"Sticky Keys" and "Jerky Mouse" using 7730/TB18DC with KVM

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I have a 7730 connected to a KVM (StarTech) via a TB18DC, and there are issues with "sticky keys" and "jerky mouse". Both mouse and keyboard connect to USB ports on the KVM, and USB from the KVM to the TB18DC.

I attempted to apply some BIOS settings per a Dell document (believe it was for the TB16), and this resulted in a "down hard" condition. I eventually traced this to the USB setting in the BIOS for "Enable Powershare". For whatever reason, turning this on caused the 7730 to no longer recognize the TB18DC (even though Dell said "that shouldn't happen"). Either way, turning this off restored comms between the 7730-and-TB18DC, but none of the other changes affected the "sticky keys" and "jerky mouse".

For-what-it's-worth, I have update the BIOS (1.4.2) and all drivers (again, per Dell's instructions), all to no avail.

Any suggestions (other than "get something else")?

p.s. This KVM model has worked with other laptops (e.g., Sager, HP), so I'm very reluctant to entertain any "it's the KVM" responses. It's only Dell that seems to "have issues".

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Re: "Sticky Keys" and "Jerky Mouse" usin

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So, I was finally pointed (by Dell's "next tier" tech support) to a firmware update specifically for the TB18DC dock (i.e., not something loaded onto the 7730). It's not something you're going to find by looking for support drivers for your laptop (i.e., using your tag), but you have to search specifically on the TB18DC.

So far, it's not a 100% fix (keys still seems to stick every-now-and-then), but the sticky-key issue is much better (less frequent, and less severe) and the mouse lag/jerkiness seems to have gone away completely. At least, it looks like I can connect all peripherals to the TB18DC and it's "usable".

Rather than bury the solution in this thread, I posted a new thread/topic at:

https://www.dell.com/community/Precision-Mobile-Workstations/TB18DC-Driver-Update-Not-Easy-to-Find-s...

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Re: "Sticky Keys" and "Jerky Mouse" usin

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Add Note
I have tried connecting the mouse directly to the TB18DC. This helps greatly, but does not completely resolve the "jerky mouse" issue. I am "assuming" that the "sticky key" issue will behave correspondingly (i.e., "better", but not "resolved").

When direct-connected to the TB18DC, the mouse movement is much smoother. However, it still periodically freezes-and-then-jumps, although (a) much less frequently than when connected to the KVM, and (b) "where" the mouse-pointer "jumps" to is much more predictable.

Add Note #2

My Dell "community name" is a direct result of the sticky keys. Somehow, it seemed appropriate to leave it.

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Re: "Sticky Keys" and "Jerky Mouse" usin

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Update #1...

Updated the Thunderbolt firmware, from v00.23.05 to v00.35.04 (and, sort of wondering why Dell's driver update utility didn't check/catch this). No change in sticky-key or jerky-mouse behavior.

Dell is now sending me a replacement TB18DC. Truthfully, if this doesn't work (or, someone at Dell comes up with some software update that fixes this...which seemed to happen with the TB16), I need to consider "getting something else". And, there's no way I'm going to accept being stuck with a $5K paperweight.

I've always like Dell's mobile workstations. Why can't Dell figure out the Thunderbolt technology? The basic workstation still seems like a solid product, but the inability to use it in a workplace environment negates the other positives.

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Re: "Sticky Keys" and "Jerky Mouse" usin

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Update #2...

Move the keyboard and mouse to the TB18DC (i.e., took the KVM out-of-the-loop), and immediately experience the "sticky key" behavior (although the mouse seemed "better behaved").

Then moved the keyboard and mouse to the 7730, and everything seems okay.

So...

All signs point to the USB ports on the TB18DC as the focal point of the issue(s). What remains-to-be-seen is if it is an issue with this specific unit, or if it is a driver/??? issue. I'm leaning (hopefully?) toward "this specific unit", as I'd expect more complaints if it was across-the-board. Then again, how many folks are connecting 7730-toTB18DC-to-KVM?

