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Black screen after certain graphical uses

    Question

  • Hi everybody

    I've been using the Windows 7 64-bit beta for some time on my brand new Dell Studio XPS 13, which includes the following hardware:

    - Intel P9500 Dual-core (2.53 Ghz)
    - 4 Gb DDR3 RAM 
    - nVidia Geforce 9500M (9400M GS + 9200M G)

    The problem I'm experiencing is a completely black screen, where the only solution I've found is to press Ctrl + Alt + Delete, which brings forth the small options screen. Starting Task Manager does nothing, and my only option is to Log Off, and the visuals doesn't re-appear until the login screen is reached.

    So far, I've experienced the same problems from to causes:
    1. I've plugged a VGA cable from a projector, and the screen turns black on both screens.
    2. I've existed a game and upon returning to Windows, the screen stays black.

    I naturally believe this is related to the Geforce card, which uses Hybrid SLI. As in, when the laptop is running on battery, only the integrated 9200M is activated, while it will turn on the 9400M when plugged into.

    Today I discovered that this issue would not occur running just on battery (aka 9200M), when connecting to a projector, but would occur when plugged in (and thus using 9400M).

    And that's all the info I have... hope somebody can help :)
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 4:48 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Hi

    Try other video driver
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 9:09 PM
  • What other driver? I'm using the latest driver from Dells website for Vista x64 and as see, there is no other alternative...
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 9:30 PM
  •  Dell's drivers are packaged from the drivers that nVidia releases.  I'd suggest that you visit the nVidia website and download the most current Vista x64 driver for your video chipset (GeForce 9500M).
    - John
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 9:42 PM
    Answerer
  • I actually tried installing the newest driver from nVidias website, but when setup started, I could only choose to update the nVidia HD audio driver... not anything related to the graphics card
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 9:43 PM
  • On nvidia web site is written to use windows update to get latest driver for w7

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/windows_7.html

    Thursday, February 19, 2009 11:16 PM
  • Windows Update only prompts me to update the 9200M part of the graphics solution, and if I install that (trust me, I've tried), it messes up everything.

    And as I said, using the latest driver from nvidias site (Vista x64), it only updates the HD audio driver...
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 11:17 PM
  • Uninstall current video driver(s), then use windows update to install latest nvidia driver for w7

    Driver you call latest is for vista, drivers for w7 are available via update as is written on nvidia website
    Friday, February 20, 2009 12:26 AM
  • This only happened to me once. It wasn't a full black screen, just my wallpaper was black. That was while I was in game, F.E.A.R 2 Project Origin to be exact. Once I closed the game the blackscreen was still there. I just logged off and back on and that fixed that problem.
    Friday, February 20, 2009 7:20 AM
  • Ventsislav --> Trust me, I've tried all of this. And as I said, Windows Update only provides a driver for the 9200M part of the graphics solution, which means it doesn't see the dual-chip functionality of the 9500M. And if the Windows Update driver is installed, everything gets very low-res and slow.

    Melech --> Yeah, logging out and in fixed the problem for me too, but it's still very annoying. But it's not just my wallpaper that's black, it's the entire screen. And only the ctrl+alt+del command can make something visible...
    Friday, February 20, 2009 7:52 AM
  •  NeXuSDK I trust only to myself :)

    It is clear that this problem occur on switching video cards, so you obviously need better driver.

    Are you sure your video is set correctly for hybrid sli?

    Friday, February 20, 2009 10:39 AM
  • Well, I have the tray icon running and it switches between the two modes as intended whenever I plug in/out
    Friday, February 20, 2009 10:40 AM
  • How are set video options in laptop bios?

    For hybtid sli your bios settings must be :

    Hybrid Support: Enabled

    Onboard or mGPU Enable: Enabled

    Preferred or Primary Boot GPU: mGPU

    mGPU Frame Buffer Control: Manual

    mGPU Frame Buffer Size: 256 MB - 256MB is minimum value of frame buffer size for hybrid sli

    Friday, February 20, 2009 10:43 AM
  • I don't have these options in my BIOS... and I have the latest BIOS from Dell
    Friday, February 20, 2009 1:49 PM
  • Maybe they are set by default to correct values and are hidden.

