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U2417H, Precision 3520, WD15 dock, momentary blackouts


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U2417H, Precision 3520, WD15 dock, momentary blackouts

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We recently purchased some machines, docking stations and monitors for 2 employees in our office building. The machines are Precision 3520 workstations (32GB model), the docking stations are WD15's (k17a) and the monitors as shown in the title are U2417H monitors. The problem they've been reporting, is that the monitors will go black momentarily (maybe for 2-5 seconds) and they'll come back as if nothing happened. This is happening frequently enough day in and day out, that it is distracting them from their work. We've done everything we can think to troubleshoot the issue. We've done clean installs of the Dell approved nvidia graphics card drivers, reinstalled the Intel HD graphics driver, installed the monitor drivers (formally they were generic uPnP windows monitor drivers), updated the BIOS and other Dell drivers via the driver detect utility, updated the docking station firmware, switched out docks and cables (the docks they were using were swapped , changed settings on the monitor themselves, and even got a replacement machine sent out, which didn't change a thing. At this point, myself and the IT department feel we're going down the rabbit hole, trying everything we can think of to resolve the issue. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Hi,

    Welcome to our community. We'll surely try to assist you. We'd like to appreciate you for trying almost all the troubleshooting steps before you reached out to us. Please try the following steps and let us know the results.
    1. Make sure that the video cable is connected properly with the monitor and the computer.
    2. Reset the monitor to the Factory Settings.
    3. Run the self-test feature and determine if the intermittent problem occurs in the self-test mode.

    Thank you,
    Lijo Joshi
    Social Media and Community Professional
    Order Status
    Download Drivers


  • I apologize that I wasn't specific enough in my original post, when you've tried seemingly hundreds of different potential solutions, it gets difficult to recall all of them when typing out a post. Of course I've ensured the cables were connected properly. I think that after replacing the cables once, I would be sure to properly connect the cables at least the second time around... As for the resetting to the factory settings, I have tried that as well and the issue still occurs. I've replaced the flickering monitors with monitors that have no flickering issues on a particular machine, and the once-working monitors are now flickering when we dock the 3520 machine to the WD15 dock. At this point I don't know if there can be anything suggested that we haven't tried.

  • Hi. That's alright. Thank you for trying the step. Please let us know the following and perform the suggested troubleshooting steps. Let us know the results.

    >> Do the U2417H ever have this issue when connected directly to a desktop computer?

    >> Remove the WD15 dock from the troubleshooting chain. Test these two configurations =

    Precision 3520 HDMI out port --> HDMI to HDMI cable --> U2417H HDMI in port

    Precision 3520 USB Type-C out port --> USB-C to mDP adapter --> U2417H mDP to DP cable --> U2417H DP in port USB-C to mDP adapter.

    Here's the link to find the USB-C to mDP adapter.

    Thank you,
    Lijo Joshi
    Social Media and Community Professional
    Order Status
    Download Drivers


  • I have also had this error. Mine is with a Latitude 5480, WD15, and a P2417H. I also completed all of the trouble shooting steps and found that when the monitor was connected direct to the laptop there were no issues. However, when it was connected to the wd 15 (multiple configurations) the blackouts would return. i spoke with Dell Tech chat and they sent out a replacement docking station (wd15.) I have not been able to verify that the problem is fixed due to the user being out on extended leave with her laptop. However, i am betting it will still have an issue when she returns.

  • We have the EXACT same problem with our Precision 3520 workstations (blanking screens for several seconds at random times). We even use the same monitors (U2417H), but the problem also shows up on different monitors (iiyama and Dell U2412M screens). We have tried the exact same measures as you describe without success.

    I have done some research and it seems there are similar cases but with different Dell laptops (XPS15 for example), and they all use the USB-C dockingstation (WD15, TB15 or TB16). My guess is that the USB-C technology is to blame.

