Dell Laptop Owners With NVIDIA GPUs Need a BIOS Update

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Dell Laptop Owners With NVIDIA GPUs Need a BIOS Update

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:45 am

NVIDIA GPU Update for Dell Laptop Owners

Earlier this month, sites like Ars Technica and ZDNet blogged about NVIDIA’s statement regarding a potential issue with some of NVIDIA's Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) used in notebooks. According to NVIDIA, these affected GPUs are experiencing higher than expected failure rates causing video problems. Though this issue is not unique to Dell, some of these affected GPUs are used in certain Dell laptops. That's why I wanted to take a few minutes here to explain the issue and to let customers know what to do next.

The issue is a weak die/packaging material set, which may fail with GPU temperature fluctuations. If your GPU fails, you may see intermittent symptoms during early stages of failure that include:

* Multiple images
* Random characters on the screen
* Lines on the screen
* No video

Dell recommends that you flash your system BIOS (see links in the table below). Each of these BIOS updates listed in the table below modifies the fan profile to help regulate GPU temperature fluctuations. Note: if you are already experiencing video-related issues like the bullet points above, updating the BIOS will not correct them. Dell will provide support for customers who have experienced GPU failure according to the terms of the system warranty.

These BIOS updates will help reduce the likelihood of GPU issues. New systems are being shipped with the updated BIOS revisions. Here's the list of the latest BIOS versions. Click on the links below to download them.

dell_bios.jpg
dell_bios.jpg (59.15 KiB) Viewed 3546 times


If you need help flashing your system BIOS or experience any of the video-related issues listed above, please contact Dell Technical Support. Our teams are committed to working with affected customers to resolve issues on a case-by-case basis.

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Re: Dell Laptop Owners With NVIDIA GPUs Need a BIOS Update

Postby DMB2000uk » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:47 am

At least nvidia are being honest about the problem (even though the cat is completely out of the bag now).

Wonder how long just running the fan faster will give the video cards before they die.

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Re: Dell Laptop Owners With NVIDIA GPUs Need a BIOS Update

Postby dicecca112 » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:58 am

That's not all, not the 1520s
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Re: Dell Laptop Owners With NVIDIA GPUs Need a BIOS Update

Postby Sparky » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:08 am

Apparently I'm one of the ones potentially affected as I bought a XPS M1530 in February with an 8600M GT card. Funny thing is the BIOS update just causes my fans to come on sooner and drain my battery faster! Pretty disappointed in Dell for not offering some extended service. I spoke with Dell yesterday and they tried to offer me 3 more years of service for $348. Now why would I want to PAY to make sure something doesn't go wrong on a product that's already been noted as having a potential problem waiting to occur?
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Re: Dell Laptop Owners With NVIDIA GPUs Need a BIOS Update

Postby dicecca112 » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:14 am

Ask to speak to a manager, I would push this, until they replace the GPU. I had read that the bios just forces the fans to spin more.
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Re: Dell Laptop Owners With NVIDIA GPUs Need a BIOS Update

Postby Sparky » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:06 am

I saved my Chat with the Dell agent yesterday because the agent actually ended the session on me while I was still typing to tell the guy that it was hardware not software related. I agree escalating it to a manager is the way to go but I've never had much luck getting anybody higher up on the food chain dealing with Dell. That being said, there are thousands like me who bought their laptops from Dell and expected to be getting a quality product to last for a few years to come, so I'm not giving up hope yet.
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Re: Dell Laptop Owners With NVIDIA GPUs Need a BIOS Update

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:38 am

If you're GPU isn't impacted then flash your BIOS back to the old one then... The reason for the overheating was that some of the GPU's were made with bad silicon during production and the get hotter as a result, the quick fix is to increase the fan speed to compensate.

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Re: Dell Laptop Owners With NVIDIA GPUs Need a BIOS Update

Postby Sparky » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:41 am

I have the 8600M GT so from what I've read I'm potentially affected. My display is ok so far (knock on wood) but I did flash to the 09 BIOS to play it safe. Other than offering extended warranty, I don't really know what Dell can do. I believe this is only a chip, not a card like the M1730 series notebooks, so I don't think it can be replaced.
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Re: Dell Laptop Owners With NVIDIA GPUs Need a BIOS Update

Postby Sparky » Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:34 am

Just came accross this:
http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/ ... a-problems
Conspiracy theory!
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Re: Dell Laptop Owners With NVIDIA GPUs Need a BIOS Update

Postby DMB2000uk » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:01 am

I had heard that the problem was very widespread, but to potentially kill nvidia if they have to recall the product line is something else.

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