How to Use and Troubleshoot Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16

How to Use and Troubleshoot Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16




Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16

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Getting Started with your Dell TB16 Docking Station Dell TB16 Dock Setup, Specifications and Service Manual Dell Drivers & Downloads Warranty & Support Services Frequently asked questions

Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 links all your electronic devices to your laptop PC using a single Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C) cable. When you connect the laptop to the docking station, you can gain access to all your peripherals such as the mouse, keyboard, stereo speakers, external hard drive, and large-screen displays without having to plug each one into the laptop.

Note: Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 only supports Thunderbolt 3 technology. Older versions of Thunderbolt are not supported.

For help with specifications, setup, connecting an external monitor, troubleshooting common issues, etc. refer to an expanding section below.

PC Connectivity Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C)
Video ports
  • 1 x mini DisplayPort (DP 1.2)
  • 1 x DisplayPort (DP 1.2)
  • 1 x HDMI (HDMI 1.4a)
  • 1 x VGA
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) port
Audio ports
  • 1 x headset connector
  • 1 x microphone connectors
Network ports
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45)
USB ports
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports (front), one with PowerShare
  • 1 x USB 3.0 (rear)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 (rear)
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C (rear)
Power / DC-in
  • 7.4mm DC-in

The Dell Thunderbolt Dock - TB16 is designed for PCs with Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port.

Dell Thunderbolt 3 Dock TB16 Ports
Figure 1: Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 Ports

1. HDMI
2. VGA
3. mini-DisplayPort (mDP)
4. DisplayPort (DP)
5. RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet
6. USB 2.0 (2 ports)
7. USB 3.0
8. Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C)
9. 3.5mm Speaker-out
10. 7.4mm DC-in power
11. Dell Docking station connector (Dell Proprietary connection to USB Type 3 port on PC)
12. Headset Jack
13. USB 3.0 w/PowerShare
14. USB 3.0
15. Power Adapter LED
16. Dock Button
17. Kensington lock slot
Note: The Dell Thunderbolt dock will not function on a device with Display Port over USB Type-C with the Thunderbolt cable.
Note: You must update your PC’s BIOS and the Dell Docking Station drivers to the latest versions available at the Dell Support Website before using the docking station. Older BIOS versions and drivers could result in the docking station not being recognized by your PC or not functioning optimally.

To learn more about installing drivers for Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 docking station, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 - Driver Installation Guide

Automated driver installation using Dell Update / Dell Command | Update

Dell highly recommends the following applications to automate the installation of BIOS, firmware, driver and critical updates specific to your PC and docking station. These applications are available to download on Dell Support Website Driver & Downloads page. Pick your PC type from the list or enter the service tag of your PC to get the right version for your PC.

  • The Dell Update application is supported on Dell XPS laptops and Dell Venue
    • Note: A TB16 dock connection to your PC is required in order for Dell Update to start software updates on your PC.
  • The Dell Command | Update application is supported on Dell Precision, XPS and Latitude laptops.
Note: The latest Dell Update and Dell Command | Update are not capable of updating the Intel HD Graphics Driver to the latest version. Navigate to the Dell Driver & Downloads Website by searching the service tag of your PC. Download and install the latest Intel HD Graphics Driver in "Video" section for your PC.

Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 Manual Driver installation

Dell recommends installing the following BIOS, firmware and drivers step-by-step in the prescribed order to ensure optimal performance.

Note: Administrative rights to the PC are required for Flashing the BIOS and installation of Thunderbolt driver/firmware.

Search for your PC model name under Select a Product selection, or enter the service tag of your PC to locate Drivers & Downloads page on the Dell support website. Change the Operating PC to view all available updates for your PC.

  1. Flash the latest Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) for the PC. This is available in the "BIOS" section
  2. Install the latest Intel Thunderbolt Controller Driver for the PC. This is available in the "Chipset" section
  3. Install the latest Intel Thunderbolt 3 Firmware Update for the PC. This is available in the "Chipset" section
  4. Install the latest Intel HD Graphics Driver for the PC. This is available in the "Video" section
  5. Install the latest ASMedia USB 3.0 Extended Host Controller Driver for Dell Thunderbolt Dock. This is available in the "Docks & Stands" section
  6. Install the latest RealTek USB GBE Ethernet Controller Driver for Dell Thunderbolt Dock and Dell Dock. This is available in the "Docks & Stands" section
  7. Install the latest RealTek USB Audio Driver for Dell Thunderbolt Dock and Dell Dock. This is available in the "Docks & Stands" section
  8. Restart the PC
  9. After the software update process completes, connect the AC adapter to the TB16 dock first and then attach the Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) cable to the PC before using the docking station

Microsoft Windows operating system includes the VGA graphics drivers only. Therefore, for optimum graphics performance, it is recommended that Dell graphics drivers applicable for your PC be installed from Dell Drivers & Downloads website under the "Video" section.

