Random Bits of Dell XPS M1330 Knowledge

Here are some random bits of information I’ve discovered about my Dell XPS M1330 in the past few days:

  • The issue where, upon resuming from sleep mode, the M1330 will drop from 1280 x 800 resolution down to 1024 x 768, seems o have no fix at this time. I called XPS tech support and they weren’t even aware of the issue (which I find hard to believe, it’s mentioned all over the place). It happens perhaps 25% of the time, and the only fix it to go into the display settings and set it back to 1280 x 800.
  • Upon resuming from sleep mode, the screen will light up as normal, then go black, then come back. This is irritating. The solution (which I found in this forum) is to go into the Task Scheduler (just type Task at the start bar and you’ll find it). Look under MICROSOFT > WINDOWS > MOBILEPC and you’ll see a task listed called TMM. Right-click on it and select DISABLE. This will address the issue.
  • Although the XPS tech I spoke to insisted otherwise, upgrading the graphics driver for the NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS with a driver right from NVIDIA isn’t possible. Only a driver directly from Dell will work, which sucks because it means I’ll never be able to have the highest-performing drivers.
  • I have a D-Link DIR-855 802.11n router and was having a lot of connectivity problems with the XPS M133o – it would always connect initially, then it would drop the connection…but only for certain types of requests (seemingly). I could ping anything (I ran a ping -t), but no Web pages would load, nor would email. Vista’s “Detect and Repair” thought that the connection was perfect, so it was no help (I suspect it does a ping to check connectivity). This issue was driving me crazy, but after installing the 1.05 firmware on my router, and updating the BIOS on the M1330 to A06, it’s now working fast and stable.

UPDATE: A solution was presented in the comments section: disabling the TMM scheduled task. I did that, and guess what? No more resolution switching. No more “fade to black” effect. Nice!

  • activitie

    You should download the video drivers from http://www.laptopvideo2go.com.
    I run 163.XX on my M1330 and the performance is better. I was having screen wake up issues with 165.XX

  • I second what activitie says – I’ve been running stock Nvidia drivers on my 8400GT VAIO and it makes a huge difference to performance. The beta 163.71 includes support for display dimming in the Mobility Center too.

  • This is John, a customer advocate at Dell headquarters.

    Though I can’t really give answers to everything on your list, item #1 may have an adequate workaround:

    http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1867469&SiteID=17&pageid=0

    Apparently, if you disable TMM in the task scheduler, Vista remembers your set resolution after resuming from sleep. Looking around the web shows that this is problem native to Vista systems with nVidia cards from all OEMs. Hopefully that workaround will work for you. If it doesn’t, let me know.

    John
    Dell Customer Advocate

  • Activitie/David: Thanks for the tip, but I’m a bit confused as to how I get it working. I’ve installed the 163.69 drivers on my desktop PC, so I have the folder unpacked. My understanding is that I need an INF file from the laptopvideo2go.com site, but the 163.69 drivers don’t seem to be supported. What’s the easiest way for me to get newer drivers than what Dell offers?

    DellCAJohn: Thanks for the info! When I disabled TMM to fix the screen blacking-out problem, it seems to have also helped the screen resolution issue – I haven’t had the resolution go back to 1024 x 768 yet. I hope you can work with Microsoft and NVIDIA to fix this issue, because the fact that it happens to other laptop owners doesn’t make me feel any better. I bought an expensive Dell XPS laptop because I wanted something better than what the other OEMS had to offer. 😉