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XPS 13 9300, BIOS 1.0.10, USB Type-C to DP adapters no longer work

Hi there,

Just updated my BIOS to 1.0.10 this morning. It apparently updates the firmware of the TB3/USB Type-C port. Probably solves some Power Delivery issues. 

Unfortunately, after the update, DisplayPort is no longer working properly over USB Type-C. I have tried four different adapters, and only one works sporadically after the update.

2020-05-20 (3).png2020-05-20 (4).png

I did a search on Reddit and apparently I am not alone.

I am unable to downgrade the BIOS back to 1.0.7 despite having "allow bios downgrade" option enabled in BIOS. Some of the updated firmware do not roll back.

Anyone having these issues too?

Replies (218)

Do yourself a favor and return the machine to Dell for a refund while you still can instead of doing work which Dell should've had their paid employees doing for the past 2+ months

@marrk42  Last time I checked, getting macOS running in a VM at all required jumping through quite a few hoops, but even at that point I'm not aware of Thunderbolt virtualization to allow passing through an entire Thunderbolt dock as opposed to individual devices like maybe its Ethernet interface.  But even if that was a thing now, I personally would think very carefully about attempting a firmware update that way.  You might end up with a bricked dock, which seems like kind of a big risk especially if it's not even guaranteed that this firmware update will fix the issue.  But yes, it is a bit inconvenient that CalDigit only seems to offer Mac versions of its firmware updates.  I guess that shows you their predominant user base.

@jphughan you're right, just realized that after bringing up the VM... KVM doesn't have Thunderbolt support at all.

Knowing that there is a potential solution and not trying it out will trigger my OCD, so I am going down the Hackintosh rabbit hole now. 

@jphughan Doing Hackintosh is too much work, so I installed the TS3 firmware installer in my mac VM, Dig thru its installation directory and found the firmware blob.

Then I install the firmware into TS3 with fwupdtool from my arch Linux host and it actually worked without bricking it lol.

So now that I can confirm with the latest firmware installed on TS3 the issue persists. What a day.

fwupdmgr get-devices infos on TS3 in case anyone is interested:

pre update:

├─TS3 Plus:
│ Device ID: 6c98f2a2a63129f1bf19e4309e44b94426c43308
│ Current version: 35.00
│ Vendor: CalDigit, Inc. (TBT:0x003D)
│ GUIDs: 22a019cc-64d4-592b-a5ea-259176b330cd
│ 7c778112-7403-5f54-aef8-2f4f4f50ce2f
│ 4b455155-82b1-5d27-8093-70163de758c2
│ Device Flags: • Updatable
│                       • Requires AC power
│                       • Device stages updates

post update:

├─TS3 Plus:
│ Device ID: 6c98f2a2a63129f1bf19e4309e44b94426c43308
│ Current version: 44.00
│ Vendor: CalDigit, Inc. (TBT:0x003D)
│ GUIDs: 22a019cc-64d4-592b-a5ea-259176b330cd
│ 7c778112-7403-5f54-aef8-2f4f4f50ce2f
│ 4b455155-82b1-5d27-8093-70163de758c2
│ Device Flags: • Updatable
│                       • Requires AC power
│                       • Device stages updates


I went through and read this whole thread because I couldn't connect to a tv with a USB-C to HDMI cable. Contacted dell and the rep said I would need to buy a dell dock (the D6000) because "Since the XPS 9300 is high end it needs a high end connection to be able to output to an external source"--quoting the rep. there. 

Does anyone know if getting this dock will make it so that I can actually output to my tv with an HDMI cord? Thank you so much for your help. 

@Tpholloway  A dock might resolve the issue, but a) it shouldn't be necessary, especially after the BIOS 1.2 update, and b) the D6000 in particular would be a terrible choice.  It uses "indirect display" technology called DisplayLink -- not to be confused with DisplayPort -- and DisplayLink comes with a lot of drawbacks that can be significant in certain use cases.  I wrote about those in the post marked as the answer in this thread.  Most egregious of all in my mind is that there's no real reason to recommend the D6000 to someone who has an XPS 13 9300 that supports Thunderbolt 3, unless maybe they specifically wanted to run triple 4K displays.  Otherwise, a dock that tapped into native GPU outputs would be much better, like the Dell WD19 or WD19TB.  That said, I've also seen reports here about problems with people who are trying to run dual 4K 60 Hz display setups from a WD19TB with the XPS 13 9300, even though the WD19TB can do that just fine from other systems.  Unclear at this point where the problem lies since I haven't seen posts from people running that display setup from an XPS 13 9300 through another dock, but just fyi.

