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Precision M6400 Owner's Lounge *Part 2*

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by BatBoy, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. BatBoy

    BatBoy NBR Community Moderator

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  2. ratfinkle

    ratfinkle Notebook Enthusiast

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    This post is in reply to Malignant from the old M6400 owners lounge thread - an updated revision of an old post of mine.

    Windows 7 x64 on the M6400

    I have my M6400/fx3700m running nicely under windows 7 for a while now - with just a few minor nits left as described below. Note that this all refers to the 64bit version (who whould choose anything else on the m6400! :) ).

    Most of the drivers required to install Windows 7 either come direct from the Microsoft Windows 7 install, Windows Update or from the Dell download site:
    http://support.dell.com/support/dow...stemID=PREC_M6400&os=WLH&osl=en&catid=&impid=

    Once you have installed win 7, run windows update, and installed all the latest dell drivers and BIOS/firmware updates, you may want to look at the info below. Note hold back on the nvidia video driver, and if you have an aversion to dell "value add" crufty bloatware then don't bother with controlpoint - other than the base security device driver pack download provided.

    1) Dell's fx3600 (186.21) driver has some issues with displayport output to an external monitor - posterization of images as if it is running at 16bit or less colours - the VGA output works perfectly though. Aero peek and other win7 aero features (translucent window borders, etc) are usually disabled when the machine is hibernated - and the option to re-enable is greyed out. Oddly enough swapping to 16bit and then back to 32bit in the nvidia control panel fixes that issue...

    The fix for the above is to download the latest nVidia driver (186.81)
    http://www.nvidia.com/object/notebook_winvista_win7_x64_186.81_whql.html

    Note that the nvidia driver suffers from running the display at only 50% brightness unless windows update has installed a m6400 ambient light sensor driver for the display beforehand. Also note that if you are running in multi-display clone mode and the external monitor is not set to the displayport input then the display coming out of screen saver induced power down will hang until you set the monitor back to the displayport input.

    2) edit - deleted (Dell Wireless 370 mini-card driver now available from Dell's m6400 Win7 driver downloads).

    3) A proper Windows 7 biometrics diver for the fingerprint sensor isn't yet available from Broadcom/Dell - and I have no wish to install the dell controlpoint cruftyness. So no generic fingerprint logon.

    4) No OSD display of volume control when the vol keys are used - win7 provides some indication in the tiny speaker graphic, but I am used to OSD from my old Dell M1700 - this may be a feature of the Dell controlpoint s/w?

    5) Trackpad sometimes doesn't work when coming out of hibernation - rehibernate with Fn-F1, and then come back out usually fixes though. The touchpad also sometimes seems to generate tap-to-click in the scroll areas even when this feature is disabled...

    6) Be careful not to just use the windows 7 builit-in sound driver - output soon or later simply stops working. Hibernating or rebooting fixes the issue. This issue was properly fixed by Dell finally providing an IDT win7 x64 driver download.

    7) Edit - deleted (Hibernation comment: lack of display feedback is standard on win7 when going into hibernation)

    HTH
    Cheers, Paul.
     
  3. gulfstreamtec

    gulfstreamtec Notebook Consultant

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    this message is outdated but I can't remember how to delete this space.






    ____________________
    Precision Covet - QX9300 - 4GB (2x2) - 64GB Samsung SLC SSD & 320GB Seagate - XP 32bit & Windows 7 64 bit - & blah blah blah
     
  4. hholtmann

    hholtmann Notebook Enthusiast

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    My observation about Windows 7 Hibernation blanking behavour compared to the old XP display feedback.

    Hibernation in Windows 7 has been the same (no feedback) for Beta1, RC1 and now the RTM (final official release); It completely blanks the display (maybe even turns it off) when you start the Hibernation process.

    Here is why I think MSFT Engineers decided to do that... its to improve the Reliability of the Hibernation feature accross more make/model video cards and chip sets, as well as to simplify the Video Device Driver model for Video
    Driver Engineers:

    By completely shutting down the display driver and the display in the kernel during and earlier in the hibernation process, they can increase the speed of the hibernation process and simplify the driver software design model. With display drivers being one of the most complex driver types to design; anything they can do to make it easier to increase Driver Quality Control is a good thing...

    .. but i do admit.. I also find it annoying.. because it lets me know when its really ok to finally shut the lid on the laptop.. but now we are all forced to trigger lid-closing based on the LED power lights going out!

    This is just my "Developer Opinion" and I have no MSFT evidence to support this theory at this point.
     
  5. Tanis64

    Tanis64 Notebook Geek

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    Thanx for the explanation, i think thats the main reason for doing that.
    If you use hybernation all the time then yust configure the 'what happens when lid closed' to hybernation, so you're not forced to wait for power leds for closing the lid.;)

    regards
    Christopher
     
  6. ratfinkle

    ratfinkle Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the explanation - knowing if this was the standard behaviour is what I was after. I can understand the reasoning you give, but on balance as a user I preferred the feedback provided in XP. Not a biggie though, easy enough to live with.

    Cheers, Paul.
     
  7. gandalf027

    gandalf027 Notebook Enthusiast

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    One quick question.

    Does anyone know if i can buy the PRO3X docking station and connect my 210W powerbrick to it?

    Thanks.
     
  8. ratfinkle

    ratfinkle Notebook Enthusiast

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  9. mrspectral

    mrspectral Newbie

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    gulfstreamtec, do you still have the Zone Alarm available?
     
  10. gulfstreamtec

    gulfstreamtec Notebook Consultant

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    I sure do. If you'd like, since you are the first and only taker, just reply that you want it and I'll send you the key and other info to your private account here. It amazing how many high end programs can be found for free if you know where to look and since I offered it I've had a chance to check it out on someone elses machine that uses it and it looks like a dynamite product.

    ________________
    Precision Covet - QX9300 - 4GB (2x2) - 64GB Samsung SLC SSD & 320GB Seagate - XP Pro 32 bit & Windows 7 64 bit
     
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