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How to Connect and Set Up a Docking Station With a Dell Laptop

Summary: Learn how to connect and set up a docking station with a laptop. Find information about configuring and setting up a docking station and troubleshooting steps to resolve common issues.

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Article Content


Symptoms

Need help with setting up a docking station with a laptop? This article provides information about how to connect and set up a docking station with a laptop. Common troubleshooting steps and answers to some frequently asked questions.

Cause

Docking stations help provide the modern worker the best of both worlds, the benefits of a desktop computer without sacrificing the portability of a laptop. You may connect external monitors, Ethernet for reliable connection, USB ports for connecting devices, and a full-sized keyboard and mouse, among other things.

To learn more about different types of Dell docking stations, see the Dell knowledge base article Guide to Dell Docking Stations.

Resolution

Docking stations come with different types of docking interface, example - Dell E-port or D-port, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, USB 3.0, or WiGig (wireless). It is important to identify if the type of docking interface or port that is available on the computer is compatible with the docking station.

  • Dell E-port or D-port - Proprietary docking solution for Dell Latitude and Dell Precision E-series. Dell docking stations provide efficient connectivity to all desktop devices and devices with a simple click into the dock. Available mostly on Dell Latitude laptops and certain Precision mobile workstations.
  • Thunderbolt 3 - Thunderbolt 3 docking stations link all devices to the laptop using a single USB Type-C cable. Extend the traditional USB capabilities with native multidisplay video, audio, data, and power delivery (on select Dell laptops) to charge the laptop with a single USB Type-C cable. The reversible connector is convenient to use USB Type-C, with no wrong orientation.
  • DisplayPort over USB Type-C - USB Type-C docking station links all devices to the laptop using a single USB Type-C cable. Extend the traditional USB capabilities with native multidisplay video, audio, data, and power delivery (on select Dell laptops) to charge the laptop with a single USB Type-C cable. The reversible connector is convenient to use USB Type-C, with no wrong orientation.
  • USB 3.0 - Universal docking stations work with DisplayLink technology that enables docking features over USB. The universal docking solution enables multiple monitors, audio, Ethernet, and other USB devices to be connected to laptops through USB. Works best with USB 3.0 ports on the laptop.
  • WiGig (wireless) - WiGig or wireless docking stations work with a laptop that is configured with a WiGig adapter. Only select Dell laptops support WiGig technology.
  1. Connect the keyboard and mouse.
    Note: Bluetooth keyboard and mouses must be paired to the laptop. Docking stations do not have an integrated bluetooth receiver. If a USB dongle was provided with the wireless keyboard and mouse, connect the USB dongle to the docking station.
  2. Connect the external monitor/s. To learn more, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Connect a Monitor to a computer.
    Note: Support for multiple monitors with higher resolution depends on the available bandwidth on the laptop. See the User Manual of the docking station to learn if and how many multiple monitors are supported.
     
    Note: For information about third-party or non-Dell docking stations, see the docking station manufacturers website.
  3. Connect the Ethernet cable.
  4. Connect other external USB devices (printer, external webcam, USB drive, and so on) to the docking station.
  5. Connect the power cable to the docking station.
    Note: Dell recommends using the power adapter that was provided with the docking station for optimal performance.
  6. Power on the docking station.

Connect the docking station to the laptop. Ensure that the docking station is connected to the correct port on the laptop. It is important to ensure that the docking station is connected to the correct port.

  • Dell E/Port docking station - This proprietary docking interface is available on select Dell Latitude and Dell Precision E-series laptops. This connector is at the bottom of the laptop.
  • Universal USB docking station - Universal USB docking stations work with USB 3.0 ports. Ensure that the docking station is connected to any of the USB 3.0 ports that is available on the laptop.
  • USB-C docking station - USB-C docking stations may be connected to a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C alternate mode. USB-C docking stations may also be connected to a Thunderbolt 3 port on the laptop. See the User Manual to verify if the USB-C port on the laptop supports this either DisplayPort over USB-C alternate mode or Thunderbolt 3.
  • Thunderbolt 3 - Thunderbolt docking stations must be connected to a Thunderbolt 3 port on the laptop. See the User Manual of the laptop to verify that the USB-C port on the laptop supports Thunderbolt 3 protocol.

