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M17x R3 GPU upgrade to gtx 780m

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not screwing down the card to the motherboard. i meant screwing down the heatsink to the video card. *SIGH* :30_002:

i swear this computer will give me a heart attack... i just feeling to run outside in the street and scream at the top of my voice, LOL! wow! right now, im just looking busy in work. i swear i cant think straight :45:

Haha, well stop logging onto the forums then while you're at work! You can't solve it until you have your laptop in front of you! :-)

Well, that area where you screw down the heatsink to the card is going to be more sensitive, you don't want to be leaning your body weight on the screws or anything! I screwed my heat sink down on the card using those pretty good quality screwdrivers I linked you, and did it as firmly as I could without the screw driver jumping out & without putting much pressure to the head of the screwdriver - just used my index finger to apply some gentle firm pressure to the top of the screwdriver while screwing down.

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I cant take any images now, but if you remember, when you insert the card at an angle, into the pci slot... ALL the way in the slot. after, you have to rotate the card into place on top of the motherboard right. now, there are 2 pins. one on either side of the gpu. The gpu has slots to accommodate these pins. the pins are meant for keeping the card properly fastened and keeping it inside the pci slot. on hindsight, i remember applying more pressure to the screws when i screwed down the heatsink. I'm in work and all i can do is think about that are the possibilities for solutions or problems i may have done accidentally.

Oh those pins. Unless you did modifications you should not be able to over-tighten the heatsinks. The memory heatsink screws should go to max depth before there is too much pressure on the memory. Did you ever bend or twist the card? That can kill it too.

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not screwing down the card to the motherboard. i meant screwing down the heatsink to the video card. *SIGH* :30_002:

i swear this computer will give me a heart attack... i just feeling to run outside in the street and scream at the top of my voice, LOL! wow! right now, im just looking busy in work. i swear i cant think straight :45:

Hey Link3rd, have you recovered & gathered yourself enough to try anything else on your notebook to get it working or have you thrown it out of the window yet just to save yourself the trauma of being able to fix it?!

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i panicked. :06: I messaged Eurocom on ebay. I filled out a service request for an RMA. :33_002: I spoke to someone from paypal. My father advised me to open up a case on ebay. :01: i did the everything.:04:

My father advised me to get a refund. So I asked for that, but honestly, I just want my 780m:62:!

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i panicked. :06: I messaged Eurocom on ebay. I filled out a service request for an RMA. :33_002: I spoke to someone from paypal. My father advised me to open up a case on ebay. :01: i did the everything.:04:

My father advised me to get a refund. So I asked for that, but honestly, I just want my 780m:62:!

Oh well, don't feel too bad about it, it's a learning experience, if you get to install another card in your laptop in the future, or end up doing other DIY electronic stuff, then you will have learnt quite a bit & will be able to do it better next time.

I'm not sure how Eurocom will approach your RMA. If there are obvious signs of damage to the card, those 1mm deep scratches that you said you caused during installation, then I do have a few doubts about whether they will send you a replacement free of charge; but...I could be wrong, afterall the customer is often right, that's just good business! I hope they send you a replacement. Do you think you'll be able to do a better job of the installation if they send you that replacement? What would you do differently second time around do you think?

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Oh well, don't feel too bad about it, it's a learning experience, if you get to install another card in your laptop in the future, or end up doing other DIY electronic stuff, then you will have learnt quite a bit & will be able to do it better next time.

I'm not sure how Eurocom will approach your RMA. If there are obvious signs of damage to the card, those 1mm deep scratches that you said you caused during installation, then I do have a few doubts about whether they will send you a replacement free of charge; but...I could be wrong, afterall the customer is often right, that's just good business! I hope they send you a replacement. Do you think you'll be able to do a better job of the installation if they send you that replacement? What would you do differently second time around do you think?

Not 1mm deep scratch.... About 1mm in length scratch. Like the blue paint in a 1mm line. My previous 6990m has it as well.... I'm still messaging them back and forth. They're waiting till Monday to pick up the pace.