Note:
  1. For nVidia Discrete Graphics solutions on the Latitude E-Family and Mobile Precision PCs:
    • First, install the Intel Media Adapter Graphics Driver applicable to your PC.
    • Second, install the nVidia Discrete Graphics Driver applicable to your PC.
  2. For AMD Discrete Graphics solutions on the Latitude E-Family and Mobile Precision PCs:
    • First, install the Intel Media Adapter Graphics driver applicable to your PC.
    • Second, install the AMD Discrete Graphics driver applicable to your PC.

Before connecting the docking station to your PC and connecting a monitor and other external devices, ensure to install all the required drivers.

Connect the monitor to the docking station using the VGA / HDMI / DisplayPort / mini-DisplayPort / USB Type-C cable provided with the monitor. The docking station supports upto 4 monitors connected simultaneously. Refer to the Display Resolution Table below for more details about the supported resolution when connecting multiple monitors to the docking station.

To learn more about setting up and troubleshooting issues with multiple monitor setup, refer to these Dell knowledge-base articles How to Setup Multiple Monitors or How to Troubleshoot Multiple Monitor Issues


Display resolution table

Single Display (maximum resolution) Dual Display (maximum resolution) Triple Display (maximum resolution) Quad Display (maximum resolution)
  • **DP + mDP (Single Image): 5120 x 2880 @ 60Hz
  • DP/mDP/Type-C: 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz
  • HDMI: 3840 x 2160 @ 24/30 Hz
  • VGA: 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
  • ***Type-C: 5120 x 2880 @ 60 Hz
  • DP/mDP/Type-C: 3840 x 2160 @ 60 60Hz
  • DP+VGA: 2 x 2560 x 1440 @60 Hz
  • mDP+HDMI: 2 x 2560 x 1440 @60 Hz or 3840 x 2160 @ 30 H
VGA may be limited to 2048 x 1280
  • DP + mDP+HDMI: 3 x 3840 x 2160 @ 30 Hz
Note: DP port at 60 Hz is supported, but mDP +HDMI are limited to 30 Hz for 4k
Note: **Discrete only mode or "Special Graphics Mode".
  • **mDP + HDMI + DP + VGA: 3x3840 x 2160 @ 30 Hz + 1x 1920 x1200 (VGA)
Note: Resolution support is also dependent on the maximum resolution supported by the monitor.
Note: If higher resolution monitors are used, the Intel Graphics driver will make a judgement based on monitor specifications and display configurations. Some resolutions may not be supported and so will be removed from the Intel Graphics Media Control Panel.
Note:

** Configuration supported with AMD and Nvidia in discrete-only mode or special-graphics mode. These modes are listed in the BIOS for the following PCs: Dell Precision 7510/7529/7710/7720 and will require disabling switchable graphics for discrete-only mode or enabling special-graphics mode when Switchable is enabled. If the PC does not have these options in the BIOS, then 4 monitors are NOT supported.

The 5K resolution support is only available in either of these conditions:
With discrete graphics mode only, or special graphics mode or,
*** Using the Thunderbolt 3 USB Type–C to a dual DisplayPort adapter.

