Defect: Screen remains totally black, but Windows starts

Discussion in 'EP121 Slate' started by UnderClock, Jul 2, 2011.

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  1. UnderClock

    UnderClock Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Interesting!

    I did not actively do anything with drivers, but I do use Windows Update without any exceptions. So it is possible that something happened in this area. I shall try this. Thanks! :)

    I take note, by the way, of the fact that we both bought our EP121 around the same time. Not sure if that means anything, though.
     
  2. UnderClock

    UnderClock Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hola Javier,

    I now have my new external monitor (a Dell U2311H - it has no HDMI, so I have it connected over a small male mini-HDMI to female HDMI cable (male mini-HDMI goes into the EP121), connected to a standard male HDMI to male DVI cable).

    When connected in this setup, by default the external screen goes automatically to clone mode (good in this case, no "blind tinkering" needed) and the resolution changes to 1280x720. Not ideal for normal circumstances (it's a 1920x1080 screen), but good enough for troubleshooting now.

    Coming back to your interesting post..
    • I did not do what you did, so I did not uninstall Intel HD Graphics Driver from Programs and Features
    • I am now looking at the list under Programs and Features, it says: Installed on 6 April 2011, 74.2 MB and version 8.15.10.2226. So it does not look like Windows Update (that I allow to update everything) touched it.
    • I am also looking into the drivers... right click Computer in Windows Explore - Manage - Computer Management - Device Manager - Display Adapters - Intel(R) HD Graphics. It says Driver date: 11 February 2011, Driver version 8.15.10.2302. So also here it does not look like a new rogue driver installed from Windows Update is causing this failure.

    So my diagnosis so far is still hardware failure. :(
     
  3. Javier_1964

    Javier_1964 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I see....

    Been keeping an eye in this post all morning hoping that you had solved the "ultra dim" screen problem, because I know it´s scary :eek: I remember feeling really bad, constantly resetting the ep121, till I noticed that I could see something in the screen, and I managed to install the new drivers.

    In programs and features my drivers installed 11/06/2011 and driver version 8.15.10.2361

    In display drivers date 10/04/2011 and driver version 8.15.10.2361.

    Underclock since this drivers are more up to date than yours you could update them and see what happens, I know that youy didn´t uninstall or touch, the drivers, but nothing to loose if you give it a try (fingers crossed that it will also do the trick for you ;) ).

    If it´s a hardware problem ASUS at least in Spain has global guarantee, so it may well be the same for all european countries (not sure though :confused: ) and hopefully you won´t have to return it to USA.

    Kind Regards
     
  4. UnderClock

    UnderClock Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hola Javier,

    Thanks for coming back on this.

    When I tried to update the driver using Windows "Update Driver Software..."-button, Windows concluded that I already have the most appropriate driver. So not much progress there.

    I then downloaded drivers with the nice self-detecting Java-wizard on Intel's site: IBM WebSphere Portal

    I am now running the latest drivers, like you: Driver version 8.15.10.2361 / Driver Date: 10 April 2011.

    However, this did not do the trick :( . Still the same dim screen.

    I have already done the following:
    - Posted my problem on ASUS Member Login (same place where I registered my Asus after purchase)
    - I also tried to call support numbers in the US, but I guess they're closed (Independence Day and all)
    - I then found a local support number (Hotline) through this page: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. -Support- Hotlines and called the number for my country (The Netherlands).

    After talking with the Dutch support person, we both came to the conclusion that this looks like a hardware failure. I gave him the serial number. I have international warranty, but no pick-up service. So I shall have to ship the EP121 myself. He told me that the tablet will be repaired at an Asus support facility in the Czech Republic.

    So with instructions from Asus support, I filled out an RMA form ( http://asus.nl/RMA - then click on EEE series-button )

    I have not received feedback on the RMA form yet.

    Before I send the EP121 away (probably tomorrow), I shall make an extra image of the C-drive and see if I need to remove any personal data (or re-install Windows).

    It will probably be a repair issue, but it is not impossible that they send me a replacement unit.

