Man!!! after having this problem ages ago and then somehow resolving it (who knows how I did it), I recently updated my nvidia driver from laptopvideo2go and: GAH it's back!!! It happened when I upgraded to 301.27.....about 2 weeks ago. And today, trying to update to the VERY latest (302.59) didn't fix it either.
I've read through the thread, and:
- booting by holding the alt key, DOESN'T FIX MINE.
- TRYING REPAIRING BOOTCAMP...lol, 'fatal error during installation'.....
- choosing windows as default boot option in windows bootcamp control panel settings, then restarting (and it goes directly to windows without even refit...interesting): NUP.
- then upon restarting I intended to try the alt key thing again but forgot lol, so I repeated the last step, and again: NUP.
- then restarting the MBA and trying the alt key thing again: NUP.
- try again: NUP.
- then trying the safe mode (networking) then boot back into normal mode idea: NUP.
- then trying the reset PRAM thing (and noting that i held it on bit too long so it restarted the mac twice, meaning i heard three 'mac' sounds, assuming that's ok and that it's just two PRAM zaps in a row): NUP. (also, this reset the setting in bootcamp to have windows as the default, so refit loaded up after the zapping.)
- then restarted and did alt to bypass refit thing: NUP.
- then I zapped PRAM again (this time four start-up sounds, one more than the Apple reccomendation, then RIIIGHt after the last one, holding on the alt key to IMMEDAITELY bypass refit and go straight into windows without refit: NUP, not even this insane little trick does it.
- Then, I booted into mac OS, to see if playinf around with brightness and then going back into windows would fix anything. First via refit back into windows, then back into windows bypassing refit. Result? NUP for both. (Also, I observe, unsurprisingly, that in mac os x brightness control works just fine...)
- Then, I boot into mac and keep it at a low brightness before going into windows, just to see if it changed anything (and again both with refit and outside it). Observation: the brightness level stays in refit, but when windows boots, it goes back to default full brightness (including the slider being all the way to the default top). it's like my nvidia display driver that I updated to, resets it and takes control of the brightness and interferes with what bootcamp is designed to do. and interestingly, when I go back to mac or even just refit afterwards, the low brightness is still retained in refit/mac, but windows always defaults to an unchangeable full brightness.
- So I concluded, that it MUST be the nvidia driver issue for me, because the problem happened RIGHT after updating my nvidia driver to 301.27 from an earlier version of the modified laptopvideo2go one. (which i can't remember, i THINK it might have been 268.09)....
- So: I uninstall the current driver from device manager. it is removed and the screen defaults to a fugly ultra-low resolution size. I restart windows. it automatically installs some driver, prompts me to restart, I restart, it goes back to normal reslution, I check what driver it installed, and, LOL went back to the same one, I guess cos it was still in the driver repositry.
- So, I now just override it with the 268.09 laptopvideo2go driver which is the last known (to me) working modded driver I was using that didn't interfere with the windows bootcamp brightness control. Result: gah it won't install, i remember that. with certain earlier versions of laptopvideo2go ones, it'd only work with 'have disk'. So, I go back to the DEFAULT bootcamp one, I extract the nvidia driver from WindowsSupport folder, install it, restart, and BOOM, IT'S BACK!
So: SOLVED. So for me, yes it was an nvidia driver issue. I hope this helps someone out there and that my testing confirms some things for others...
Conclusion: NO MORE UPDATING NVIDIA DRIVERS ON MY MBA WINDOWS 7. what's the point anyway. I can't even remember :). I don't do gaming so it's prolly not important for my needs anyway.
i had the same problem. the problem is in the nvidia geforce 320m. i recently upgrade that, and i got this problem. is my solution:
open that link, and download the driver nvidia (not Gigabyte) with version 188.8.131.5262 launch date: 2011-10-15
ps: this is for mac running win 7 32bits
hope this is useful
Is there a problem or inferiority with the default bootcamp nvidia 320M graphics driver anyway? why would you want to have the latest driver? are there genuine improvements anyone knows about?