Symptom Possible Solution
No video on the monitors attached to the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), mini-DisplayPort (mDP) port, or DisplayPort (DP) port on the docking station
  • Ensure that the latest BIOS and drivers for your PC and the docking station are installed on your PC.
  • Make sure your PC is connected to the docking station securely. Try to disconnect and reconnect the docking station to the notebook PC.
  • Disconnect both ends of the video cable and check for damaged/bent pins. Securely re-connect the cable to the monitor and docking station.
  • Make sure the video cable (HDMI, mDP or DisplayPort) is connected properly to the monitor and the docking station. Ensure to select the correct video source on your monitor (refer to your monitor’s documentation for more information about changing the video source).
  • Check the resolution settings on your PC. Your monitor may support higher resolutions than what the docking station is able to support. Please see the Display Resolution Table for more information on maximum resolution capacity.
  • If your monitor is connected to the docking station, the video output on your PC may be disabled. You can enable the video output using the Intel Graphics Control Panel or refer to the User Guide of your PC.
  • If only one monitor is shown, while the other is not, go to the Intel Graphics Control Panel, and under Multiple Displays, select the output for the second monitor.
  • If three monitors are connected to the docking station, then the docking station will only support a maximum of two external monitors. Refer to the User Guide of your docking station for information on how to select and activate the desired monitors.
  • Try with a different monitor and cable that is known to be good, if possible.
The video on the attached monitor is distorted or flickering
  • Reset the monitor to Factory Defaults. Refer to the User Guide of your monitor for more information on how to reset the monitor to factory defaults.
  • Ensure that the video cable (HDMI, mDP or DisplayPort) is connected securely to the monitor and the docking station.
  • Disconnect and reconnect the monitor/s from the docking station.
  • First power off the docking station by disconnecting the Type-C cable and then removing the power adapter from the dock. Then, power on the docking station by connecting power adapter to the dock before connecting the Type-C cable to your PC.
The video on the attached monitor is not displaying as an Extended Monitor
  • Ensure that the Intel HD Graphics driver is installed in the Windows Device Manager
  • Open the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel and go to Multiple Displays control to set the display to the extended mode
The audio connector is not functioning or there is a lag in the audio
  • Ensure that the latest BIOS and drivers for your PC and the docking station are installed on your PC.
  • If your BIOS Setup has a Audio Enabled/Disabled option, make sure it is set to Enabled.
  • Ensure the correct playback device is selected on the notebook PC.
  • Try to re-plug the audio cable to the external speaker output on the docking station.
  • First power off the docking station by disconnecting the Type-C cable and then removing the power adapter from the dock. Then, power on the docking station by connecting the power adapter to the dock before connecting the Type-C cable to your PC.
The USB ports are not functioning on the docking station
  • Ensure that the latest BIOS and drivers for your PC and the docking station are installed on your PC.
  • If your BIOS Setup has a USB Enabled/Disabled option, make sure it is set to Enabled.
  • Verify if the device is detected in Windows Device Manager and that the correct device drivers are installed.
  • Ensure that the docking station is connected securely to the notebook PC. Try to disconnect and reconnect the docking station to the PC.
  • Check the USB ports. Try plugging the USB device into another port.
  • First power off the docking station by disconnecting the Type-C cable and then removing the power adapter from the dock. Then, power on the docking station by connecting the power adapter to the dock before connecting the Type-C cable to your PC.
The HDCP content is not displayed on the attached monitor
  • Dell Dock and Dell Thunderbolt Dock do not support HDCP content.
The LAN port is not functioning
  • Ensure that the latest BIOS and drivers for your PC and the docking station are installed on your PC.
  • Ensure that the RealTek Gigabit Ethernet Controller is installed in the Windows Device Manager.
  • If your BIOS Setup has a LAN/GBE Enabled/Disabled option, make sure it is set to Enabled
  • Ensure that the Ethernet cable is connected securely on the docking station and the hub/router/firewall.
  • Check the status LED of the Ethernet cable to confirm connectivity. Re-seat both ends of the Ethernet cable if the LED is not lit.
  • First power off the docking station by disconnecting the Type-C cable and then removing the power adapter from the dock. Then, power on the docking station by connecting the power adapter to the dock before connecting the Type-C cable to your PC.
Cable LED is not ON after it is connected to your host
  • Make sure the TB16 is connected to AC power.
  • Make sure the laptop is connected with the docking station. Try to disconnect and re-connect again with the docking station.
USB port has no function in a pre-OS environment If your BIOS has an USB/Thunderbolt Configuration page, please make sure the following options are checked:
  • Enable USB Boot Support
  • Enable External USB Port
  • Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support
PXE boot on dock does not function If your BIOS has an integrated NIC page, please select Enabled w/PXE.
If your BIOS Setup on your PC has an USB/Thunderbolt Configuration page, please make sure the following options are checked:
  • Enable USB Boot Support
  • Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support
USB Boot does not function If your BIOS has an USB/Thunderbolt Configuration page, please make sure the following options are checked:
  • Enable USB Boot Support
  • Enable External USB Port
  • Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support
AC Adapter is displayed as "Not Installed" in the Battery Information page of the Dell BIOS Setup when the Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C) cable is connected
  • Make sure the Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 is connected properly to its own adapter (240 W).
  • Make sure the cable LED of your docking station is ON.
  • Disconnect and then re-connect the Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C) cable to your PC.
Peripherals connected to the docking station do not work in a pre-OS environment Thunderbolt Boot Support is by default disabled in BIOS Setup on your Dell PC. With such default setting the docking station and the peripherals connected to the docking station do not work in a pre-OS environment.
If the BIOS Setup on your PC has an USB/Thunderbolt Configuration page, check the following options to enable docking station function in a pre-OS environment:
  • Enable External USB Port
  • Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support
Alert message "You have attached an undersized power adapter to your system" is displayed when the docking station is connected to your PC
  • Make sure the docking station is connected properly to its own power adapter. PC requiring more than 130 W power input must also be connected to their own power adapter for charging and operating at full performance.
  • First power off the docking station by disconnecting the Type-C cable and then removing power adapter from the dock. Then, power on the docking station by connecting the power adapter to the dock before connecting the Type-C cable to your PC.
Troubleshooting multiple monitor issues
  • Ensure to install the latest video drivers from Dell Drivers & Downloads website
  • Verify that the external monitor/s are connected to Dell Thunderbolt Dock (TB16)
To learn more about setting up and troubleshooting issues with multiple monitor setup, refer to these Dell knowledge-base articles How to Setup Multiple Monitors or How to Troubleshoot Multiple Monitor Issues

