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Dell M6800 Switchable Graphics Off Disables Display


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I previously had a Quadro K4100m that would refuse to work with switchable graphics turned off in BIOS. With switchable graphics on, everything worked fine but with that setting off, I could get into Windows but the screen would freeze after a few seconds. The system would still be running fine, but the screen would stay frozen on the last frame. I eventually figured out through trial and error, that to get it running right I had to turn on switchable graphics, install the Intel HD Graphics driver from Dell's M6800 support page, then install the Nvidia driver from Dell, and then I could turn switchable graphics off and it would work fine. My reason for wanting to turn switchable graphics off is that it improves gaming performance pretty substantially. For anyone who doesn't know, switchable graphics is Dell's name for direct to GPU screen output, turning it off disables Intel Graphics.


Now for my current issue: I recently upgraded to a GTX 970m, and cannot figure out how to get my laptop working correctly with switchable graphics off. The issue is slightly different but pretty similar, the laptop functions perfectly fine with switchable graphics on but with the setting off I boot into a black screen even though the system is still running fine. I know it is still running fine because I can connect an external display and use it. After the Windows loading icon finishes, the screen goes full black instantly. But I can see the Dell startup logo, see and use the BIOS, and see that Windows loading icon. With an external display connected, if I go into device manager the laptop's internal display doesn't appear. I haven't yet figured out any way to make the screen work like I did before. I've tried using the Intel HD Graphics driver from Dell again, and then an Nvidia driver after like before (though not a Dell Nvidia driver, they don't have one for the 970m in this laptop). I've also tried using the latest Intel HD Graphics driver from Intel's website, and then an Nvidia driver. I've also tried booting with switchable graphics off before any drivers, and then installing just an Nvidia driver. I should mention that with switchable graphics off, the internal display works before installing a driver but as soon as a driver is installed windows makes the "device unplugged" sound and the screen goes black. Doing this and then plugging an external display in shows that the driver installs correctly and Windows is still running, even though the screen went black.


I'm at a loss as to what else I can try, any input or troubleshooting is welcome. Thanks for reading!

Edited by MatreyuC
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