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I'm planning to buy and upgrade my Alienware M17xr3 to 560M to 780M. For all the posts I have read is really scary for me because I'm not a tech person. Is it possible for me to do it myself by following instructions?

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Not 1mm deep scratch.... About 1mm in length scratch. Like the blue paint in a 1mm line. My previous 6990m has it as well.... I'm still messaging them back and forth. They're waiting till Monday to pick up the pace.

Hi, did you manage to get a replacement or a refund?

- - - Updated - - -

I'm planning to buy and upgrade my Alienware M17xr3 to 560M to 780M. For all the posts I have read is really scary for me because I'm not a tech person. Is it possible for me to do it myself by following instructions?

Sure it's possible, but bad things can happen, you just have to read the last few pages of this thread to realise. Have a google around & then see if it's worth the risk for you.

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Hi, did you manage to get a replacement or a refund?

- - - Updated - - -

Sure it's possible, but bad things can happen, you just have to read the last few pages of this thread to realise. Have a google around & then see if it's worth the risk for you.

They issued a replacement earlier yesterday. The tech said it worked on their eurocom laptops, but not in their alienware test bed. It's odd. He mailed it today, so i'm expecting it by the end of the week or by next week... HOPEFULLY! Anyways. After all that craziness, I realized that the over all maximum brightness of my laptop screen has reduced. On boot, it's the same, but as soon as the windows log in screen shows, the brightness decreases. In safe mode, its bright. in normal mode, it's diminished. Any advice?

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They issued a replacement earlier yesterday. The tech said it worked on their eurocom laptops, but not in their alienware test bed. It's odd. He mailed it today, so i'm expecting it by the end of the week or by next week... HOPEFULLY! Anyways. After all that craziness, I realized that the over all maximum brightness of my laptop screen has reduced. On boot, it's the same, but as soon as the windows log in screen shows, the brightness decreases. In safe mode, its bright. in normal mode, it's diminished. Any advice?

Hi, that's great news about you getting a free replacement for your 780M! Let us know how you get on with the replacement when it arrives, do you think you'll be more confident with the install the 2nd time around?

About the brightness, I'm not sure what's causing that. You obviously know how to change the brightness level by using the hot keys Fn+F4, Fn+F5, and you can also change brightness in Windows. You could try changing the brightness in Windows by typing 'Windows Mobility Center' into the 'Search Programs & Files' field after clicking on the Start Button. Windows Mobility Center lets you change a load of other stuff too.

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They issued a replacement earlier yesterday. The tech said it worked on their eurocom laptops, but not in their alienware test bed. It's odd. He mailed it today, so i'm expecting it by the end of the week or by next week... HOPEFULLY! Anyways. After all that craziness, I realized that the over all maximum brightness of my laptop screen has reduced. On boot, it's the same, but as soon as the windows log in screen shows, the brightness decreases. In safe mode, its bright. in normal mode, it's diminished. Any advice?

Told ya ! :D..... the brightness screen issue is with the AMD card so it's probably driver related.

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Told ya ! :D..... the brightness screen issue is with the AMD card so it's probably driver related.

I agree. I am using my 6990m and had the settings in the motherboard bios set for receipt of the 780m, except for the audio card disabled. I set everything back however, and enabled the intel HD 3000. With that gpu, the brightness is at 100% that's so odd. :02:I have the 13.9 beta 2 driver atm, but with the 780m GTX, there was no brightness issue what so ever! :32_002: I am really anxious to get it installed in my computer. Any idea which driver I can use to fix this problem?

Hi, that's great news about you getting a free replacement for your 780M! Let us know how you get on with the replacement when it arrives, do you think you'll be more confident with the install the 2nd time around?

About the brightness, I'm not sure what's causing that. You obviously know how to change the brightness level by using the hot keys Fn+F4, Fn+F5, and you can also change brightness in Windows. You could try changing the brightness in Windows by typing 'Windows Mobility Center' into the 'Search Programs & Files' field after clicking on the Start Button. Windows Mobility Center lets you change a load of other stuff too.