Frequently asked questions

The Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 can charge your mobile or power bank even without being connected to the PC. Just make sure your dock is connected with external power. The dock fan will rotate automatically if the dock gets too warm. This is normal working condition.

This is for Thunderbolt security. You are asked to approve a Thunderbolt device because the Thunderbolt Security level on your unit is set to "User Authorization" or "Secure Connect" in the BIOS Setup. You will not see this page if the Thunderbolt Security level on your PC is set to "No Security" or "DisplayPort Only". Also, if you checked "Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support" in the BIOS Setup and power-on the PC with TB16 attached, you will not see this page because the Security level is overridden to "No Security" in this case. When you are asked to approve a Thunderbolt device, you may select "Always Connect" if you do not have any security concerns to always allow the Thunderbolt device connection to your PC. Or you may select "Connect Only Once" or "Do Not Connect" if you do have concerns.

Security is always Dell’s highest priority. We ship our PCs with "Security level - User Authorization" setting by default. This allows our customers to review the Thunderbolt security conditions of their PCs so they can make selections accordingly. However, this also means the Thunderbolt dock and the devices attached to it will need to pass Thunderbolt driver security permission checking to get it connected and initialized. This normally means some extra time is needed before these devices can be accessed by users.

When a new device is plugged in, the USB hub driver notifies the Plug and Play (PnP) manager that a new device was detected. The PnP manager queries the hub driver for all of the device's hardware IDs and then notifies Windows OS that a new device needs to be installed. In this scenario, the user will see a hardware installation window.

Our Thunderbolt dock is designed to operate in AC only and it does not support PC power source back (powered by PC type-C port). A power loss event will make all devices on the dock fail to work. Even when you restore the AC power, the dock may still not function properly because the dock still needs to negotiate proper power contract with the PC Type-C port and establish a PC EC-to-dock-EC connection. A Type-C cable re-plug is needed to initiate the power contract negotiation and establish PC EC-to-dock-EC virtual I2C connection. As a result, after a power loss, the user needs to unplug type-C cable, replug in AC power, and then re-plug-in Type-C cable to PC to restore dock back to normal condition.

The fan is triggered by temperature. The dock fan will not rotate until the dock is hot enough to trigger a thermal threshold. Vice versa, if your dock is not cool enough, the fan will not stop even when you disconnect the dock from the PC.

When you hear a loud fan noise, it is warning you that the dock is in some kind of a hot condition. For example, the vent in the dock may be blocked or the dock is working in a high working-temperature environment (> 35C), etc. Please eliminate these abnormal conditions from the dock. If you do not eliminate the abnormal condition, in a worst-case situation, the dock will shut down through the over-temperature protection mechanism. Once this happens, please un-plug the Type-C cable from the PC and remove dock’s power. Then, plug in the dock power to recover the dock back online.

This is a normal condition. First time plugging in of the dock’s AC adapter will trigger the fan to rotate, but it will subsequently turn off very soon.

The dock fan is designed with two different rotate speeds. Normally, the dock will work on low fan speed. If you put the dock in a heavy loading, or in high working-temperature environment, the dock fan may have a chance to work at a high speed. But, this is normal and the fan will work at a low/high speed depending on the work loading.


Article ID: SLN301075

Last Date Modified: 01/02/2019 08:53 AM


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