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 device into the laptop.
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)|
|Power or DC-in||
The Dell Thunderbolt Dock - TB16 is designed for PCs with Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port.
Figure 1: Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 Ports
|5.||RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet|
|6.||USB 2.0 (2 ports)|
|8.||Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C)|
|9.||3.5 mm Speaker-out|
|10.||7.4 mm DC-in power|
|11.||Dell Docking station connector (Dell Proprietary connection to USB Type 3 port on PC)|
|13.||USB 3.0 w/PowerShare|
|15.||Power Adapter LED|
|17.||Kensington lock slot|
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
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.
Dell recommends installing the following BIOS, firmware, and drivers step by step in the prescribed order to ensure optimal performance.
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.
Microsoft Windows operating system includes the VGA graphics drivers only. 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.
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 or USB-C cable provided with the monitor. The docking station supports up to 4 monitors that are 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 setups, refer to these Dell knowledge-base articles How to Set up Multiple Monitors or How to Troubleshoot Multiple Monitor Issues
|Single Display (maximum resolution)||Dual Display (maximum resolution)||Triple Display (maximum resolution)||Quad Display (maximum resolution)|
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".
** Configuration that is 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 requires 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.
|No video on the monitors that are attached to the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), mini-DisplayPort (mDP) port, or DisplayPort (DP) port on the docking station||
|The video on the attached monitor is distorted or flickering.||
|The video on the attached monitor is not displaying as an Extended Monitor.||
|The audio connector is not functioning, no audio or there is a lag in the audio.||
|The USB ports are not functioning on the docking station.||
|The HDCP content is not displayed on the attached monitor.||
|The LAN port is not functioning.||
|Cable LED is not ON after it is connected to your host.||
|USB port has no function in a pre-OS environment.||If your BIOS has a USB or Thunderbolt Configuration page, please make sure the following options are checked:
|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 a USB or Thunderbolt Configuration page, please make sure the following options are checked:
|USB Boot does not function.||If your BIOS has a USB or Thunderbolt Configuration page, please make sure the following options are checked:
|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.||
|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 that are connected to the docking station do not work in a pre-OS environment.
If the BIOS Setup on your PC has a USB or Thunderbolt Configuration page, check the following options to enable docking station function in a pre-OS environment:
|Alert message "You have attached an undersized power adapter to your system" is displayed when the docking station is connected to your PC.||
|Troubleshooting multiple monitor issues||
The Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 can charge your mobile or power bank even without being connected to the PC. Make sure your dock is connected with external power. The dock fan rotates 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 that are attached to it needs to pass Thunderbolt driver security permission checking to get it connected and initialized. This normally means that 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 the device's hardware IDs and then notifies Windows OS that a new device needs to be installed. In this scenario, the user sees 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 makes 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 replug 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 replug the USB-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. Conversely, 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). Eliminate these abnormal conditions from the dock. If you do not eliminate the abnormal condition, in a worst-case situation, the dock shuts down through the over-temperature protection mechanism. Once this happens, please unplug 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 triggers the fan to rotate, but it will subsequently turn off soon.
The dock fan is designed with two different rotate speeds. The dock works 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: 06/01/2020 07:24 AM
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