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XPS13-9350 + WD15 Dock - Switching between LAN/WIFI


Our company purchased several XPS13 laptops last year, running Windows 7 Pro, along with the WD15 docks.

The laptops are usually connected to the company LAN network through the docks, but then are switched to a WIFI connection when taking the laptop to meetings, then re-docked afterwards.

The problem we're seeing is that, for all except one laptop, we have to use the laptop switch to disable WIFI/Bluetooth (Fn-PrtScr) for the laptops to switch from WIFI to LAN when they're re-docked. For the one laptop, it automatically switches from WIFI to LAN once it's re-docked without any issues.

The process we use for un-docking/re-docking the laptops is below:

Un-docking the laptop:

  1. Unplug LAN cable from dock (lower-right LAN icon changes to WIFI icon) - if the laptop is removed from the dock without unplugging the LAN cable first, the wireless adapter remains disabled in Device Manager. Selecting Enable doesn't work, and sometimes, even a computer restart won't fix this.
  2. Unplug laptop from dock.
    1. For the one laptop, at this point, the WIFI network is detected and connects automatically with no problems.
    2. For the other laptops, since the WIFI/Bluetooth switch is in a disabled state (reason explained below), the lower-right WIFI icon has a red cross on it. This is then enabled using the Fn-PrtScr switch and, all going well, the WIFI network is detected and connects automatically. (There have been times when the wireless adapter needs to be manually enabled in Device Manager.)

Re-docking the laptop:

  1. / 2. Plug laptop into dock, then re-plug LAN cable into dock, in whichever order.
    1. For the one laptop, once the LAN connection is detected, it automatically switches to LAN - looking under Network Connections, the Wireless connection has been automatically disabled.
    2. For the other laptops, the WIFI connection remains active. Looking under Network Connections, the active Wireless connection is visible, and every so often, a greyed-out LAN connection icon flashes up and disappears (unable to click on it). In Device Manager, the Realtek USB GbE Family Controller network adapter isn't visible. The only way to switch from WIFI to LAN is to then use the Fn-PrtScr switch to disable WIFI/Bluetooth, at which point it will finally connect to LAN.
      • If the WIFI/Bluetooth switch is turned on while the laptops are connected to LAN, the WIFI connection overrides LAN and other issues occurs, such as the USB Mouse/Keyboard plugged into the dock losing connection. Disabling the WIFI/Bluetooth switch will re-connect the laptop to LAN, but the Mouse/Keyboard won't start working again until the laptop is removed from the dock and re-docked.

I've tried changing the connection priority in Network Connections > Advanced Settings and placed LAN above WIFI, to try and prioritise LAN over WIFI. I've also had a look in the Network Adapter Properties > Advanced for both adapters, but don't think any of the options are relevant.

The settings between the one laptop where things are working as intended and all the others should be exactly the same. I recently did a BIOS/drivers update on one of the problematic laptops, as well as uninstalling/reinstalling the wireless adapter, with no improvements.

If anyone has any advice they can offer, it'd be much appreciated. I can somewhat deal with the workaround of having to use the laptop switch to switch between LAN and WIFI, but when the USB Mouse/Keyboard stops working for no obvious reason, this creates huge frustrations for my colleagues and myself - especially since we've had stability issues with the laptops/docks since we started using them (with drivers updated, etc).

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