    Also: have you tried using the Precision 3520 with the WD15 dock with only ONE monitor connected? That seems to solve the problem in our case. We have one user who uses the Precision 3520 with a single monitor all day and has not reported any problem.

    I use one of the 3520 workstations and I have tried it myself: problem with blanking and flickering does NOT occur with one screen, only with DUAL SCREEN setup.

    We have contacted Dell Pro Support a lot the last few months and they are out of options. We are avoiding all workstations from Dell that use the USB-C technology and we continue buying Latitudes with E-port connections because we know they work.

  • It's extremely frustrating and we still haven't heard any conclusion from Dell. We eventually replaced the two 3520's with 5520's since we have other employees using those machines with the WD15 dock and they're experiencing zero issues. We're re-purposing the 3520's for employees who do not use a dock, since the laptop itself doesn't seem to have any issues. The strange thing is - my coworker and I both have 3520's and WD15 docks and don't experience any issues with blanking monitor screens. The only difference between our machines and the problematic 3520's is that our machine doesn't have the backlit keyboard or the fingerprint scanner and security card slot on the left side.

  • Hi Jake. Could you tell me if you use a dual screen setup with your 3520?

    In our particular case we use Precision 3520's with backlit keyboard but without fingerprint scanner and security card slot.

  • The set up our employees were using was 2 external monitors and the laptop monitor, so technically three monitors total. That's how both my coworker and I run our machines on our WD15 docks, and we don't experience any issues. I've read a suggestion somewhere to close the laptop and use just the 2 external monitors. We never tried it because we already had the 5520's in place before reading the suggestion - but even if that did work to prevent the blanking monitors, in my eyes it's still just a work around and more of a "band-aid" than a fix.

  • The issue isn't the machines. Its the WD15 dock. Same issues and worse are experienced at our end with 5480 laptops and U2414H monitors. The WD15 dock after firmware update supposedly to fix DP instability introduced artifacts on screen when using HDMI to HDMI setup as the DP side just would not work. Brand new hardware out of the box by the way. The monitors themselves are no superstars either, also exhibiting similar behaviour under different circumstances.

  • Yeah I agree I think the dock is the common denominator here, however I'm currently using the dock that one of our employees was using for 3 weeks with the blanking monitor issue and I'm currently not experiencing any issues. Moreover, the dock I provided to that employee as a replacement was the dock I had been using for 3+ months without the issue. Not even minutes into setting up her machine with the dock, and the monitors were already blanking out and flickering. At first I thought it was a driver issue (and it might still be) so I went and did clean installs of just about every Dell certified driver on their site, so if it is in fact a driver issue - it's quite elusive. The behavior is very strange and it's a little hard to believe that there aren't more people impacted by this issue.

  • Thanks for letting me know Jake. I have some more information.

    I'm still using the WD15 with dual screen setup and still experiencing the blanking issues with my Precision 3520. I use the setup with my laptop closed by the way, but like you said it probably doesn't matter if the laptop lid is open or closed. I also replaced my monitors to Dell U2417H (I used iiyama screens before) but it doesn't matter which type of monitors. The blanking issues still exists.

    Here's what interesting: I contacted Dell Pro Support and they were so nice to sent me a brand new D6000 dock for testing purposes. This dock has a USB-C connection but also can be converted to a USB3 connector so it makes it backwards compatible with (Dell) laptops without USB-C. I have used it for the last couple of weeks and I experienced zero blanking issues.

    The funny thing is: it's not designed for the Precision 3520 (it only uses a 130 Watt adapter instead of a 180W). Still, it worked fine in my case.

    The only downfall to the D6000 dock is that it has one HDMI and two DP connectors. If you use a dual screen setup you can use both DP connectors or one DP and one on HDMI. The image on the HDMI connector is perfectly fine, but the image on any of the DP connectors seems to 'loose' colors. So for instance I can't see the gray background on this particular page, or I can't view blue selection screens when I (for instance) want to select an e-mail address in a new message in Outlook. I think that has something to do with the Displaylink drivers, because that's what the D6000 technology uses, just like the D3000. And we've experienced similar issues on our D3000 docks were some colors seem to 'dissapear'. So it's completely different technology compared to the WD15.

