UD-3900 forces crash to Dell hardware scan

Beginning of 2021 we deployed a few new laptops to some users, all are Dell Vostro 5502. Running Windows 10 20H2. We have Plugable UD-3900 docks for each user, and have been using them for years without issue. However, these laptops have been crashing to the Dell “hardware scan” screen only while connected to the UD-3900 docking stations. The issue never happens when the laptops are disconnected from the dock, or when using a different brand dock. We don’t have this issue with any other laptop brands or models.

There is no “blue screen” when the crash happens; it just restarts out of nowhere with the user logged in and the laptop will start the hardware scan diagnostics. It never finds anything wrong after running the scan. Windows creates mini-dump crash reports each time though.

We thought maybe one of the docks went bad so we replaced it with a brand new UD-3900, but the issue remained the same. We’ve had Dell “repair” these laptops, sometimes more than once. Dell has replaced the motherboard, I/O daughterboard, etc. and again, the issue remains each time.

I found another thread on here with instructions to use the DisplayLink Installation Cleaner utility, restart, then install the latest DisplayLink driver, 10.1 M0. I tried the steps exactly as presented, and yet again, the issue remains.

It’s obvious to me after months of troubleshooting that the source of the issue is the docking station. I have no way of knowing if there may be a bug in the laptop BIOS or other firmware, but it has been a massive uphill battle with Dell to move anywhere towards a solution, and I’m hoping the Plugable team has some answers, as I’m wondering if there may be a bug in the drivers used for this dock.

Thank you.

Hi Anthony,

Thank you for posting! I am sorry things are not working as expected for some of your end-users while using their UD-3900 docking stations and I would be happy to help.

Thank you as well for the excellent detail you provided and the troubleshooting that you have already performed that is much appreciated.

You mention that, “There is no “blue screen” when the crash happens; it just restarts out of nowhere with the user logged in and the laptop will start the hardware scan diagnostics. It never finds anything wrong after running the scan. Windows creates mini-dump crash reports each time though.”

Given your description of the behavior, our next step is to review the information provided by the crash reports you mentioned.

As result, I would ask you to please reach out to us directly via support@plugable.com with ‘For ticket #- 345275’ in the subject line of your email (so we can match things up) with the following information:

  1. A PlugDebug file --> https://plugable.com/pages/plugdebug from one of the affected systems just after the problem behavior has occurred and the system has been reset. This will allow us to review some log files from the system, which should include the mini-dump files you mention.

  2. An Amazon Order ID number for any one of the UD-3900 units in use at your location. It does not have to be for the specific docks you are using, any Order ID number will do.

** Please do not post this information in our public forum as it will contain personal information. Please only provide the above information within your new direct email to support@plugable.com. **

Once we have this information, that will help us to determine the next steps.

Apologies again for the frustration, and thank you for giving us the chance to help!

Bob
Plugable Technologies

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your help. I just sent the PlugDebug file and Amazon order number to support@plugable.com.

Based on the very detailed conversation I had with Bob via the ticket (thanks again!), we’ve come to the conclusion that this issue is likely initiated by a bug in the Dell power management firmware/driver for the USB 3.0 host controller, and not an issue with the UD-3900 dock itself.

The system power management encounters an error that causes a BSOD when attempting to sleep/wake based on system settings. Although I don’t think this issue was happening at every system sleep, it did sometimes occur several times a day.

The Windows minidump files each contain references to DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE and Windows system process ntoskrnl.exe. This led me to discover a similar topic on the Dell forums where a user discussed going into the Device Manager, selecting properties for the “Googix” fingerprint reader, and unchecking the box for “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.” Not sure if I can link to that forum here, so Google “XPS 17 9700 crashes when sleeping - Googix fingerprint to blame?” if interested.

I took what this person did a step further by also unchecking that box for the USB 3.0 controllers and any line item listed as “Plugable …” to prevent the laptop from trying to power manage anything to do with the Plugable UD-3900, as this seemed to be the point of failure. Since unchecking those boxes, the issue has not presented itself again. If it comes back, I will report back here to let you know.

Obviously this is a workaround and not a proper resolution (like a firmware/driver patch from Dell or similar) but this is the best I have found thus far after months of working with Dell. Hopefully this helps someone else out there!

Thank you!

Thank you for providing the summary Anthony! The detail you provided is much appreciated, as it will help us to help others in the future.

Thank you for your patience throughout the process, and please have a good day!

Bob