On a side note, I spoke to the eBay seller that sold me the defective heatsink. I got him to send me the 680m GTX heatsink at a discounted price minus the initial cost I paid for the other defective heatsink. I REALLY don't want to go through that headache again... really! :50_002:

Seeing that winter is near, the air's really dry, and static electricity buildup is HAUNTING me, so I ordered an anti-static wristband this time round. NO MISTAKES! This laptop is causing me so much stress and gona give me a nosebleed. :nosebleed_002:

I swapped out my gpu, messed with mobo bios and gpu bios, repaste and repaste, flash this, flash that, backup this, modify that, unscrew this, shim that so many times, I sure I can do it with my eyes closed, lol... jk

I just want it to work 100%, no errors... Battlefield 4 is out and Call of Duty Ghosts is round the corner and I'm still struggling. :45::62:

At the end of the day, I just HOPE everything turns out ok. :04:

I'm planning to buy and upgrade my Alienware M17xr3 to 560M to 780M. For all the posts I have read is really scary for me because I'm not a tech person. Is it possible for me to do it myself by following instructions?

Yes, it is definitely possible. You just need a little patience and if something doesn't work the first time round, don't panic; most likely you overlooked something. The stuff that you have to pay particular attention to is stuff that can potentially brick your components, such as flashing bios, etc. stuff like settings and what not, you don't have to study for like it's an exam, but stuff that needs to be done EXACTLY one way, ie the potentially hazardous stuff if it's done wrong; you have to read up on the recommended procedure and take your time.

Trust me. I've been through hell and back with my laptop. I've upgraded the hard drive to a solid state, DUG deep for ALL the drivers on Dell's site to get it back almost EXACTLY like factory settings, upgraded the wireless, the RAM in 4 slots, upgraded the cpu. Swapped my gpu countless times. LOL, repasted COUNTLESS times... the list goes on. I have yet to upgrade my DVD drive to a blu-ray and I doubt I will swap the motherboard to the R4's.

I feel I will do a review on the alienware laptops, Lol! rugged and solid to last

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I agree. I am using my 6990m and had the settings in the motherboard bios set for receipt of the 780m, except for the audio card disabled. I set everything back however, and enabled the intel HD 3000. With that gpu, the brightness is at 100% that's so odd. :02:I have the 13.9 beta 2 driver atm, but with the 780m GTX, there was no brightness issue what so ever! :32_002: I am really anxious to get it installed in my computer. Any idea which driver I can use to fix this problem?

On a side note, I spoke to the eBay seller that sold me the defective heatsink. I got him to send me the 680m GTX heatsink at a discounted price minus the initial cost I paid for the other defective heatsink. I REALLY don't want to go through that headache again... really! :50_002:

Seeing that winter is near, the air's really dry, and static electricity buildup is HAUNTING me, so I ordered an anti-static wristband this time round. NO MISTAKES! This laptop is causing me so much stress and gona give me a nosebleed. :nosebleed_002:

I swapped out my gpu, messed with mobo bios and gpu bios, repaste and repaste, flash this, flash that, backup this, modify that, unscrew this, shim that so many times, I sure I can do it with my eyes closed, lol... jk

I just want it to work 100%, no errors... Battlefield 4 is out and Call of Duty Ghosts is round the corner and I'm still struggling. :45::62:

At the end of the day, I just HOPE everything turns out ok. :04:

Haha, that's very funny, you certainly have a way with the emoticons! I'm glad you've got the Static Wristband & feel more confident with a second run through on the installation. The heatsink issue you bring up sounds a little like a red herring to me though (as in not the reason for you previous issues), you said yourself that you managed to get good temps with your re-paste on your previous heatsink. To me, all the heatsinks for the R3 are pretty much the same in terms of cooling capacity (3 heatpipes), and instead it comes down to thermal pad placement & corresponding GPU die contact to get good temperatures. Although having the the correct X-bracket is important too. My 560M X-bracket works well with the GK104 670MX, so that would work well with the GK104 780M too I think. If you're coming from 6990 AMD then you could do with the correct X-bracket for the 780M I think (I was sure you were on NVidia before the 780M though! Confused - I'll check my posts). Either way, you certainly sound like you're on the right path, especially now you'll have your replacement 780M!

