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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Dec 2009
    Marina del Rey, CA, USA
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    Blocks on Excel 2013 When Maximized on 28" Screen (Dell P2815Q)

    Please view the attached screenshot of an Excel 2013 worksheet to see gray & black blocks preventing viewing of sections of the workbook. Every imaginable solution has been tried by Dell & me to no avail. After a couple months of problem-solving, they sent me replacement (new) Precision M3800 and it showed the same problem. A friend of mine bought a nearly identically configured M3800 when I did (May 2014) and his does not exhibit that problem. Last night he hooked up his laptop to my monitor (using my cable) and it did NOT exhibit the problem.

    If I restore the workbook to one half (left or right) of the screen, the problem pretty much disappears. It shows the same behavior as when Excel is on the laptop screen (same resolution of 3840 x 2160), the rectangles appear but disappear in a fraction of a second (on my friend's machine as well). That's acceptable behavior.

    A partial list of things I tried in no particular order:
    1. Replace DisplayPort cable
    2. Hook up M3800 to my desktop computer's 27" Dell U2713HM monitor
    3. Reinstall Windows 8.1
    4. Replace Office 2013 with Office 2016 (late pre-release version)
    5. Run memory & graphic diagnostics
    6. Switch between built-in Intel graphics card & Nvidia card (M3800 has two graphics cards)
    7. Update all drivers & firmware
    8. Disable graphics acceleration
    9. Have conference call with Microsoft & Dell (waste of time . . . Dell had no one special to talk to and we eventually hung up)
    10. When reinstalling the operating system OR beginning to use the replacement M3800, I installed only Office 2013 before checking for the problem. That eliminated the chance of other software on the machine contributing to this problem.

    The other problem it exhibits is it frequently cannot open the ten workbooks I like to open together. I don't know if the two problems are related.

    I have nothing left to try. It seems like if this was a common problem I'd see it on the Internet OR Microsoft would be aware of it OR Dell would be aware of it. We've ruled out everything outside of the two M3800's I have since my friend's computer hooked up to my monitor and did not exhibit the problem.

    My friend thinks that the cause might be a part between my graphic cards and the DisplayPort cable that sends out the signal. Since both graphics cards exhibit the problem (built-in & Nvidia) on my two systems and not on my friend's then it does seem to be something wrong with both of the M3800's that I've had and not his.

    Any suggestions are welcome. It's an expensive system to stop using but the graphics problem along with its inability to open up my ten workbooks makes it increasingly difficult to use. Oh, my friend's M3800 opened all ten workbooks fine the one time we tried it.

    Thanks in advance for your help!!
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  2. #2
    Gold Lounger Maudibe's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Pa, USA
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    Some additional things I would trey:

    1. Try disabling Aero
    2. Make sure that monitor is set at a native resolution and not a custom resolution and one that your graphics card can support.
    3. Try using a lower resolution
    4. If the VRAM is shared and not dedicated, try increasing the amount of shared RAM
    5. Curious if blocks are visible if monitor is set as extended desktop as well as a cloned display
    6. If you have an alternate video connection (ex VGA/DVI/USB), try to see if that resolves your issue.
    7. Make sure display port input is enabled on your monitor. Check the monitor's settings.
    8. Sounds like you have updated your graphics drivers but have you updated the monitor's software from Dell?


  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Dec 2009
    Marina del Rey, CA, USA
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    Maud, thanks so much for your well-thought out answer. Here are my replies to your 8 items.

    1. I cleared all items under Performance on the Advanced System tab and the blocks still appeared (I believe Aero doesn't really exist in Windows 8 except insofar as that tab displays)
    2. Monitor (and laptop) are both at native resolution of 3840 x 2160. It seems odd that the problem is much worse on the external monitor even though resolution is the same.
    3. I should have mentioned in the original thread that when I lowered resolution the problem gradually got better as it did when I resized the worksheet smaller. However, running a 28" monitor in HD resolution is not what I purchased it for. But perhaps this gives us a hint as to the cause of the problem.
    4. I don't know how to check the graphics memory setup, but remember that the problem occurs with both the built-in Intel graphics card and the discrete Nvidia Quadro K1100M
    5. I always have the 28" monitor set up as an extended monitor. So I tried it as a duplicate monitor and the problem improved. But that's because the workbook showed only rows 1-36 & columns A-V just like the laptop screen. However, with extended displays the monitor shows columns A-AK and rows 1-66. I'm not sure why that happens, but even the icons on the duplicated external monitor are larger. This is true even with both laptop & monitor on native resolution of 3840 x 2160.
    6. I'm ordering an HDMI cable and will see if that helps.
    7. I think the monitor's DisplayPort would have to be enabled in order for me to use it. I chose it from the monitor's on-screen menu when I hooked up the monitor.
    8. I have the most updated drivers from Dell for both the laptop & monitor. This problem occurred on the original laptop from May 2014 as well as on the replacement they sent a couple months ago.

    Thanks again and please let me know if you have any additional ideas.

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