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How to Use and Troubleshoot Dell Docking Station WD15

Summary: Learn how to setup, use, and troubleshoot Dell Docking Station WD15. Find information about drivers, setting up multiple monitors and troubleshooting steps to resolve common issues.

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Article Content


Symptoms

SLN296829_en_US__1I_WD15_Dell_Docking_Station_Product_Shot_TM_V1

Quick Links

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

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

NOTE: Dell Docking Station WD15 is compatible with Dell laptops that has a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C alternate mode or Thunderbolt 3. The WD15 docking station is not compatible with all USB-C ports.
 
NOTE: Dell laptops that require more than 130 W power input must be connected to their own power adapter for charging and operating at full performance.

Cause

No cause information available.

Resolution

For help with specifications, setup, connecting an external monitor, troubleshooting common issues, and so on, see an expanding section below.

Laptop Connectivity
NOTE: Dell Docking Station WD15 does not work with all USB-C ports. Ensure that the USB-C port on your computer supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 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 3 protocols and is not compatible with all USB-C ports. Ensure that the USB-C port on your computer supports either DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 protocol.

Laptop Connectivity
NOTE: Dell Docking Station WD15 does not work with all USB-C ports. Ensure that the USB-C port on your computer supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 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: Update your computer’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 that is not recognized by your computer or not functioning optimally.

Automated Driver Update Using Dell Update or Dell Command | Update

Dell highly recommends the following applications to automate the installation of BIOS, firmware, driver, and critical updates specific to your computer 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 computer in order for Dell Update to start software updates on your computer.
 
NOTE: If your computer has a third-party anti-virus software running, it is suggested that you disable the anti-virus before running DCU and ensure it is not 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 computer on the Dell Drivers & Downloads page. Select the Operating System to view all available updates for your computer.

  1. Flash the latest Basic Input/Output computer (BIOS) available for the computer. This is posted under the "BIOS" section.
  2. Restart the computer.
  3. Install the Intel Thunderbolt Controller Driver available for the computer. This is posted under the "Chipset" section.
    Note: This applies to the computer that has a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port.
  4. Install the Intel Thunderbolt 3 Firmware Update available for the computer. This is posted under the "Chipset" section.
    Note: This applies to the computer that has a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port.
  5. Install the Intel HD Graphics Driver available for the computer. This is posted under the "Video" section.
  6. Install the RealTek USB GBE Ethernet Controller Driver available for the computer. This is posted under the "Docks and Stands" section.
  7. Install the RealTek USB Audio Driver for the Dell Thunderbolt™ Dock and Dell Dock available for the computer. This is posted under the "Docks and Stands" section.
  8. Restart the computer.
  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 computer and update the Dell Dock firmware before using the docking station.

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

To learn more about setting up and troubleshooting issues with multiple monitor setups, see these Dell knowledge-base articles How to Set up 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 that are attached to the HDMI, mini-DP port, or the VGA port on the docking station
  • Ensure that the computer is connected with the docking station to disconnect and reconnect to the docking station.
  • Ensure that the video cable that is 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 one or more monitors supporting higher resolutions than docking station can 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 computer may be disabled. See the User Manual of your computer or contact your computer manufacturer for assistance on enabling this feature.
The video on the attached monitor is distorted or flickering.
  • Ensure 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, 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 turn off and on to reset
The video on the attached monitor is not displaying as an extended monitor.
  • Ensure 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 computer.
  • If your BIOS setup has an Audio Enabled/Disabled option, ensure 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 turning 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 computer 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, ensure 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, ensure that it is set to Enabled.
  • Ensure the Realtek Gigabit Ethernet controller is installed in the Windows Device Manager.
  • 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 computer 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 or Thunderbolt 3 Configuration page, ensure 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, select Enabled w/PXE.
  • If your BIOS has a USB or Thunderbolt 3 Configuration page, ensure 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 or Thunderbolt 3 Configuration page, ensure that the following options are checked:
  • Enable USB Boot Support
  • Enable External USB Port
  • Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support

Additional Information

Frequently asked questions

Dell Docking Station WD15 is compatible with Dell laptops that has a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C alternate mode. The WD15 docking station is also compatible a laptop that has a Thunderbolt 3 port.

NOTE: To learn more about what type of USB-C port is available on your laptop, see the specifications in the User Guide of the Dell laptop.