EDIT: Yep, you'd mentioned you were on the 6990 before (my mistake). The 680M heatsink that you've ordered should work well with the 780M (apart from maybe needing to move around the thermal padding). Which X-bracket are you going to use? (Your 6990 one, or have you ordered one? I think you should use an NVidia X-bracket for best results).

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Haha, that's very funny, you certainly have a way with the emoticons! I'm glad you've got the Static Wristband & feel more confident with a second run through on the installation. The heatsink issue you bring up sounds a little like a red herring to me though (as in not the reason for you previous issues), you said yourself that you managed to get good temps with your re-paste on your previous heatsink. To me, all the heatsinks for the R3 are pretty much the same in terms of cooling capacity (3 heatpipes), and instead it comes down to thermal pad placement & corresponding GPU die contact to get good temperatures. Although having the the correct X-bracket is important too. My 560M X-bracket works well with the GK104 670MX, so that would work well with the GK104 780M too I think. If you're coming from 6990 AMD then you could do with the correct X-bracket for the 780M I think (I was sure you were on NVidia before the 780M though! Confused - I'll check my posts). Either way, you certainly sound like you're on the right path, especially now you'll have your replacement 780M!

Remember, like I said previously, the heatsink does it's basic functions. That is: transfer heat from the gpu die through the copper pipes to the fin grills, however, the pipes are bent and seeing that everything has to line up perfectly, I didn't get it 100% correctly in-line. A bit of force is still needed to get everything lined in correctly. I would rather NOT go though any forcing again what-so-ever regardless of how much less it is than before.

Though it might not sound so complicated... "lining up the grills with the vent slot and the card with the pci slot simultaneously", BUT!!! take it from me... IT'S A HERCULEAN TASK!

And btw, yea, I had ATI cards before... 6870m and 6990m, I bought the stock M17xR3, late november, 2011 and I upgraded to the 6990m one year later... got it a little cheaper than alienware's price. From what I see, the price of their laptop chassis takes up most of the total price, because the component prices seem subsidized on their site. I mean it like...~$500 for the 780m GTX on the dell site, while it sells for over $750 on eBay.

EDIT: Yep, you'd mentioned you were on the 6990 before (my mistake). The 680M heatsink that you've ordered should work well with the 780M (apart from maybe needing to move around the thermal padding). Which X-bracket are you going to use? (Your 6990 one, or have you ordered one? I think you should use an NVidia X-bracket for best results).

I negotiated a price for the upgrade kit. It came with the x-bracked already installed, so all systems should be go. The AMD x-bracket lines up with the holes in the nvidia card, but the bracket itself would fall on the capacitors on the card. AMD and NVIDIA companies make their x-brackets a different sizes and the individual companies design the cards to suit the spaces in the x-bracket to ensure that the bracket doesn't clash with the capacitors on the back of the card.

So although it would "fit" the holes, the capacitors would be crushed between the circuit board and the bracket. AMD heatsinks can work on NVIDIA cards, vice versa, but the thickness of the thermal pads needs to compensate the the gap between the gpu dies and the heatsink. Once this is done, the card would physically work

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Remember, like I said previously, the heatsink does it's basic functions. That is: transfer heat from the gpu die through the copper pipes to the fin grills, however, the pipes are bent and seeing that everything has to line up perfectly, I didn't get it 100% correctly in-line. A bit of force is still needed to get everything lined in correctly. I would rather NOT go though any forcing again what-so-ever regardless of how much less it is than before.

