When using your discrete nVidia graphics based R61/T61/T61p with one or more external displays, you may encounter several display configuration issues. This tip describes the known issues and their current status.
Any of the following system running on Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition or Windows 2000 Professional with NVIDIA graphics adapter:
- ThinkPad R61
- ThinkPad T61
- ThinkPad T61p
Lenovo has released a new video driver for the nVidia discrete graphics device used on R61, T61, and T61p systems. This new driver has been enhanced to improve the handling of external display configurations with and without a dock. These changes result in a more consistent behavior when monitors are detached and later reattached.
In order to get the full benefit of the new driver a new system BIOS is also required. Since the driver and BIOS are not paired together as a download, there is the possibility that the driver and BIOS will be 'mismatched' where the new driver is used with the old BIOS, or vice versa.The text below describes the known issues in these situations.
Combination: Old driver (126.96.36.19985 or older) with old BIOS (7LETB4WW/7KETB4WW or older)
Known issues which the new driver and BIOS fix:
- The system sometimes does not remember multiple display configurations, particularly extended desktop. This problem can be seen in several ways:
- By going through suspend/resume.
- Through lid close/open.
- The system does not remember the display configuration between boots, when one boot is a docked configuration, and the other boot is an undocked configuration. That is, if you have performed the following steps:
- Configured your displays while docked, then
- Shutdown the system and undock, then
- Boot the system and use it undocked, then
- Shutdown the system and dock, then
- Boot the system.
At this point, your previously setup display configuration while docked will not be remembered.
This is true even without the intervening system shut downs. If going from docked->undocked->docked, the system will not recall your display configuration. However, for hot- and warm-undocks, it is possible to use Presentation Director to automatically apply a configuration when the dock event is observed. This is not possible for a cold-dock.
- The system is configured to use an external display in conjunction with the ThinkPad LCD in an extended desktop configuration. With Lid Close Action set to Do Nothing, close this lid, causing video output to switch to the external display only. After opening the lid the video output may do one of three things, all of which are incorrect. Video output may:
- Stay on the external display only,
- Move to the ThinkPad LCD only, or
- Switch to using both display, but in a cloned configuration.
- The system is configured to use an external display in conjunction with the ThinkPad LCD in either an extended desktop configuration or a cloned configuration. With Undock Action set to No Action, undock the system. Sometimes, the video output will not correctly switch to the ThinkPad LCD. This will lead to blank screen issues being observed.
- The system is configured to use an external display in conjunction with the ThinkPad LCD in either an extended desktop configuration or a cloned configuration. With Undock Action set to No Action, undock the system. After ejecting, video output will switch to the ThinkPad LCD only. Then, after re-docking the system while keeping the lid open, video output stays on the ThinkPad LCD only.
Combination: Old driver (188.8.131.5285 or older) with new BIOS (7LETB7WW/7KETB5WW (or newer))
Known issues and limitations which result from updating the system BIOS without updating to the new video driver.
- When the system lid is opened or closed, or is docked or undocked, the display device will NOT automatically switch. This will lead to blank screen issues being observed.
Combination: New driver (184.108.40.20671 or newer) with old BIOS (7LETB4WW/7KETB4WW or older)
Known issues and limitations which result from updating the video driver without updating the system BIOS.
- When using an external display together with the ThinkPad LCD in extended desktop configuration, video output does not switch to the external display only when the lid is closed (and Lid Close Action is set to Do Nothing).
- When docked and using one or two external displays while the ThinkPad lid is closed, then issuing a hot undock request, video output does not switch to the ThinkPad LCD after ejecting and opening the lid. The display will remain blank. This problem is intermittent.
- When docked and using one or two external displays while the ThinkPad is closed, then issuing a hot undock request, video output correctly switches to the ThinkPad LCD after ejecting and opening the lid. Then, the system is put into standby and docked with the lid closed. After resuming from suspend, video output does not move to the external display(s) as it should.
Combination: New driver (220.127.116.1171 or newer) with new BIOS (7LETB7WW/7KETB7WW (or newer))
Known issues with the updated BIOS and driver.
- Presentation Director (PD) does not work well with the new driver if the driver is installed 'clean'. These issues do not occur if the new nVidia driver is installed overtop of the existing driver. Known PD issues include:
- The capture button does not work (for My Normal Display Settings).
- Not able to apply profiles.
- Apply when docked scheme is not applied when hot-docking.
- When performing a 'clean' driver installation, intermittently the previously configured extended desktop settings will not be applied upon re-docking.
- Intermittently, when hot-undocking the ThinkPad LCD will remain as the secondary display. The workaround for this is to press Fn+F7, close/open the lid, or enter/resume from standby.
- After initiating a Windows Remote Desktop session, normally the target machine changes to the Login/Welcome screen, similar to a user doing Start -> Log Off -> Switch User. With the updated driver on the undocked target machine, instead of this the LCD display changes to a blank screen. Instead, the driver switches to VGA output when it also switches to the Login/Welcome screen. You can see this by connecting a VGA monitor while the target is showing the blank screen; the VGA monitor will show the Welcome/Login screen.
- In the old driver, there is an issue where if you right-click on a Wireless network tray icon, select View Available Wireless Networks, and then click on the Change Advanced Settings link the system becomes non-responsive. The mouse moves fine and quickly, but clicking does not do anything. Ctl-alt-del can be used to bring up Task Manager, and the system can then be shutdown. This is the only way to recover from this problem. In the new driver, this issue is fixed. However there is a new path to get the same failure. Instead of through the tray, if you do Start -> Connect To -> Wireless Connection, and then click on the same Change Advanced Settings link the same problem will occur.
- Lid Close Action refers to the setting in Windows which controls the expected system behavior when the lid is closed. Possible actions are Do Nothing, Standby, and Hibernate. This setting is found in Power Options in the Control Panel.
Changes to this setting take effect immediately.
- Undock Action refers to the setting in Power Manager shown below. Note that for changes of this setting to take effect, the system must be rebooted. This is because these settings are stored in the system BIOS, not in Windows/Power Manager.
With the new nVidia driver, the configuration storage is limited to seven total devices, including the internal ThinkPad LCD. Once the 8th display device is connected to the system, it may seem like the persistent configuration is not working, especially for the ThinkPad LCD. This is because the driver stores the settings for the 8th device on top of the 1st device (which is the ThinkPad LCD). Then when the ThinkPad LCD is used again, its settings will overwrite the 2nd device, etc.