    What you mean here

    nVidia Geforce 9500M (9400M GS + 9200M G) - this is from your first post.
    Friday, February 20, 2009 6:23 PM
  • Well, I mean what it says. That is my graphis solution. It's called a Geforce 9500M, which consists of both a dedicated 9400M G and an integrated 9200M GS. In Device Manager, it's listed as to separate devices with the following names:

    NVIDIA GeForce 9500M (GF 9200MGS + GF 9400MG)

    NVIDIA GeForce 9500M (GF 9400MG + GF 9200MGs)

    Friday, February 20, 2009 6:27 PM
  • Hello NeXuSDK

    Do you know that windows 7 change display option automaticlly whenever you start a program that is not supported by the system?
    a game or a program that is not certified by win7, for example i use sometimes winavi to convert video files, this program make windows 7 go to windows 7 basic which has a very poor visualization. I want to say that this proccess goes through (refresh rate) of course. My question is what type of monitor do you have? try to set different refresh rate and observe if the problem will occur!
    Does this happen with other programs?

    post your experince please

    Regards

    Friday, February 20, 2009 6:45 PM
  • This is a laptop, so it's on a built in monitor ;)

    Also, this event/problem doesn't cause windows to enter basic mode (well, it's impossible to see since everything is black, really).

    And again, it's not problem dependent. This also happens when I just plug in a VGA cable and the system automatically tries to change visuals to support the attached projector. I think it has something to do with change in resolutions, since full-screen games usually also force resolution changes.
    Friday, February 20, 2009 6:49 PM
  • Why you think it is 9200+9400, but not 9500?

    I think your problem comes because incorrect driver is installed

    Uninstall all video drivers and install driver for 9500M, but not for 9200 or 9400
    Friday, February 20, 2009 8:22 PM
  • No trying to be disrespectful, but I don't seem to understand...

    A 9500M is a 9400 + 9200, that's how it's defined. It's not a single chip, it's two different parts.

    Besides, I'm downloading the only video driver offered by Dell, which is for the 9500M. It is only Windows Update itself that wants to install the driver for just 9200.
    Friday, February 20, 2009 8:24 PM
  • On nvidia web site 9500 is not listed as 9200+9400, but as 9500

    Install 9500 driver:

    1. Update from windows update

    2. Open device manager and uninstall 9400 from there if you have 9400 and 9200 listed 

    3. Update 9200 to 9500 using manual method

    To manually install 9500 driver:

    -open device manager then locate video
    -right click it and click update
    -click browse my computer.... option
    -click let me pick from ....
    -uncheck show compatible .... check box
    -browse to nvidia and install 9500 driver



    Latest nvidia vista drivers are available here http://www.nvidia.com/object/notebook_drivers.html

    Friday, February 20, 2009 9:07 PM
  •  Trust me! A Geforce 9500M, in this case, since it's only a 9500M and not fx a 9500M GS, it is comprised entirely of just a Geforce 9400M G and 9500M GS.

    And I install the exact driver that Dell provides for the graphics card, which is installed as specific Windows 7 drivers.

    BTW, if I remove the installed driver and let Windows Update identify and update, it just localizes the 9200M (which proves this computer does have a 9200M) and doesn't recognize it as combined solution.
    Friday, February 20, 2009 9:13 PM
  • Ventsislav Alexandriyski said:

    On nvidia web site 9500 is not listed as 9200+9400, but as 9500


    Install 9500 driver:

    1. Update from windows update

    2. Open device manager and uninstall 9400 from there if you have 9400 and 9200 listed 

    3. Update 9200 to 9500 using manual method

    To manually install 9500 driver:

    -open device manager then locate video
    -right click it and click update
    -click browse my computer.... option
    -click let me pick from ....
    -uncheck show compatible .... check box
    -browse to nvidia and install 9500 driver




    Latest nvidia vista drivers are available here http://www.nvidia.com/object/notebook_drivers.html


    As you wish. I gave you solution , but it is up to you to apply it. 


