Knowledge Base

How to Use and Troubleshoot the Dell Thunderbolt Dock (TB16)





This article provides the information on "Usage and troubleshooting of the Dell Thunderbolt Dock (TB16)".


Before you Begin:

Common issues with docking station relate to the outdated BIOS and drivers installed on your computer. If you are installing these products, you might want to start with the Driver Installation Guide section of this document.


  1. Dell Thunderbolt Dock
  2. USB Type-C Cables
  3. Additional information
  4. Dell Dock and Dell Thunderbolt Dock Driver Installation Guide
    1. Automated driver installation using Dell Update / Dell Command | Update
    2. Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 Manual Driver installation
  5. Troubleshooting Common Issues
  6. Documentation

Dell Thunderbolt Dock (TB16).

Overview

Based on Thunderbolt 3 technology.

Thunderbolt icon:

This dock uses Thunderbolt 3 cable technology to transmit audio, video, data and power up to 130 watts to and from your system over a single cable connection.

Display support for a single 5k x 3k (5120×2880) or dual - 4k x 2k (3840 × 2160) Ultra High Definition (UHD) display capability (Multi-Stream Transport (MST) not supported)


Figure 2.

Port information (See Figure 2. Above)

  1. High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) out port
  2. Video Graphics Array (VGA) out port
  3. Mini-DisplayPort (mDP) out port
  4. DisplayPort (DP) out port
  5. RJ-45 Gigabit Network in port (W/LEDS)
  6. USB 2.0 (2-Connectors) ports
  7. USB 3.0 port
  8. Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) port
  9. 3.5 mm Speaker out jack
  10. DC In power connector (Power to the Dock)
  11. Dell Docking station connector (Dell Proprietary connection to USB Type 3 port on system)
  12. 3.5 mm Headset Jack
  13. USB 3.0 port (with Powershare Technology)
  14. USB 3.0 port
  15. Power LED
  16. Dock Button (Power on system, wake from sleep)
  17. Kensington lock slot
NOTE: The Dell Thunderbolt dock will not function on a device with Display Port over USB Type-C with the Thunderbolt cable.

Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 Users Guide

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USB Type-C Cables.

These USB Type-C cables are used with these docks.

NOTE: USB 3.1, DisplayPort over USB Type-C, and Thunderbolt all use the same USB Type-C connector/port type. However, these technologies are not completely interchangeable. EXAMPLE: Connecting a lesser featured device will work when plugged into a system with a more highly featured USB-C protocol (Connecting a USB Type-C device into a Thunderbolt Port will work, Connecting a Thunderbolt Device to a USB Type-C only port will not work). Plugging a more advanced USB Type-C peripheral less featured port may result in limited or no functionality. The port type can be identified by the label printed next to it.

USB Type-C Cables (See Figure 3.)


Figure 3.

  1. DisplayPort over USB Type-C Cable (.8M), Ships with Dell Dock (WD-15) (Default Pre-Installed)
  2. USB Type-C Thunderbolt Cable (.5M), Ships with Dell Thunderbolt Dock (TB-16) (Default Pre-Installed)

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Additional information.

When connected to a NON-Dell system the following limitations will apply:

  • Power supplied to the system will be limited to 60 watts.
  • Access to the Pre-Boot environment is not available.
  • Wake on Dock Button will not function.
  • Firmware updates will not be available.
  • Options to disable select ports is not available.
  • MAC address forwarding is not available.
  • Error messages and Docking Station alerts are not available.
NOTE: The ability for the dock to provide battery charging support for non-Dell systems varies based on the system manufacturer.

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Thunderbolt Dock TB16 Driver Installation Guide

NOTE: You must update your computer’s BIOS and the Dell Docking Station drivers to the latest versions available at the Dell Support Website before using the docking station. Older BIOS versions and drivers could result in the docking station not being recognized by your computer or not functioning optimally.

Automated driver installation using Dell Update / Dell Command | Update

Dell highly recommends the following applications to automate the installation of BIOS, firmware, driver and critical updates specific to your system and docking station. These applications are available to download on Dell Support Website Driver & Downloads page. Pick your system type from the list or enter the service tag of your system to get the right version for your computer.

  • The Dell Update application is supported on XPS notebooks and Dell Venue systems.
    • NOTE: A TB16 dock connection to your computer is required in order for Dell Update to start software updates on your system.
  • The Dell Command I Update application is supported on Precision, XPS and Latitude notebooks.
NOTE: The latest Dell Update and Dell Command | Update are incapable of updating the Intel HD Graphics Driver to the latest version. Navigate to the Dell Driver & Downloads Website by searching the service tag of your system. Download and install the latest Intel HD Graphics Driver in "Video" section for your system.

Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 Manual Driver installation

Dell recommends installing the following BIOS, firmware and drivers step-by-step in the prescribed order to ensure optimal performance.

NOTE: Administrative rights to the system are required for Flashing the BIOS and installation of Thunderbolt driver/firmware.

Search for your system model name under Select a Product selection, or enter the service tag of your system to locate Drivers & Downloads page on the Dell support website. Change the Operating System to view all available updates for your system.

  1. Flash the latest Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) for the system. This is available in the "BIOS" section.
  2. Install the latest Intel Thunderbolt Controller Driver for the system. This is available in the "Chipset" section.
  3. Install the latest Intel Thunderbolt 3 Firmware Update for the system. This is available in the "Chipset" section.
  4. Install the latest Intel HD Graphics Driver for the system. This is available in the "Video" section.
  5. Install the latest ASMedia USB 3.0 Extended Host Controller Driver for Dell Thunderbolt Dock. This is available in the "Docks & Stands" section.
  6. Install the latest RealTek USB GBE Ethernet Controller Driver for Dell Thunderbolt Dock and Dell Dock. This is available in the "Docks & Stands" section.
  7. Install the latest RealTek USB Audio Driver for Dell Thunderbolt Dock and Dell Dock. This is available in the "Docks & Stands" section.
  8. Restart the system.
  9. After the software update process completes, connect the AC adapter to the TB16 dock first and then attach the Thunderbolt 3 (Type C) cable to the computer before using the docking station.

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Troubleshooting Common Issues

Please also note that Diagnostic tests will not identify issues with the dock should you encounter any issues as these are designed to test the connected system only.

Here are some common symptoms and solutions related to your Dell Thunderbolt Dock:

My Thunderbolt Dock is not recognized when I connect it to the USB Type-C port of my system.

While all systems with Thunderbolt 3 Controllers have a USB Type-C port, having a USB Type-C port does not ensure that you have a Thunderbolt 3 Controller.

Refer to this Dell article to ensure your system has the Thunderbolt 3 Controller required to use the Dell Thunderbolt Dock (TB16):

Systems with USB Type-C ports that lack a Thunderbolt 3 controller

No video on the monitors attached to High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), mini-DisplayPort (mDP) port or DisplayPort (DP) port on the docking station.

  1. Ensure that the latest BIOS and drivers for your computer and the docking station are installed on your notebook computer.
  2. Make sure your computer is connected to the docking station securely. Try to disconnect and reconnect the docking station to the computer.
  3. Disconnect both ends of the video cable and check for damaged/bent pins. Securely connect the cable to the monitor and docking station.
  4. Make sure the video cable (HDMI, mDP or DisplayPort) is connected properly to the monitor and the docking station. Ensure to select the correct video source on your monitor (refer to your monitors documentation for more information about changing the video source).
  5. Check the resolution settings on your computer. Your monitor may support higher resolutions than what the docking station is able to support. Refer to the Display Resolution Table in the User Guide of your docking station for more information on maximum resolution capacity.
  6. If your monitor is connected to the docking station, the video output on your computer may be disabled. You can enable the video output using Intel Graphics Control Panel or refer to the User Guide of your computer.
  7. If only one monitor is shown and the other monitor is not, go to Intel Graphics Control Panel, and under Multiple Displays select the output for the second monitor.
  8. If three monitors are connected to the docking station, then the docking station will only support a maximum of three external monitors (The internal display will not be useable with three external displays). Refer to the User Guide of the Dell Thunderbolt Dock for information on how to select and activate the desired monitors.
  9. Try with a different monitor and cable that is known to be good, if possible.

The video on the attached monitor is flickering or distorted.

  1. First power off the docking station by disconnecting the Type-C cable and then removing power adapter from the dock. And then power on the docking station by connecting power adapter to the dock before connecting the Type-C cable to your computer.
  2. Ensure that the video cable (HDMI, mDP or DisplayPort) is connected securely to the monitor and the docking station.
  3. Disconnect and reconnect the monitor/s from the docking station.
  4. Reset the monitor to Factory Defaults. Refer to the User Guide of your monitor for more information on how to reset the monitor to factory defaults.

The video on the attached monitor is not displaying as an Extended Monitor.

  1. Ensure that the Intel HD Graphics driver is installed in the Windows Device Manager.
  2. Open Intel Graphics Control Panel and go to Multiple Displays section to set the display settings to Extended Mode.
  3. Refer to the User Guide of your Dell Thunderbolt Dock for more information on how to select and activate the desired monitor/s.