Windows Operating System and Dell driver updates:

  1. Run Windows Update to ensure that the operating system is up to date.
  2. Run SupportAssist (all models), or Dell Command | Update (Precision, XPS, and Latitude) or Dell Update (Vostro, Inspiron, and G-Series) to update the computer BIOS and Drivers for both the computer and dock. Drivers can also be manually downloaded and installed. (Table 1.) These computer BIOS (the computer reboots when running the BIOS update), drivers, and the drivers for the dock can be downloaded from the Dell Support Website. (The USB Audio jack driver only applies to docks with 3.5 mm jacks.)

    Table 1. WD19 Dock Drivers and Firmware.

    Dock Drivers and Firmware Notes
    Realtek USB Audio Not used by WD19S, WD19TBS, or WD19DCS
    Realtek USB GBE Ethernet Controller Driver  
    Dell Dock WD19 Series Firmware Update Utility  
    System Drivers and Firmware  
    Intel Thunderbolt Controller Firmware Update Utility
    • This is for computers that support Thunderbolt III technology.
    • Ice Lake and Tiger Lake chipsets have native Thunderbolt support and do not use this driver.
    Intel Thunderbolt Controller Driver
    • This is for computers that support Thunderbolt III technology.
    • Ice Lake and Tiger Lake chipsets have native Thunderbolt support and do not use this driver.
    Intel UHD Graphics Driver Required even if computer has discrete graphics.
    BIOS  
    Windows Operating System Updates Run Windows Update
    • The dock must be connected to the computer during the update process to detect and install the dock firmware.
    • Power cycle the dock once the firmware has been updated. (See instructions for the reset procedure above)
  3. Test the Docking Station to see if the issues are resolved.
Note: A Dell Command Cloud Repository Manager plug-in is available for computer administrators for enterprise deployment.

Dell Universal Docking Station (D6000 Series) Updates

For the Dell Universal Docking Station (D6000 Series), download and install the following drivers and firmware:

  1. The system BIOS (the computer reboots).
  2. The DisplayLink driver from the DisplayLink Page

The D6000 firmware update from the Dell Drivers & Downloads Page.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Ensure that you are using a compatible docking station with the laptop.
  2. Ensure that the docking station is receiving power. For optimal performance, use the power adapter that was provided with the docking station.
  3. Disconnect the docking station from the laptop.
  4. Save your work and restart the laptop.
  5. Connect the docking station to the laptop.
  6. Check the connections for devices.
  7. Download and install the latest drivers for the docking station.
  8. Download and install the latest BIOS or System Setup for the computer.
  9. Download and install the latest video or graphics card drivers for the computer.

To learn more about troubleshooting issues with a specific Dell docking station, see the Dell knowledge base article Guide to Dell Docking Stations. Links to specific docking station guides are available in the article.

While docking stations are primarily used with laptops, using a docking station with a desktop computer is much the same process as with a laptop. Most desktop computers offer a wide range of ports, hence docking stations are less often necessary for desktop computers.

This is usually the result of the power settings. Change the power settings using the steps below to ensure that the display does not turn off after closing the laptop lid.

  1. Click Start, and select Settings.
  2. Select System.
  3. In the left pane, select Power and Sleep.
  4. In the right pane, select Additional power settings.
  5. In the Power Options window, select Choose what closing the lid does.
  6. Under both On battery and Plugged in, change the When I close the lid settings to Do nothing.
  7. Click Save changes.

Article Properties


Affected Product

G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Retired Models

Product

Dell Dock WD15, Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16, Dell Precision Dual USB-C Thunderbolt Dock - TB18DC, Dell Universal Dock D6000, Dell Dock WD19, Dell Performance Dock - WD19DC, Dell Performance Dock – WD19DCS, Dell Dock – WD19SDell Dock WD15, Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16, Dell Precision Dual USB-C Thunderbolt Dock - TB18DC, Dell Universal Dock D6000, Dell Dock WD19, Dell Performance Dock - WD19DC, Dell Performance Dock – WD19DCS, Dell Dock – WD19S, Dell Thunderbolt Dock - WD19TB, Dell Thunderbolt Dock – WD19TBSSee more

Last Published Date

23 Nov 2021

Version

8

Article Type

Solution

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