Re: "Sticky Keys" and "Jerky Mouse" usin

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Update #3...

A "fortuitous insight"?...

Bottom-Line-Up-Front: All of these problems may actually stem from bad wiring in the dual-USB(C) cable?

I am currently waiting on a back-ordered replacement for the TB18DC. Part of the reason is that Dell says they will do a "functionality test" on the unit before sending it to me.

This may be "a good thing" (read on)...

I have now bypassed the TB18DC and directly connected everything (i.e., mouse, keyboard, headphone), except the monitors, to the 7730. And, everything "seems" to be working...except. When rearranging part of my physical desktop, I "touched" the cable connecting the TB18DC to the 7730. It wasn't a hard touch, or a "tug", or something that caused either the 7730 or TB18DC to move.

But...

It did cause the output to the monitors to stop, and the monitors went blank. After fiddling with the cable a bit, the monitors "came back on", but the screens acted as if I had used the KVM to switch to the other computer.

Also...

I had, briefly, connected my headphones to the TB18DC (not enough USB ports on the 7730). The sound quality was "not so good", with some static, etc. Using a USB hub, I moved the headphones to the 7730, again bypassing the TB18DC. The improvement in performance/behavior was drastic.

So, after all-is-said-and-done, is it possible that the culprit, the entire time, is some bad wiring in the cable connecting the TB18DC to the 7730?

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Re: "Sticky Keys" and "Jerky Mouse" usin

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Update #4

Last update, unless Dell does something to fix the issue in the TB18DC...

Received and installed the replacement TB18DC unit from Dell. And, immediately noticed the same behavior with the mouse (lagging/"jerky" mouse) when using the following (original) configuration...

USB keyboard/mouse connected to a KVM
USB connection from KVM to TB18DC
Dual USB(C) connection from TB18DC to 7730

The "good news" is that the monitors work fine.

So...

1.  I will keep the new TB18DC unit (returning the current unit), as I had noted "un-wanted behavior" when the cable connecting to the 7730 was jostled/moved.

2.  I will keep the "make do" configuration with a separate keyboard/mouse direct-connected to the 7730. In part, because this makes everything work. In larger part, because I actually like the second keyboard/mouse unit better than the one connected to the KVM.

3.  While now rendered moot by my decision to direct-connect the keyboard/mouse to the 7730, I will monitor Dell to see if they put out a fix for this issue. If not, as of now, "not a huge deal". However, considering the cost of the unit, it'd be nice if it worked in all "real world" configurations (i.e., "hey Dell, try testing your Thunderbolt dock connected to a KVM, and not just for connectivity to your own laptop)..

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Re: "Sticky Keys" and "Jerky Mouse" usin

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So, I was finally pointed (by Dell's "next tier" tech support) to a firmware update specifically for the TB18DC dock (i.e., not something loaded onto the 7730). It's not something you're going to find by looking for support drivers for your laptop (i.e., using your tag), but you have to search specifically on the TB18DC.

So far, it's not a 100% fix (keys still seems to stick every-now-and-then), but the sticky-key issue is much better (less frequent, and less severe) and the mouse lag/jerkiness seems to have gone away completely. At least, it looks like I can connect all peripherals to the TB18DC and it's "usable".

Rather than bury the solution in this thread, I posted a new thread/topic at:

https://www.dell.com/community/Precision-Mobile-Workstations/TB18DC-Driver-Update-Not-Easy-to-Find-s...

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sfortin
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Re: "Sticky Keys" and "Jerky Mouse" usin

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I am experiencing the same exact behaviors with a 7730 connected to a TB18DC dock. Periodically I will experience a "key auto-repeat". The frequency for me is about 9-10times in an 8hr day. My TB18DC is connected to three Dell: 1907FP (1) and 1908FP (2) monitors, one dell keyboard and one dell mouse. I've experienced this on two docks, one in work, and one at home.

