Display Blanking Intermittently from all four Module Ports with & without modules installed

I have a Batch1 Win10 system with 3 USB-C & 1 USB-A module. I have two external 2K displays. I typically connect to the displays via a TB4 port replicator using a TB4:HDMI cable for one and an HDMI port for the other. The port replicator is capable of 3 displays at 4K.

Starting in early October, my HDMI connected external 2K@60Hz monitor began blanking during use. Sometimes it would only flicker for a few seconds, other times I’d have to suspend & resume my laptop to restore the display.

This blanking behavior has become progressively worse to the point where I’ve experimented with swapping-in new hardware and connecting directly to the motherboard’s TB4 ports rather than through a module. I’ve tried:

  • a brand new port replicator
  • different known-good cables
  • swapping monitor ports
  • using both HDMI ports on the port replicator
  • using TB4 & other HDMI port on the port replicator
  • removing my USB-C/TB4 modules & directly connecting my port replicator’s TB4 cable to the laptop’s internal ports

None of these have had any effect. If a monitor is attached to an HDMI port, the blanking occurs. If the monitor is attached via my TB4:DisplayPort cable, there is never any blanking.

I’ve also tried using a Dell XPS-13 with the same port replicator & display setup, and have not seen the display blanking problem with the other computer.

The only common factor here is the Framework laptop. My system configuration is:

  • Framework Batch1
  • 2x8GB RAM
  • 2TB SSD
  • Win10 patches as of 10/16/2021
  • Framework [BIOS v3.03 + Driver Bundle 2021_08_31]
  • Display Driver Updated to: Version30.0.100.9864, Date 8/20/2021

Note: the blanking definitely did not start before I installed the driver bundle 2021_08_31, but I don’t know if this was the cause.

I see there have been reports of external display blinking/blanking problems in other topics, but discussions primarily around Linux display drivers.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Are any others seeing this issue? Is there a known-good windows display driver version I should try reverting to?

Thank you for your help!

I uninstalled the Intel Iris Xe display adapter via DeviceManager & uninstalled the existing driver.

After a reboot, I downloaded the Framework driver package from here: Windows 10 Installation on the Framework Laptop DIY Edition - Framework Guides

The display driver version contained here is:

  • Version27.20.100.9565, Date4/29/2021

The display blanking & flickering was with display driver Version30.0.100.9864, Date 8/20/2021. The problems have not appeared since I downgraded display drivers. For now, this seems to have resolved the problem for me.


After a few hours, the blanking on TB4–>HDMI connected displays has resumed. Downgrading the graphics driver might have reduced the ocurrance rate, but it has not eliminated the problem.

Any solutions or suggestions are welcome.

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Back on the subject of external HDMI displays connected via TB4:

  • Uninstalling & reinstalling monitors has no effect
  • While the external HDMI display is connected via TB4, DeviceManager shows a TB4 controller disabled (Code 23)
  • connecting both external displays via USB-C rather than TB4 seems to eliminate the problem.

Device Manager reports TB4 Controller has been stopped:

To try to get more information on the display problem, I installed Dell DisplayManager. With the external HDMI display connected through TB4, Dell DisplayManager reports:

I know there are lots of details here at this point, but all of the results point to some kind of HDMI transport problem over TB4 likely related to the HDMI messaging error & the disabled TB4 controller. Graphics & display driver versions do not prevent or cause the problem. These problems do not exist for HDMI over USB-C.

I’m starting to suspect a hardware/reliability issue as this issue has evolved from non-existant to rare & progressed from occasional through nearly constant with no hardware changes in setup.

Any external HDMI display suggestions or others observing TB4 controller issues?

The theory that the TB4 controllers were failing for some reason seems to have more support. This morning, both TB4 controllers (9A1B & 9A1D) are stopped/code=43 and all three of my USB-C/TB4 modules fail to appear as attached Thunderbolt devices in ThunderboltControlCenter.

All Module ports are working with USB-C:HDMI display adapters. Only TB4 features seem to have failed. (I’m aware that TB4 is a superset of USB-C protocols. We have two TB4 controllers & two USB 3.1 Host Controllers. The USB functionality is normal, TB4 functionality has totally stopped.)

I’ve opened a support request with Framework.

Could you share what adapters you are using to convert to HDMI and display port?

Hi Kieran,

I use an Anker Power expand Elite 12in1 Thunderbolt4 dock. I use an USB-C to Display port cable for one display and an HDMI cable for the other display.

When this problem started, I got a new Anker dock & returned my first one. I had both for about a week and both showed the display blanking problem on HDMI.

A Dell xps13 using the same cables & port replicator has never shown the display blanking problem.

Thank you for investigating,