Hello, Matt.

I got all my information from the Dell message boards a couple of
years ago when newer models were just coming out. In summary,
machines that could take a newer graphics card had to have the
UXGA display (1600x1200 resolution) and typically needed to be
the newest rev of the motherboard. Your luck is typically better if
your laptop is equiped with one of the higher speed CPUs. I purchased
a 1 GHz model the week before it was pulled from production. Also,
you need to make sure you have at *least* bios revision A17 or it
won't recognize the new adapter at all. Aparently most bios changes
are propogated across all lines so that when support was added to the
I8100 machine for the Radeon 7500 the next revision of the I8000
bios (A17) had that support as well.

So you have a few different failure points for this upgrade. Put the
original Rage 128 card back into the laptop and verify that you have
a new enough bios (assuming you don't know it already). A17
worked very well for me until I had to get the screen replaced due to
the backlight inverter failing (Dell Complete Care 3 year warranty was
a *VERY* good buy!) -- then the new hardware in the display was not
recognized except under the (then) newest bios A21a. That one was
buggy but I'm having good success with the current newest bios (A22).

Also, if you have something other than the UXGA panel on your laptop
you are out of luck. I also heard some complaints that Hitachi panels
at UXGA caused problems with the Radeon upgrade.

Failing the above, it is possible your power subsystem doesn't supply
enough juice to run everything -- this usually manifests itself as an
issue with the machine cutting off when you push the graphics card
hard (with say a game). I've found that the card actually draws less
power than the old one under normal use (my battery life was extended).

When I put my card in I was running bios A15 and it worked, but the
card was not actually recognized as anything other than a VGA adapter
by the bios -- and none of the powersaving measures would work anymore.
Since your machine won't even boot I'm guessing either you have the
lower res panel installed or the motherboard just can't supply enough juice
(you could try taking out all but one RAM module and any peripherals you
might have attached to reduce power requirements).

If for any reason you can't get this to work the success rate with upgrading
to a GForce2 Go card is significantly higher. I think that upgrade also does
not require the UXGA panel to work.

Good luck!

Sean


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