The audio connector is either not functioning or there is a lag in the audio.

  1. Ensure that the latest BIOS and drivers for your computer and the docking station are installed on your computer.
  2. If the BIOS Setup on your computer has an Audio Enabled/Disabled option, make sure it is set to Enabled.
  3. Ensure the correct playback device is selected on your computer.
  4. Try to re-plug the audio cable to the external speaker output on the docking station.
  5. First power off the docking station by disconnecting the Type-C cable and then removing power adapter from the dock. And then power on the docking station by connecting power adapter to the dock before connecting the Type-C cable to your computer.

The USB ports are not functioning on the docking station.

  1. Ensure that the latest BIOS and drivers for your computer and the docking station are installed on your computer.
  2. If the BIOS Setup on your computer has a USB Enabled/Disabled option, make sure it is set to Enabled.
  3. Verify if the device is detected in Windows Device Manager and verify that the correct device drivers are installed. If not, please restart your system.
  4. Ensure that the docking station is connected securely to your computer. Try to disconnect and reconnect the docking station to the computer.
  5. Check the USB ports on the docking station. Try plugging in the USB device into another USB port on the docking station.
  6. First power off the docking station by disconnecting the Type-C cable and then removing power adapter from the dock. And then power on the docking station by connecting power adapter to the dock before connecting the Type-C cable to your computer.

The HDCP content is not displayed on the attached monitor.

The docking station does not support HDCP content.

The LAN port is not functioning.

  1. First power off the docking station by disconnecting the Type-C cable and then removing power adapter from the dock. And then power on the docking station by connecting power adapter to the dock before connecting the Type-C cable to your computer.
  2. Ensure that the latest BIOS and drivers for your computer and the docking station are installed on your computer.
  3. Ensure that the RealTek Gigabit Ethernet Controller is installed in the Windows Device Manager.
  4. If the BIOS Setup on your computer has a LAN/GBE Enabled/Disabled option, make sure it is set to Enabled.
  5. Ensure that the Ethernet cable is connected securely on the docking station and the hub/router/firewall.
  6. Check the status LED of the Ethernet cable to confirm connectivity. Re-seat both ends of the Ethernet cable if the LED is not lit.

Peripherals connected to the docking station do not work outside the Operating System.

  1. Thunderbolt Boot Support is by default disabled in BIOS Setup on your Dell computer. With such default setting the docking station and the peripherals connected to the docking station do not work in a pre-OS environment.
  2. If the BIOS Setup on your computer has an USB/Thunderbolt Configuration page, check the following options to enable docking station function in a pre-OS environment.
    • Enable External USB Port
    • Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support

PXE boot on dock does not function.

  1. If the BIOS Setup on your computer has an integrated NIC page, select Enabled w/PXE.
  2. If the BIOS Setup on your computer has an USB/Thunderbolt Configuration page, make sure the following options are checked:
    1. Enable USB Boot Support
    2. Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support

BitLocker asks for a recovery key every boot

USB Boot on dock does not function.

  • If the BIOS Setup on your computer has an USB/Thunderbolt Configuration page, make sure the following options are checked:
    1. Enable USB Boot Support
    2. Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support

AC Adapter is displayed as "Not Installed" in the Battery Information page of the Dell BIOS Setup when the docking station is connected to your computer.

  1. Make sure the docking station is connected properly to its own power adapter. Computer requiring more than 130W power input must also be connected to their own power adapter for charging and operating at full performance.
  2. Make sure the cable LED of your docking station is ON. Disconnect and re-connect the dock cable to your computer.

Alert message "You have attached an undersized power adapter to your system" is displayed when the docking station is connected to your computer.

  1. Make sure the docking station is connected properly to its own power adapter. Computer requiring more than 130W power input must also be connected to their own power adapter for charging and operating at full performance.
  2. First power off the docking station by disconnecting the Type-C cable and then removing power adapter from the dock. And then power on the docking station by connecting power adapter to the dock before connecting the Type-C cable to your computer.
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Documentation

To access the User Guide or Quick Setup Guide for your Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Browse to the Dell Product Selector page.
  2. Under Browse for a product, click View products.
  3. Click the type of device you have. (Electronics & Accessories/Docking Stations then Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16)
  4. Click Manuals.
  5. Click PDF to the left of the manual you want.
    Notes:
    • If the manual(s) are available in other languages a More Languages option will show.
    • A PDF reader (Adobe Reader) is available for free from Adobe.
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Article ID: SLN301075

Last Date Modified: 08/14/2017 03:06 PM


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