Though it might not sound so complicated... "lining up the grills with the vent slot and the card with the pci slot simultaneously", BUT!!! take it from me... IT'S A HERCULEAN TASK!

And btw, yea, I had ATI cards before... 6870m and 6990m, I bought the stock M17xR3, late november, 2011 and I upgraded to the 6990m one year later... got it a little cheaper than alienware's price. From what I see, the price of their laptop chassis takes up most of the total price, because the component prices seem subsidized on their site. I mean it like...~$500 for the 780m GTX on the dell site, while it sells for over $750 on eBay.

I negotiated a price for the upgrade kit. It came with the x-bracked already installed, so all systems should be go. The AMD x-bracket lines up with the holes in the nvidia card, but the bracket itself would fall on the capacitors on the card. AMD and NVIDIA companies make their x-brackets a different sizes and the individual companies design the cards to suit the spaces in the x-bracket to ensure that the bracket doesn't clash with the capacitors on the back of the card.

So although it would "fit" the holes, the capacitors would be crushed between the circuit board and the bracket. AMD heatsinks can work on NVIDIA cards, vice versa, but the thickness of the thermal pads needs to compensate the the gap between the gpu dies and the heatsink. Once this is done, the card would physically work

OK, excellent, sounds like you understand how it all fits together. And I understand what you were saying about the bent heat pipes on your previous heatsink & how that would create problems in everthing lining up properly. From what you've described I've got a feeling that this time around your installation will be pain free & plain sailing, you've got everything lined up & understood right as far as I can see. Let us know how the installation goes, it's always good to see a positive outcome after the issues you've had.

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OK, excellent, sounds like you understand how it all fits together. And I understand what you were saying about the bent heat pipes on your previous heatsink & how that would create problems in everthing lining up properly. From what you've described I've got a feeling that this time around your installation will be pain free & plain sailing, you've got everything lined up & understood right as far as I can see. Let us know how the installation goes, it's always good to see a positive outcome after the issues you've had.

Thank you. Everything will be arriving on different days. I'll be tempted to mix and match parts, but I will keep firm and wait for everything to arrive. I believe that the last thing to reach should be the anti-static wrist band. I wouldn't want to risk anything. I waited so long, I'm sure I can wait a few more days for everything to reach.:50_002:

I'll post how the installation was, once I get everything. the wait begins.... :45: *FINGERS CROSSED* :04:

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Thank you. Everything will be arriving on different days. I'll be tempted to mix and match parts, but I will keep firm and wait for everything to arrive. I believe that the last thing to reach should be the anti-static wrist band. I wouldn't want to risk anything. I waited so long, I'm sure I can wait a few more days for everything to reach.:50_002:

I'll post how the installation was, once I get everything. the wait begins.... :45: *FINGERS CROSSED* :04:

Haha, yes, don't compromise this time, wait till you get everything in place! Looking forward to hopefully a successful result, or at least offering a few lines of advice if you're having issues!

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Haha, yes, don't compromise this time, wait till you get everything in place! Looking forward to hopefully a successful result, or at least offering a few lines of advice if you're having issues!
& J95

Ok, so I received the 780m yesterday. It seems they did an overnight for me. That's big of them... :40_002: The heatsink, from the tracking information says it will arrive on 11/2/2013, but the anti-static wrist strap supposed to reach on 11/04/2013. :50_002:I guess I'll have to wait till next week to install everything.:01::45:

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& J95

Ok, so I received the 780m yesterday. It seems they did an overnight for me. That's big of them... :40_002: The heatsink, from the tracking information says it will arrive on 11/2/2013, but the anti-static wrist strap supposed to reach on 11/04/2013. :50_002:I guess I'll have to wait till next week to install everything.:01::45:

Yes, that would the safest thing to do considering you've bought the wrist strap, but if it turns out you really just can't wait till it arrives, then maybe do a google search to work out safe antistatic procedures without the strap. (I don't have a wrist strap, but do try to follow anti-static procedures that I found on the net).

