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Windows 10 bug crashes laptop when lid opens and closes unnecessarily

A hardware problem is being investigated by Microsoft

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Owners of Windows 10 laptops are being warned of a new issue that causes Desktop Windows Manager (DWM) to crash unexpectedly when the laptop is repeatedly opened and closed. 

The issue, which Microsoft attributes to a bug rather than a hardware problem, reportedly affects laptops running any version of Windows 10 and configured to operate at 4K resolution. 

"This problem occurs because of an issue in the Microsoft DirectX Video Memory Management (Dxgmms2.sys) component," the company said. The documentation also indicates that this is tied to a bug in the Microsoft DirectX Video Memory Management software, so it likely is not a hardware problem.

"Through desktop composition, DWM enables visual effects on the desktop as well as various features such as glass window frames, 3-D window transition animations, Windows Flip and Windows Flip3D, and high-resolution support," Microsoft explained.

Problematic scenarios 

The DWM issues only crop up under certain conditions, including: 

  • Scenario 1: When a user plugs a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) monitor into a laptop computer that is running Windows 10 and the monitor is configured to operate at 4K resolution. In the Control Panel, the Advanced settings screen of the Power Options item is set to Lid close action “Do nothing.” The issue could occur if 4K video is playing back and a user is repeatedly closing and opening the computer lid.

  • Scenario 2: A user connects two 4K monitors to a Thunderbolt 3 docking station, configures a triple 4K display configuration in either "clone" or "extend" mode, and then repeatedly undocks and redocks the laptop.

Microsoft said it’s working on a fix for both of these issues. In the meantime, consumers are urged to avoid unnecessarily closing or undocking their system if they come across a problem. 

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