USB-C also known as USB Type-C, is an industry standard connector for transmitting both data and turn on a single cable. USB-C is a common type of connector and different protocols like USB 2.0, WSB 3./0, USB Power Deliver or alternate modes like DisplayPort over USB-C can be implemented. For more information, see Guide to USB Type-C

Latest Product and Support Description

USB-C docking station links all devices to the laptop using a single USB-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-C cable. The reversible connector is convenient to use USB-C, with no wrong orientation.

NOTE: USB-C docking stations work with a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 protocol. To learn how to identify if the laptop supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, see the Frequently asked questions section.
Latest Product and Support Description

USB-C docking station links all devices to the laptop using a single USB-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-C cable. The reversible connector is convenient to use USB-C, with no wrong orientation.

NOTE: USB-C docking stations work with a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 protocol. To learn how to identify if the laptop supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, see the Frequently asked questions section.
Latest Product and Support Description

USB-C docking station links all devices to the laptop using a single USB-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-C cable. The reversible connector is convenient to use USB-C, with no wrong orientation.

NOTE: USB-C docking stations work with a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 protocol. To learn how to identify if the laptop supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, see the Frequently asked questions section.
Latest Product and Support Description

USB-C docking station links all devices to the laptop using a single USB-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-C cable. The reversible connector is convenient to use USB-C, with no wrong orientation.

NOTE: USB-C docking stations work with a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 protocol. To learn how to identify if the laptop supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, see the Frequently asked questions section.
Latest Product and Support Description

USB-C docking station links all devices to the laptop using a single USB-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-C cable. The reversible connector is convenient to use USB-C, with no wrong orientation.

NOTE: USB-C docking stations work with a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 protocol. To learn how to identify if the laptop supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, see the Frequently asked questions section.
Latest Product and Support Description

USB-C docking station links all devices to the laptop using a single USB-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-C cable. The reversible connector is convenient to use USB-C, with no wrong orientation.

NOTE: USB-C docking stations work with a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 protocol. To learn how to identify if the laptop supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, see the Frequently asked questions section.
Latest Product and Support Description

USB-C docking station links all devices to the laptop using a single USB-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-C cable. The reversible connector is convenient to use USB-C, with no wrong orientation.

NOTE: USB-C docking stations work with a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 protocol. To learn how to identify if the laptop supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, see the Frequently asked questions section.
Latest Product and Support Description

USB-C docking station links all devices to the laptop using a single USB-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-C cable. The reversible connector is convenient to use USB-C, with no wrong orientation.

NOTE: USB-C docking stations work with a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 protocol. To learn how to identify if the laptop supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, see the Frequently asked questions section.
Latest Product and Support Description

USB-C docking station links all devices to the laptop using a single USB-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-C cable. The reversible connector is convenient to use USB-C, with no wrong orientation.

NOTE: USB-C docking stations work with a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 protocol. To learn how to identify if the laptop supports DisplayPort over USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, see the Frequently asked questions section.

Dell WD15 docking station can be purchased in 2 configurations - with 130 W or 180 W power adapter. See the table below to understand how much power can the WD15 docking station provide through the USB-C cable to charge compatible laptops.

It is important to note that not all USB-C ports support USB-C Power Delivery, nor will all USB-C devices charge with USB-C chargers. See the User Manual of your laptop to find information if the USB-C port supports power delivery.

Docking station Wattage
WD15 with 130 W ac adapter 90 W
WD15 with 180 W ac adapter 130 W
Note: WD15 docking station can provide up to 90 W of power to non-Dell laptops that support USB-C Power Delivery protocol.

Dell Docking Station WD15 is designed to operate in AC power only. AC power loss event makes 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 must negotiate a power contract with the USB-C port on the computer. This behavior is evident when there is a power loss but also if AC is applied to the dock, after being removed, while it is plugged into the Dell laptop.

To resolve this issue:
Unplug the USB-C cable and then plug it in again. Sometimes during power loss, you must replug the AC power cable.

You may find that your mouse and keyboard does 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 or HDD password splash screens.

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

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

  • Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support
  • Enable Thunderbolt (and computerIE behind TBT) Preboot.

 

On Dell XPS 9560 and Dell Precision 5520 the computer can turn on automatically after shutdown with Dell Docking Station WD15 attached even though the computer is shut down 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 computer from Dell Drivers and downloads page. To learn more, see to the Dell knowledge-base article Guide to Dell BIOS Updates


Out of Warranty support Out of warranty? No problem. Browse to the Dell.com/support website and enter your Dell Service Tag and view our offers.

NOTE: Offers are only available for US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, and China personal computer customers. Server and Storage not applicable.

Article Properties


Affected Product

Dell Dock WD15

Last Published Date

24 Jun 2021

Version

12

Article Type

Solution