denzilly
2 Bronze

Dell XPS13 9350 Screen flicker and distortion

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Hi all,

I'm really at my wit's end with this problem I've been having with my XPS13, and was wondering if anyone else has had an experience like this, or could offer me any advice. As a student, I'm not exactly swimming in cash, and really want to try and solve this issue myself before diving into any astronomically expensive repairs. (Since I'm already one replacement LCD deep)

I think it could be a firmware or driver issue, but I don't really know where to begin and would really appreciate any sort of nudge in the right direction on this!

Because pictures speak louder than words: Video

Basically, the screen flickers and distorts erratically, rendering the laptop completely unusable.

Laptop spec: Dell XPS 13 - 9350 with QHD screen, purchased July 2016.

Problem: The issue started to appear in August 2017, literally 2 weeks after my warranty expired, completely out of the blue. Screen flickers and distorts, even pre-boot, or in BIOS.

Attempted fixes: I have reinstalled Windows 10 numerous times, and updated drivers, firmware, and BIOS. Re-seated cables, replaced LCD, installed linux based OS,

Thinking it to be a hardware issue, I re-seated the LCD cable, as well as touch screen connection. Having conferred with 2 different computer technicians as well as Dell tech support, we concluded this to be an issue with the LCD. I was quoted 920 euros for the LCD replacement by Dell, so instead decided to have a replacement OEM screen (complete top half of laptop) installed by a local technician. (note: I also performed the pre-boot LCD diagnostic, which was showing the same issue)

The issue persisted! Having reached peak frustration, I didn't use the laptop for about a month as I didn't really know what to do with it.

I came back to it after this period, and decided to bring it to another computer place in my city, to see if they could perhaps perform a full hardware diagnostic. To my surprise his bootable linux diag tool showed no hardware issues, and was able to run without screen flicker.

I decided to install Ubuntu, and miraculously, it worked. For some reason, the screen was also stable during install! No more issues, used computer as normal. This went on for about a month, after which I decided I needed Windows again for study specific software. This too, seemed to work as normal upon installing and use.

Now, about 2 months after that, out of the blue, the screen starts distorting all over again!

Does anyone have any experience with this issue, or advice on how to tackle this further?

Sorry for the wall of text, and thanks in advance for any help!

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1 Solution

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Off Center
2 Bronze

Re: Dell XPS13 9350 Screen flicker and distortion

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12 Replies
brunopa
2 Bronze

Re: Dell XPS13 9350 Screen flicker and distortion

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Same issue here. Did you ever found the cause?

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denzilly
2 Bronze

Re: Dell XPS13 9350 Screen flicker and distortion

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Yes, it seems that the problem was being caused by certain W10 updates. For me, uninstalling a recent security update seemed to work, although I haven't found a permanent solution. (if windows updates automatically, problem happens again)
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BradXPS13
2 Bronze

Re: Dell XPS13 9350 Screen flicker and distortion

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I am having a similar issue.  Did you ever get a resolution?

I find that if I remove the battery and put it back the flicker goes away for a little while but comes back.  If I leave the battery out, it runs just fine on AC power.  The battery is fine as it is working perfectly in another 9350 I have.

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denzilly
2 Bronze

Re: Dell XPS13 9350 Screen flicker and distortion

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Hey Brad,

The problem would also only temporarily be fixed for me by re seating the battery, and after a while rolling back updates didn't work either. FWIW I never tried running it solely on AC.

In the end I hard formatted the disk and installed Ubuntu 18.04, which seems to be working stable (for now). I'm still very confused as to how the distortion is coming in pre-boot (already at the dell logo), but goes away after formatting the drive, but seemed to work.
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brunopa
2 Bronze

Re: Dell XPS13 9350 Screen flicker and distortion

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I ended up sending mine to Dell for repair and came back with a note saying fixed - no parts replaced. I suspect that the cables connecting the screen to the board are too tight and stretched and possible ended up coming a bit loose.
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Dell-Bot
2 Bronze

Re: Dell XPS13 9350 Screen flicker and distortion

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Hello all, just sharing my experience with a black screen coming after the Dell boot logo.

Dell support is offering to replace the motherboard and the lcd screen but the problem is with an Intel Driver that is in conflict with the latest version of Windows 10.

Disabling the Intel driver from Device Manager makes the trick but it is replaced by a generic one that has some limitations...

Any news about a new Intel driver ?

 

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BradXPS13
2 Bronze

Re: Dell XPS13 9350 Screen flicker and distortion

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I replaced the battery with an aftermarket one and have not had any flickering issues since.  There has been several Windows 10 updates as well so that might be it.  However, by strange circumstance I have another 9350 that got wine spilled in it that had power issues (only ran on AC power) so I put the Dell battery from the flickering one into the wine one and it worked fine for quite some time but is now developed a milder version of the flicker.  Still somewhat usable but annoying.  So might be a battery issue as well since the newer one with the aftermarket battery has the same updates but is not flickering at all.  Mysteries of the universe...

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denzilly
2 Bronze

Re: Dell XPS13 9350 Screen flicker and distortion

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Mysteries of the universe indeed... I have been using Linux happily since I posted the topic, with absolutely no issues (stock hardware, except for OEM lcd assembly replacement). I tried windows once a few months ago, but the problem was still there!

Were there any updates on this issue in other threads? I'm still kinda peeved that I need to use office online or use a VM to use excel/other windows-only software

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DELL-Cares
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Dell XPS13 9350 Screen flicker and distortion

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Thank you for getting back to us. There has been a latest BIOS version 1.9.0 released on 05 Nov 2018. Please update to the latest BIOS version to check if the issue persists. Also, let us know the Windows operating system version and Intel driver version installed on the computer so that we can check to assist you further.

 

- Ravi


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