· OS - Windows 7 SP1 x64
· What was original installed OS on system? Wndows 7
· Is the OS an OEM version (came pre-installed on system) or full retail version (YOU purchased it from retailer)? Yes
· Age of system (hardware) 4 years
· Age of OS installation - have you re-installed the OS? Yes
· CPU: Intel Core i7 2820QM @ 2.30GHz
· Video Card: Dual Radeon HD 6990M
· Hard Drives: Dual TOSHIBA MK5061GSY in Raid 0 configuration
· MotherBoard - (if NOT a laptop)
· Power Supply - brand & wattage (skip if laptop)
· System Manufacturer: Dell
· Exact model number (if laptop, check label on bottom): Alienware M18X R1
· Laptop or Desktop? Laptop
I'm working on a friends laptop (he lives in another state, and had to ship the laptop to me) that was suffering from repeated BSOD's and multiple issues with screen anomalies, and he has asked me to troubleshoot it for him. He had previously contacted Dell in regards to what was happening, and they said his motherboard, or a video card is probably defective,
**The drives have passed multiple HD tests (HD Tune - Chkdsk and the Fujitsu software). I have tested the memory with MEMTEST86 for 7 passes. No errors where found, however, I did NOT test the ram independently.**
Prior to receiving the laptop, I walked my friend through the process of wiping the system using the recovery drive, and told him to install all pertinent updates (Windows Updates were set to AUTO), and I had him update the video drivers to the latest available from AMD. He started getting lockups/BSOD almost immediately after finishing. He sent me the laptop and I started by wiping the drives using the recovery partition again. I ran the laptop through basic stuff (updates, driver installs etc etc), but I did NOT update the video card drivers, they are still on 18.104.22.168. I did NOT update the video card BIOS either.
I did take both video card fans out and cleaned the fins with a soft paint brush, and removed the dust that was blocking the intake/exhaust.
On day 2, I got 1 BSOD and 1 time where the screen went blue lines. Another time it went to an all gray screen. Each time it locked up, I had to hold the power button down to reboot.
I ran HWinfo64, and saw that both video cards were running within 5-6 degrees of each other.
I flashed the MB BIOS to A05, and also updated the Intel chipset driver in Device Manager. At one point, the laptop screen froze on me, and I let it sit for a while (the HD LED was flickering, so I knew the computer was doing something). After a bit, it rebooted on it's own, however the screen was screwed up. What should have been on the left side, was on the right.. and the right side was on the left (this very same thing happened to the owner, and was identical to his picture below:
After I received the BSOD's, I ran SPECCY.. which came back with the notification that I was not in Crossfire mode. I opened AMD's Catalyst software, and I was a little surprised that the "Enable Crossfire" box was unchecked. I checked it and rebooted. That was in mid-June. I have included GPU-Z results, as well as CrystalDiskInfo.
I've been running Unigen Heaven 4.0 and AvP D3D11 benchmarks and I've only had one BSOD once since enabling Crossfire (it was rebooting after running Driver Verifier in the Sysnative file), and I have had the laptop sitting on CoolerMaster laptop fan. I know the temps are a little lower, so now I'm trying to guess, is this thing 'more' stable because of the Crossfire, the cooling fan, or is it because I haven't changed the video drivers?
Any help or suggestions would be great, thanks!