    For all people who run into this: it is very useful to have an external monitor or TV with HDMI and a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable. If you don't have that, try a monitor with DVI-D input and the appropriate cables.
    Any type of screen will do, so HDready (1280x720) is enough, the EP121 scales down automatically

    The fact that by default the "screen clone" function is enabled when you attach an external screen is very useful in the troubleshooting process.
     
  5. Javier_1964

    Javier_1964 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Oh well....

    At least you tried everything you could possibly do...

    Good one, this could have saved me a lot of time, triying to install the driver "blindly".

    Wish you a speedy return of your ep121, from the Czech Republic, or even better if they send you a replacement unit :)

    Kind Regards
     
  6. UnderClock

    UnderClock Pen Pal - Newbie

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    The EP121 is being picked up today (Tuesday July 5) by DHL to be sent to an Asus repair center in the Czech Republic (Infocom in Slapanice).

    I am not sure if I shall get back the same unit, so I made an image of the C-drive last night using DriveImageXML, one of the imaging tools on Hiren's Boot CD. See this post here.

    For privacy concerns, I also did a recovery re-install using the Asus recovery DVD's that came with the tablet. So the C-drive is totally clean.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  7. UnderClock

    UnderClock Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I got my unit back last Friday, July 22. It was delivered through DHL (initially on Thursday 21 at my home address, while I was at work). I just managed to put the image back (Warning: DriveImage XML is not a recommended imaging tool for the EP121 - lots of issues with recovery to the SSD)

    You were right! It was the first issue. This is what the repair guy wrote:
    So if it really was just this, I might have been faster to open the back cover and inspect and fix myself.

    But on the other hand, I'm also glad to have checked out ASUS Netherland's warranty procedure for my US-origined EP121. (The EP121 still cannot be purchased in the Netherlands / through ASUS Netherlands)

    All in all, the service experience was quite good, although there were some unnecessary delays. I did not have to pay a dime. So shipping cost was covered by ASUS.


    Here's the chronology of this repair:
    • Saturday July 2 - Discovery of the problem / Start of this thread
    • Monday July 4 - Contact with ASUS Support Netherlands / RMA creation. I receive a Shipment pick-up notificati​on from DHL.
    • Tuesday July 5 - Pickup from DHL in The Netherlands.
    • Thursday July 7 - Arrival in Slapanice / Brno, Czech Republic.
    • As it turns out later, Asus has 2 service centers in CZ: Infocom in Slapanice (recognizable by the RMA: it starts with the letters "CZB") and Asus Czech Service s.r.o., in Ostrava - Hrabova (RMA starts with "CZA"). Mine was initially sent to CZB, which turned out to be wrong repair center.
    • Wednesday July 13 I receive a notification: my RMA number has changed from CZB******* to CZA******* (without a explanation why or what for).
    • Monday July 18 After seeing a confusing Status for my RMA on the ASUS-site for a couple of days, I decide to contact ASUS Netherlands. The support guy explains about the shipping error.
      On the same day, the unit also arrives in the CZA Service Center.
    • Tuesday July 19 I receive a notification: My unit is repaired (and shipped out). It is unclear who the courier is and if the unit has actually been shipped: the Shipping ID was not filled out in the notification.
    • Thursday July 21 A bit worried and confused, I contact ASUS Netherlands. They also cannot trace the parcel. I do get the phone number for the Czech service center, but at 5PM they do not pick up.
      When I arrive at home, I see that DHL tried to deliver to my home address.
    • Friday July 21 I got my EP121 back! The parcel is quite professionally packed. A sheet with the (already quoted) repair notes was included.

    Tips
    • On the RMA-form there is only room for one address. Make sure to enter the address that you need both for pick-up and return. I made the mistake of entering my home address (the address that I had used for warranty / product registration), while I needed a pick-up from my work address. In the end, this caused a 1-day delay in the return shipping.
    • Be sure to contact ASUS immediately if you receive an RMA that starts with CZB. It's possible that this is not the correct Service Center for your EP121. (refer ASUS to this post, in case they wonder.)
    • Do not use DriveImage XML (freeware on Hiren's Boot CD) for making an image of your C-drive. This software has issues when you try to recover to the SSD
     
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