    Still, I find it strange Jake that you don't experience any blanking on your dual monitor setup on your Precision 3520's with a WD15. And do I understand correctly that you don't experience those issues on your Precision 5520's?

  • I just received a Lat 5480 with a WD15 dock, and am experiencing the same blackout issues with two attached monitors.  One monitor is attached to the WD15's VGA connector, and the other monitor is attached to the WD15's display port using a "display port -to- DVI" adapter cable, which came with the 5480.

    Sometimes both monitors blackout simultaneously, other times it's just one or the other.  When running all three screens (the integrated screen of the 5480, plus the two external monitors) only the external monitors attached to the WD15 experience the blackouts.  

    Like the others, I have updated the video driver, chipset driver, BIOS, and even tried to update the WD15 firmware, but it was already at the latest version.  Nothing seems to help.  

    Sometimes I can go an hour with no blackouts, other times it'll happen multiple times within one minute.  There doesn't seem to be any pattern.  One thing I have noticed is the blackouts don't seem to happen when I'm using my IP phone.  This may be a coincidence though.  

    My previous system was a Lat E7440 with a PR03X E-Port dock, and the dual monitor config worked fine through that setup.  

  • @YHSysteembeheer Sorry, I didn't see that you responded since the last time I visited here. It wasn't until Stoopalini1 responded this afternoon that I saw your response.

    Regarding your question/comment - Yes it's very strange that I don't experience any flickering/monitor blanking issues with my 3520 and WD15 dock, especially considering that I'm using the 2 external monitors and my laptop monitor for a total of 3 displays. This has been my daily set up since April, and besides the very occasional blanking out of my right (HDMI) monitor, I have had zero issues (this occurs maybe once every one or two weeks). One interesting thing to note is that my computer only has 16GB of ram and the problematic 3520's had 32GB of ram (and also a backlit keyboard, security card reader, and fingerprint reader - which makes me believe maybe this was a generation newer than my 3520?). I know you can configure your own machines, so I doubt the ram has anything to do with it (or the security card/fingerprint reader for that matter), but at some point did the 3520's come default with a backlit keyboard? I'm not saying I think it's the keyboard that is to blame for these issues, but it is indicative of a new generation perhaps? I also noticed that my machine only says "Precision" under the left control key, whereas the problematic machines says "Precision 3520." Either they have some inconsistent designs for their machines or a new generation must have released.

    Either way, we eventually decided that we weren't going to waste anymore time than we already had, and just bit the bullet and bought 5520's. With the amount of time we wasted trying to figure out the problem, we could have probably paid to upgrade all of our 3520's to 5520's. That's how many resources we poured into identifying the issue and establishing a fix for the future (unsuccessfully).

    As for the 5520's, I've heard no complaints about flickering monitors. We've used two different models of docks without any issues (WD15 and TB16). One odd thing about the TB16 is that I can't seem to get the 2 external monitors to work simultaneously with the laptop monitor for 3 total displays. No matter what I tried I could only get 2 monitors to work simultaneously. I didn't spend much time figuring this one out, because the employee who I was setting it up for insisted she would not use the third monitor even if we did get it working.

    Just for the record, we never did get an official explanation from Dell.

  • It's really strange. Hopefully you have more luck than me and others on this forum, however this issue seems to be quite elusive. I'm interested to see if we'll ever get an official explanation/solution from Dell.

  • I've confirmed the issue stops if I am in a Skype call.  The sreen will blackout every minute or two, but if I get into a Skype VoIP call, it will not blackout at all.  This makes me think it's related to some software setting which Skype temporarily disables when in a call (like screen saver mode, etc ...).  

    I've tried adjusting the power and sleep settings, turning everything off, but that hasn't helped either.