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Windows 7: Win7/Vista Intel Mobile 4 Distortion/Pixelation Issues


11 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Win7/Vista Intel Mobile 4 Distortion/Pixelation Issues

We're having some trouble on one Dell Latitude E6400 laptop w/ a Mobile Intel 4 Series Express video card. Under Vista x86 and a fresh install of Windows 7 x86 the user often gets video card distortion. When I was installing Windows 7 Professionl x86 on this system at my desk w/o a docking station (port replicator) nor an external monitor I did not experience any issues at all. However, once I connected it to the docking station at the users desk, along with a 1680x1050 Dell 22" monitor, the distortion/pixelation issues immediately starts. This occured under Vista as well, and according to the user when he works from home w/o a docking station or external monitor it also occured under Vista (not sure why I didn't see it, perhaps it hadn't heated up enough yet...?)

Anyways, the problem is the same as this user here:
Vista x64 display distortion/pixelation problem - Vista Forums

Our problem can be seen attached in error.jpg (this is a regular print screen screen capture). It is the same issue as the user above that was never resolved.

My guess is that it is simply a failing internal intel video card (which would require a motherboard replacement) but I want to get some other experts opinions before I try to convince Dell that this is the issue.

I have tried different drivers (from Dell, or a newer version straight from the Microsoft Driver Catalog that is downloaded straight from MS when you right click and update the driver (letting it search online). Neither has helped. It is definitely wayyyyy worse under Windows 7 than it was under Vista (under Vista it was tolerable, whenever it happened you could just minimize and bring the window back and it would usually fix it).

Disabling Aero fixes the problem completely (the user now has Aero turned off for the past few hours without issues). Of course, Aero stresses the video card quite a bit, which might result in issues, without Aero it would not be stressed so it does not have this problem when Aero is turned off.

What I can't explain is why a regular windows print screen (screen shot) picks up these errors. If it's a video card issue, shouldn't it just APPEAR to be messed up, but Windows should NOT pick up the distortion in a screen shot, right?

Arrrggghhh, definitely a strange problem. I couldn't find any other people with similar or the same issue, although many months ago I recall coming across the same problem for someone else on a forum somewhere... perhaps I'm just searching by the wrong keywords this time around.. if anyone else can find anything in google on this let me know...




Attached Thumbnails
Win7/Vista Intel Mobile 4 Distortion/Pixelation Issues-error.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Nov 2009   #2

7600.20510 x86
 
 

Looks like capacitors are failing. They can easily be replaced if you're good with a soldering iron. Get low esr type of caps with same specs (or slightly higher voltage rating if you can't find exact) if you attempt to replace them.

Only do this of course, if it's out of warranty.

The distortion is evident in the screenshot because that is what's being generated to begin with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #3

Windows 7
 
 

Cool stuff, thanks. I've replaced many-a-capacitor on Dell motherboards in the past, but this laptop is definitely still under warranty, so I shall call it in and have them replace the motherboard.

Thanks for your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Nov 2009   #4

Windows 7
 
 

lol, Dell won't even support it since it's a Windows 7 system, and it was purchased with Windows Vista (even though we bought the Windows 7 upgrade from Dell... there are no 'branded' Windows 7 upgrade DVDs available to this laptop afaik ffs...)

They insist on remote controlling the system to take a look... going to do that later when the user isn't using it, can't wait to see what the heck they are going to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2009   #5

7600.20510 x86
 
 

Out of curiosity, have you installed the latest driver for the video yet?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2009   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - Mac OS X 10.6.4 x64
 
 

I thought I would add more evidence to the Video Card failing or a faulty driver because of the fact that AERO causes the issue. AERO is rendered on the GPU and output to the screen while the lower themes (Vista/7 Basic) are rendered on the CPU.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2009   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torrentg View Post
Out of curiosity, have you installed the latest driver for the video yet?
Yes I've tried 3 Windows 7 versions (one from RC Windows 7 (May), the latest from MS's catalog, and one from Dell, no difference. Even tried an older 7.x series driver for Vista, no difference, issue still persists.

On the phone with a different tech at Dell and he has had me on hold for a while. I think he's trying to get a motherboard replacement approval to go through with his management.

If he can't get approval the only other idea I have is to put the hard drive from this E6400 into another and see if the problem persists on different hardware. I'm 99% sure it won't, so that will confirm that it is a problem with this laptop's hardware...

Will report back after the issue has been resolved just in case it helps another user down the road.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2009   #8

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zidane24 View Post
I thought I would add more evidence to the Video Card failing or a faulty driver because of the fact that AERO causes the issue. AERO is rendered on the GPU and output to the screen while the lower themes (Vista/7 Basic) are rendered on the CPU.
Yes I agree, and I have told Dell that, and this latest tech agrees with me at least. The previous one I spoke to wasn't nearly as good...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2009   #9

Windows 7
 
 

Well I was on hold with the dell rep earlier as he put the 'paper work' through to get a new replacement motherboard sent to me, and while I was on hold something in my good 'ol brain clicked as I tried to think of what this user had setup differently than our other E6400 users did not... and I remember that this user used to use Virtual PC, so I had the 2 virtualization options enabled in the BIOS. Sooo off I went into the BIOS while on hold to disable these options. I then booted into Windows, let it install the latest video drivers from MS Update, and I then rebooted and tried to reproduce the problem with Aero enabled... and guess what??? I could not reproduce it anymore! I have the laptop back in the hands of the user now and so far for the past hour or so it has not happened again. Sooo for those of you who have this problem disable your hardware virtualization bios options to make the issue go away. I had already upgraded from A01 to A17 bios a few days ago as well but that didn't help, so it's not something that was fixed by a newer bios.

When the tech returned from having me on hold he canceled the motherboard replacement and so far so good, no issues once the virtualization options were turned off... yay!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2009   #10

7600.20510 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by trafsta View Post
Well I was on hold with the dell rep earlier as he put the 'paper work' through to get a new replacement motherboard sent to me, and while I was on hold something in my good 'ol brain clicked as I tried to think of what this user had setup differently than our other E6400 users did not... and I remember that this user used to use Virtual PC, so I had the 2 virtualization options enabled in the BIOS. Sooo off I went into the BIOS while on hold to disable these options. I then booted into Windows, let it install the latest video drivers from MS Update, and I then rebooted and tried to reproduce the problem with Aero enabled... and guess what??? I could not reproduce it anymore! I have the laptop back in the hands of the user now and so far for the past hour or so it has not happened again. Sooo for those of you who have this problem disable your hardware virtualization bios options to make the issue go away. I had already upgraded from A01 to A17 bios a few days ago as well but that didn't help, so it's not something that was fixed by a newer bios.

When the tech returned from having me on hold he canceled the motherboard replacement and so far so good, no issues once the virtualization options were turned off... yay!
Good job! Glad to hear it. That's some awesome thinking on your part.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win7/Vista Intel Mobile 4 Distortion/Pixelation Issues




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