HDMI output not working on several Dell Laptops

Posted on 2014-01-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
So a client has a few new laptops, purchased together, all the same model: Dell Latitute E5520. The issue is that some of the laptops are able to use dual displays via their HDMI output with a TV, and some aren't. With the one's that don't work, what's basically happening is that I connect the TV via HDMI output but the screen remains blank, as if nothing's connected (completely blank, not just black). The laptop doesn't even seem to find a second display.

This is what I've come up with till now:

- The TV and the HDMI cable are fine as when connecting it to certain laptops (same model) it works fine.

- The laptop models are all exactly identical, as is the OS (Windows 7 x64) and same video driver version (Generic Intel HD driver They even purchased the laptops at once, but some work and some don't.

- The VGA output works on all the laptops, it's just the HDMI that doesn't work.

- I don't think it's faulty hardware as there is the same issue on around 4 or 5 laptops, so it's unlikely that they ALL came out with the SAME problem in the SAME port, especially when certain laptops of the exact same model are working fine.

- I tried installing different drivers, connecting to different TVs, using different cables, all for nothing.

- Nothing comes up in the display settings or when I try to extend desktop using "Windows Key + P"

- They basically have the same applications installed.

I'm dumbfounded as to what the issue might be...I seem to have closed off all or most of the possible avenues.

Any ideas?

Question by:Sleezed
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 39779015
Did you consider updating laptop's BIOS?

Author Comment

ID: 39779023
Yes forgot to mention I updated the BIOS.

But just now one of them is working! I installed Windows updates that came out today right after I posted the question, I restarted and it works. I'll try install the same updates on the others and post back.
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 39779092
This is good news! Please let us know what happens after updating the remaining laptops. Thanks.
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Author Comment

ID: 39779107
I updated another one of the laptops but it still didn't work.

The first one I updated still works though. Strange...
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 39779140
I can't believe there are ports not working... you updated one and it started working. Furthermore, you updated another and it doesn't work. Really strange.
There must be some difference between those working and those not working.
You already updated BIOS and drivers. Did you already check the BIOS settings? Might there be any difference between those working and those not working?
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 39781602
check if all bios settings are the same on a working, and a bad one
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 39784746
It would have to be drivers.
I find that if there is updates in the windows some things like WMM won't work until I also update the drivers from the manufacturers site/s
I never used to update my drivers for everything every year but now it seems we must.
No two laptops will ever be exactly the same, unfortunately hardware is the bottom line, a HDD  eg all made in the same place some will have flaws.
Same with components in these laptops. The plugs and ports.
Just a small hole in one of the dimms plug in the hdmi may not connect right.
The hdmi cables may have a bad end.
Swap cables with the working and switch to none working to see if it's the cable.
Could be the software installed on the laptops, what software are you using to watch from Laptop to TV?
All have codecs installed for hdmi viewing?
Could even be a small setting in the video card display

If you have a couple of dollars get a mini display adapter and run it through the problem laptops.

Author Comment

ID: 39802419
Ok now the situation has changed slightly...making it even more confusing. The laptops which "work" only work sometimes. I need to unplug and replug the cable a few times until it actually works. I also noticed something else...when it doesn't work I do see the TV screen flickering a little, as though its noticing that there is something connected. The laptop screen goes off and on in a second, just as it should. Yet the TV screen remains blank, even though it seems to be noticing a connection. (Obviously I tried with duplicated/extended screens, and I even tried another TV).

Could it simply be a hardware issue? I don't think it's the mini-HDMI adapter itself as I tried 2 different adapters and a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable...
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 39805411
Could be the sequence of things. Like Turn the TV on first then the Laptop.
Jiggling the cables is not a good sign.
Only one question
 what is the video being sent to the TV? or is it just a desktop?
Could be heat problems or video problems.
But first check you have selected the correct output
The Laptop display settings maybe in conflict with the TV screen Display size.
 Open Display in Control Panel click on your Nvidia or ATI Control Center  and see if you can select external display or switch to HDMI.  make sure it is one of the HDMI , not the PC  which is only for the vga port.
What did you with the sound?

If it helps a video
How To Connect Laptop to HDMI Flat Screen LCD Monitor

Accepted Solution

Sleezed earned 0 total points
ID: 39805824
Hi Guys, thanks for all your help.

After hours of playing around with this I just took the laptop to the tech shop where I bought it from to check for hardware problems. Sure enough, the HDMI port was faulty and they ended up changing the motherboard.

Seems like the entire batch we bought of that particular model has this issue. I've already seen this happen with Dell products, with another client where almost an entire batch of the same tower model have faulty on-board NICs.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 39814583
I accepted my own comment as solution as, even though the above answers were good troubleshooting steps, the actual problem was faulty hardware.

Expert Comment

ID: 40306499
Could the monitor resolution be the issue?  Please see the following:

I have a Dell Precision M6600.  I'm having similar trouble to the above but (with a twist):  I can't get the HDMI standard port on the laptop to work with a Dell UltraSharp 24" Monitor (U2414H) with an HDMI mini port.  

It actually worked the very first time I plugged it into the monitor.  But, after about 10 minutes, the monitor went black.  Tried a second identical monitor, but it didn't work either.

I then connected an old IBM 19" via a port adapter into the laptop HDMI port and the display works just fine.  Has done so for days now.

Could the resolution be the issue?

Expert Comment

by:Jason woehler
ID: 41799043
Just sorted out my no signal problem, it was on the TV end, I had to go into the TV settings and change from HDMI 1.4 to HDMI 2.0 then there it was : )

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