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aboniadi
Bronze

Dell XPS 13 Display Screen Scrambling/Flickering Problem

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Hello, 

I bought my Dell XPS 13 laptop (L321X) in December of 2012.  Beginning in the middle of 2013, I began experiencing my display scree...I did not think anything of it at first, and honestly it would happen maybe once a month.  I figured...

Since the beginning of this year, I saw that it started doing it more frequently.  Within the last month, it has been happening more and more frequently, to the point that it is disrupting my use of the laptop.  I absolutely LOVE the laptop, with the exception of this one issue.  Can anyone please help me understand what seems to be the issue with the display problem?  

I have not yet tried connecting the laptop to an external monitor to see if the issue is with my video drive or screen.  It's just difficult to attach it to an external monitor in time when the problem starts, because the scrambling goes away within 20-30 seconds.  

27 Replies
Moderator
Moderator

RE: Dell XPS 13 Display Screen Scrambling/Flickering Problem

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Hi aboniadi,

There seems to be problem with the LCD screen on your computer to confirm we will have to perform the ‘LCD BIST’ (Built in Self-test) on the computer. Please follow the steps mentioned below to run the “LCD BIST’.

  1. Turn of the computer.
  2. Press and hold down the ‘D’ key on the keyboard and press the Power button.
  3. You will see different colors on the LCD screen. Please check if the vertical or horizontal lines are appearing on the screen.

If you see the vertical or horizontal lines appearing on the screen while the LCD bist is running you will have to replace the LCD.

In addition, I would advise you to connect an external display and check for the issue.

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bjsarda
Copper

RE: Dell XPS 13 Display Screen Scrambling/Flickering Problem

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Hello. I have the same problem on my XPS 13. I am unable to run the BIST program you reference in your  reply, and judging by quick online search, many people who are told by tech support are unable to run it as well. Can you clarify instructions, and/or confirm this process is available for all Windows 8.1 machines?

Has Dell formally identified this problem as a hardware defect in the LCD itself? I find that the behavior indicates possibly something else. For example, it seems the triggering of the flicker problem may be related to the use of the trackpad. Also, the flickering usually stops instantly if I plug in an adapter in the mini-display port to connect my external monitor. So this tells me this may not be pure hardware issue in the display, but rather something else.

Please share any knowledge you have on this problem.

SCM3A9
Copper

RE: Dell XPS 13 Display Screen Scrambling/Flickering Problem

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I have this same problem almost every time I start the laptop and log in, or when re-entering password to wake up from time-out. I tried the LCD BIST and it did not help.

Usually it unscrambles within 30 seconds but occasionally I have to log out and back on.  Sometimes "Logging off" screen is scrambled too.

Mine is an Inspiron 3520 purchased Nov 2012, but the problem and the time it began occurring are the similar to Aboniadi.

Any help/suggestions would be appreciated!

Picture attached

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catbb67
Copper

RE: Dell XPS 13 Display Screen Scrambling/Flickering Problem

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I have the exact screen scramble on my XPS 13 (2012) for > a year. It happens every time I am in WIndows 7, sometime as soon as I boot into WIndows. Rebooting does not help.  I dual boot to Ubuntu (the laptop runs on Ubuntu most of the time) in which the screen never has this problem.

I can uninstall the video driver and re-install and it goes away for a while. But it always comes back.  Since it does not happen in Linux, I'd say this is a software/driver issue.

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RizwanF
Copper

RE: Dell XPS 13 Display Screen Scrambling/Flickering Problem

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I am experiencing the same.  I got my XPS 13 back in December 2012 as well.  I had docking station (Targus) issues recently and the team at Targus had me upgrade the DisplayLink driver to the last and the greatest.  Soon after the update, I started to experience the issue.  I suspect that it is the DisplayLink driver causing the issue.  The way fix the scramble screen is to reduce the resolution and then revert back to full resolution.  I plan to downgrade the DisplayLink driver and hopefully the issue will go away.

I hope this was helpful.

-Rizwan

Moderator
Moderator

RE: Dell XPS 13 Display Screen Scrambling/Flickering Problem

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Hi Rizwan,

We will need to isolate if its hardware issue or software we will have to perform the ‘LCD BIST’ (Built in Self-test) on the computer. Please follow the steps mentioned below to run the “LCD BIST’.

  1. Turn of the computer.
  2. Press and hold down the ‘D’ key on the keyboard and press the Power button.
  3. You will see different colors on the LCD screen. Please check if the vertical or horizontal lines are appearing on the screen.

If you see the vertical or horizontal lines appearing on the screen while the LCD bist is running you will have to replace the LCD.

In addition, I would advise you to connect an external display and check for the issue.

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h4rmee7
Copper

RE: Dell XPS 13 Display Screen Scrambling/Flickering Problem

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I am facing the exact problem. Wat shall I do

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RE: Dell XPS 13 Display Screen Scrambling/Flickering Problem

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Instead of giving us the bs copy and paste routine message why don't you offer some help. This is happening to my wife's xps 13 2012 as well.. There is something really fishy going on here and it seems we are all having the same issue around the same time. Provide us with a fix not a stupid copy and paste message. 

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aboniadi
Bronze

RE: Dell XPS 13 Display Screen Scrambling/Flickering Problem

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Hi all, I originally posted this message a few months ago.  I never received any positive suggestions or resolutions to the problem, so I did what I naturally do when I am out of options.  I reformated my entire hard drive, and re-installed windows and all drivers from scratch.  

Poof!  Problem gone!  Hasn't happened for the past several months.  I guess there was a glitch in the version of the BIOS or display drivers.  I recommend others try this--it worked for me and I am back in love with the XPS.  

Good luck!