Lenovo T400 blank screen issue on Windows 10

Someone who owns a very well SEO company came to me with a freshly installed Windows 10 OS on a Lenovo T400 and showed me that he would get a black screen at start up. He would suspend the machine (close the lid), and it would come back to normal. He would reboot, and the same problem would reproduce again.

This didn’t happen when he first installed the OS. Only happened after the OS was installed and Windows update was run. I was suspicious that it might be a driver issue, but Lenovo’s website didn’t show much.

Then looked into the device manager and saw this:


What’s interesting here is that the laptop actually has 2 video cards. I think it’s for power savings. I took a gamble and disabled the Intel video card. The problem went away!

Update: Booted into the BIOS and under video settings, found that the Lenovo could install a Switchable graphics driver along with their power management software so that it could save power. So, my hunch was correct. So, no need to disable the Intel card. Just boot into the BIOS and set it to discrete or the other one, whatever it is. I just set mine to discrete.

5 thoughts on “Lenovo T400 blank screen issue on Windows 10

  1. Interesting.

    My Lenovo (W530) also has two video cards and both are enabled. I never had to go into the BIOS and toggle any settings and never experienced the issue.

    I do experience networking issues (WiFi goes down from time to time) but haven’t really had the time/inclination to troubleshoot that.

  2. You probably either have the display switching off or have the power saving agent installed in Windows. I don’t want the latter, so I’ll just take good performance on the AMD card rather than the Intel.

    I’ve a small WiFi issue also. It doesn’t connect to one of my 3 access points at home, but I’m in the same boat – not interested in troubleshooting. 🙂

  3. The only time the display switches off is when I close the lid (the laptop is on 24/7), so that’s not the problem.

    The Wi-Fi intermittently goes down even when I’m using it. Sometimes I have to disable it and re-enable it for for it to come back to life. I had the same problem on my last laptop, a T61p, but not as frequently as on this one. The problem got worse after upgrading to Windows 10. My wife’s 2009 Macbook Pro has no such issues. I’m not exactly sure if it’s a Windows problem or a router problem. My iPhone 5s started having problems connecting to the router after I upgraded iOS to 9.0 and since then it has been flakey. Sometimes it goes weeks without problems and other times it’ll keep asking for the Wi-Fi password.

    I also don’t have any power saving agents installed. I made sure those weren’t enabled.

    Intermittent problems are the worse kind to troubleshoot.

  4. That’s funny! I now have the same issues! Only with the Lenovo laptop though. No issues with my Apple iPhone or this Dell Latitude laptop. On the MacBook Pro, sometimes I get into a weird state where I can’t ping the router, but I can ping anything else on the lan. I just reboot and it works again. I also sometimes get into a situation where I try to ping something and it says out of memory. I reboot for that problem too.

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