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dbykov
Copper

Precision M4800 Audio driver hangs after E-Port jack connection on Win 10

Hello,

I have a problem with audio output jack on the E-Port docking station with Precision M4800 using Windows 10.

I have an external speaker connected to E-Port, and when I boot Windows, everything works fine, sound plays through the external speaker. When I disconnect it, sound start to play through the laptop speakers, just as it should. But when I reconnect the external speaker back to E-Port, sound is still playing using the laptop speakers, and the whole Windows Audio system hangs. For example, when I click the Sound icon in system tray, the sound volume popup shows, but I can't change the volume there - the slider just doesn't move. I also can't open the Playback devices window, I can't start any other applications that play sound. If during this time I try to disable the Realtek audio device in Device Manager, the window just hangs and that's it. If I try to reboot the machine, it won't - it just hangs with a black screen (I tried to wait for it for at least 10 minutes).

It also often happens after docking or undocking the laptop.

This problem is reproducible on Windows 10 (build 1511, 1607 or 1703) and the latest Realtek audio driver for M4800 (A12).

I also checked this scenario in Windows 7 - everything works fine there using the same driver version, so the problem is observable only in Windows 10.

P.S. I just found out that if I first boot the laptop out of the E-Port and then dock it, everything works as it should - I can plug in and disconnect speakers to the E-Port many times without any problems.

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5 Replies
Moderator
Moderator

RE: Precision M4800 Audio driver hangs after E-Port jack connection on Win 10

The fact that you can boot the laptop first, then dock and have no issues means that the laptop when docked but not powered on, then powered on is not installing the drivers correctly. That points to the Windows 10 as the fault here. What specific model e-port? Can you replicate the issue using a different laptop running Windows 10? Why would you ever disconnect the speakers from the e-port in the first place? I do not understand that usage. I would simply leave them connected to the dock all the time.


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dbykov
Copper

RE: Precision M4800 Audio driver hangs after E-Port jack connection on Win 10

I use the E-Port Advanced USB 3.0 (PR02X) with a Dell 240W power adapter.

I don't have another laptop to check, but since under Windows 7 everything works fine, I believe that hardware is fine.

I don't disconnect the E-Port jack during normal usage, it just the easiest way to reproduce the audio problem with dock.

Another way is to undock and dock the laptop again while music is playing - after I dock it back, the music is getting "stuck" (I hear a constant buzzing from the internal speakers, it's like the latest sound just played over and over with a constant frequency), and the laptop freezes - external displays aren't working, but the keyboard LEDs are still responding while I press Num/Caps/Scroll Lock buttons. It looks like system freezes on the dock sound jacks detection.

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Moderator
Moderator

RE: Precision M4800 Audio driver hangs after E-Port jack connection on Win 10

I think your usage is just confusing the operating system as to the audio driver output. When docked and working, the operating system is setting the audio driver to go through the laptop through the PR02X to the external speakers. While playing music, you do a "hot" disconnect and the operating system gets confused. Honestly, I would not dock or undock while any applications were running. Doing so is just asking for odd issues to crop up.


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dbykov
Copper

RE: Precision M4800 Audio driver hangs after E-Port jack connection on Win 10

Chris, this problem happens even if no apps are running.

If I just boot Windows, undock and dock laptop back - that's it, I can't play any sound after that.

As I said before, everything works smooth on Windows 7, even with running music player. If Dell declares full Windows 10 support for M4800, it must work using this OS.

BTW there is no such problem while using generic audio driver installed automatically by Windows. I can dock and undock laptop any time, while playing music, there is no hangs at all. The only problem with generic driver is there is no automatic switching between dock and laptop audio jacks.

For example, using the Dell driver, if I have external speaker connected to the dock jack, when I connect headphones to the laptop jack, sound starts playing through the headphones, and this is expected behavior. With the generic driver, sound will still be playing using the external speaker, and that's inconvenient.

Considering aforementioned, to me it looks like a 100% Dell driver problem, and definitely not the Windows problem.

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Moderator
Moderator

RE: Precision M4800 Audio driver hangs after E-Port jack connection on Win 10

The marketing/testing cycle for this 4 year old 2013 model is over. Dell is not going to allocate more resources to write a new audio driver. You need to decide which driver you can work with =
* Microsoft native audio driver
* Retail Realtek
* Dell Realtek 6.0.1.6098 A12 3/15/16, 6.0.1.6053 A08 12/2/14


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