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BIOS locking up at boot

I have a 30" monitor (3007WFP) and a Dell D630. The stock (on board) video chipset does not run th monitor at 2560x1600. It's max resolution is 1920x1200. Onboard Chipset: Intel 956 Express Chip Family.

I acquired a D/Dock port replicator that has a PCI slot in it. I went to Best Buy and bought a $99 BFG - GeForce 8400GS PCI card.

After installing the PCI card in the D/Dock (with the laptop off) I powered it up docked to the PD01X D/Dock. The Dell BIOS splash screen displays and the progress bar slowly goes completes. But onces the progress bar is complete, the screen flickers then nothing. The screen doesn't change at all. Just the progress bar (full) on the Dell BIOS screen.

I have two monitors connected to the GeForce 8400GS. A Vizio 26" (connected via VGA), and the Dell 30" connected via Dual DVI.

When the laptop (D630) is docked in the D/Dock (PD01X) the internal display does not come on at all. The Vizio does come up and that's who's displaying the Dell BIOS screen. This tells me that the Laptop is seeing the GeForce card and it's working. But like I said it hangs up after the progress bar completes.

If I wait about 2 minutes the laptop shuts off by itself (while on the Dell BIOS screen). When I remove the laptop from the docking station and book using just a port replicator everything is fine (except the 30" runs at 1280x800 _gleck!_).

I've updated the D630's BIOS to version A15 (from A12).
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KTrentLR
Asked:
KTrentLR
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5 Solutions
 
sharkbot221984Commented:
Have you downloaded/installed the Nvidia driver for the GeForce 8400?  
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aboo_sCommented:
Before connecting the geforce go to your dell's bios and set initial display to pci or agp and not onboard vga!!
after that you can try setting video RAM to it's max.

Also try to set halt on errors to only keyboard error!

Tell me what happens.
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KTrentLRAuthor Commented:
Sharkbot: I"ll try that, but it's locking up before windows even loads. It locks up before I'm prompted for the BIOS password.
The order of a normal book: Dell BIOS > BIOS password > PointSEC Password > Windows Splash > Novell Login > Desktop
I'll try installing the drivers while it's not docked in the D/Dock.

Aboo: The BIOS is already set to "Primary Video" = "Dock Video Card" the other option (not selected is "Onboard Card".)  There are no settings to change with regards to RAM.  There's also no setting with regards to halting on errors.
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KTrentLRAuthor Commented:
Sharkbot: I am not able to install the GeForce drivers without an nVidia card being present/attached.  When I did I received the error:  The NVIDIA Setup program could not locate any drivers that are compatible with your current hardware. Setup will now exit.
The only button to click is "OK". Once I click it, the setup program closes.
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jamietonerCommented:
Could be a power issue, the 8400gs can draw up to 71 watts, without enough power the system won't complete post. Does the system work in this dock with the card removed?
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KTrentLRAuthor Commented:
Yes the Laptop boots with the card removed.
I was wondering about the poewer. The 8400GS box states 300W as a requirement. But I can't get anyone (including Dell) to give me an answer to how much power the PCI slots is fed.
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jamietonerCommented:
The d/dock only has a 90w power adapter and it powers the dock and the laptop. The pci slot in the d/dock was only meant for pci cards with a low power requirement(nics, modems, firewire cards, usb cards). I have had an old ati rage video card to work once but it and the integrated intel graphics caused issues. I heard of a couple of matrox cards that worked but none have dual link dvi.
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aboo_sCommented:
There are vga cards that come with external power supply, I suggest you try one of those with feed directly from a power supply of a PC (ATX), that would resolve the power issue if indded this is what's stopping the card from working properly!

I suggest you try that with not so much other alternatives available.
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KTrentLRAuthor Commented:
I finally found that the power supply on the D/Dock PD01X is 130 watts. You can google "PD01X 130 watts" and you'll get hits.

Aboo: I'm willing to try the route of powering the card via a PC PSU. The question there would be, do you know of any dual DVI (2560x1600) graphics cards with external power options that are PCI (not PCIe or AGP)?
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jamietonerCommented:
Oops, your right the d/dock has 130w and the d/port uses the 90w. Also if you do manage to get a pci video card to work the integrated intel card most likely won't so the laptops lcd will be disabled.
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KTrentLRAuthor Commented:
Having the laptop monitor dark isn't an issue. I have two external monitors I use with a D/Port (laptop lid is shut). One 26" and one 30". My goal with the laptop docked in a D/Dock:
26" - 1920x1200
30" - 2560x1600
My currently setup with the D/Port:
26" - 1920x1200
30" - 1280x800
The 30" Dell 3007WFP is setup such that, either you can run 2560x1600 or you get a max of 1280x800 - ICK!
Okay - so I'm looking at three options:
  • A half-length PCI card with Dual DVI (2560x1600) that'll run on 130 watts.
  • A PCI graphics card with Dual DVI (2560x1600) that can use an external power source.
  • Some way to upgrade the PSU in the D/Dock PD01X. I can't even find specs on how to take the PD01X apart. I've removed all the screws on the bottom and it still won't open.
Anyone have any suggestions?
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KTrentLRAuthor Commented:
Doesn't appear that this issue is fixable.
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