Laptop Losing Color Management Settings When Docking or Undocking

I originally posted this to the general Windows 7 support forum; however, one of the support engineers recommended that I move it here as I'm running Windows 7 Enterprise, so here it is...

I am running Windows 7 Enterprise SP1 64-bit on a Dell Latitude E6540 with a docking station.  I have color-calibrated the display on the laptop as well as an external display attached to the docking station.  Whenever I undock the computer, the system resets the color management settings and I lose the color calibration on the laptop's display.  I then have to go in manually through the Control Panel and re-apply the calibration profile to get things back to normal.

I have everything set up so that the calibrated profile is the default profile for the system and I've verified that this is the case whether or not the machine is docked, but it still loses the calibration settings every time.  All video system drivers are updated and current as well.

Any thoughts or ideas on how to resolve this issue?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

October 13th, 2014 2:02pm


Did we checked the external monitor properties? This might be caused by the different type of the two monitors.

Besides, please click the undock option on the start menu before we undock the computer, Removing a portable computer without using Undock can result in system instability, data loss, or even hardware damage.  Reference: Undock a Portable Computer

Further, please also contact the manufacturer side and check to see if there would be some settings that would cause the display to change, or confirm if the laptop monitor would support to keep the saved settings when docking with external monitors.

Best r

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
October 14th, 2014 7:52am

Thanks for getting back to me, Michael.  Unfortunately, the system didn't email me when you replied so I haven't seen this until today.

At any rate, yes, I have checked and verified the external monitor's properties and it is configured the same way as the internal display, with its own color calibration settings.  Strangely enough, when I undock and re-dock, the external monitor maintains its color calibration.  It is only the laptop's internal display that loses its settings.

As for the Undock from the Start menu, this does not exist, as far as I know, on Windows 7.  The last time that I've seen it available as an option was on Windows XP.  I've used dozens of laptops since then and none of them have an option to undock in the shutdown options.

I have contacted the manufacturer, Dell, and as usual, they are of little help.  They suggest that it is a Windows problem.  I have also contacted Intel, as it uses an integrated graphics controller, and they, too, suggest that it is a Windows problem, so here I am.

Any further thoughts or ideas would certainly be welcome.

October 23rd, 2014 3:19pm

Hi BanditoB1,

For the undock options, Undock appears on the Shutdown Options menu only if the computer is Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI)-enabled and recognized as a portable computer in a docking station. If Undock does not appear on the Shutdown Options menu, your computer is not ACPI-enabled, or might not support undocking.

Some computers have an eject button on the docking station. Pressing the eject button instead of following the procedure also undocks the laptop. For more information, see the documentation provided with your docking station.

Besides, what is the video card built in the laptops? Any application that would change the video card settings that may effect the color configuration?

Best regards

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
October 24th, 2014 2:50am


I will take a look at the ACPI settings to see if enabling that functionality will address the problem as there is no option for undocking in the Shutdown Options as I mentioned before.

There is an eject button on the docking station, but as far as I can tell, it simply pushes up on the laptop to release it from the connector.

As far as the video cards are concerned, it uses a built into the CPU Intel 4400 GPU as well as an AMD Radeon HD 8790M GPU.  As I originally mentioned, both are running the current drivers from each vendor, respectively.

I have no applications that are switching graphics or interfering with the color calibration of the laptop.  The only time there is an issue is when undocking or docking the laptop.  Other than those times, the color calibration is maintained as expected.

Any other ideas?

October 27th, 2014 2:00pm

Hi BanditoB1,

If possible please also try to make the laptop to be configured with only one Video card in use. After that check if the undock would change the color settings.

Laptops with two video cards sometime may change screen resolution when switching video cards in some special scenarios.

Best regards

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
October 28th, 2014 2:23am


I went through the laptop's settings and it is ACPI enabled and running the current drivers for these capabilities, yet it doesn't show an Undock option in the Shutdown options menu, so no go there.

There really isn't much control of which video card the system is using, but I can see by the settings that unless I'm running one of a couple of CAD programs, which I rarely do, it should be using the built-in video on the CPU.  I do know that switching video resolutions, such as when attaching the system to a projector using the mirrored display option, doesn't change the color calibration.  It remains the same, depending on its original state.  In other words, if the default color calibration was in effect when the projector was connected, it remained in effect.  If my calibration was active, it stayed active. 

The switch back to the default color calibration only seems to happen when docking and undocking the system and does not occur with any other actions.

November 3rd, 2014 2:26pm

Hi BanditoB1,

Thanks for the update.

