nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station (354 Views)
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CA1255179
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎03-05-2005
Message 1 of 17 (354 Views)
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nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

Occasionally when I detach from the port replicator, my nc6000 display goes blank. Normally when docked, I'm using the extend desktop feature with a second display - an hp1730 flat panel. I have my nc6000 configured to do nothing when I close the lid, so normally I close the lid, remove the computer from the dock and head off to a meeting, etc.; when I arrive at my destination and open the lid - blank screen. Sometimes I notice immediately that the nc6000 display is blank and re-dock, but only the external 1730 display is enabled (without icons or start menu - it truly knows it's the 2nd monitor). Also I can use keyboard navigation with a blank screen to restart the computer or even hold down the power button to force an ungraceful shutdown. But I can find no keyboard sequence to bring the nc6000 monitor back once this happens without rebooting.

I'm running WinXP Pro SP1 with the Radeon 9600 with 32MB and a ATI bios v8.011.002.008. The ATI drive ver is 6.1.10.6436. The nc6000 display is set at 1024x768 and the 1730 at 1280x1024 and I'm using a VGA cable to connect the external 1730. Perhaps a DVI cable would make the problem disappear...
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Honored Contributor
Rainald T
Posts: 13,835
Registered: ‎10-22-2002
Message 2 of 17 (354 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

Kent,
I do not know the nc-series at all.
So cannot give any advice based on knowledge.

But: from always having had *docked* notebooks since this type of machine first appeared (starting with the SLT286) I would suggest to just ry out the following:
(a) Send your machine into *hibernation* prior to undocking; this will only take a few seconds and can easily be done even on the run for a meeting;
(b) When having ariived at the target place, wake up the machine form the hibernated state.
It will then be forced to undergo the initial booting (incl. POST) and normally it should then work with the hardware present.

Should this not work, pls provide the details on the behaviour of the machine when undergoing this method.

Rainald
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JosephF
Posts: 1,303
Registered: ‎11-12-2001
Message 3 of 17 (354 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

You can try FN-F4 and see if that fixes the screen problem. We noticed the same problem when using the Older Ati drivers for the nc6000, but using the ones you are (newer ones) it solved that problem for us. However, we have other issues with those newer drviers, so we're having our system serviced again in hope that it will fix the problems we're having now.


In regards to the Hibernation option, -normally- that would be a decent resolution, but remember, the nc6000 systems have a bug where it takes longer to resume from hibernation than it does to full-boot the system in some cases.

As such, you might want to just use Standby or Shutdown. (shutdown if you don't know how long you'll be carrying it around, otherwise standby if you are just relocating). As strange as this sounds, it takes 3% of the battery to resume from hibernation, but only 2% to full-boot. Not a huge difference, but can be an annoyance, so i'd try and stick to standby or shutdown if you can.

I know this doesn't really help much, but as soon as i get my nc6000 back from hp, i'll see if i can offer any better suggestions.
(specs of mine are 1400x1050 sxga+ lcd, and 64mb ati radeon9600, so different enough from yours in that it's not that internal lcd screen). Using the vga port as well on a viewsonic lcd (ironically same resolution as yours (xga+)).
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Rainald T
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Registered: ‎10-22-2002
Message 4 of 17 (354 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

Joe,
thanks for mentioning the hibernation porblem!

I do pretty well remember the discussions we had on this most crazy issue of all I ever heard on hibernation :-( :-(
Pls excuse me for not being aware of the fact that this was a very special phenomenon of the nc6000 which is in question in this thread ...

Thanks again
Rainald
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JosephF
Posts: 1,303
Registered: ‎11-12-2001
Message 5 of 17 (354 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

Hey Rainald , the only way i remember it is the nc6000 that has the problem is because i use it on a daily basis (and have come to the determination that hibernation is pointless on this system lol). Were I not using the system often, i would've forgotten which system.

That said, I still say your suggestion is valuable, except replace the word "hibernate" with standby and it's definately an option to try! :)
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Rainald T
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Registered: ‎10-22-2002
Message 6 of 17 (354 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

Thanks, Joe.
I'm sure that I'd thrown it out of the window long ago

Rainald
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Honored Contributor
Clinton Tam
Posts: 4,201
Registered: ‎10-03-2002
Message 7 of 17 (354 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

System configuration as follow;

LCD panel is set to 1024x768 XGA with ratio 4:3.
Flat panel is set to 1280x1024 SXGA with ratio 5:4.

