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Trying to revive a very broken laptop

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Hello, I'm wondering if anyone has any good ideas for this problem I'm having at the moment.

I have an Alienware 17 R3 laptop that had its monitor basically destroyed, but should be working fine otherwise. The laptop has an HDMI port for an external monitor, which, will be the only way it will be usable past this point, the real issue is that the intel integrated graphics are run to the main (broken) monitor, and the HDMI port, is apparently only wired to the built-in Nvidia card.


Because of this, I cannot access BIOS, or really anything to get to a point to where I can install the Nvidia drivers onto a clean OS.


If I boot up the laptop into its current Windows 10 installation, it gets to the desktop for a short period, but I believe there's something wrong with the OS installation, as it freezes about 3 seconds in, and then the screen goes blank and crashes, so I'm trying to install a clean Win10 installation on another hard drive and test to see if I can have it auto-install the Nvidia drivers upon bootup by placing the intel/nvidia grapics drivers into the DriverStore folder, using the pnputil program, but it didn't seem to work.


I also tried adding the aforementioned drivers to a bootable WinPE drive with dism, but I also couldn't get it to show up on the HDMI-attached monitor.


Does anyone have any ideas that I could try? Or maybe I'm going about something the wrong way? Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

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    WTT Tech Teacher

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Hi, sorry to hear of the problem with your laptop.


It looks like there are at least 2 problems

1 The laptop fails to boot correctly

The VDU is broken.


It is going to be tricky fixing the non booting issue without being able to see what you are doing due to the broken screen, so if we faced these sort of issues in the workshop we would first:


1 check out the hardware (if possible) by connecting up a VDU using  whatever connections are available on your machine (HDMI or USB C etc., and dont forget any necessary keyboard strokes to select External VDU)  adjusting the BIOS to  set the boot priority firstly to Optical drive then secondly the hard drive, saving the changes and with a live distribution of Linux on CD/DVD in the tray booting into Linux. If for example you used Linux Puppy as your distro of choice then Puppy would be able to provide the correct driver without too much trouble.

NB if you use Puppy to connect to the Internet then do use an Ethernet cable, as wifi can sometimes be a tad tricky if you are not accustomed to Linux.


2 Assuming the hardware checks out Ok apart from the damaged VDU then its time to replace the VDU, Dell replacements obtained from Dell can sometimes be more expensive then other sources of VDUs ( like for example well known on line auction houses where VDUs for your machine can be purchased for £30 to £50 (GBP) or so and its a quick and simple job to fit them.

 NB do make sure when buying a VDU that it is compatible with your machine.

Here's a link to a chap who has replaced his VDU


3 Lastly we would then fix the non booting issue once we could see what we are doing.

Hope this helps



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Hey paws, thanks for your insight, I hadn't thought about trying to boot into a Linux OS, I think I will install one to a SSD I have lying around and see if it will boot up the external monitor automatically with a generic driver.


I am trying to get this to work on just an external monitor, without spending the money on a replacement VDU, so I'm going to keep trying things down that avenue.


I appreciate your help, thanks!

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