Dell Precision and docking issues (E-Dock / WD15 / TB16)

I’ve been using my Dell Precision 7520 for quite a while now and have used it in combination with three different docking stations.

E-dock

The Precision series are still equipped with E-dock connection, which I thought was a major benefit, so there was no need upgrading to USB-C dock instantly.

I have used an E-dock for several months (with 1 Dell 1920*1200 monitor). Resulting in several Windows 10 crashes. Always had to shut down the device and (re)boot it. Coming out of sleep also resulted in crashes quite randomly. Had my motherboard replaced by Dell, changed hard drives, … no effect.

WD15

Then I started using a Dell WD15 dock (with 2 Dell 1920*1200 monitors) and I haven’t had any problems whatsoever. When connecting the USB-C cable, the laptop awakes from sleep with no problems. Sometimes external screens go dark for 2 seconds and light up again. But this hiccup only happens once in a while and you can continue work without further problems.

TB16

For a few weeks I had the opportunity to test the Dell Thunderbolt TB16 on my device (with 2 Dell 1920*1200 monitors) and the same problems as mentioned with the E-Dock emerged. Random crashes and not being able to connect to external monitors upon connecting the USB-C cable, resulting in a crash. Crash also occured when launching Photoshop. I  think it also boils down to a graphics problem?

Conclusion

So now I’m using the Dell WD15 again. Aside from a more limited graphic ability (amount / resolution of external monitors), the only downside is that power over USB (docking ports) only seem to work when the connected laptop is active.

Your thoughts?

Anyone having the same issues? Firmware upgrading never did the trick and advanced diagnostics never showed any problems.

Fixing UEFI boot problem

Earlier today my UEFI boot record somehow got screwed up on a Dell Windows 10.

The Boot Configuration Data for your PC is missing or contains errors.
File: \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD
Error code: 0xc0000001

One could use the USB OS installation drive to boot into recovery mode and choose command prompt hoping BOOTREC would solve te problem

bootrec /fixMbr

Only to run into this error

 The system cannot find the path specified

Using DISKPART followed by LIST DRIVES didn’t show the internal drive at all, hence the error…

What I did to solve this was creating a new recovery USB on a working Windows 10 installation.

Here’s a video tutorial:

Booting with the recovery USB, DISKPART showed the internal drive with no error and by using these three commands your UEFI boot record will be fixed and you are good to go…

  1.   BOOTREC /FIXMBR
  2.   BOOTREC /FIXBOOT
  3.   BOOTREC /REBUILDBCD

Restart your computer, et voila! UEFI boot record fixed…

At least it worked for me 😉

Mouse lag on Dell D5000 wireless docking station

Update on January 18th, 2015

I’m now using a single Dell 19:10 monitor with 1920*1200 resolution, which should be supported according to the D5000 specs. However, from time to time I see horizontal bars (video refresh problems?). Even with the lid open, and notebook screen off. The D5000 is positioned immediately behind the laptop. I sure hope this will be fixed with a firmware upgrade, but I haven’t seen any released lately.

Update on February 5th, 2014

This post was previously titled “Interference between Dell D5000 and Logitech Unifying receiver?”, but I have changed the title because it wasn’t accurate. The mouse lag also occurs with wired mice in combination with the Dell D5000 wireless dock. On the windows desktop (WIN+D) itself, there seems to be little to no lag, but on dense webpages or other applications, it looks like the mouse pointer can’t keep up. Maybe there’s a problem with the video refresh rate. Comments appreciated.

Original post on January 31st, 2014

I can’t help but noticing that there seems to be an interference between the Dell D5000 wireless docking station (WiGig) and the Logitech USB unifying connector which causes to lag mouse behaviour from time to time. When I move away from the wireless docking lag seems to stop. The unifying receiver operates on 2.5GHz while the Dell D5000 WiGig dock operates on 60 GHz frequency.

Logitech Unifying Receiver Dell D5000 wireless docking station WiGig

Although it’s still very preliminary to conclude that the interference is caused by these two devices, I’m glad to hear your comments if you encounter the same problems.

I have tried scenarios where the Unifying receiver is attached to the Dell D5000 or directly to the laptop’s USB ports.

How to restore a lost bluetooth connection

A few days ago I encountered a strange bluetooth problem on my Windows 7 (64bit business, Dell E6520). While I was working suddenly my Dell bt travel mouse disconnected. Tried to reconnect a few times, but couldn’t get it working.

Swapped batteries, and tried another computer: no problem whatsoever. Began to think that I was facing a hardware problem (again!), but then I realized that the device might have been blocked somehow. And guess what… I went looking for “devices and printers” and the Dell bluetooth mouse was still listed, however not connected. The problem was easily solved by removing the device (right click, remove device) and then establishing a new connection.