mjp2016
1 Copper

RE: Dell TB15 Desktop Dock - Step-by-step driver/firmware/BIOS installation instructions for XPS, Latitude and Precision notebooks

Hey guys,

I just wanted to share my experience since I've been following this thread and other online communities closely regarding this topic and I hope this post helps someone. I have a XPS 13 (9350) and ordered the TB15. Prior to receiving, I had been extremely worried about its performance based one everything I've read. I actually never came across one post saying that the product actually worked 100% like it was supposed to. I called Dell and got rerouted 6 times before FINALLY speaking to someone who was located in the USA and knew was a docking station was. Unfortunately, he wasn't aware of these issues and wasn't very helpful. I was asking if the issues were worked out with the driver updates and I could tell he was just reading off a screen saying it was compatible with my machine. Not really what I was after...

After I received the dock, I followed the instructions in this thread to a T.

1) I installed the BIOS drivers. Restart.
2) Removed Thunderbolt software from Add/Remove. Restart.
3) Installed Thunderbolt Controller Driver. Restart.
4) Installed ASMedia USB 3.0. Restart.
5) Removed Realtek USB GBE Ethernet Controller. Restart.
6) Installed Realtek USB GBE Ethernet Controller. Restart.
7) Removed Realtek USB Audio. Restart.
8) Installed Realtek USB Audio. Restart.
9) Installed USB audio/mouse on dock drivers. Restart

I experienced multiple problems during this process. Two or three times during a restart, the computer would not start. I had to hold down the power button for a few seconds to power down and then it powered up. One time I believe the computer shut itself off as well after one of the boot ups.

I was really worried and ready to call Dell to get the instructions to send back this dock. I never had an issue at all before doing any of these updates. That being said, I'm glad that I didn't send it back! The dock is working for me 100%! I am not experiencing any fan noise from the dock or my computer. I can't recall anytime that my monitors have cut out either.

Here is what I have connected to the dock:

2 monitors (1 HDMI / 1 VGA) - VGA screws wouldn't line up properly with the dock but I'm okay with this
Ethernet
USB - Speaker power
USB 3.0 - Flash drive

Here is what I have connected to my laptop:

Speaker audio (plugged into headphone jack)
USB for keyboard
UBS for mouse
Thunderbolt dock

I hook everything up when I get to work then open up my laptop and hit the power button, close the lid, and get to work. The dock is powering my laptop. I had to change my Advanced Power Settings under Power Options in Windows 10 and made Lid Close Action -> Plugged in: Do nothing.

I hope someone finds this information useful. There are tons of threads with people saying it doesn't work but my experience with the setup above is that it is working surprisingly flawless.

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llololjio
1 Nickel

RE: Dell TB15 Desktop Dock - Step-by-step driver/firmware/BIOS installation instructions for XPS, Latitude and Precision notebooks

If we assume a new firmware update fixes the fan ramping up and issues with disconnects with external monitors, do you know if this computer is a viable desktop replacement to drive 3 x 1080p external monitors? It should work as an extended desktop with the dock, but I'm also wondering if the GTX 960M can also do simple games on triple monitors, like Nvidia Surround. Anyone know if this is possible? Thanks in advance.

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xKloc
1 Nickel

RE: Dell TB15 Desktop Dock - Step-by-step driver/firmware/BIOS installation instructions for XPS, Latitude and Precision notebooks

Have you tried your setup using monitors that have DisplayPort capability? I believe this is where the major issues are.

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xKloc
1 Nickel

RE: Dell TB15 Desktop Dock - Step-by-step driver/firmware/BIOS installation instructions for XPS, Latitude and Precision notebooks



I did a screen recording of what happens to my attached devices when I plug the device in. It starts a loop of connecting and disconnecting.

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Highlighted
bull3964
1 Nickel

RE: Dell TB15 Desktop Dock - Step-by-step driver/firmware/BIOS installation instructions for XPS, Latitude and Precision notebooks

I hope someone finds this information useful. There are tons of threads with people saying it doesn't work but my experience with the setup above is that it is working surprisingly flawless.

At this point, it's plain that the issue lies with the controller.  The TB controller can get itself into a bad state and while it's in that state the connection is flaky to non-functional.

If your controller doesn't "crash" then everything can be fine and work more or less perfectly.  Once it does though (and there seems to be somewhat random causes for it) there's no recovering things without resetting the controller and the only way I've found to do that so far is to re-run the TB firmware flash from the command line with the /F switch.

My dock had been working for a full week, then it started to act up after one reboot while connected.  Re-flashed and restarted and it was fine for a few days.

Then I let the computer get into a low battery state while undocked to the point where it shutdown.  I connected it back to the dock and powered it back up again (it was coming back from hibernate at that point.)  Bad move, controller crashes and I get stuck in the connect/disconnect cycle again.  I know if I flash the firmware again, things will likely recover and work fine until the next time.

The controller crash and lack of self recovery is the random element, that's the real cause of the issues.  It's possible that certain display or peripheral configurations may make it more likely for the controller to crash.  It's why one person can have zero issues and another can't get the thing to work at all no matter what they do.  Until they reset the controller, every other step is futile.

Power cycling the computer will not reset the controller.  I suspect that maybe yanking the battery would, but that's not an option for these notebooks and you probably can't (and probably shouldn't) let the battery drain far enough to cause it to reset.

I'm just wary of continually flashing the firmware for the controller.  I have no idea what the endurance of the NVRAM is on a controller like that which normally should only see a dozen or so flashes in its lifetime.

Edit: I think I may have found a way to reset the controller without flashing.  I went in and ran the system diagnostics pre-boot.  I was having issues since Monday with the dock (continual cycling), ran the diagnostics just now, and tried reconnected and it worked.

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Jarno1
1 Copper

RE: Dell TB15 Desktop Dock - Step-by-step driver/firmware/BIOS installation instructions for XPS, Latitude and Precision notebooks

Hi Brian,

I received my Dell Precision 5510 with Intel XEON, 32GB mem and 512GB NVME PCIe SSD and FullHD display a few weeks ago. Because I have Microsoft Action Pack I ordered it without Windows.

So I installed Windows 10 Enterprise (V1511) 2 weeks ago and with being still offline I downloaded all latest drivers and BIOS from the Dell support pages and installed those. After those were installed I put the laptop online.

A week after that I got the TB15 dock and connected the dock to both power and my new Dell U3415W monitor through DisplayPort. The thunberbolt cable is going to the Type-C connector on my Precision 5510 (my god, that Thunderbolt cable from the dock to the laptop is wayyyyy to short!! That's a bummer!). I cannot even position my Precision 5510 + dock on the desk as I would like to have it :-(

Anyway: I also have the fan problem. As soon I connect the laptop to the TB15 dock the fan starts blowing quite heavy. And.... it has nothing to do with drviers I assume because fan's will keep blowing when I'm in the BIOS. In Windows even with < 3% CPU used the fans will blow and I get quite some annoying noise.

Hope this can be addressed and fixed very soon, with I assume a BIOS update or Thunerbolt firmware update? Let me know if you need any info on this and please keep us posted. :-)

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jjoshiro
1 Copper

RE: Dell TB15 Desktop Dock - Step-by-step driver/firmware/BIOS installation instructions for XPS, Latitude and Precision notebooks

First there is another troubleshooting guide with the order different from this post.  Note that the firmware is updated last in this lDell Support link:
https://www.dell.com/Support/Article/us/en/19/SLN301075

Second, I following the instructions for two XPS 13 9350s and two TB15s.  Both XPS 13s were updated with drivers removed first, and reboots between each install. One XPS cannot communicate with either TB15s and I have ordered a replacement.  The other has intermittent connectivity to USB mouse/keyboard and VGA monitor. Power always seems to work as well as ethernet connectivity. 

I'll wait for a new round of driver updates but if I cannot get an update, I will be returning both TB15s.

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Axis77a
1 Nickel

RE: Dell TB15 Desktop Dock - Step-by-step driver/firmware/BIOS installation instructions for XPS, Latitude and Precision notebooks

I'm Having similar Problems with the WD15 dock. 

That thread/ sticky is closed so am posting here.

I'm also finding that I need to unplug / replug the USB C universal connector to the pc each startup to get the dock to work OK.

And yes have downloaded all the drivers etc. (BTW some on your list of WD15 drivers for Precision 5510 Win7 64 are for an XPS machine and wont install).

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turtounet
1 Nickel

RE: Dell TB15 Desktop Dock - Step-by-step driver/firmware/BIOS installation instructions for XPS, Latitude and Precision notebooks

Hi,

So after contacting Dell Support, they've sent me a new dock and the result was the same: Unknown device.

I had a Dell engineer take over my screen, go through every step I had already done several times then give up and proposed to escalate the ticket.

Then, I thought it was impossible to make the situation worse so I decided to actually UNINSTALL drivers and see what the outcome would be in the device manager.

First thing I've uninstalled was the ASMedia driver. Then I rebooted and... ***!!!!!

Everything installing itself like a charm! Looks like the ASMedia drivers version built into Windows 10 pro actually handles everything without the need for extra drivers 

So now I have my TB15 working with USB devices connected to it, and DisplayPort to my Dell monitor.

One thing that still doesn't properly work: NETWORK

The issue seems to be with the way the connections are established between the dock and the laptop, because it doesn't make a difference if I use the built-in ethernet port or an usb3-to-ethernet adapter: it seems to work, connection is established but then if I try to access a network path or an internet page, the adapter resets itself. So basically it's useless... Sometimes it would stay connected for a while but then the download speeds would be way off. When plugging in the usb3-to-ethernet adapter directly on an usb3 port of the laptop itself, it works flawlessly and speeds are gigabit ones.

So definitely there's something wrong with how the dock manages networking.

Any idea for a fix?

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will.box
1 Nickel

RE: Dell TB15 Desktop Dock - Step-by-step driver/firmware/BIOS installation instructions for XPS, Latitude and Precision notebooks

I can confirm that using a fan does in fact solve this issue for me. After jumping through the various hoops discussed previously in this thread and others I finally got everything working. Then several days later my monitor connected via DP went to sleep. A co-worker and I got creative with a little USB fan he had and everything has been stable since. 

Maybe Dell should just ship everyone a fan and some rubber bands: