My LCD screen and the attached Dell monitor screens go blank several times during the day now. There is no warning or indication that it will happen. Once they go blank, I can do nothing to bring them back. Everything seems to keep working, too. I had a Skype session that continued after the screens went blank; but I could see nothing. I am forced to reboot.
I wanted to restore to a previous point. Perhaps prior to a Windows Update. But it failed to restore.
I could restore a backup from December 24, 2017; but that could take hours to restore. What if I had another display failure during the restore? I'll save this for last.
I ran the Dell System Assessment tool. It reported problems with my battery.
I ordered a new Dell battery and replaced the one I had. The new battery is at 100%.
However, the same problem remains.
I ran the Dell SupportAssist tool. It reports Blue Screen errors because of the DirectX Graphics kernel and the dxgkrnl driver.
I do not know how to safely replace this driver or if I should do so. checked the Radeon software site for new software. An updated release was available and I installed it: 2018.0529.1444.24715.
Below are screenshots from the Radeon Pro settings.
I am waiting to see if installing the updated Radeon software will solve the Windows 10 BSOD errors.
Updating the Radeon software did not fix the BSOD.
I reduced the screen brightness from 90% to 80% and changed resolution down to 1680x1050. Still another BSOD.
I switched to Safe Mode with Networking for a day. No BSOD; but hard to get work done.
BSOD within an hour of switching to normal mode.
I tried another full system scan with Dell Support Assist (and turned off AVG). The scan reported a failure on scanning my external hard drive. Everything else was fine.
I kept AVG off; but another BSOD occurred later.
I ran System File Checker (SFC) and it reported no errors or problems.
I shut down the laptop, pulled the power and battery, and opened the bottom panel. I cleaned out the fans.
Another BSOD occurred a few hours later.
I ran the Windows Reliability Troubleshooter from Windows Defender Security Center; but it was no help.
Another BSOD occurred this morning.
It seems like the DirectX graphics kernel is the problem; but there is no solution to update or replace it.
I have the latest DirectX version installed.
I ordered a used video card (NVIDIA Quadro K4000M with 4GB GDDR5 dedicated memory). It is listed as compatible with the mobile workstation on Dell's website.
I installed the video card today following the instructional video provided by Dell.
I also read through this blog posting:
I booted after installing, but the display was blank. That is, nothing ever displayed. It seemed like the boot process never really started. I booted again; but the result was the same.
I opened the mobile workstation and reset all the components and checked all the wiring. I rebooted; but the display was blank.
I installed the previous video card and the display worked. Of course, I will still have the same problem.
I was hoping that the NVIDIA card would work. It is a better card than the one I currently have. I contacted the seller.
I ran the Dell diagnostic tool again. The screen went blank time I ran the diagnostic for the screen. I replaced the display screen (twice). However, the same problem occurred with both replacement screens.
I gave up on fixing this problem.
I ordered a new Dell Inspiron 17" 2-in1 7000 series laptop. I took out the SSDs from the M6700. I ordered a Plugable USB-C docking station to plug in my drives and second monitor. I would like to add another 16GB of memory and a second internal SSD. I am running two of my VMs already. However, I cannot run all of them simultaneously.
This laptop is much lighter than the M6700. I am moving more workloads to the cloud and did not want to carry a heavy mobile workstation anymore. It served me well over the years!
For me, the screen seldom goes blank. It happens only when I exit the room while Windows runs. The screen never goes black when I am working at the laptop or when Linux is running. The culprit for me is probably the combination of the screensaver (or some energy saving driver) of Windows and the hardware. Have you found out more?