I recently purchased a TB16 thunderbolt dock. Everything seems to work perfectly except for the fact that my XPS isnt actually charging. The battery indicator shows that its charging but the battery continually drains and not indication of charge time shows up leading me to believe that no power is actually going to the laptop.
I have updated all the drivers except for the Thunderbolt 3 Firmware which continually fails to install. It gives me an error message of "Thunderbolt Firmware installation failed" and I believe the NVM firmware is 8 currently. Im speculating that this is causing the charging issues. Has anyone had a similiar installation problem? Ive tried disabling my antivirus etc but it continues to fail.
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thank you jphughan for all your help. I managed to install the firmware by uninstalling the thunderbolt controller then incrementally installing past updates form ftp.dell.com. eventually I was new enough for the firmware to fully install. I then updated everything else. In BIOS it correctly shows 45W adapter and that it is charging. It also correctly charged my brothers XPS 15.Mine just doesn't seem to actually charge even though it shows that its connected
(EDIT: The information below pertains to the XPS 15, not the XPS 13 like the OP is using. Apologies for the confusion.)
The TB16 is sold with two different wattage AC adapters: 180W and 240W. The XPS 15 requires that the TB16 be powered by the 240W adapter in order to charge the system. Check the wattage on the AC adapter you're using with the TB16.
Sorry, I don't know how I read XPS 15 when I now see it says XPS 13. In that case your TB16 can be powered by either the 180W or 240W and it should be fine, and either one would provide the same amount of wattage as the "real" AC adapter included with the system, which means the battery should be charging regardless of load on the system. One place you can check would be the BIOS setup > Battery Information page to confirm whether it's charging, maintaining, or discharging while connected to the dock.
This is definitely NOT a software issue, however, since power works independently of Thunderbolt traffic, nor should Thunderbolt firmware come into play. However, make sure your system BIOS is current, since that actually does control the USB-C controller and some recently released BIOS updates for certain systems fixed an issue with USB devices attached via the TB16 intermittently disconnecting and reconnecting.
If you still can't charge your system properly, then it would be a problem either with the dock (including possibly its AC adapter) or the USB-C port on your motherboard.
Ive gone through that page you provided before but nothing seems to apply. I have installed all the necessary drivers and firmware other than the Thunderbolt 3 NVM firmware which continues to fail installation. Im guessing thats the problem.
In order to update your Thunderbolt firmware you first need to be on the latest system BIOS and the latest Thunderbolt Windows software. If you've already done that, I still doubt the charging issue is related since even with a Thunderbolt dock, the power is negotiated via USB Power Delivery, which exists as part of the regular USB-C spec, but that could still indicate a problem with the system that might warrant a replacement motherboard.
Bios is 1.5.1 and the Thunderbolt controller driver is the latest 220.127.116.115. the Thunderbolt Just doesn't seem to want to install at all and continues to fail. What are my next steps?
It looks like the version on the downloads page in the chipset section is 16. Has it been a while since you downloaded and installed any firmware?