Thanks for joining the Graphics community.
The "dots" are not normal at all.
What is the driver version you are currently running on the computer?
Does this problem happen with customized drivers from your computer manufacturer?
Have you tried connecting an external monitor? Do you see same "dots"?
Which version of Windows do you have? Windows 8.1 32- or 64-bit?
Does it happen only when using Firefox?
I'm running Windows 8.1 64 bit, and the current Intel HD driver is 10.18.10.3960 (the latest - the generic driver not taken into account).
My initial thought was that it was caused by an "optional" windows update for the graphics driver.
I tried various things:
- driver rollback in device management
- uninstalling the driver
- reinstalling the manufacturer driver
- installing the most recent Intel generic driver
- disabling the driver/video card solved the problem (but then the laptop always ran on the "high performance card", meaning less battery life)
- I also tried to give the Nvidia card priority which worked well for both Firefox and Chrome, but NOT on the desktop. I read somewhere that dwm.exe always runs on the built-in card. It was indeed not possible to configure Nvidia to run dwm.exe using the Nvidia card.
- ultimately I did a full reinstall of windows and the (initial) drivers in an attempt to determine if it was a hardware issue (I didn't have the problem when I got the laptop)
After the reinstall everything worked normal again. Then I started going through some settings (the ones described in my first post) and all of a sudden the problem was back. I then realized that I had put the power profile to maximum performance, which I (obviously) also did a while ago, causing the strange behaviour. Probably when uninstalling the driver some settings of the Intel HD control panel are saved meaning that reinstallation of the drivers triggered it again.
The problem is not limited to Firefox, also Chrome crashed.
I will try to connect to an external monitor.