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Windows 7: Aero turning itself off when docking/undocking

28 Aug 2009   #1

Win7 Ultimate x86
Aero turning itself off when docking/undocking


I have had this problem with both the RC and the RTM builds of Windows 7 Ultimate x86 on two different Dell laptops--a Latitude D830 and a Latitude E6500. Both are running nvidia Quadro display adapters (the D830 is a Quadro NVS 140M and the E6500 is a Quadro NVS 160M). In the case of the D830 I am running the latest drivers from nvidia's site (Dell didn't post Win7-specific drivers for this laptop). For the E6500 Dell has posted Win7-compatible drivers on its support site for the NVS 160M so that is what I'm using there.

In any case here is the issue. I install Win7 on the laptop and install the video drivers... native rez on the laptops is 1900x1200 (WUXGA). Aero glass is enabled and all is well and good.

I then take the laptop and connect it to the Dell-specific docking station (the D/Port in the case of the D830 and the E/Port for the E6500). In both cases there is an external monitor connected via DVI that also has a 1900x1200 native rez. The laptop lid is closed and the laptop is in suspend/sleep mode when docking.

Once in the docking station I power the laptop back on (it resumes from sleep) and then it goes about detecting the presence of the dock and the attached peripherals. The welcome screen comes up on the external monitor and I type in my password to get back to the desktop.

The only problem is that aero is now disabled (the taskbar and window borders are now opaque and aero peek no longer works, etc.). I have looked all over the net and tried all the "tricks" to re-enable it, the aero troubleshooting wizard, etc.--but nothing worked. By chance I discovered the only way to get aero glass enabled again is to attempt to change the screen resolution... it doesn't matter what I change it to, only that I change it to something other than 1900x1200. In fact, I can even hit "Revert" on the "Are you sure you want to change to this resolution" dialog and it will go back to 1900x1200 but aero glass will stay enabled.

This then works fine until I finish working on the dock and put the laptop back in sleep mode to undock it. When I lift the lid and the laptop resumes from sleep mode (now not connected to the dock and using the built-in display) the aero glass is again disabled. Again, the only way to get it back is to try to change the screen resolution to something else and back.

I originally experienced this problem on the E6500 with Win7 RC and assumed it was just a bug that would get fixed in the RTM, or that is was just a quirk of that specific laptop. So I was surprised to see the same behavior on the D830 with Win7 RTM using the very latest driver from Nvidia's site.

It's not the end of the world but it is annoying (I don't care so much about the glass stuff but the aero peek feature is handy). First of all, has anyone else here had a similar issue? Anyone have any ideas about how to fix this, or isolate the cause at least? I don't know if it's an nvidia problem (since both laptops are running nvidia graphics adapters) or a dell docking station quirk, or what.

Many thanks for any tips or advice.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate

I am actually running into a very similar issue. If I try to use Aero Peek with two HD resolutions Aero Peek will disable itself. If I do a monitor that is mirrored Aero Peek works fine. I also have a Dell Latitude E6500. Have you found a resolution to this issue?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2010   #3

Windows 7

I am also using a Dell Latitude D630 and having a similar problem. Aero Peek works fine when I boot up docked. If I undock and go to a meeting an redock the machine, my Aero Peek is disabled and I can't seem to find anyway to reactivate except to reboot the machine. Then everything is fine again. Kind of defeats the dock/undock feature. Oh well...maybe someday it will all work!!??
My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Jun 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9

Try running the WEI score while it is plugged in. That should re-enable Aero and might help it remember the settings.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Aero turning itself off when docking/undocking

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