whynot21
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U2417H, Surface Pro, blinking

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Posted this in another thread, however saw that many people are having issues with blinking monitors and haven't seen a solution yet. Hardware, Software? Cables? The way it's set up? What mind boggles me that posts about this issue seem to 1-2 years old and no real answer. Anyway, here is my problem, purchased two new on the market U2417H last week with the intent to daisy chain per specs. Both blink about every 2 (Monitor 2) to 5 minutes (Monitor 3) intermittently, not very regular intervals, but often enough to be very annoying. The blink is about 1 second long on each monitor. Everything else seems fine. I extend not duplicate. When turning off MST, it only duplicates.

Specs:

Monitor 1 and computer/Tablet:
MS Surface Pro 3 with i5-4300 CPU @ 1.90ghz 2.50ghz, 4gb ram, 64 bit OS
MS states it supports DP1.2 and MST.
The Surface Pro 3 only has one mDP out port, I have no docking station, but the specs again say it's all good and should work just fine.
set up to extend primary monitor
all set to their recommended resolutions
Windows 10 Pro v1511


Monitors 2 + 3
Dell U2417H, connected with Dell supplied cables (that came in the box with the monitors):

Tablet to Monitor 2: mDP out to DP in (Monitor 2 set to MST on, all other settings factory default).
Monitor 2 to Monitor 3: DP out to mDP in (Monitor 3 set to default facotory settings, but also had it on MST on and same issues)

Hope someone could provide some insight.


Thank you.

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whynot21
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RE: U2417H, Surface Pro, blinking

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I followed Chris M's answer below on another thread. Took me about 60 minutes on the phone with DELL Support to explain the person that Chris said "NEW" exchange. Had to send them the link to the below post!

Anyway, they send me 2 exchange monitors that said "Refurbished" on the packaging. One Monitor was manufactured in July 2016, the other in August 2016. Whatever they updated or refurbished (I am guessing the A02 processor), it seems to work. So far no more blinking after 1 hour of operation. (they other two would have blinked once or twice by now)

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/peripherals/f/3529/t/19679328

Posted by DELL-Chris M

on 30 Aug 2016 13:27

To address the blinking issue, a new exchange (not a used exchange) must be setup to get the fixed A02 revision. These should be available in mid-October. Apologies for the long wait!

Read this for exchange instructions. In my FAQ, just ignore the part about new and used exchange policy. Be sure to point out to the Technical Support person that I stated new, not used.

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Moderator
Moderator

RE: Blinking Dell Monitors: e.g. U2417H

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The SP3 must be using its 36w power cable. You should test each monitor by itself connected to the SP3. In both cases, when only using one monitor, do they blink? You should also post the issues on the Surface Forum and see if other Surface users can relate their Dell monitor experience and if they can offer some insight or troubleshooting steps.Be sure that the SP3 has the latest drivers from Microsoft installed. Other users replaced the Dell mDP to DP cable with the Startech mDP to DP cable and it fixed their issues with our monitors.

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whynot21
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RE: Blinking Dell Monitors: e.g. U2417H

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Not sure what 36w cable means and if that has something to do with this.

System has been up to date with all the latest, so that's a check.

Will post on the surface forum and do also do some tests, each monitor by itself and also turn off MST (which will duplicate the screens) and see what happens before I buy new cable. Why would the Dell cables not be sufficient?

All works fine, it's just like every 5 minutes or so it goes black for 1 second on either monitor, never at the same time by the way.

Also, since others have the same issues with either this specific monitor or other models, often in MST mode and daisychained, but with different computers, wouldn't that have somesthing to do with the monitors firmware or hardware? Maybe a lemon? Just asking if I should return them now before the return period  is up. I think I have 30 days and already in a week or two.

Anyway, will report back shortly with the tests.

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Moderator
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RE: Blinking Dell Monitors: e.g. U2417H

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Not sure what 36w cable means and if that has something to do with this.
* Meaning when using the SP3 (Surface Pro 3) with external monitors, you should not be using battery only. The SP3 should be plugged into its wall power supply cable.

Why would the Dell cables not be sufficient?
* They should be but could be faulty. Which is what prompted the other users to get the other cable.

