windows 7 - How do I get my laptop's screen brightness settings back?

  • Mason Wheeler

    From when I bought it up until yesterday, my laptop would dim the screen automatically if you let it sit for long enough, and then if you hit a key or moved the mouse, the brightness would jump back to what you had it at. I enjoy that behavior. It works well.

    Then I booted it up today, and found that now it will dim the screen automatically if you let it sit for long enough, but it doesn't restore the screen brightness. I have to do that manually, every single time, and it's getting really old really fast.

    It's an Alienware M17 running Windows 7 64-bit, in case that helps.

    EDIT: After a bit of testing, I've found out that it only does this on the Power Saver profile, while on AC power. Other power profiles work fine, as does Power Saver on the battery. But I can't find anything in the control panel that looks like it would affect this.

  • Answers
  • Alexander

    In the tray, rightclick the battery and choose power options.

    Choose your active plan by clicking the "Change plan settings" and then either adjust the slides there or click "Change advance power settings".

    The third choice from the bottom will give you additional options when it comes to setting the screen brightness.

    Hope that helps.

  • John

    I suggest that you access the FX in the Alienware Command Center and try to modify the settings related to the Display (you might need to access the Advanced Settings here, I am not sure, as I don't have the laptop with me and I'm still new with Alienware :) I even suggest writing down the settings you find initially so you can bring them back in case you don't like the end-result or to know how you modified them and what happened.

    It is no hardware issue, but just the settings. You might have modified them without knowing or perhaps they have been modified while installing or updating something.

  • MaoPU

    Have you considered, that this might be a hardware/bios setting? I know, that e.g. on a Dell (which is basically the same company as alienware right now), you could influence the described diming via BIOS settings and also toggle a related automatic brightness mode with -. What I am saying is, that the whole problem might not be windows related.

  • Related Question

    How to control brightness on Sony VGN SZ-series laptop after Windows 7 upgrade?
  • Clare Macrae

    I liked Windows 7 so much on my desktop machine that I took a chance and upgraded my Sony VGN-SZ2XP laptop as well - to Windows 7 Home Premium - knowing that Sony were not making Windows 7 drivers available for their old XP machines.

    As long as I keep the Stamina/Speed switch on Stamina, I get a good display, and the machine is way faster than in its XP incarnation.

    But one major niggle is that Windows Mobility Center does not have a "Display Brightness" panel. Its help says "If a setting doesn't appear, it might be because the required hardware, such as a wireless network adapter, or driver is missing or turned off."

    So I am now looking for any way to control the screen brightness, in Windows 7, on a VGN SZ-series laptop, please...

    (I figure that once I have found a way to control the brightness, I can tie it to Fn keys using the excellent AutoHotKey.)

  • Related Answers
  • Clare Macrae

    I have found a solution to allow brightness to be changed using Fn+F5 and Fn+F6!

    As instructed here, I downloaded from Sony and installed the following, in this order, rebooting after each step:

    1. VAIO Event Service
    2. Sony Utils DLL
    3. Sony Shared Library

    After this, the Fn key worked fine - I've tested it with F2 (mute), F3 & F4 (volume), F5 & F6 (brightness) and F12 (hibernate). This makes a tremendous difference to the usability of this machine on Windows 7.

    Huge thanks to harrymc for the correct download location on the Sony website, which I had failed to find.

    By the way, Brightness still doesn't appear in "Windows Mobility Center" - but that doesn't matter now.

  • harrymc

    AFAIK, Vista is supported on your model, so you can use its video driver.

    I believe that the Vista driver download is here, from which you should download the nVidia Video Driver.

  • 8088

    Just found this article, that shows how brightness can be controlled by the keyboard by tweaking in the BIOS the "Brightness Mode Control" to "User Control":


    Another remark from the article is:

    The Brightness slider for me is in the ‘Change plan settings’, underneath the drop downs.

    Hope that helps!

  • James

    There is a brightness option in power settings in the control panel. You can adjust the brightness there. I am not sure how would you connect it to Fn key though.

  • Arash

    I had the same problem and i did all work Clare Macrae said but it did not solve.

    Then i updated windows 7(just which were related to .Net Framework) and it solved.