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Yes, that would the safest thing to do considering you've bought the wrist strap, but if it turns out you really just can't wait till it arrives, then maybe do a google search to work out safe antistatic procedures without the strap. (I don't have a wrist strap, but do try to follow anti-static procedures that I found on the net).

I never used to use an antistatic wrist strap. That was honestly my paranoid thoughts kicking in, LOL! But thinking about it, it may be safer to wait... Might do some brushing up on my work skills to get my mind off it, lol... :43_002:

EDIT: Before I forget, BIG thanks to J95 and bikaso for all their help. I just hope and pray that everything fits and works now:04:

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@ Robbo, J95 & bikaso: I successfully managed to install the replacement 780M GTX into my M17xR3. No beeping. However, I really do not think that I should flash the bios with svl7's modded bios. what do you all think? To flash or not to flash, that is the question... I'm even scared to run benchmarks with it. I played SC blacklist, bf3 and tried out hitman absolution for a brief time. I'm not playing tomb raider on ultimate. It seems to work like my last one without the trouble of green lines.:32_002:

My thoughts are, it works as far as I can see and I don't wana screw it up. :01:

EDIT: I tried to boot from the flash drive just now to back up the vBios, not flash it. However, there is not option to boot from the flash drive. :06:This is either a good sign or a bad sigh. All I know is that I cannot flash the bios, so that thought is out of my mind, but the bad side is that I cannot boot from my flash drive with my windows image on it. any thoughts on any solutions? :59:Thanks

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Leave the boot order with the USB option first, to boot from the usb stick Ctrl+Alt+Del flashing won't hurt anything and with most games you won't need to OC at all, depending on game AA settings take advantage of the higher bandwidth and increase only memory 300-500MHz though...:D . Always compare temps within 780Ms /R3-4 and enjoy the beast, no worries man.

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Leave the boot order with the USB option first, to boot from the usb stick Ctrl+Alt+Del flashing won't hurt anything and with most games you won't need to OC at all, depending on game AA settings take advantage of the higher bandwidth and increase only memory 300-500MHz though...:D . Always compare temps within 780Ms /R3-4 and enjoy the beast, no worries man.

Watching The Shining...girlfriend dolly shot y mucho más.....;)

there's no option for usb boot in boot order.... thats what i mean :/

btw, u have the modded inf file for 331.65 driver?

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@ Robbo, J95 & bikaso: I successfully managed to install the replacement 780M GTX into my M17xR3. No beeping. However, I really do not think that I should flash the bios with svl7's modded bios. what do you all think? To flash or not to flash, that is the question... I'm even scared to run benchmarks with it. I played SC blacklist, bf3 and tried out hitman absolution for a brief time. I'm not playing tomb raider on ultimate. It seems to work like my last one without the trouble of green lines.:32_002:

My thoughts are, it works as far as I can see and I don't wana screw it up. :01:

EDIT: I tried to boot from the flash drive just now to back up the vBios, not flash it. However, there is not option to boot from the flash drive. :06:This is either a good sign or a bad sigh. All I know is that I cannot flash the bios, so that thought is out of my mind, but the bad side is that I cannot boot from my flash drive with my windows image on it. any thoughts on any solutions? :59:Thanks

Sounds good, you've got it installed - you didn't wait for the wrist strap then?!

Did you check your temperatures yet, that would be the first thing I would do. If they're fine, then just go ahead and enjoy it! Probably not much need to overclock beyond the +135Mhz that's possible on the core with your existing VBIOS, especially given that you've only got the 1600x900 screen, so framerates will be excellent anyway, so therefore no need to flash the VBIOS really.

You can change the boot order in the BIOS, which you enter by pressing F2 during post after you've turned your computer on. You have to have the USB drive attached to the computer in order for the USB option to be available within the boot order. In fact, for mine, I have to enter the BIOS twice with the USB attached for it to appear in the boot order list.

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