The following is the article about how to Calibrate your display:

Further, for the calibrate change issue, I will have a discussion with my teammates, will update here if I have some results.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
November 4th, 2014 9:30am

Hi BanditoB1,

I am trying to involve someone who is familiar with this topic to further look at this issue, there might be sometime delay.

Appreciate your patience, and thank you for your understanding and support.

Best regards

November 6th, 2014 8:54am

This might be the answer you need, but I don't have enough information to confirm, for example, I don't know the type of graphics adapter installed on your system. 

That being said, I am going to guess that it is an INTEL HD Graphics adapter and if I am correct, there is a known issue where the most current driver is known to exhibit the symptoms that you have described. Someone in the Dell support forum identified a driver version that eliminates this problem.

See the discussion here:

Link to the driver here:

Let us know, if this resolves the issue.

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
November 6th, 2014 6:11pm

XP Rocks232,

Thanks very much for the reply, but, unfortunately, the issue that you posted about is completely unrelated to color calibration.  The problem discussed has to do with not being able to correctly identify the attached monitor's native resolution.  I do appreciate your trying to help out, though.


Thanks for not giving up on this issue yet.  I will hang tight and hope that you're able to identify something for me.

November 6th, 2014 7:24pm

You seem to think it was driver related in this post.

What would it cost you, to try the Dell  driver to see if it resolves the color calibration issue as well?

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
November 6th, 2014 8:54pm

I've been through all of the Dell and Intel drivers from late last year through this year, each time hoping that the next update would address the issue, but none of them have.

I still believe that it is somehow related to something that Intel has done with their drivers because the color calibration issues only started occurring after Intel started including GPUs on their processor dies and older systems that used a separate graphics card didn't experience these problems.

I'm just trying to cause some awareness that there is some sort of problem with color calibration so that it might get fixed.  If no one knows that there is an issue there is no chance that it will get addressed.

I'm getting very used to going through the numerous clicks necessary to restore the correct color calibration after each docking or undocking of my machine.  It's definitely needed as everything is very, very blue when the screen isn't calibrated.

At least my, non-Windows machines, shall we say, have never had any of these sorts of color calibration issues.  They generally do, "Just work."

  • Edited by BanditoB1 Thursday, November 06, 2014 9:42 PM
November 6th, 2014 9:41pm

Hi BanditoB1,

Sorry for any inconvenience the issue caused. We will do our best to help you with it.

From your description, I see the current issue is laptop will switch back to the default Display Color Calibration settings when docking or undocking the system. Please let me know if I have misunderstood anything or you have any other additional information.

Based on my research, such symptom might occur when the Colour Management of the display adapter replaces the system settings. Since I encountered a case with similar symptom, the solution is disabling the display adapter service in System Configuration via running msconfig, like when using NVDIA then disabling NVDIA Display Driver Service. After rebooting the computer, we can reset the Color Calibration with no problem.

Currently, we suggest you can refer to the solution to see if that works.

Please let me know if there is any update. Thank you for your time.

Best Regards,

Sophia Sun

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
November 8th, 2014 5:46am

Hi BanditoB1,

Hope you are doing well.

I am writing to see whether there are any updates about this issue. If there are anything I can do, feel free to contact me. Thanks for your cooperation.

Best regards,

Sophia SUn

November 12th, 2014 11:39am


I went through the various startup services and only found two items that seemed to be related to the graphics adapters.  I disabled them and tried undocking and re-docking the laptop, but it still lost the color calibration settings and I had to restore them manually, so there is still no difference in the system's behavior.

Please let me know if there is anything else that you would like me to try.

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
November 12th, 2014 3:04pm

Hi BanditoB1,

Thanks for letting me know the current situation.

Based on my further research, I notice there is a corresponding article, the root cause described in it is related to Intel graphic driver. Currently, you may use it for a reference to see if it's helpful.

[Please Note: Since the website is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.]

Thank you for your time and feel free to let me know if there is any update.

Best Regards,

Sophia Sun

November 14th, 2014 3:32am


Thanks for the link to the article.  While I still suspect that the color calibration issue is related to the Intel drivers, the only response that I'm able to get from Intel is that it is a Windows operating system problem and not theirs.

To be clear, the issue described in this article does relate specifically to power savings, which are typically only enabled when running on battery.  I do have this particular setting disabled on my laptop in order to maintain color accuracy for my work.

