Solved

Graphics MYSTERY - brand new XPS M1730 - All Whites are YELLOW!

Posted on 2009-05-19
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Brand-new XPS M1730 beefy graphics laptop. Twin Nvidia GeForce 8700M graphics cards with SLI. Started it up right out of the box and anything that should be white was yellow. Also, any yellow area generally had a flickering aspect to it especially if it was a gradient to another color.

Called Dell support. connected it to external monitor. Colors perfect. No flickering. Booted from diagnostic partition. BIOS screens, diagnostic screens and Safe mode w/ networking  all had PERFECT color, no flicker. So seemingly a driver issue.

At one point I walked away from the pc until the screensaver came on. When I returned and resumed work, the yellow cast was GONE! I tested it several times.  I found out it changes back to normal whites after the screen goes black, like power save mode.  I did notice also that any pictures - especially in a browser page looked jagged and pixellated.

I found a newer driver online at nvidia's website. After loading it, no change in the yellow problem, but it DID fix the jagged picture problems in the browser.

So now I have a PC that has normal color only after the lcd goes black in power-save mode.

Notice the picture in the upper right corner of the browser screenshot below.

Also - just realized that screen shots of the yellow color does not capture it. The screen shots don't show the color! What the heck is causing this?

Any ideas?


jagged-pictures-in-browser.doc
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Question by:RickNCN
18 Comments
 
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by:jamietoner
ID: 24428065
It's either a bad lcd or a loose lcd cable. the cable is under the hinge cover, here's how to remove the hinge cover.
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xpsm1730/en/sm/hingecvr.htm#wp1179889
If reseating the lcd cable doesn't fix it i'd have dell replace the lcd.
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24428131
How can that be if the problem stops after the lcd goes black during power save? Simply moving the mouse brings the screen up and the color is fixed.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 24428245
Does the yellow appear in the bios?
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24428282
No. I...mentioned that in the original post. Didn't read it?
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by:jamietoner
ID: 24428319
My bad must have missed it. When you installed the latest driver did you remove the old one first? Also is this Vista or xp? And how much are you against a trying clean install?
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24428364
When I downloaded the driver from nvidia's website I just ran the exe.  It looks like it's installed. Per device mgr:"
Driver Provider: NVIDIA
Driver Date: 4/30/2009
Driver Version: 6.14.11.8585

Also, I've noticed from playing with it that the power saver mode on the lcd will not only fix the yellow problem but also brings it back sometimes.

Also, reading notes on nvidia's website about the driver I downloaded, it does say for owners of some Dell laptops including the XPS m15xx series - they point you to a dell support page for a BIOS update for best compatibility. Got me thinking maybe a bios update might help since it is power-saving function as it relates to the video driver that seems to be causing this. Alas, no newer bios.

Also, I've noticed the lcd needs to be in power saver mode for a minute or two before coming back with proper white colors. SImply waiting for it to go blank and immediately bringing it back won't do it.

ALSO - if you google  geforce 8700m gt sli, check the third webpage from laptopvideo2go.com. Mentions problems with SLI and AgeiaPhysx Card.  hmm seems like a lot of people having trouble.
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24428376
Oh and this is XP. And - I'm not against trying the clean install. There's just a bunch of utilities related to all the bells and whistles that need dnloading and reinstalling! ugh!
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jamietoner earned 500 total points
ID: 24428431
There's a few other with the yellow issue, does seem to be driver related as one post system worked fine with older drivers but the older drivers gave poorer game performance, another fix was a clean reinstall. I personally never run with the OEM os install I always nuke and pave after i open the box.
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24428447
yeah - I just found the Dell XPS m1730 user forum on notebookreview.com and they have a name for it - the m1730 YELLOW FEVER!! buwahh hah hah haa - another epic fail for Dell. They just can't get it right sometimes - like M$. Oh well. It's not my laptop it's a friend's but maybe I'll "nuke and pave" (ha!) anyhow. Where are these people finding all these different versions of Dell OEM drivers?
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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 24428455
When you download dell drivers there's a link to previous versions.
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24428494
I just downloaded driversweeper. Have you used it? Worth it? I don't know why I didn't come up with results for yellow M1730's before but now I'm in the money with google results. Dell support is such s**t sometimes. Can it really be that I call in about an M1730 that is yellow and the tech doesn't get red flags across his screen with dozens or hundreds of previous calls about that problem? Please.
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24428499
Ok - I also found a driver treasure trove at laptopvideo2go.com.  They ask you to search for drivers in the format: Search terms:        PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV________&SUBSYS_________. Entering the info from device manager gets all the right results - no confusion on part numbers.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 24428506
Never used drivesweeper. And with most issues if the Dell Tech hasn't seen it personally(or heard about it in the smoke area) and Dells upper management hasn't deemed the failure rate high enough they won't send an alert to the techs with a fix or eta on a fix. I have used and currently still use laptopvideo2go.
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Author Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 24428532
I'm amazed that a Dell tech can't type "m1730 yellow" into a google-style search into their closed tech support knowledgebase and see every closed case with that issue. But you must be right. Tomorrow I try a slew of drivers.

Thanks - goodnight.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 24428540
Actually the tech can't search through cases in such a way. The google thing they can do but only the good ones do. You're welcome.
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by:Callandor
ID: 24430986
Sounds like a similar case where a tech from Dell said you needed an SLI motherboard in order to have two video cards working...
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24438900
since it is new, i would just ask for a repair /replacement
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Author Closing Comment

by:RickNCN
ID: 31590929
Ok - so I just tried some drivers at the site I mentioned and one of them worked. Thanks for the help.
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