nVidia: Monitor remains dark at DisplayPort 1.4 during bootup

[German]It's a strange issue, that users of monitors on the DisplayPort have. The monitors remain dark (black) when booting the computer and do not display anything. Only when the operating system is loaded, a display appears on the monitor at some point. It seems to be due to the hardware or the installed nVidia graphics cards.


Newer graphics cards and devices now providing DisplayPorts to connect external monitors. DisplayPort is a universal and license-free connection standard for the transmission of digital image and sound signals that is standardized by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) and used to connect computer monitors to PCs or notebooks.

A user reports a problem with DisplayPort

Recently I came across this post at German site administrator.de, where a user reported an issue with an external monitor staying dark during boot time, when connected to the DisplayPort of a Dell computer. Here is the translated post:

DisplayPort monitor remains dark

I have a problem with a new Dell Poweredge T40 without an operating system.
The Dell has 2 DisplayPort outputs. My monitor has 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort and 1x DisplayPort mini.
I tried both ports on the Dell and monitor with 2 different cables, but the monitor stays black when booting.
In the monitor I can select DisplayPort version 1.1; 1.2 and 1.2>, but have no success with any version.

This of course does not allow users to view or change any BIOS/UEFI settings and the system may beeps at boot. When the user asked: Do you have another tip?, there was a surprising answer from another user:

I had something similar this week on a 2017 HP Z240 workstation.
A new monitor (49", 5120*1440) did not get bright.
There was an NVIDIA Quadro K2200 installed in the workstation.
I replaced it with a newer one (NVIDIA Quadro P2200) and the monitor was running.
I installed the K2200 in another workstation, which has a smaller monitor.

The initial poster with the original problem then confirmed that he had a 49-inch Samsung C49HG90DMU monitor with a resolution of 3840 x 108 pixels. 

Another confirmation on the web

I then did a quick search for the terms on the web and came across this German post from 2019. In general, there seems to be a problem with 4K HDR monitors when they are connected to the DisplayPort 1.4 of the graphics card (nVidia graphics cards are mentioned). It is said that the monitors are then often not recognized correctly and remain dark when booting. This is often not due to the monitor or the cabling, as listed in the article.


The folks from Prad (Inside Display Technology) write that they often encountered this problem with monitors that are connected to DisplayPort 1.4. The monitor then remains dark during the system boot process because it is not recognized by the BIOS/UEFI. The BIOS is then supposed to trigger a beep during a cold boot. Some systems also freeze, users had reported. Only when the operating system has booted, it takes over the control of the graphics card and recognizes the monitor at DisplayPort 1.4, which then displays an image. 

The implications

The behavior is stupid if settings are to be made in the BIOS or UEFI. Trying to press the function key F2 doesn't help because no display appears there either. It also becomes problematic with installed Windows 10 when the system boots during a half-yearly function update and the monitor remains dark. You can't see what's happening during this phase. And if a system freezes, it's more likely to be attributed to an error during the Windows 10 upgrade, rather than the DisplayPort effect.

Workarounds and a fix

On the linked web page with the article, the folks at Prad write that downgrading the DisplayPort version from 1.4 to 1.2 in the monitor's OSD system settings can help. However, HDR playback is usually no longer possible then (because the detection as HDR playback device fails). The authors of the Prad article write that nVidia has released a firmware upgrade tool for Windows 10 (64-bit version). In the High-Lights, the nVidia makers write:

To enable the latest DisplayPort 1.3 / 1.4 features, your graphics card may require a firmware update.
Without the update, systems that are connected to a DisplayPort 1.3 / 1.4 monitor could experience blank screens on boot until the OS loads, or could experience a hang on boot.
The NVIDIA Firmware Updater will detect whether the firmware update is needed, and if needed, will give the user the option to update it.
If you are currently experiencing a blank screen or hang on boot with a DP 1.3 or 1.4 monitor, please try one of the following workarounds in order to run the tool:

  • Boot using DVI or HDMI
  • Boot using a different monitor
  • Change boot mode from UEFI to Legacy; or Legacy to UEFI.
  • Boot using an alternate graphics source (secondary or integrated graphics card)

Once you have the tool downloaded, please run the tool and follow the on-screen instructions.

To enable the latest DisplayPort 1.3 / 1.4 features, your graphics card may require a firmware update. With outdated firmware, systems connected to a DisplayPort 1.3 / 1.4 monitor may experience dark screens at boot until the operating system loads. Or it can come to a hang during booting. Exactly the error pattern described at the beginning. Maybe it will help you.

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