Laptop Diagnostics and Repairing an Alienware/Clevo D9T D900T M7700 Laptop

SKIPPY PB

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
53
0
4,610
7
Just picked up my new project, it's an Alienware D900T laptop. Current conditions is "no boot" sold for parts without a hard drive. I do have another one that works which I will be using to test some parts and verify that are okay. Granted they are compatible with each other. I am going to try and diagnose what is wrong with this one properly and document my experience from start to finish. As well as showing the steps I take in the process. I don't really know what I am doing but I would appreciate anyone's help, advice, recommendations, or knowledge in the journey.


>START


Recieved laptop and charger.


Made visual inspection of unit
right side screen hinge plastic cover broken off. Right side lower case air vent grille cracked. (seems to have been dropped on its corner. light/medium impact damage rest of unit is solid though)

Tried to boot laptop as is when unpacked. No sign of life.


Plugged in wall charger and attempted to boot pc. Signs of life...

    - Light comes on around power button
    - External clock below touch pad comes on and displays time in military time.
    - On the bottom of the screen green light comes on for wall power and the battery light stays yellow.
    - there is a light above the keyboard that flashes a cylinder shape with a disk over it. (I will get a picture of this. As I have seen it on multiple computers and am not sure what it is.)
    - After being turned on while plugged in for awhile it appears to go to sleep/hibernate. And the fans occasionally go full blast it seems.
    - After the laptop goes to suspected "sleep" mode the wall power and battery lights on the screen are both yellow.




Downloaded Clevo D900T Service Manual (can be found easily with an online search.)


Inspected screen. No damage noticeable. Shined light onto screen, no indication of a dead screen/bad inverter during poewr on. No dim picture. Appears to be completely dead.

Hooked up external monitor from my desktop with DVI cable/port on the back of the laptop. Powered on, let it do its thing for a minute. No signs of life on the monitor.

Swapped battery into working D9T. Holds charge and stays stable. (better shape than the working ones battery.)

Just ripped the entire computer down to "nuts and bolts" for further inspection. No signs of obvious impact damage to the internal components. There was a few pieces of the cracked fan grille floating around inside, in the fans, heatsink, etc. Cleared out. Blew the dust out, a lot collected on the heat sink and in the fans.



Like a dummy I made an interesting discovery. Since this was my first of this model and the second arrived after I missed the fact that there is no GPU installed in the no boot one. So I am diagnosing this to be the first problem. I will attempt to swap the GPU from the working one into this no boot PC and see if it fires up. If so I will begin looking for a GPU/heat sink replacement. I need some thermal compound though I believe to swap the GPUs so im at a road block right now as I need to pick up some paste.


Reseated CPU & transfered GPU over from working D9T. All functions properly now, system boots as of now.


Looks like I got this one on my own here!


Picked up some paste and reassembled the laptop from a loose mother board back to one piece. Blew out all the dust and all. I reseated CPU & swapped over the graphics card from my working D9T. Booted the system took a little while to "turn over" but eventually booted up nicely.

So my diagnosis appears to be correct. Missing hard drive & GPU are causing the system to not function as designed for sale.
 

SKIPPY PB

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
53
0
4,610
7
Need some advice here. Mine says V6.1N on the label like in the picture above. I need to find a graphics card and a heatsink option. Once I figure out if I can test the GPU from my other laptop in it. It has rev 6.3 according to the sticker.

Ive researched that these GPUs will supposedly fit. 7950 GTX, 7800 GTX, 6800 GO, 6800 Ultra. Is there anywhere to find these chips used. Also how do you find out the "form factor" I guess its called for the clevo laptops? I see alot of the GTX models but they are desktop orientation.
 

jsinicropi

Commendable
Apr 16, 2016
1
0
1,510
0


 

SKIPPY PB

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
53
0
4,610
7
Can you seperate your post from within my qoute. Didn't really look hard enough to decipher what is yours vs what writing was mine.

The GPU's die quite frequently on these PC's and are getting rather hard to source used. And a new one is out of the question financially. If you had access to another working D9T, same model with a compatible graphics card you could part swap to check the function of the card. Without that its going to be a little more complicated as far as I know. And investing in the proper tooling would be out of the question.

Also at this point you can't really test for a base line. No body usually hooks up an external monitor just to test and make sure the port works until there is a problem. I would say check the black light bulb for the screen but if the external monitor isn't working its a slim chance that port is dead.

The motherboards and GPU's are weak points in these systems though. I had two of tI hem which used to diagnose each other to get them both up and running. The hard drive should be irrelevant at this point because that shouldn't effect what you see on the screen atleast for a boot menu but you could always disconnect it to see what is going on.

Try taking all the ram out and use only one stick, moving it around and see if you can get it to boot like such. My quess would be mostlikely GPU. These machines do get quite dirty aswell, I break them down to nuts and bolts and blow all the dust out with my air compressor when I get old laptops. Then reapply thermal paste, etc.

Heat is a big issue with these guys aswell being that it is a laptop running a desktop CPU. Good luck.
 
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