My issue is clearly with the Color Calibration Profiles.  The default profile for the laptop, which appears to have no actual calibration at all, has the screen showing a very heavy blue bias.  The bias is so strong, that the frames around the windows, ribbons in the Microsoft Office apps, etc., which should be grey, are displayed as blue.  The blue bias also tends to wash out most of the other colors and makes the screen look dull and unsaturated.  However, as soon as my Color Calibration Profile is used, the Windows elements display as grey and the screen colors look much more vibrant.  It really is a night and day difference.

When booting up the system or logging into my user account, even on the default blue Windows screens, you can clearly see the change when my Color Calibration Profile is loaded by the system just before it brings up the desktop.  Once loaded, it remains working, as I've said, until the computer is undocked or docked.  Then it immediately reverts to the default Color Calibration Profile and the screen shifts back into the blue range again.

I think that for another test, I'm going to remove all of the calibration profiles except for mine and see if that has any affect.  If it doesn't, I'll rename my profile to the same name as the default profile and see if that does anything.  It's just something that I thought of now to try.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
November 14th, 2014 2:53pm

Hi BanditoB1,

Thanks for you update and all the efforts so far.

Please let me know if there is any update after that, and we will continue researching the issue. Thanks for your time.

Best Regards,

Sophia Sun

November 18th, 2014 7:11am

Well, trying to play with the color profiles was a bust.  Some of the profiles are locked by the system and cannot be deleted/renamed, so I was unable to make the changes that I wanted to try.

I did, however, get a bit of new information.  If I leave the computer open/on when docking and undocking, it doesn't lose the color calibration.  It appears to only lose the color calibration when closing the lid and undocking/re-docking, which is what I normally do.  On my system, the computer is set to sleep when the lid is closed.  Normally, to undock I will close the lid and remove the computer from the docking station.  The reverse is also how it gets re-docked.  The lid will be closed and then I will re-dock the computer and open the lid to begin using it.  It appears to be this particular combination of events that triggers the loss of the calibration profile in the system.

I have a couple more experiments to run to ensure that this is the case and will post more when I've had a chance to complete the testing. 

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
December 1st, 2014 3:34pm

Hi BanditoB1,

Thanks for letting me know the current situation. We really appreciate your time and efforts.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions after that. Thanks.

Best Regards,

Sophia Sun

December 2nd, 2014 11:50am

I've done some more experimenting, but nothing has proven fruitful.  The system continues to behave as it always has.  If I sleep the computer by closing the lid and then undock it, it will lose the color calibration.  The same thing happens in reverse.  If I sleep the computer and then re-dock it, it will lose the color calibration.

One thing that I have noticed is that when cold starting the computer and after logging in, but still being on the startup screen, I can see where very late in the startup process the color calibration profile is applied.  Once it is applied, within 1-2 seconds, the desktop appears and the computer completes the bootup process.  When I restart the computer from sleep, the startup screen comes up, I log in, and no color calibration change occurs.  It loads up the desktop and I have to manually restore the color calibration.  So, it would appear that the computer doesn't go through the same processes when waking up from sleep as it does upon initially booting.  I can understand that most things have already been loaded, so there is no need to reload them, but something is resetting the color calibration and it is not getting re-applied in this particular circumstance.

So, I'm still looking for ideas of things to try or some other way to fix this issue.

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
December 15th, 2014 8:04pm

Another couple of data points.

I've found that if I set the screen to turn off after x minutes that when I wake up the screen it also loses the color calibration.

Additionally, the secondary monitor always maintains its color calibration regardless of what the primary built-in display on the laptop does.

I just got a new monitor that now connects via DisplayPort to the docking station and now have to sort through some issues with that as well.  Such fun!

December 16th, 2014 9:23pm

Hi BanditoB1,

Thanks for your reply. We are still doing the research and will keep you update if any further information. Currently, could you please provide the model of your docking station and video drivers? Thanks.

Best Regards,

Sophia Sun

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
December 18th, 2014 9:45am

Well, now that the holidays are past us, here's the information that you requested.

The docking station is a Dell E-Port with part no. WV7MW A01.  That's the only identifying information that I was able to find on it.

As for the video drivers, I am running the following:

Intel HD Graphics 4600 - Version

AMD Radeon HD 8790M - Version

Please let me know if you need anything further.

January 16th, 2015 6:03pm

We are experiencing an issue which might be similar.

Intel HD graphics 4600 on latitude e6540. Newest video drivers. Win7 64 bit.

When connecting an external screen (on the laptop or on a docking), sometimes the screen of the laptop gets all messed up: too dark and colors way off. Unplugging the second monitor and plugging back in fixes this.

external monitor works fine all the time.

I haven't any clue yet.

Free Windows Admin Tool Kit Click here and download it now
March 31st, 2015 3:30am

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics