Why does Blank Screen not work on my remote computer? (Windows)

This troubleshoot guide is for the users who fail to make blank screen work with Windows Streamer.

 

 

1. Introduction

Blank screen prevents others from seeing the screen while you are working remotely on this computer, so that privacy is well protected. 

Changes made by Microsoft in Win 10 2004 have invalidated all our previous blank screen methods including DPMS driver (Type 2) and Gamma Ramp (Type 3). Since then, we have introduced new blank screen methods (Type 4 & 5) in Windows Streamer. Different types of blank screen support different Streamer versions and have various limitations. In order to get into the root cause for blank screen failure, the first thing we need to know is which type of blank screen should be used in your PC.

 

Step 1: Check the Windows OS version and build

If you are running Windows 10 on your PC, run the command "winver" and you should get the Windows version and build no.

Windows 10 versions

Version

Codename

Build

10.0

Threshold

10240

1507

Threshold 2

10586

1607

Redstone

14393

1703

Redstone 2

15063

1709

Redstone 3

16299

1803

Redstone 4

17134

1809

Redstone 5

17763

1903

19H1

18362

1909

Vanadium

18363

2004

Vibranium

19041

20H2

Manganese

19042

21H1

Iron

19043

If your Windows 10 is 2004 or later, make sure your Splashtop Streamer is upgraded to v3.4.2.1 or later. You'll get blank screen Type 4 with Streamer v3.4.2.1 and blank screen Type 5 with v3.4.4.0 or later.

If your PC is running Windows 10 1909 or earlier (including Windows Vista, Windows 7), the Streamer will still rely on Type 2 or Type 3 method to run blank screen, depending on the WDDM driver installed on the PC.

 

Step 2: Check the WDDM driver

You can run the procedure below to check WDDM version:

Launch the DirectX Diagnostic Tool by executing command dxdiag.exe on the streamer computer, and check the Display tab that shows the WDDM version in the Driver Model field.

Capture2.PNG

If WDDM driver version is 2.2 or later, Blank Screen Type 3 - Gamma Ramp - will be used.

If WDDM driver version is lower than 2.2, Blank Screen Type 2 - DPMS - will be used.

 

 

2. Limitation of Blank Screen

Type

Limitations

2

- requires BIOS, Display Card and Monitor support ACPI

- doesn’t support WDDM 2.2+

3

- doesn’t support Win10 2004+

- conflicted with dpms driver

- conflicted with mirror driver from other vendors

- doesn’t support “Display Only Device”

- doesn't support USB / DisplayLink monitors

- WDDM > 2.2

4

- doesn’t support Headless (monitor-less) and Lid closed platform well

5

- support win10 2004+ only

 

 

3. Solution

 

  • Blank screen type 3

 

Case 1:  I found dpms driver exists in my device.

> Please uninstall the dpms driver.

Go to the Monitor File [

C:\Program Files (x86)\Splashtop\Splashtop Remote\Server for CACHATTO\Driver\Monitor] (pic1)--> choose “uninstall.bat” /“uninstall64.bat” --> Run as Administrator (pic2)

 

1.png

2.png

 

Case 2:  I found my WDDM version is lower than 2.2.

-> Please update the driver for the display device.

For example, Intel HD Graphics 520. The latest driver can be found from Intel's website:

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/88355/Intel-HD-Graphics-520

After updating the display driver, check the WDDM version from dxdiag.

 

Case 3 :  Everything seems to be normal but the screen still cannot black out.

-> It may due to the third party apps prevent screen dimming. Please check whether there are some eye protection apps. E.g. flux, iris.

 

  • Blank screen type 5

 

Case 1:  I found my Windows OS version is 2004+, but the streamer version is too old.

-> Please upgrade your Streamer to the latest version.

 

Case 2: I'm using a USB monitor and the device type shows "Display-Only".

-> To make blank screen work on USB monitor or "Display-Only" monitor, you have to upgrade your OS to Windows 10 2004 or later, and upgrade your Streamer to v3.4.4.0 or later. Blank screen Type 5 has less dependencies on hardware and it is able to work with USB monitor or "Display-Only" monitor.

 

Case 3:  I found my mouse cursor is visible in blank screen.

-> The following items are known limitations for Blank Screen Type 5.

  • Mouse cursor is visible in blank screen
  • Screen is visible at pre-login or lock screen
  • Screen is visible after press "Ctrl+Alt+Del"
  • Screen is visible when the mouse cursor is moved over taskbar thumbnail to preview the window

 

If you are having a problem with blank screen working on your PC and the above could not sort the issue out, please submit a ticket to our Splashtop On-Prem support portal, with the Streamer log folder attached. The Streamer log folder can be accessed from the Streamer menu > Advanced tab > Open log folder link.

 

 

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