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When I'm at work, I have my Dell Precision M4500/Windows 7 machine on a docking station, lid closed, and displaying on dual external monitors. I put the machine into sleep or hibernate to travel. But, when I try to bring it back up without the docking station, it acts like it's still trying to display on the external monitors--the laptop screen itself is dark. The only way I've ever been able to use it after a hibernate without the docking station is by either doing a hard shutdown, or putting it back on the same docking station.

The laptop screen is active while the waking-up process works (i.e. I can see the logos and the words "Resuming Windows") but after that I just get a screen showing black. Note that the laptop screen is on, rather than disabled--it just shows a completely black screen.

If I shut the machine down on the docking station, then it starts up just fine by itself.

Any ideas?


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I did not find anything specific searching the Dell forums, Update to the latest bios and video driver is a good start. – Moab Apr 8 '11 at 23:55
Only one related… – Moab Apr 8 '11 at 23:56
up vote 0 down vote accepted

There are several bios updates for that model, the latest bios update will include all previous fixes.

I found this note in bios update v A05

"Fixed issue where an external monitor would not display when booting docked with the LCD Lid Closed."

Not exact but i recommend updating the bios to the latest v A07

Before updating the Bios apply this urgent patch update First

Then update your appropriate video driver and video ISV driver from this page



When updating the bios, I always recommend booting the PC into a clean state, then apply the bios update, then revert the settings after the PC reboots.

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Thanks for the advice--I never even thought about updating the BIOS. But it worked. At least, on a simple test today. Thanks for the advice! – DukeBrymin Apr 12 '11 at 21:06

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