Also, I might as well mention: I've had a lot of screen issues with my MBA in the last year: often, a "split screen" issue (one side brighter than the other), and that happening in mac os and refit too (so i tohught it may be a hardware issue), and screen spasms of colours and crazy stuff also occuring in one particular 'column' area on the screen...but i can't see anything now. maybe that was all nvidia issues..... if so, hope i didn't damage my screen.
Yes you needed to update gpu drivers 95% of the time, for games definitely. Or to get full benefit of drivers improvements that Nvidia and AMD make. Apple's only give basic enable of the chipset. They are not good mature Windows drivers. Which were passed over to Apple probably. In the case of Windows 7, those were before Windows shipped and not updated in Boot Camp. 3.0 was Sept 2009, and drivers for Windows 7 improve.
Vista took a year just to get stable drivers after it shipped.
Windows 8 RP had beta and then the first stable gpu driver June 1-ish.
Damage the screen, nah, damage the gpu from lack of proper fan control, yes. Heat kills.
yes ofc for gaming, but for a non gamer like me (but intensive user resources-wise, YES), if the stock bootcamp driver from 3.2 looks fine, does the job of, well, displaying the screen :), why should I upgrade?
(are there speed improvements, chances of less crashes in programs)? I'm not aware of crashes due to graphics drivers on my MBA windows before so may be ignorant.
i'm just wary after my experiences above.
i aint upgraded to win8 yet, won't until rtm (always wait for rtm).
gpu? sounds worse :S
I would not trust Apple's. And with drivers weighing in at 150MB - they use to be updated monthly - now they will be less often and just have the new changes for supportinig apps and game APIs.
What you do is your choice. Not having a backup or knowing how to restore is not an option probably.
I do mean gpu! like with apple's hardware, i'm sure it'd be harder to fix a fried gpu than the screen :S. i'm sure it's welded onto the mobo and all :rolleyes:
well that's interesting. sounds compelling. but here's what I did: I first tried something slightly newer than 285.62....285.79. this is cos it was the last one on the results page when I enter my 320M's PCI/VEN and SUBSYS gobblygook. thought maybe it's close enough and maybe it means 285.62 isn't compatible...(but i think it is cos I've compares landing pages for the same number from diffeent search pages and it looks to be the same identical html page and thus installer. certainly hope so.....)
Ok so I did the usual modded copy .inf over and ran the setup.exe, unticked unapplicable physx processor stuff etc, and when installing the driver, the screen went bazurk with extremely bright and colored distortion patterns all over it, then it was getting worse, it went to black and white only....I naturally smacked my gob and turned the thing off immediately. (how is that NOT going to damage the screen??? i guess i don't know anything about LCD pixel/screen technology..)
upon restart, some dlls had still not been installed (control panel) but it seemed functional anyway, it nearly made it. ANYWAY, this driver STILL has the issues: split brightness screen (thank goodness that was just a driver issue), and, although brightness dimming worked in the first session, after a second restart it then stopped working.
still wanting to give these modded newer nvidia drivers a go though, I then tried 285.62....result: ok, it installed ok, then prompted to restart, then, I was looking away, but at some point in the restart process, crazy distortions happening again. getting used to this now, i enjoyed it for 2-3 seconds, acknowledging that it was admittedly a pretty cool and entertaining trippy light show. then, aw, time to stop potentially causing PERMANENT damage to the screen now. OFF!
then upon turning on again, split screen right from refit, and eveyrthing working in this first session (like before), then restarted to expect things to NOT work from the second session onwards, but oh, screen all black and windows booting just stuck somewhere in blackland, interesting, ok OFF again, yep split screen in refit, windows boot ok this time, and ok screen brightness control working from second session onwards. then tried a third session to see if it would sustain, but oh, upon restart, mysterious (but boring after 10 seconds) blackland again. and additionally, one big flaw I'm noticing is windows 95 graphics-esque 'ripple' effects like it's 16-bit color or something.....hmm, definitely superior to apple's driver </s>.
so i can only HOPE i haven't damaged any hardware and have reverted back to trusty, safe, perfectly FINE apple-provided driver.
oh but there's more to report: the split screen has stayed on after the apple driver installing, and i was noticing little screen flickers in weird places ....at first...so this builds an even stornger case just to NOT MUDDLE WITH THE MBA WINDOWS DRIVERS.
so - i aprpeciate your knowledge, but in this case, apart from trying every driver version from the hundreds and finding one that doesn't bring drawbacks from the apple one, it's a case of "if it aint broken, don't fix it".
