Solution: Lenovo Thinkpad w540 black LCD screen (only external monitor works)

I spend ungodly amount of time trying to solve this issue, there were many similar issues reported on Lenovo forums, but no solutions and contacting Lenovo support is akin jumping thru hoops of fire.

The problem began after I plugged my brand new Thinkpad w540 into external monitor and set it to mode “Extended display (monitor + built-in screen). For a while everything worked fine, but then laptop own screen went black – and nothing could revive it. The external monitor worked fine and the maddening part was – when laptop booted – Lenovo logo appeared bright and shiny on laptop own screen, so I knew graphics card was OK. I ran full Lenovo System update, I updated NVidia drivers from Nvida site – nothing helped.

Then I tried to update Intel drivers for laptop’s HD Graphics 4600 card. Intel installer refused to install them because “The driver being installed is not validated for this computer“. To bypass that I

1. Unzipped the installer package into it’s own folder (you can use WinRar to unpack actual EXE or you can download Zip version of the package).
2. Went to Device Manager, right clicked on “HD Graphics 4600 card” driver and selected Update.
3. When prompted I selected “Browse my computer for driver software”
4. Selected “Let me pick from list of Device Drivers”
5. Clicked “Have disk” and browsed for an INF file inside of GRAPHICS folder of the unpacked driver files from Step 1

Installation commenced and lo and behold – laptop’s display sprang to life.

These instructions are specific to this laptop model and videocard, but I imagine they might be helpful in other similar situations. And hopefully Lenovo will take notice and finally update their drivers.

3 replies on “Solution: Lenovo Thinkpad w540 black LCD screen (only external monitor works)”

  1. I’ve recently come across this same issue. However,I would like to know how I can get the screen back from sleep mode. I’ve tried restarting multiple times and I still can’t get the screen back to normal.

  2. You should get screen to normal while disconnected from secondary screen. Try restarting disconnected and then reconnect again.

  3. I updated the intel HD graphics first. But it still refused to use the built in display. I then updated the Nvidia graphics. I also changed the bios display settings from High Performance to Balanced.
    Its then working again.
    Not sure which of the last 2 things finally fixed it, or if it was a combination of the first 2 (or all 3 things for that matter).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *