Dell XPS 13 (9350) Windows 10 Anniversary Update Bug Edition

Update: Removing the Hyper-V services under Windows 10 Pro seems to fix the issue, suggesting there is some problem between Intel graphics and Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualisation platform.

When I moved away from the MacOS/OS X platform, I understood that I was more likely to suffer more problems within Windows than MacOS/OS X.  I was right.

While the Dell XPS 13 9350 is a magnificent piece of modern hardware – it appears that its newness is so new, there are issues with the Intel Iris 540 graphics.  After updating to Windows 10 Anniversary Edition when it was released on 2nd August, the screen started flickering on and off, sometimes going off for a second, then coming back on, adjusting resolution with it (always returning to full 4K resolution).

Re-installing the more recent (June) Dell supplied Intel HD graphics drivers has taken some of the edge off the problem.

It sure looks like that the Skylake architecture/Intel Iris 540 has a few problems that still need to be addressed in the drivers.  Intel has released newer drivers, but in an uncannily Apple-like move, you can’t install them directly over the top of the existing Dell drivers because Intel tells you that, “your manufacturer may have made tweaks and optimisations”.  Even then, attempting to bypass all that results in Windows telling me that I already have the latest drivers.

So I need to wait until Dell and Intel get together and update the drivers to fix whatever is causing this issue.  It’s not a huge problem – just annoying.  Often just occurs after booting from cold (I’ve disabled Fast Start in Windows 10 because it was causing more problems than it solved), then for a few minutes.  Then the system settles down and everything is fine.  Event Viewer logs reveal nothing of note other than directly after the Anniversary Update when it logged a request to reinstall the graphics drivers (which I subsequently did).

This issue apparently exists across different Skylake architecture-based PCs judging from this Reddit thread from three months ago.  I present additional evidence to back this up..

With Intel about to release yet another new architecture in the coming months, it’d be nice if they could concentrate on getting this one right first.  Oh, the fun of having new and more powerful hardware – more bugs, more pain.

That said, I’ve suffered from odd screen corruption on my (almost four years old) work MacBook Air for quite a few releases of El Capitan (and Yosemite).  The problem seems to have gone away with the last update of El Capitan, suggesting there was probably a graphics driver problem there (the MacBook Air also uses an Intel integrated GPU).  These kind of issues are not exclusive to Windows/commodity hardware.