Hope this helps someone else out there, at some point. just stick to the apple driver, for goodness' sake. And for me, some time I'll try uninstalling the driver repeatedly to se if that flushes the system of the split screen thing once and for all.
I swear those nvidia drivers have wrecked my screen, and it likely has to go in for repair at an apple store, now.
what can explain my laptop screen suddenly going like THIS while in windows?????
i just turned it off, then I turn it on, and LOOK, THIS is what it boots up with!
I even try resetting the PRAM 5 times to see if it gets rid of it, and despite hearing the mac sound, each time it resets the screen only goes back to the vertical lines screen.
I hope this prevents someone else from ruining things by trying newer drivers. just go with the stock driver, this aint a gaming machine.
I can't see how the 3.2 bootcamp driver is 'funky', when:
- it works
- nothing goes wrong with the screen. UNLIKE THE ALTERNATIVE OPTION.
Seriously.....works better? easier? i think the opposite.
Boy do I have an update for you.
It's a PURELY SOFTWARE issue, NOT hardware (but it does, and it always has, affected both the mac part and windows part). (so: yes, I take back my claim that the software has possibly damaged my screen, or at least caused permanent problems...)
When i first took it to an apple store today it really looked to be a hardware issue - the screen itself. I demonstrated the symptoms to them (by merely turning it on), they closed and opened the lid a few times in succession, felt the back of the screen (as if for heat spots or something), and said, 'yeah, we'll have to replace the screen for you and it'll cost you £290'. they also did another stupid thing I won't elaborate on (with regards to EU 2-year warranty and how to go about it, and wasting my time hugely today), but anyway, I came back a second time later in the day and this time, had a much more knowlegeable helpful guy.
he ran a hardware diagnostic thing, and as soon as he plugged it into that diagnostic thing, the screen was normal again.
what i have learned, is that the bios (whether default mac or the third party refit one), has its own 'graphics' it sends to the display. the installed firmwaer can be overridden by one from another source (and make the screen work, ending the vertical lines screen). in the case at the genuis bar, it was their server 'boot from network' thing. to initiate it he pressed 'N' (for network) and connected my mba to their diagnostic testing server (an ethernet->usb adapter into my mba) and look, my screen was normal again. he booted into my mac os x partition and there was even no split screen brightness now - no nothing, just a pure working screen!
He then reckoned that once plugged out, my vertical lines would come straight back but luckily my normal refit booted with a working screen, so it seemed to 'reset' something in my mba's firmware. (my refit???).....
so if this vertical line horrow show turns up again, what i have to do is 'reset' is again - the temp solution for me is to press alt, stick in my OS X install usb stick, and this will impose its own firmware on my mac (it seems), then i say boot into mac os, and then the screen is once more back to (at least usable status) - still with split screen brightness, but at least useable.
so the problem is either refit itself, a corrupted refit (however that has happened. I'm not going to bother to try to fix this permanently, as in 4 months time I'm going to factory reset my MBA and sell it on ebay and upgrade to the new pro, woohoo), or, it's something caused by those newer nvidia drivers TO the refit - I'm not sure and don't care, I'm just happy I've got productivity back at the end of the same day that it went down the drain.
I'm not sure if you figured it out yet but I have a solution.
I'm using Windows 8 Evaluation Copy so these settings may be different depending on which version of Windows you're running
Under Control Panel > Power Options
Look for "Change advanced power settings"
There you will find a "+ Display" dropdown
click that and then select "+ Enable adaptive brightness"
Make sure both options are turned off
Among the suggestions on my iMac 21.5in (late2010) I did:
-Holding the option key at boot
-reverting back to the original drivers
Also, I uninstalled Refit which was a boot menu manager that I used for a while. Booting from that menu didn't allow the brightness keys to work at all. Now I just boot from the stock boot menu from the option key and everything works fine.