Besides updated BIOS and drivers, I followed the BIOS setting recommendations here:

https://www.dell.com/support/article/ag/en/agbsdt1/sln308303/dell-usb-c-and-thunderbolt-docks-wd15-t...

and experienced the same "hard down" condition as you foo.... I hadn't narrowed the specific changed setting down to USB PowerShare (KUDOS to you). That's very interesting. I just reverted the changes from steps 4,5,6 and 7 of that article back to what they were and have restored use of the dock and laptop. Others should not follow this article blindly. I recommend Dell prepare an updated one specific to the TB18DC. 

I have a ticket into Dell and they are working with me which is great. I have not been fiddling with the connector, but agree, with the stiffness of the cable and the number of conductors from the connector to the dock in that cable, the cable is likely to always be under mechanical stress. It would have to be modified to have the two USB-C connectors in a better connector housing that mechanically sat flush with the laptop to avoid getting moved either up/down or left/right. There is a good gap between the connector housing and the laptop. That is unfortunate.

This "sticking keys" or "auto-repeat" key issue has occurred with two docks, both with an "A01" revision. I'm confident they will eventually determine the problem with the dock firmware or USB driver(s) and correct it. As far as the mechanical features of the dual usb-c connector, I have no idea if something is in the works or not. 

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LucasGmr
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Re: "Sticky Keys" and "Jerky Mouse" usin

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Hi,

I've been using Dell laptops for years now, the previous ones were used with an E-Port docking station that did a good job, everytime. The combo 7730 TB18DC is also used with KVM here (2 other workplaces where the TB18DC is connected without KVM, but the issues remain the same, only worse with KVM). Powering on the laptop means: keep your fingers crossed. It's always a surprise which monitors (2x 4K) will show an image or not. If I'm not lucky I can start playing with powerswitches of the monitors and then rearrange the displays in Windows. The updated firmware (November 2018) for the TB18DC brought some good things: mouse and keyboard don't seem to lag anymore but when mouse and keyboard are coming through the KVM it sometime doesn't recognize them, switch to another computer and return to the 7730 TB18DC and it's quite possible that mouse and keyboard are gone. Workaround: KVM usb directly into the 7730 but what's the use of the TB18DC then? The display issues haven't changed. I check the site regularly for updates but so far nothing new. 

I switched of the standby/sleep of the laptop because otherwise I would spend more time getting my monitors running instead of doing the work I should do.

If only I could plug the 7730 into an E-port... The response from Dell is very limited. I have 3 TB18DC units, all behaving exactly the same... Hardware issue or just firmware?

I'm wondering if this will ever work as stable as the E-port systems did.

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sfortin
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Re: "Sticky Keys" and "Jerky Mouse" usin

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LucasGmr,

Was there a recent release of a new USB driver? How about BIOS? You might wish to look..I should too.

For me, this combo (I have two TB18DC docks, each driving three DVI-D monitors via appropriate adapter, 1Gbps Ethernet, keyboard and mouse) and the 7730 work pretty reliably, but the moment I try to plug in a new USB device into the dock, it's enumeration throws off my triple displays. If I plug a device into the laptop, there is no issue with enumeration.

I do not always hear the anticipated sound from Windows when the device is added, or removed from the dock. I no longer can launch my NVIDIA control panel. How much of all of this is partially attributable bt the OS? 

Lots and lots of high-bandwidth serial data moving over that Thunderbolt3 connector. I'm impressed with what it does do properly to be honest, and I don't think issues are limited to just one OEM.

Thunderbolt technology seems to be maturing technology, where the E-port technology had become very mature but probably restricted motherboard design. The E-port probably was quite a bit simpler to implement.. My impression is that Intel, Dell and other OEMs including Microsoft will keep refining the SW layers (the drivers, firmware and laptop BIOS) they are responsible for, so the TB-based docks become more and more solid and the technology is universally viewed as mature. 

Dell has been extremely responsive to an SR I had open, and that meets with my expectations for support. 

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