    On Dell web site your laptop specification include 9500 video


    From Nvidia driver supported cards:

     This driver will install on the following GPUs with the exception of some notebooks listed below:

      GeForce 9800M GTX
      GeForce 9800M GTS
      GeForce 9800M GT
      GeForce 9800M GS
      GeForce 9700M GTS
      GeForce 9700M GT
      GeForce 9650M GT
      GeForce 9650M GS
      GeForce 9600M GT
      GeForce 9600M GS
      GeForce 9500M GS
      GeForce 9500M G
      GeForce 9400M G
      GeForce 9400M
      GeForce 9400
      GeForce 9300M GS
      GeForce 9300M G
      GeForce 9200M GS
      GeForce 9200M GE
      GeForce 9100M G
      GeForce 8800M GTX
      GeForce 8800M GTS
      GeForce 8800 GS
      GeForce 8700M GT
      GeForce 8600M GT
      GeForce 8600M GS
      GeForce 8400M GT
      GeForce 8400M GS
      GeForce 8400M G
      GeForce 8200M G
      GeForce Go 7950 GTX
      GeForce Go 7900 SE
      GeForce Go 7900 GS
      GeForce Go 7900 GS
      GeForce Go 7800 GTX
      GeForce Go 7800
      GeForce Go 7700
      GeForce Go 7600
      GeForce Go 7600
      GeForce Go 7400
      GeForce Go 7300
      GeForce Go 7300
      GeForce Go 7200
      GeForce 7150M / nForce 630M
      GeForce 7000M / nForce 610M
      GeForce GT 130M
      GeForce G 110M
      GeForce G 105M
    Saturday, February 21, 2009 8:07 AM
  • Listen, this is already what I'm doing. Sorry, it's difficult to keep me calm, because I already explained to you that I installed just the 9500M driver, nothing else!

    But when I install the 9500M drivers - and JUST that - it shows up in Device Manager as both 9500M (9400M G + 9200M GS) and 9500M (9200M GS + 9400M G) by itself. It's NOT something that I do. I do NOT install to separate drivers. I ONLY install the 9500M driver.

    Could we please get back to the issue at hand? And try to understand that a Geforce 9500M (not 9500M G or 9500M GS) is basically just comprised of a 9400M G and 9200M GS.
    Saturday, February 21, 2009 8:31 AM
  • That you cannot understand is that I cannot see what you are doing and happen, but I am sure you do not use manual driver install as I suggest you
    Saturday, February 21, 2009 9:33 AM
  • Yes, I have tried that before...
    Saturday, February 21, 2009 9:35 AM
  • NeXuSDK said:

    Yes, I have tried that before...


    I am sure you have tried something similar, but not that.

    I am sure if you give me remote access to your pc I will install latest driver following same steps I gave you
    Saturday, February 21, 2009 10:44 AM
  • There is only one beta driver for the nvidia 9500m GS which applies to 9500, 9400 en 9200 gpu's. So dont worry because it will be installed automaticlly through manual or automatic update.
    I myself dont advice the automatic windows driver update. Should turn this windows feature  off from the control panel. Next download and use the "windows installer clean up" software to be sure you have removed all nvidia software. Download the latest beta driver dated 11-02-09. Restart and then install the new driver by right click on it choosing "troubleshoot compatibility"method. First of all be sure that you have installed already the latest vista 64 chipset software of the motherboard.

    Next start dxdiag from run command and check if every thing running fine with the video card.

    If you are done with this, use windows 7 wizard when you connect a projector "listed in control panel" s-video cable or better DVI if exist. Care about adjusting the (tv-second disply) resolution in nvidia control panel and the refresh rate until you get a picture on the projector or the TV.

    I am sure you have done this but i am just repeating the regular methods every body use.

    Success

    Saturday, February 21, 2009 11:12 AM
  • Thanks, but these solutions are just not possible. This is what happens:

    - I remove the currently installed driver. Removing one device in Device Manager will remove both, as they are tied together.
    - After a restart, Windows 7 automatically installs Geforce 9200M, but it shows up with a "!" sign and there's also a Standard VGA adapter in the Device Manager list (which I guess is the 9400M).
    - I have downloaded the latest (11-02-09) Vista x64 driver from nVidias website.
    - I try to update both the 9200M and Standard VGA device by using the unpacked nVidia folder... in both cases, it says that the driver is up to date.
    - When I run the setup, it will only try to install/update the HD Audio driver. If I just run the nVidia display setup, then it says that no compatible hardware was fun.

    So right now, if I want anything useful installed, I have to use the latest Dell driver. In dxdiag, this is dated to 15-01-2009 (7875)
    Saturday, February 21, 2009 2:28 PM
  • Lets stop windows temporary from installing your nvidia driver automateclly. you can change setting back when we finish installing the proper driver.

    open windows update page. in the left pine choose change settings. in the important updates drop down menu choose download updates but let me choose whether to install them, click ok.

    now go to control panel, open hardware and sound, under devices and printers, click on view devices and printers, right click on your computer name icon and choose device installation settings, in the new windows choose NO, let me choose what i do. click on save changes and exit.

    Removing all pervious drivers:

    right click on the task bar and start the task bar manager. click on processes tab and end process of all nvidia control panels.
    Device manager and click on the display driver and choose uninstall.
    use control panel to uninstall all nvidia drivers and control panels you have.

    Now try to start the installation of the beta driver by right click on the setup.exe and choose or run as administrator or troubleshoot compatibility and follow instructions, restart and post your experince

    Good luck

    Saturday, February 21, 2009 4:44 PM
  • Still no luck.

    While I now managed to restart it without Windows installing the 9200M, it should doesn't work.

    The nVidia setup still says the computer has no compatible hardware.

    In the Device Manager, they show up as two separate VGA adapters, one of them with a "!" icon. This was apparently the 9200M, as I could locate the nVidia folder and it would start installing the driver. But the installation eventually failed, and with the second VGA Adapter (the 9400M), it just keeps saying that it's up to date.

    So far, nVidias own drivers doesn't work with this 9500M.
    Saturday, February 21, 2009 5:37 PM
  • NeXuSDK said:

    Thanks, but these solutions are just not possible. This is what happens:

    - I remove the currently installed driver. Removing one device in Device Manager will remove both, as they are tied together.
    - After a restart, Windows 7 automatically installs Geforce 9200M
    , but it shows up with a "!" sign and there's also a Standard VGA adapter in the Device Manager list (which I guess is the 9400M).
    - I have downloaded the latest (11-02-09) Vista x64 driver from nVidias website.
    - I try to update both the 9200M and Standard VGA device by using the unpacked nVidia folder... in both cases, it says that the driver is up to date.
    - When I run the setup, it will only try to install/update the HD Audio driver. If I just run the nVidia display setup, then it says that no compatible hardware was fun.

    So right now, if I want anything useful installed, I have to use the latest Dell driver. In dxdiag, this is dated to 15-01-2009 (7875)


    As I see you have not tested steps I gave you, because they does not include restart
    Saturday, February 21, 2009 6:07 PM

  • If installation will fail that means beta is not really full sppurted. try installing the original driver that came with the laptop, or use older version which was working propebly on windows vista before installing windows 7.
    i advice you to re updating the driver for that standard vga adapter listed in your device manager by right clicking, update driver, manually choose the folder where you have the nvidia driver extracted to.

    Read this document
    http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/display/multimonVista.mspx


    Saturday, February 21, 2009 6:52 PM
  • NexusSDK:

    Have you been able to resolve this problem with Windows 7 RC?

    -Nick
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 1:23 AM
  • Had/Have the same issues (same laptop with a slightly lower speced CPU). I think this is a nasty example of RC OS and beta NVIDIA drivers. Hope the drivers will mature soon to get this sorted. I have noticed when running on battery (which switches the Hybrid SLI to performance mode) reduces screen freezes. Looks as well that it is only the screen that freezes and not the computer because when I cold restart the laptop my programs i had open registered they were not closed properly (e.g. IE, Chrome etc). 

    Is there anyway to get involved with the driver testing better or send debug information of some sorts to Microsoft or/and NVIDIA?
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 5:00 PM
  • The current driver appears to be 186.03:  http://www.nvidia.com/object/geforce_notebook_win7_x64_186.03_whql.html.  There is a link at the bottom for feedback, Click here to provide feedback.

