How to Use and Troubleshoot Dell Docking Station WD15

How to Use and Troubleshoot Dell Docking Station WD15




Dell Docking Station WD15

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Getting Started with your Dell Docking Station WD15 Dell Docking Station WD15 Setup, Specifications and Service Manual Dell Drivers & Downloads Warranty & Support Services Frequently asked questions

The Dell Docking Station WD15 is a device that links all your electronic devices to your PC using a USB-C cable interface. Connecting the PC to the docking station allows you to access all peripherals (mouse, keyboard, stereo speakers, external hard drive, and large-screen displays) without having to plug each one into the PC.

Note: The Dell Docking Station WD15 only works with DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt protocols and is not compatible with all USB-C ports.
Note: PCs that require more than 130 W power input must also be connected to their own power adapter for charging and operating at full performance.

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

PC Connectivity
  • USB-C (with DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt)
Note: Dell Docking Station WD15 will not work with all USB-C ports. Ensure the USB-C port on your PC supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt protocols.
Video ports
  • 1 x mini-DisplayPort (supports DP 1.2)
  • 1 x HDMI (supports HDMI 1.4a)
  • 1 x VGA Port
Audio ports
  • 1 x audio line-out (rear)
  • 1 x headphone or microphone combo (front)
Network ports
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45)
USB ports
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Ports (front) one with PowerShare USB
  • 1 x USB 3.0 port (rear)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 (rear)

The Dell Docking Station WD15 only works with DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt protocols and is not compatible with all USB-C ports. Ensure that the USB-C port on your PC supports either DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt protocol.

PC Connectivity
  • USB-C (with DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt)
Note: Dell Docking Station WD15 will not work with all USB-C ports. Ensure the USB-C port on your PC supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt protocols.
Video ports
  • 1 x mini-DisplayPort (supports DP 1.2)
  • 1 x HDMI (supports HDMI 1.4a)
  • 1 x VGA Port
Audio ports
  • 1 x audio line-out (rear)
  • 1 x headphone or microphone combo (front)
Network ports
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45)
USB ports
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Ports (front) one with PowerShare USB
  • 1 x USB 3.0 port (rear)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 (rear)
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.

Automated Driver Update 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 Drivers & Downloads page.

  • The Dell Update application is supported on Dell XPS laptops and Dell Venue
  • The Dell Command | Update application is supported on Dell Precision, XPS and Latitude laptops.
Note: Ensure that you connect the Dell Docking Station WD15 to your PC in order for Dell Update to start software updates on your PC
Note: If your PC has a third party anti-virus software running, it is suggested that you disable the anti-virus before running DCU and ensure it isn’t reactivated during the update process.

Dell Docking Station WD15 manual driver installation

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

Search for model name or enter the Service Tag of your PC on the Dell Drivers & Downloads page. Select the Operating System to view all available updates for your PC.

  1. Flash the latest Basic Input / Output PC (BIOS) available for the PC. This is posted under the "BIOS" section.
  2. Restart the PC.
  3. Install the Intel Thunderbolt Controller Driver available for the PC. This is posted under the "Chipset" section.
    Note: This applies to the PC that has a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port.
  4. Install the Intel Thunderbolt 3 Firmware Update available for the PC. This is posted under the "Chipset" section.
    Note: This applies to the PC that has a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port.
  5. Install the Intel HD Graphics Driver available for the PC. This is posted under the "Video" section.
  6. Install the RealTek USB GBE Ethernet Controller Driver available for the PC. This is posted under the "Docks & Stands" section.
  7. Install the RealTek USB Audio Driver for the Dell Thunderbolt™ Dock and Dell Dock available for the PC. This is posted under the "Docks & Stands" section.
  8. Restart the PC.
  9. After the software update process completes, connect the AC adapter to the WD15 dock first and then attach the USB-C cable to the PC and update the Dell Dock firmware 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.

