Dock crashes swapping screens and rerouting audio

I’ve been forcefully thrown into the muddy waters of Apple products, and the solution of choice to use multiple monitors with a 2019 MBP at my company is the Plugable USB-C 4K.

It seems to work great, but sooner or later the dock or the software crashes for a few seconds, which in itself wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it has two very bad consequences:

  • The contents of the screen are swapped between one of the external displays and the laptop’s screen, which are the displays in the sides (the one in the center is another external display which doesn’t seem to care). I’m pretty sure it is just the contents that are swapped, as the displays keep the arrangement in the preferences dialog.
  • The music I’m listening to through the earphones out of the dock suddenly starts playing through the laptop’s speakers, annoying my coworkers.

Is there any solution? I’m using macOS 10.15.3 and I’ve no idea how to see the version of the DL drivers.

Also, why does the compatibility chart says it doesn’t support DL with this laptop?
That is what I’m using, and it supports Alt-Mode and PD too, so I don’t understand the note:
https://plugable.com/products/ud-ultc4k/

Thank you!

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Plugable support! Sorry to hear about this issue. I’d be more than happy to assist you.

I’ll actually start by addressing your last question:

“Also, why does the compatibility chart says it doesn’t support DL with this laptop?”

In brief, our DisplayLink-based products can be made to work with an Apple Mac system running macOS but this is not something Plugable officially supports at this time and we do our best to call this out in our product listings.

For more context, see here: https://plugable.com/2019/10/10/plugable-displaylink-products-and-macos-catalina-10-15/

However, we do expect things should be able to work mostly without issues. To try and find out what’s going on, we have a troubleshooting tool that helps us find out what is going on in situations like this. Please plug the dock into your computer, then go to this page and follow the instructions there:

http://plugable.com/support/plugdebug

Please don’t hesitate to let us know of other questions.

Thanks again for contacting Plugable support and best wishes!

Joshua Henry

Senior Engineer
Plugable Technologies


http://plugable.com | http://performance.plugable.com/

Hi Joshua,

I just emailed the log to support.

Regarding the question, I’m understand you are trying to be cautious, but I don’t think saying the laptop doesn’t support two out of the three most important features of the dock helps you at all, specially when it actually does support all of them.

Thank you.

Thanks for the reply!

Unfortunately it looks like I’ve not received the email. Would it have possibly come from a different email address than the one you’re using to post here? Or, perhaps you’ve already been responded to by another one of our support reps?

Apologies for this inconvenience!
Josh

Sorry about that; yes, I sent it from my work email, with the subject Debug log for support thread.
Can you find it that way?

Thank you.

Thanks for letting me know. I searched for that subject and I didn’t see any hits. I checked our spam folder as well.

Could your work email have blocked the email due to the attachment? Are you able to re-send via your personal email perhaps?

Thanks!
Josh

Sure, I just sent it from the email address I used here, with the same subject.

1 Like

I got it! I’ll take a look and report back with what I can find.

Hello,

Sorry for my delayed reply. Looking through these diagnostics for any clues to the situation, I am unfortunately coming up empty handed. From a software perspective, the dock is detected correctly, and I do see the DisplayLink drivers are loaded and appear to be operating normally. With that said, it appears to be one version back, on 5.2.

I might suggest we try having you install the latest 5.2.1: https://www.displaylink.com/downloads/file?id=1478

(you may need to uninstall the current version first before being able to install the update, see here --> https://plugable.com/drivers/displaylink/mac/#uninstall)

I’d also like to check that you’re using the USB-C cable that the dock shipped with. Some third party cables may be unstable with our dock.

If the updated drivers don’t help, and you are using our cable. We may need to offer you a replacement under warranty, or a full refund.

It’s ultimately because of strange edge-case issues like these that we’re currently not officially supporting DisplayLink based products on macOS.

Thanks!

Josh

Thank you for your help, I’ll update the drivers. I believe the cable I was using was the one included.
This is probably more on the OS/laptop software side, because at home I have a dock from a different manufacturer and while it doesn’t swap the screens because I have only one external display, it also flashes black for a second every once on a while.

No problem! Did the drivers help at all for you?

I can’t actually install them, the installer says there is a newer version installed. ???

Hm, try removing the old ones first and see if that helps:
https://plugable.com/drivers/displaylink/mac/#uninstall