    Although this is specifically for Vista, they might also take Windows 7 input here:  http://www.nvidia.com/object/vistaqualityassurance.html.
    Saturday, June 20, 2009 6:06 PM
  • NexusSDK:

    Have you been able to resolve this problem with Windows 7 RC?

    -Nick

    Yes, it seems so :)
    Sunday, June 21, 2009 2:14 AM
  • Just installed the 64 bit RC on my new Studio XPS 13. I installed the nvidia driver suggested by Windows Update (179.67) and I'm experiencing a similar issue. When I switch power modes (and GPUs) the wallpaper turns to a solid black colour and the only way to restore it seems to be to toggle the theme to Windows 7 Basic and back again. Seems to happen when I switch either way, integrated to discrete GPU or vice versa. Any ideas?
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 8:39 PM
  • Those drivers also do not work properly. My performance index score on my two graphics tests where both 1.0 and 2.0 when using them. This was after i cleaned up the drivers and reinstalled them. The only way to get the Hybrid SLI working and get a proper performance index score is by installing the GPU drivers through Windows Update. Even that option gives some quirks as I was on battery power which did not detect the one GPU but after plugging in the power cord he laptop switched on the additional GPU and windows installed them successfully. Up to know I did not have any hangs or random switching between GPU as per previous drivers. Have not tested any games yet but I figure if the performance index score seems to be right (gaming graphics 4.7 and desktop graphics 5.9) it will work.

    I would also suggest doing the driver update via Windows Update WHILE the adapter is plugged in and also removing the old GPU drivers with a driver cleanup tool like Driver Sweeper. The NVIDIA chipset drivers seem to be not effecting any GPU related issues in my case.

    Holla back here if anybody needs more info on this as this is pretty frustrating, espcially seeing this is with 'premium' hardware. Then again this is a RC OS and the drivers are still undergoing maturing.

    BTW - installing the manually downloaded NVIDIA drivers causes weird issues as mentioned below and also on one instance I had my laptop constantly switching between the two GPUs and the Windows 7 Performance Index test failing with a error that it is unable to test the laptop. This all does not happen when using the driver install through Windows Update.
    Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:22 AM
  • Thanks for the info.

    These are the drivers from Windows Update on a new install. They actually seem to work fine (and the switching implementation is actually better than in Dell's Vista Drivers) but the only quirk is this black wallpaper thing. The GPUs actually switch successfully, it just weirdly kills the wallpaper and I have to toggle Aero on and off to get it back.

    Experience index gives me 4.5 or thereabouts so the drivers appears to be working anyway. Really weird.
    Wednesday, June 24, 2009 12:38 PM
  • Is this a common problem w/ 9400 GT's or a compatibility w/ pairing?

    BTW, that card only gives you an index rating of 4.5? Sad... I think it really should be more since the 8400's give a 4.3 rating w/ thorough setting refinements.
    Monday, August 31, 2009 1:42 AM
  • This is a common problem with the Hybrid SLI function. Have not seen my Apple friends having the same problems who use the same GPUs in their Macbook Pro. Seems to be another hardware meets software clash and nobody wants to want to be responsible (NVIDIA, DELL and Microsoft). Sad to see this happening to a premium chipset/GPU setup.

    I noticed by the way that now my Windows 7 Action Center is mentioned there is a problem with my chipset and I should install the latest drivers but the message just stays there. I believe the GPU and chipset drivers are closly linked which just adds to the complication and longer chain of vendor shake-offs.

    By the way - have been contacted DELL via e-mail but have not received an answear yet. Frustrating to say the least.
    • Proposed as answer by GVSmitty Wednesday, October 28, 2009 1:01 AM
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 7:57 PM
  • I am having this issue with RTM Win 7 only while using areo.  If i switch to basic no issues artifacts or wierd black boxes.  Has there been a solution found?  I have the latest Windows 7 drivers from dells website.  If I switch to High performance mode no issues, its only when the onboard graphics card kicks in.

    XPS 1340
    P8600 2.4 Ghz
    4gb DDR3
    Hybrid SLI
    NVIDIA GeForce 9500M (GF 9400MG + GF 9200MGS)
    Wednesday, October 28, 2009 1:07 AM