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external monitor blink / flash problem --info inside

nothing goes dark, just that once or twice a minute, there is a kind of bright flash on the external monitor.   

i am not having the problem same HDMI cable and viewsonic monitor on a different laptop.   so it must be my dell e6530, not the cable or the monitor.

what do you think could be the problem?   more detail:

windows 10, Nvidia nvs 5200M, intel HD4000 graphics.   i disabled "optimus" in BIOS so it just uses tne Nvidia card, not the cpu graphics.  

device manager shows settings for 'display' and for 'monitor'.  for "monitors", device manager shows both the 'generic pnp driver' and the 'viewsonic' driver; disabling one or both of these "monitor" in device manager does nothing.   in the 'display' section, it is just showing the Nvidia because intel was disabled in BIOS optimus.

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