However, it is still going to cost you as OtheHill alluded to.

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June 24, 2007 at 13:42:42

Well does anyone know a web site that sells the parts i need.

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June 24, 2007 at 13:51:01

Even though the motherboard in the Intel based m-7700s are homogeneous, the CPU & graphics adapter tend to vary from one notebook to the other - what graphics adapter do you have in yours?

Clevo Reseller Info.

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June 24, 2007 at 14:07:37

I suggest you take the Laptop to an authorized repair depot to determine EXACTLY what is wrong with it. Don't assume it is this or that. Too expensive to just swap parts. Cheaper in the long run to pay for diagnostics. Is the unit out of warranty?

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June 24, 2007 at 16:19:16

I would assume the unit is long OOW by now.

Anyhow, the GPU is actually not that hard to extricate - if you are meticulous & technically inclined. It is a 3" x 4" PCB encased within two metal plates acting as a jacket for the GPU's PCB. But if you are the clumsy type, you may wanna leave the exercise to a professional.

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June 24, 2007 at 22:24:51

I have already taken the laptop apart because the warranty is expired, and changing out things is very easy. I just need a second opinion before i go out and buy a new part for it. All I am trying to do is get this laptop working so i can sell it and buy a smaller laptop. So do you guys think it is the graphics card which is a NVIDIA GeForce Go 6800 Ultra or the motherboard, and if there is a good site to buy these parts on?

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June 25, 2007 at 08:07:02

If there is indeed a defective or broken component here, I honestly think that culprit is the flimsy motherboard. I have a 6800NU in my m-7700 that works just fine.

Unfortunately, without having a spare machine to test the GPU part in; you'll just have to speculate as to where the issue lies. I would suggest though to make sure the PCB is snug within the metal plates & when installed ensure that it completely snaps into those two white slots on the motherboard -- if you do not hear it click on contact, it probably is not sitting tight & that could be the issue.

I could help you test it for sure but location could be an obstacle.

Good luck!

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June 25, 2007 at 13:29:43

Well unless you live close to the Air Base in Germany then we are out of luck, haha but thanks anyways. I will check that seating, and if anyone comes up with a site please let me know that is about all that is stoping me from trying to fix it.

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June 25, 2007 at 13:31:38

If the prices for components are anything like other laptops that might stop you.

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June 25, 2007 at 13:38:38

Below is a listing for a used MBoard. Not sure if it is your exact MB but the seller is asking $399. With those kinds of prices I suggest again you have it diagnosed by an authorized dealer.

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June 25, 2007 at 15:34:18

The D900K motherboard is for the AMD based Clevo m-7700. The Intel based ones are equipped with the D900T & you best be sure it is a much newer revision like the 6.1 & above. The one in my m-7700 is the 5.3 revision.

If you really want my honest opinion - I suggest you cut your losses & sell the notebook as is. Those machines do not come cheap & despite the notebook's obvious problem - you can easily get $600 (maybe even more since you are in Germany) for it - that's how highly sought after they are.

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