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Mumak

Please help - Dell Precision M6500 bricked !

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Guys, I run into a difficult situation and need your help.

I got 2 reports from different people with Dell Precision M6500 with ATI FirePro M7820 GPU.

When they run HWiNFO and opened sensors it caused the LCD to loose signal. I believe this has something to do with the GPU I2C device scan HWiNFO performs. HWiNFO performs just READ commands and doesn't alter anything, so such thing should never happen. But is seems that machine with that GPU only has some weird device residing there which goes crazy and disables the LCD after such scan ! Plugging an external monitor seems to work, just the integrated LCD doesn't.

The biggest problem is that the machine won't recover from this state anymore !! Even a total shutdown and removing all power doesn't help. I don't think there's a physical damage to some component, it just seems the BIOS/VBIOS probably don't reinitialize that weird device again and it's stuck in a wrong state. Though I'm not exactly sure what happened there and why, in my opinion this is a design flaw. I have intercepted this in HWiNFO (v4.19-1935 Beta) and I'm disabling the GPU I2C on those machines. I believe other tools like GPU-Z, TRiXX or AIDA64 might be affected as well...

Unfortunately, for a few people it was too late. One of the guys probably ended up with an RMA, but the other unlucky guy bought the new expensive machine without a warranty.

Do you have any idea how this might be fixed ? Please come up with any suggestions...

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Hi Mumak,

to me it's EC and / or ME data area malfunction, since manufacturers "procedure" of how their devices internally communicate between each other is uncovered by any proper datasheet released to public, it's sometimes very risky to scan i2c buses. And suggestion? maybe complete BIOS reflash via external programmer or blind-FLASH and EC reset can help in this situation. Otherwise RMA

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Stupid question, but isn't there a CMOS battery on these things?

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If a complete powerdrain and CMOS reset doesn't help then the next best try would be the recovery function of that system, it's likely that something similar as in the AW systems is implemented which will re-initialize all settings to defaults and allow for a firmware re-flash. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the Precision series... if I'm not mistaken Dell uses a very proprietary bios on those systems, so I'm not familiar with the possible procedures, but since the system still seems to work with an external screen I'd suggest entering the bios and loading the defaults, or if this doesn't help re-flashing the bios since this will likely reset most variables.

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Apparently the user has taken the CMOS battery out and it didn't help.

I don't think it's related to EC or ME. Those are different entities and neither of them has access to GPU I2C.

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Has anyone else with an M6500 besides these two reported the same problem? Specifically if the M6500 uses an NVIDIA GPU, does it still happen?

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I don't have any other reports from M6500 machines, but I'm nearly sure that nVidia ones are not affected.

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So then how are those guys sure that its your program and not just a coincidence of hardware failure?

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In both cases when they launched sensor monitoring in HWiNFO it happened. This can hardly be a coincidence. Though it still can be a design flaw when that 'component' acts this way as a response to I2C read request...

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Ask them to remove the discrete gpu and boot with igpu. Then put the discrete back in.

Sent from my GT-N7000

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