It is a uncommon combination but it should work with ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Graphics Controller. I would suggest the following to further isolate this problem:

1. Use the FN+F4 repeatedly to toggle the LCD and external flat panel. Normally, FN+F4 works as follow:

FN+F4 -> LCD only
FN+F4 -> LCD + CRT
FN+F4 -> CRT
FN+F4 -> LCD and sequence repeat from now onward.

Do you able to get any image back to your LCD panel if you try FN+F4 couple times?

2. Before you undock your nc6000, change the display configuration from External Desktop to Clone mode. It will "force" the image at both display to be the same.

Now undock and see if it makes any difference in your black screen problem.

In Clone Mode, you may see a black Strip if your flat panel is not selecting the "Scale image to panel size". It is because your LCD resolution is smaller than your flat panel.

3. Change your external flat Panel to 1024x768 XGA as your LCD resolution. Try it out with both Extended Desktop and Clone modes to see what you get after undock.



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CA1255179
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Registered: ‎03-05-2005
Message 8 of 17 (354 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

Wow, what a response! Thanks. Ok, let me cover all the responses I got:

1) Hibernation. Well, I quit using hibernation right after I got this machine in Sept, because each time I returned from hibernation, the text characters all had about a 2-3 pixel blue shadow (a rather nice sapphire blue ??? rather appropriate for my company) and, worse, the cursor would leave nice tracks across the screen, just like turning on mouse tracking, although these didn???t disappear. BUT, I hadn???t tried it since I upgraded ATI drivers and so far this problem hasn???t returned when hibernating.

However, hibernation has moved the problem. Hibernation does indeed allow me to recover gracefully, albeit slowly, when I???m away from docking station, but when I return, only the external monitor is powered. Even more bizarre, it now believes it???s the primary monitor with a 1024x768 resolution. When I view display settings and click the ???Identify??? button, the 1730 displays a nice big ???1???. So I go to advanced settings and tell it to extend my desktop to my number ???2??? monitor (the nc6000 display) and now the nc6000 display is the primary and the 1730 is blank! So now for the second time, I extend my desktop to the second monitor and I???m back to my normal dual monitor setting that I opened this thread with. This process is annoyingly repeatable whether I return and hot-dock or hibernate, dock and then re-power. In trying this several times when I changed my 1730 resolution to match the nc6000 panel (1024x768) it was like both displays couldn???t sync with video adapter even though the refresh is only 60hz. Powering on and off the 1730 didn???t help and reducing the resolution down to 800x600 for both didn???t help either ??? it just couldn???t re-sync. Only by repeatedly attempting the hibernate sequence did both display???s recover.

2) fn+f4. Ok in the above scenario and many other scenarios, why didn???t I just try the fn+f4 sequence? Well, it???s never worked on this machine. In fact until this thread I thought it was a misprint in the manual and on my keyboard. I know the fn key works because I can use it to hibernate (fn+f3), control brightness (fn+f9/10), num lk (fn+end), etc. I also know the f4 key works because alt+f4 closes windows and f4 by itself performs other functions such as extending the address selection window in IE. BUT it does nothing but briefly flicker the displays when using the fn+f4 combination and that is probably the root of the problem. Could it be there???s some setting that disables this function?

One last note: I originally purchased a DVI cable because I thought the 1730 had color distortion problems, but after trying both the VGA and DVI cable, I didn???t notice any improvement (the 1730???s has slightly darker colors at the top of the display at all angles) and frankly didn???t notice any improvement, so I gave up the cable to another project. However since that time I???ve read somewhere that the VGA port and DVI port are treated differently by the Radeon adapter in more than just analog vs digital and given that when I reconnect to the dock, the nc6000 usually thinks the 1730 is the primary display ??? it makes sense.

Finally, just an FYI, I went to a DoD conference and Panasonic got up in front of everyone and showed this slide (see attached). I know it was self-serving, but from soup to nuts, Panasonic is the only vendor that makes their own laptops from the components up ??? BTW, no other vendors complained. Perhaps that???s why it???s so hard to get answers from HP, they really don???t know the machine. It's funny, we recommend Toughbooks to our DoD customers and yet m
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Occasional Visitor
CA1255179
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎03-05-2005
Message 9 of 17 (354 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station



...my company recommends the nc6000 as best-in-class for internal purchases.

Regards.
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Honored Contributor
Clinton Tam
Posts: 4,201
Registered: ‎10-03-2002
Message 10 of 17 (354 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

I would like to try out your problem in our lab but I need to know what model number of your nc6000 and the docking station you are using.