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)
  • mDP: 4k x 2k @ 30 Hz
  • HDMI: 4k x 2k @ 30 Hz
  • VGA: 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
  • 2 x FHD or WUXGA (1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz)(1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz)
  • 3 x SXGA (1280 x 1024 @ 60 Hz)
  • Not supported
Note: Resolution support is also dependent on the monitor’s Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) resolution.
Symptom Possible Solution
No video on the monitors attached to the HDMI, miniDP port, or the VGA port on the docking station
  • Ensure that the PC is connected with the docking station to disconnect and reconnect to the docking station
  • Ensure that the video cable attached to the panel is tightly secured to the video port in the docking station
  • Ensure that the monitor’s display output setting is set to the correct output
  • This may be due to the monitor(s) supporting higher resolutions than docking station is able to support. In the Intel Graphics Control Panel, under General Settings, ensure that the resolution is set to 1920 x 1200 or 1920 x 1080 at 59 Hz or 60 Hz for both the monitors
  • 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 your monitor is connected to a docking station, then the video output on your PC may be disabled. Refer to the User Manual of your PC or contact your PC manufacturer for assistance on enabling this feature
The video on the attached monitor is distorted or flickering
  • Make sure the video cable attached to the monitor is tightly secured to the video port in the docking station
  • When the monitor is distorted or flickering, please reset your monitor to restore it to its original settings. You can reset the monitor by pressing the Menu button on the monitor itself, and selecting Restore Factory Settings. Or disconnect the monitor from your docking station and power off and on to reset
The video on the attached monitor is not displaying as an extended monitor
  • Make sure the Intel HD Graphics software is installed in the Windows Device Manager
  • Open the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel and go to the 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 correct playback device is selected in the PC
  • If your BIOS setup has an Audio Enabled/Disabled option, make sure that it is set to Enabled
  • The most likely cause of audio output problems on the docking station is a bad audio-out connector. First try powering off and then powering on the docking station. If that fails, try to replug in the audio cable to the docking station from the external speaker output
The USB ports are not functioning on the docking station
  • Ensure that the PC is connected with the docking station. Try to disconnect and reconnect again with the docking station
  • If your BIOS setup has a USB Enabled/Disabled option, make sure that it is set to Enabled
  • Check the USB ports. Try plugging the USB device into another port
  • Please check if the plugged device is shown in the Windows Device Manager
The HDCP content is not displayed on the attached monitor
  • The docking station does not support HDCP content
The LAN port is not functioning
  • Ensure that the Ethernet cable connections are secured at the firewall and the hub or workstation
  • If your BIOS setup has a LAN/GBE Enabled/Disabled option, make sure that it is set to Enabled
  • Make sure the Realtek Gigabit Ethernet controller is installed in the Windows Device Manager
  • Please reinstall the Realtek Ethernet Driver or update your BIOS from Dell.com/support
Cable LED is not ON after it is connected to your host
  • Ensure that your Dell WD15 docking station is connected to AC
  • Ensure that the PC is connected to the docking station. Try to disconnect and reconnect again with the docking station
USB port does not function in pre-OS environment If your BIOS has a USB/Thunderbolt Configuration page, please make sure that 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 has a USB/Thunderbolt Configuration page, please make sure that the following options are checked:
    • Enable USB Boot Support
    • Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support
USB Boot does not function If your BIOS has a USB/Thunderbolt Configuration page, please make sure that the following options are checked:
  • Enable USB Boot Support
  • Enable External USB Port
  • Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support

Frequently asked questions

Caution: Ensure your PC has the MOST CURRENT BIOS REVISION installed BEFORE Installing the Dock Firmware update. (If you are unsure, see driver update information below.)
Note: Ensure that the Dell Docking Station WD15 is connected to your PC to update firmware of the docking station.

Dell Docking Station WD15 setup requirement: First, connect the AC adapter to your Dell Docking Station WD15 and then attach the USB-C cable to your PC.

Note: Do not disconnect the dock from your PC or remove the AC power from your dock during the firmware update procedure.
  1. Download the Dell Wired Dock (WD15) Firmware Update Utility under the "Docks & Stands" section to your local drive and run the .exe file as administrator. You will need to uncheck the box "Show all Drivers for Service Tag XXXXXXX" in order to see the firmware.
  2. Click the OK to complete the component update on Windows OS and the PC will reboot into pre-boot environment to update the rest firmware components. (See Figures 1 - 6)

    Figure 1: - Dock Firmware update setup screen


    Figure 2: - Dock Firmware initialization


    Figure 3: - Dock Firmware update in progress


    Figure 4: - Dock Firmware PC reboot notification


    Figure 5: - Dock Firmware progress after 1st reboot


    Figure 6: - Dock Firmware update had completed.
  3. After all the firmware components are updated, your PC will reboot to Windows OS.
  4. Disconnect your Dell Docking Station WD15 from the PC and remove AC adapter from the docking station.
  5. Connect the AC adapter back to your Dell Docking Station WD15 and then attach the USB-C cable to your PC.

Dell Docking Station WD15 is designed to operate in AC power only. AC power loss event will make all devices on the docking station fail to function. Even after the AC power is restored, the dock will still not function correctly as the dock needs to negotiate a power contract with the USB-C port on the PC. This behaviour is evident when there is a power loss but also if AC is applied to the dock, after being removed, whilst it is plugged into the Dell laptop PC.

To resolve this issue:
Please unplug the USB-C cable and then plug it in again. In some cases of power loss you may also need to replug the AC power cord.

You may find that your mouse and keyboard will not work on Dell BIOS splash screens when trying to access BIOS with F2, or the One time boot menu with F12, or enter any input in preboot environments like BIOS, boot menu or BIOS/HDD password splash screens.

Update the BIOS to the latest version on your Dell Latitude PC from Dell Drivers and downloads page. To learn more, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Guide to Dell BIOS Updates

Boot into BIOS. Power on your PC and tap F2 key until you enter the BIOS or System Setup

  • Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support
  • Enable Thunderbolt (and PCIE behind TBT) Preboot

On Dell XPS 9560 and Precision 5520 the PC can turn on automatically after shutdown with Dell Docking Station WD15 attached even though the PC is shutdown properly. This can also happen with other USB-C devices attached.

To help resolve this issue - Update the BIOS to the latest version on your Dell PC from Dell Drivers and downloads page. To learn more, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Guide to Dell BIOS Updates


Article ID: SLN296829

Last Date Modified: 04/26/2019 03:18 AM


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