Anyway, I definitely wouldn't recommend buying an entire dock just to connect to a TV.  That rep's answer was completely ridiculous.  The cable you have should already be working, but if it's not, try another brand of cable. The reason I say that is because USB-C to HDMI adapters/cables have to incorporate an active signal converter chip to switch the DisplayPort signal that is carried over USB-C to HDMI instead.  And it seems those signal converter chips can be finicky.  I've now worked with at least 5 people on this forum who have reported problems using a USB-C to HDMI adapter/cable with some Dell laptop model even though they'd confirmed that it worked fine with other laptops/devices.  After some basic troubleshooting, in each case I basically said, "Well it's either a problem with video output from your system's USB-C port [if they didn't have some other way to test that], which would require a motherboard replacement, or it's a weird interoperability issue that occurs with the specific combination of your system and that adapter/cable.  Since the former would be a huge ordeal to address, you might want to just try a different brand of adapter/cable."  And in every single case I've made that recommendation, the person tried another one and it worked with their laptop and all other devices they tested.  Obviously that shouldn't have been necessary because the FIRST adapter/cable should have worked, but unfortunately the tech world is filled with things that SHOULD work but don't ACTUALLY work.

@jphughan Well, now I feel stupid because I went ahead and bought the dock over the phone, but I made sure to ask about the return policy on it so that I can return it when I get it. Would you recommend me cancelling it now and just buying a cheaper dock on amazon? If so, what product would you recommend? (I just want to watch star wars on a big tv at my college dorm, so this is kind of frustrating. Also, I don't know how to check what bios I am on on my XPS 13 9300, anyway you could walk me through doing that as well so that I can check if I have the right bios?) Thank you literally so much. 


@Tpholloway I would definitely cancel that dock order.  If you want a dock, then get a better dock.  If you quite understandably don't want to deal with a full dock just to connect to your TV as needed, then don't get a dock at all.  In terms of dock options, the Dell WD19 and Dell WD19TB would be obvious choices.  If you want to go third party, CalDigit has two docks called the TS3+ and USB-C Pro Dock that are both reliable.  Or if you want to split the difference between a full dock and a simple cable, you can consider portable "mini-dock" adapters.  On that front, I just bought this adapter.  There are a variety of these types of adapters on the market depending on what connectors you want and what you're willing to spend, but I picked that one because it includes everything I need and also includes support for the latest and/or greatest iterations of each underlying technology.  Specifically, it includes:

  • USB-C power passthrough for power sources up to 100W, whereas some only support up to 60W inputs. (Note however that this adapter will "skim" 15W from the source to run itself, so if you want to keep supplying the XPS 13's full 45W to it, you'll want a USB-C power source that can supply 60W or more.  Those aren't difficult to find.  Or you can just plug the XPS 13's adapter directly into a different port and use this adapter without external power, which works, except that you might not be able to use high-powered USB peripherals through it, such as USB-powered hard drives.)
  • USB-C data port that supports up to USB 3.x Gen 2 (10 Gbps).  Most adapters only support 5 Gbps or don't have a USB-C data port at all.
  • USB-A "regular USB" ports that also support 10 Gbps rather than the much more common 5 Gbps.
  • HDMI output that supports HDMI 2.0b output for up to 4K 60 Hz HDR (when paired with a system that supports DisplayPort 1.4 over USB-C, which the XPS 13 9300 does).  Most adapters today only support up to 4K 30 Hz because they only support DisplayPort 1.2 over USB-C input from the system.
  • Ethernet
  • SD and MicroSD

But again, if all you REALLY want is a way to connect your XPS 13 to a TV, a USB-C to HDMI adapter or cable should absolutely work.  If you want futureproofing, an adapter or cable that supports HDMI 2.0b to support up to 4K 60 Hz with HDR would be good.  This adapter meets that criteria, and it's of course cheaper than the "mini-dock" I linked earlier.  I haven't tested that adapter with the XPS 13 9300 specifically, but StarTech is a well known brand among IT pros and general tech enthusiasts because they have a reputation for making consistently quality products.

@Tpholloway  Sorry, totally forgot to address the BIOS question after all of that!  The latest BIOS as of this writing, which just came out yesterday, can be downloaded here.<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>.  But as an easier and more comprehensive general solution, just install Dell Update from here.  It's basically Windows Update for drivers and firmware, so you can use that at any time to see whether there are any updates available for your system.  You might find that the new BIOS solves your issue without you having to buy anything else -- although that "mini-dock" I mentioned in my previous reply is a great thing to have on hand when you have a system that only has USB-C ports (which is one of the reasons I'm grateful to have a system with dual USB-C/TB3 ports AND a nice set of other ports.)  Good luck!

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This is amazing information. I don't know who you are or what you do, but you are seriously amazing. Thank you so much. 

To the BIOS thing. I went ahead and did the install and restarted and it did not change my situation. I will probably go ahead and get that Anker Dock as I have used and loved Anker products in the past! 

What kind of system do you have that has so many ports? Thank you so much for your advice about future proofing and for your advice on each of the ports that is on the mini dock, this is literally so much information that I will be keeping and using for a long time to come. Thanks again @jphughan 

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