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Thread: Problems with Video Drivers for Alienware M17

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Pensacola, Florida
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Problems with Video Drivers for Alienware M17

    I purchased an Alienware M17 laptop and almost have it all set up exactly how I want it, and am just having problems with video drivers. I have 2 video cards and they are 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3870 with CrossFireX. I attempted to install the latest drivers using the restricted default ones through Ubuntu and it caused my GUI to stop loading. I got that problem fixed, and then downloaded the drivers from AMD's site directly. I downloaded the ones for the ATI Radeon HD 3xxx series as I couldn't find my series under the mobility listings.

    I'm currently running version 9.04, Jaunty with the latest updates that I'm aware of.

    Could someone please assist me in getting the appropriate drivers for my computer??? If anymore information is needed I'll gladly do my best to provide. Also, could you provide the directions on how to uninstall if it goes bad as I've had my GUI crash at least 5 times now when trying to get the video drivers to work????

    Please & thanks, any feedback is greatly appreciated!!!!
    ***********************************************
    I run two sites, if you like horror movies: etcomeback.com, and my personal blog at mailorderdudes.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: Problems with Video Drivers for Alienware M17

    Bumping, sorry just really want to try and get this resolved as soon as possible
    ***********************************************
    I run two sites, if you like horror movies: etcomeback.com, and my personal blog at mailorderdudes.com

  3. #3
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    Re: Problems with Video Drivers for Alienware M17

    Can someone please take a swing at this? THank you!
    ***********************************************
    I run two sites, if you like horror movies: etcomeback.com, and my personal blog at mailorderdudes.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: Problems with Video Drivers for Alienware M17

    Please??? Anyone??? I can't seem to get this to work
    ***********************************************
    I run two sites, if you like horror movies: etcomeback.com, and my personal blog at mailorderdudes.com

  5. #5
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    May 2009
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    Re: Problems with Video Drivers for Alienware M17

    Bump...I am currently using Ubuntu Server Edition and Ubuntu Hardy Heron. I just purchased a M17 Alienware Laptop with Dual ATI HD 3870 using Crossfire. I would like to install the 9.X Ubuntu on this laptop as well.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Swollgoose

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Pensacola, Florida
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: Problems with Video Drivers for Alienware M17

    Please??? Someone help???
    ***********************************************
    I run two sites, if you like horror movies: etcomeback.com, and my personal blog at mailorderdudes.com

  7. #7
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    Jun 2009
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    Re: Problems with Video Drivers for Alienware M17


  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Problems with Video Drivers for Alienware M17

    Thanks for the reply!!! Although it was mostly about getting Internet connection through the terminal and how to install drivers, there were a couple of things that I was able to use. I tried to install the specific driver that they had listed on the first page, and it said that it wasn't supported with my version, here's the exact message it gave
    Error: ./default_policy.sh does not support version
    default:v2:i686:lib::none:2.6.28-11-generic
    I also tried installing the drivers using envyng, which was really nice as it gave me an easy uninstall method, but it said that it was downloaded successfully, but when I rebooted it just gave me the terminal. Any ideas????
    ***********************************************
    I run two sites, if you like horror movies: etcomeback.com, and my personal blog at mailorderdudes.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Re: Problems with Video Drivers for Alienware M17

    Guys,

    I have the same computer and the same problems. Q9100, 3870x2. If you've browsed the forums @ AW I'm having the stuttering problem they described. Tech support had me disable the RAID 0 array, so now I have 2 128 gb SSDs. Naturally I have Vista on one for games and Linux on the other. A few things:

    Ubuntu 9.04 goes from the boot loader to login window in 13 seconds!!!!

    This is faster than Debian 5 and Red Hat. I'm not sure how this is possible, but it happened. Not only that but EVERYTHING WORKS out of the box. Wireless, media buttons, all pci devices, etc, and VESA graphics (yuck)

    I went to time the vista loadup but it did an update - taking it over 4 minutes.

    The core problem here is getting the ATI driver flgrx to output to the monitor. Flgrx supports Xfire, but if you read the release notes, only on 48** series cards. Thanks ATI. That means you'll have to install the driver, run aticonfig, and then flag the kernel to ignore one of the cards. The key here is to bind the 3870 at PCI address 6, and unbind the one at PCI address 3. This is counterintuitive because 3 is the primary; 6 being the slave with audio out.

    I did this, and it has almost worked.

    Instead of booting to a prompt, the freaking thing gives the GUI progress bar, then makes off-color hash in which the letters and logo of Ubuntu are barely readable. I login and it makes the GNOME pleasure sound, then the screen goes to 1920x1200 pixels of pure black.

    Bh by the way there's a wiki entry for some 1337 dude to did a Gentoo build. Behold his xorg.conf: http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Alienware_M17

    His xorg.conf is wildly different than mine; I'd love to talk with him about it. I can go back to VESA graphics at will but I have to have my native res with video acceleration.

    When I do an aticonfig it shows 3870 PCI 3 as the primary, and 3870 PCI6 as the secondary. I flagged PCI6 as my primary and made xorg.conf reflect that. Aticonfig shows Xfire bridge one as PCI 6 master, PCI3 second. It shows no Xfire bridge 0,

    I can get to a half-working Gnome Login, that then takes me to pure black, so I'm on the right track.

    Once trail and error and a few tips help me succeed I'll post updates.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: Problems with Video Drivers for Alienware M17

    Thanks for replying Pooncakes, if you get any further be sure to let us know. I had to disable the RAID as well when I installed Ubuntu onto here. I pretty much have just given up though. If I could get the video cards to work though, I might be able to get my games to work through Wine.... but in the meantime, I guess I'm stuck using Windows for my games
    ***********************************************
    I run two sites, if you like horror movies: etcomeback.com, and my personal blog at mailorderdudes.com

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