Question Problems with Acer display. Occasionally won't turn on, randomly changes resolution to impossibly low settings, etc.

Sep 25, 2019
9
0
10
0
Hello all,


I am having some problems with my Acer laptop. It is model SF315-51G-51CE and is relatively new (released in 2017, purchased in fall 2017, so it is turning 2 years now). It is running windows 10 OS build 17134.1006


The problem: It started months ago, occasionally if I closed the laptop and opened it too quick and tapped a key, the screen would never turn on. The laptop would wake up, the light would go from orange to blue, but it would never turn the screen on, at least for the 10-20 seconds that I would wait for and then hard shutdown it. (By quick, I don't mean physically quick. I mean I close the lid, and then a second or less later I would open it, so it would be when it is still trying to go to sleep.)


Later, this progressed into the same problem but now randomly. I would open it, and the display was off. Or it would turn on, but completely black pixels. Or it would oscillate between black pixels and off. This would happen maybe once or twice a week.

Now it has reached a point where I can't do my work or studies properly. It has around a 50% chance of the screen not turning on. Same symptoms, it is either black pixels, or not on at all. Usually a hard reset would fix it but now I need to hard reset it 1-20 times! Occasionally it will even go into system recovery mode, and once it tried to fix the C drive! I don't want to kill my laptop by constantly hard resetting it dozens of times a day.

Another quirk is that very rarely, it has happened 3-4 times, it will change the resolution. It goes down to 640/480, which isn't even listed in the options when I open them!

Something that may be relevant: In the spring of this year, I decided to disable windows updates as I found them too frequent and impeding my work. This problem started far later than when I stopped updating it. I will go into why I decided to re enable updates and have brought my system back upto date will all the updates in the next part.


What I have tried: My first reaction was to update the drivers. I tried, and device manager said no updates were available and that I should try windows update. So I did. a whole years of updates later, the problem was still there. I tried updating the drivers again, and this time it did actually find something to install, but there was a problem during installation. I manually found a driver online from acer and installed that, and that is what I have now. It still didn't fix the problem. (Not sure if important but I only updated the Intel integrated graphics card, and NOT the dedicated nVidia dedicated GPU). So after that, I pretty much have no idea how to fix it.


Any ideas or suggestions would be highly appreciated. On a side note, I don't think the issue is hardware, that doesn't make sense to me as it works fine as long as its already on, and I can move the display as much as I like with no reaction to the display.
 
Well if the display is using the Nvidia and if the driver is the issue, the Intel update would have no effect. If there is an update to the Nvidia driver, through your manufacturer, then I would try installing it. But only if through there.

That said, it could be a few things. From something being on the computer that shouldn't be (bad program, virus, malware, etc.), to the display cable having problems, the display itself, or even the GPU.

To start, I would try starting up the laptop in "Safe Mode" and see if the problem happens in there. If it doesn't, then you can rule out the display and the display cable. However that wouldn't rule out the GPU, as "Safe Mode" uses the integrated graphics and not the Nvidia. But if it happens while in "Safe Mode" then you are looking at the cable or the display itself.

How to enter "Safe Mode" when booting the computer.

In Windows 8 and 10...

As your computer restarts, press F8 (possibly a few times) to enter "Safe Mode"

a. Press the "F4" key to Enable "Safe Mode".
(The computer will then start in "Safe Mode" with a minimal set of drivers and services.)

b. Press the "F5" key to Enable "Safe Mode" with Networking.
( Once "Safe Mode" with Networking starts, Windows is in Safe Mode, with additional network and services for accessing the Internet and other computers on your network.)

c. Press the "F6" key to Enable "Safe Mode" with Command Prompt.
(In "Safe Mode" with "Command Prompt" starts Windows in Safe Mode, with a Command Prompt window instead of the Windows interface. This option is mostly only used by IT professionals.)

Now sign in to the computer with your account name and password. (If you have one set.) When you are finished troubleshooting, you can exit "Safe Mode" restarting your computer.
 
Sep 25, 2019
9
0
10
0
Well if the display is using the Nvidia and if the driver is the issue, the Intel update would have no effect. If there is an update to the Nvidia driver, through your manufacturer, then I would try installing it. But only if through there.

That said, it could be a few things. From something being on the computer that shouldn't be (bad program, virus, malware, etc.), to the display cable having problems, the display itself, or even the GPU.

To start, I would try starting up the laptop in "Safe Mode" and see if the problem happens in there. If it doesn't, then you can rule out the display and the display cable. However that wouldn't rule out the GPU, as "Safe Mode" uses the integrated graphics and not the Nvidia. But if it happens while in "Safe Mode" then you are looking at the cable or the display itself.

How to enter "Safe Mode" when booting the computer.

In Windows 8 and 10...

As your computer restarts, press F8 (possibly a few times) to enter "Safe Mode"

a. Press the "F4" key to Enable "Safe Mode".
(The computer will then start in "Safe Mode" with a minimal set of drivers and services.)

b. Press the "F5" key to Enable "Safe Mode" with Networking.
( Once "Safe Mode" with Networking starts, Windows is in Safe Mode, with additional network and services for accessing the Internet and other computers on your network.)

c. Press the "F6" key to Enable "Safe Mode" with Command Prompt.
(In "Safe Mode" with "Command Prompt" starts Windows in Safe Mode, with a Command Prompt window instead of the Windows interface. This option is mostly only used by IT professionals.)