Please provide the following info:

1. Full configuration of your nc6000 ( CPU, memory size, HDD size & etc )
2. BIOS version
3. ATI Display Driver version. Please provide the Packaging Version under the Options tab within ATI Control Panel. The latst I believe is 8.003.3-....
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Occasional Visitor
CA1255179
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎03-05-2005
Message 11 of 17 (293 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

Ok:

1. nc6000 config:
_ a. CPU: Intel Pentium M 1.7GHz (with a line by itself that says: 592MHz - memory refresh maybe??)
_ b. Memory size 512MB
_ c. HDD size: 40GB â Toshiba MK4026GAX
_ d. MS WinXP Pro version 2002 SP1
_ e. Port Replicator has permanent label: HP Part No: 339188-01 and 2 bar coded stickers:
__ i. S/N CNU430X0R3 Product # DC367B
__ ii. 4K0472 Rev v1.05
2. BIOS version from: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System
_ a. SystemBiosDate: 08/26/04
_ b. SystemBiosVersion: HP - 23070420 EPP runtime BIOS - Version 1.1
_ c. VideoBiosDate: 04/04/20 (does this mean Apr 20, 2004 or a timewarp??)
_ d. There's no VideoBiosVersion in the registry
3. ATI Display Driver ver:
_ a. From HW Device manager says: Driver version 6.14.10.6436 dated 5/15/04
_ b. From ATI Control Panel:
__ i. Chip type: Mobility Radeon 9600 Series (0x4e50)
__ ii. DAC Type: Internal DAC (400MHz)
__ iii. Memory size: 32MB
__ iv. Adapter string: ATI MOBILITY RADEON 9600 Series
__ v. Bios Info: BK-ATI VER008.011.002.008

Thanks for any he
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Honored Contributor
Clinton Tam
Posts: 4,201
Registered: ‎10-03-2002
Message 12 of 17 (293 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

Before I can ask the lab to try your experiment, could you answer the following questions for me?

1. Change your display configuration from External Desktop to Clone mode. It will "force" the image at both display to be the same.

Undock and see if you still have the black screen problem.

2. Change your external flat Panel to 1024x768 XGA as your LCD resolution. Try it out with both Extended Desktop and Clone modes to see what you get after undock.

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Rainald T
Posts: 13,835
Registered: ‎10-22-2002
Message 13 of 17 (293 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

Kent,
thanks for the follow-up.
AFAICS with Clinton's support you are in the best hands pssoible.

Just to end up the topic "hibernation":
L know that it's really slooooow on your type of machine. Still:

|| Hibernation does indeed allow me to recover gracefully, albeit slowly,
|| when Iâ  m away from docking station, but when I return, only the
|| external monitor is powered.

When does this happen:
a) when re-docking in "normal" mode, i.e. the machine up and running)?
b) in the hibernated state?
c) both?

R
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Honored Contributor
Rainald T
Posts: 13,835
Registered: ‎10-22-2002
Message 14 of 17 (293 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

Kent,
I had a look at the slide you posted.
I can't see any realtion to either COMPAQ or HP.

Rainald
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Honored Contributor
Rainald T
Posts: 13,835
Registered: ‎10-22-2002
Message 15 of 17 (293 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

Kent,
sorry. Obviously I was to dumb to understand the matrix .
Understood it meanwhile.

Rainald
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Occasional Visitor
CA1255179
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎03-05-2005
Message 16 of 17 (293 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

Ok, I did try with both the panel and the 1730 with the same 1024x768 resolution with no change as before; but, I'm on my way out of town and won't be able to try clone mode until later this week. Fires, fires everywhere and I'm the only fireman in sight!

Thanks for everyone's input!! I'm starting to feel like I'm just whining...

K
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Honored Contributor
Clinton Tam
Posts: 4,201
Registered: ‎10-03-2002
Message 17 of 17 (293 Views)

Re: nc6000 display blanks when detached from docking station

The lab reported back this afternoon indicating they could not reproduce the failure after many tries of undocking the nc6000 from the docking station. The internal LCD at nc6000 flickers a little bit and the image is always in the LCD panel.

Additional questions from the lab:

1. What application/applications is/are running before you undock?
2. Where is the mouse pointer ( in the Extended Desktop window or LCD internal laptop window ) position just before you undock?
3. What is the failing rate? ( 1 out 10 times or 2 out 5 and etc )
4. How many nc6000 shows this type of failure?
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