We are still seeing many issues with Surface products and our monitors. Microsoft is supposed to be working on a special connector dongle which improves the Link Training process to boost the signal strength negotiated with the external monitors. As to when this will be available, that is unknown by Dell. Note, the dongle will not be available from stores. As far as we know, the Microsoft engineers have not notified their front line technicians of the existence of said special connector dongle.

You have 30 days from the invoice date to return the monitor for refund.

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whynot21
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RE: Blinking Dell Monitors: e.g. U2417H

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Thanks, SP3 has been plugged in continuously and not running on battery while the monitors are on. Check.

Also this am had 25min of no blinking on Monitor 2 (up from every 2-5minutes) and no blinking on Monitor 3 for 35min until I had to leave. Maybe it needs to "settle" in.

don't really jiggle my cables, if they are faulty and and jiggle them, I should be able to see if they blink when something moves. Will try out newer cables and different setups and will look for the "dongle". thanks.

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whynot21
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RE: Blinking Dell Monitors: e.g. U2417H

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Hi Chris,


I can report back the blinking only happens when Monitor 2 has MST (MultiStreamTransport) turned on in the menu->display settings of the monitor.

When I turn that feature off and everything is the same per above (setup, cables etc), no blinking on either monitor. The problem is that monitor 3 now duplicates monitor 2 and the SP3 doesn't know their is a third monitor. This obviously defeats the purpose of having 3 screens and I bought these monitors specifically for the MST feature.

Also can't replicate the blinking by jiggling any cables. the cables seem fine when MST is turned off.

Sure it doesn't have anything to do with the firmware on the MST feature on the monitor? Should I swap them and have monitor 3 be monitor 2? How would a "Dongle" from Microsoft help here, what/how is that a computer issue and not a monitor issue?

FYI, post in the SP3 forum on the MS windows site for reference:

http://forums.windowscentral.com/microsoft-surface-pro-3/420964-blinking-monitors-sp3-2xdellu2417h-d...

When MST is turned ON, intervals have extended between "blinks"

Monitor 2 blinks the most intermittently, however over time it seems to have extended the time frame from the original every 2 minutes. Wrote down the intervals and they range now from 5 minutes (less frequent to about 30 minutes between "blinks" (1 second long). Tested over the course of 4 hours.

Monitor 3 didn't blink that often anymore, maybe every 20min to an hour within the same 4 hours.

Monitors never blinked at the same time.

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RE: Blinking Dell Monitors: e.g. U2417H

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Should I swap them and have monitor 3 be monitor 2?
* Yes. A good troubleshooting step but if the fault is on the SP3 end, the issue will be the same.

How would a "Dongle" from Microsoft help here, what/how is that a computer issue and not a monitor issue?
* The SP3 is not sending an active (all the time) strong enough signal through the two monitor MST setup. The dongle is supposed to correct this.

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whynot21
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RE: Blinking Dell Monitors: e.g. U2417H

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I swapped the monitors, same issue.


Where do I get the dongle? The MS SP3 forum, noone responds. MS support doesn't know anything about this.


Lastly, my firm also bought these monitors and they said they have Display Port issues as well (not exactly the same as I do, but related). Sure it's just a MS issue?

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RE: Blinking Dell Monitors: e.g. U2417H

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We have two alpha builds of the dongle from Microsoft in our lab for testing. It is not surprising that Microsoft support is not aware of the dongle because their engineering is still building and testing alpha product. So they are not going to release data on it yet. Our monitor manufacturer test on Dell computers to validate them, not on Microsoft products. In those tests, the monitors function.

Update May 24, 2016 = Microsoft has terminated the special dongle program. We are not sure why. Perhaps they are going to address the issue of the Surface Pro dropping the Link Training output  to multiple monitors by boosting the signal strength with firmware updates. We just do not know. All SP users should post the issues on the Microsoft Surface Forum.

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zpeeder
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RE: Blinking Dell Monitors: e.g. U2417H

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Hi, 

I'm experiencing the same issue with my three newly purchased U2417HA monitors. Screens go randomly black for roughly a second every 5-10 minutes (never more than one screen at a time). This only occurs when daisy chaining. I use the included display port cables from Dell.

I disagree that this is a problem linked to the surface computer. I run the screens hooked up to a HP zbook 15. I've also tried other combinations of hardware and operating systems, resulting in the same issue.

Great monitors, but this really becomes annoying in the long run...  

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