Now sign in to the computer with your account name and password. (If you have one set.) When you are finished troubleshooting, you can exit "Safe Mode" restarting your computer.

Hello, thank you for your response. I reinstalled the nVidia drivers but that did not help. I then tried safemode but I soon realized you cannot put your computer to sleep or hibernate in safemode. Maybe you didn't read my question completely but the screen issue arises when my computer is put offline. I can't test if this happens in safemode if safemode doesn't allow sleep/hibernate.


Any other suggestions would be appreciated, I have no idea how to fix this.
 
I forgot that it doesn't work in "Safe Mode". Ooops.

You can then try the following to see if it is the display, cable, or GPU.

Try this...

  1. Turn the laptop off (not sleep or hibernate but off).
  2. Connect an external monitor to the laptop.
  3. Turn on the external monitor.
  4. Turn on the laptop.
NOTE: You may have to press an "external monitor" button. Could be the f4 button or a button with two monitors on it, for the external monitor to work.

If you can see fine on the external monitor, then your attached display, or the ribbon cable that connects it, are your problem.

If you can't see on the external monitor at all, or the problem occurs on the external monitor as well, then it is probably the graphics card/GPU that is the problem, which may require the motherboard be replaced.
 
Sep 25, 2019
9
0
10
0
I forgot that it doesn't work in "Safe Mode". Ooops.

You can then try the following to see if it is the display, cable, or GPU.

Try this...

  1. Turn the laptop off (not sleep or hibernate but off).
  2. Connect an external monitor to the laptop.
  3. Turn on the external monitor.
  4. Turn on the laptop.
NOTE: You may have to press an "external monitor" button. Could be the f4 button or a button with two monitors on it, for the external monitor to work.

If you can see fine on the external monitor, then your attached display, or the ribbon cable that connects it, are your problem.

If you can't see on the external monitor at all, or the problem occurs on the external monitor as well, then it is probably the graphics card/GPU that is the problem, which may require the motherboard be replaced.


No worries. I will try this and let you know the results. I have a feeling the problem is software related, and not hardware. Just a hunch. It doesn't make sense to me for it to work flawlessly and then randomly for no reason not work unless I restart it multiple times (i.e. affecting the software) and suddenly it works again. Also hardware wouldn't explain the weird resolution changes.


I will have access to a monitor on monday, until then, any software suggestions?
 
Actually it does make sense for a GPU with issues, display with issues or cable with connection issues.

As to recommendations for software, no. Since this occurs no matter what you are doing, I don't see it being that, but I understand wanting to do the software thing first. :)

Good Luck
 
Sep 25, 2019
9
0
10
0
Actually it does make sense for a GPU with issues, display with issues or cable with connection issues.

As to recommendations for software, no. Since this occurs no matter what you are doing, I don't see it being that, but I understand wanting to do the software thing first. :)

Good Luck

I have tested it now with a working display and it still didn't work. So I'm certain it is the software. I have now uninstalled the drivers for both the intel iGPU and nvidia GPU because I don't know what else to try. I don't do anything graphically intensive, so I hope it will function in an acceptable way and I can test if it also happens with the basic drivers.


Thank you, will update you on if it works, and feel free to drop any other ideas in case this doesn't work.
 
Sep 25, 2019
9
0
10
0
Actually it does make sense for a GPU with issues, display with issues or cable with connection issues.

As to recommendations for software, no. Since this occurs no matter what you are doing, I don't see it being that, but I understand wanting to do the software thing first. :)

Good Luck

Ok so it didn't work. It still doesn't turn the screen on properly ~60% of the time. Its so bizzare! The computer itself is on, and running, I can use the shortcut to restart the display adapters but all it does is make the screen flicker between off and black pixels, and it happens sometimes. When I use the shortcut sometimes it doesn't even affect anything, all that happens is I hear the beep.


I think it may be due to some other software issue, because messing with the drivers seems to have no impact on it.
 
Sep 25, 2019
9
0
10
0
Ok so if anyone is also having the same problem, I found a (temporary?) solution. I went ahead and disabled the Nvidia graphics card all together. Since then it has worked perfectly fine. It seems to be solved. I decided to then turn the intel off and nvidia on, and same result; worked fine. Though with the nvidia the laptop can't go into sleep mode, only hibernate or shutdown, so theres that.


Now I'll keep the nvidia disabled and just run it off the integrated graphics card, its working fine. I still have no clue why this issue arose or how disabling one of them fixes it.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Syed0331 Laptop Tech Support 2
P Laptop Tech Support 3
saurabhaggarwal Laptop Tech Support 3
A Laptop Tech Support 0
N Laptop Tech Support 1
T Laptop Tech Support 2
C Laptop Tech Support 1
A Laptop Tech Support 1
J Laptop Tech Support 2
E Laptop Tech Support 6
H Laptop Tech Support 3
I Laptop Tech Support 1
Z Laptop Tech Support 2
T Laptop Tech Support 1
B Laptop Tech Support 3
P Laptop Tech Support 1
M Laptop Tech Support 1
A Laptop Tech Support 1
T Laptop Tech Support 1
K Laptop Tech Support 1

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS