USB 2.0 Docking Station DVI stops working


#1

I bought a USB Plugable 2.0 Docking Station for my parents to use with their new Lenevo T420 laptop (Windows 7) . The main reason was so that they could connect it easily to their Dell keyboard and Dell 2405FPW monitor. We also have a WD external hard drive connected to the docking station, mainly for use as a backup drive. After plugging in the docking station, everything installed fine and recognized the Dell monitor, but the monitor wouldn’t come on. I played around with some of the resolution settings in the control panel and then suddenly the Dell came on. It worked fine until I undocked and later redocked. At that point both the Dell and thinkpad went black. I hit the a few times, and also F7 and chose “Extend” and the Dell image came up but the resolution was 640x480 and the icons on the desktop had been rearranged. I played around again with the control panel and got things working again. Then, later this happened again. I notice it happens too when I wake up the Thinkpad from sleeping or when I insert the power cord. It’s like all these things cause the docking station to become unstable for the DVI hookup and it takes a lot of messing around with the Windows control panel or function keys to get it to come back to how it was. My parents are not very computer savy and they are totally confused by this randomness. I was trying to give them a consistent approach to make it work all the time, but I couldn’t do so. Does this sound familiar or normal? Since I just bought the docking station from Amazon, I would assume it installed all the latest drivers, right? At this point, I’m not sure this can really work for them, unless you have any suggestions. Thank you.


#2

Hi Michael,

Thanks for posting here! I am sorry to know about the trouble you are having with the display on the monitor connected through the Graphics port of the Plugable Docking Station UD-160-A.

Some quick questions to understand the setup and the issue better -:

  1. Are you connecting the Dell 2405FPW monitor to the Plugable Docking Station UD-160-A through DVI or VGA ?

  2. When you are connecting the Lenevo T420 laptop to the Plugable Docking Station UD-160-A, do you want the display mode on the Dell 2405FPW monitor to be in Extend mode or Duplicate?

  3. In the Windows Screen Resolution Control Panel what is the maximum resolution Windows is allowing you to set for the Dell Monitor?

Once you post back with this information, we will figure out the next steps.

Thanks for your patience!

Regards,
Roze


#3

Hi Roze,
Thank you for your assistance.
In answer to your questions:

  1. DVI

  2. Extend – actually, this doesn’t work now. When the Dell is active, then the Thinkpad is black - and vice versa. We cannot get the Extend or Duplicate options to work. We have tried selecting “Extend” - but it doesn’t do it - and when we select “Duplicate” both screens go to black.

  1. We have the Dell currently set to 1280x1024 which works fine. It will go up as high as 1600x1200. After that, it doesn’t work.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thank you.
Michael


#4

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the information! Could you run the DisplayLink support tool (instructions here: http://plugable.com/support/displayli… ) and email the .zip to support@plugable.com.?

This would give us a better insight as to what is going on.

Thanks for your patience while we figure this out!

Regards,
Roze


#5

Dear Roze,
I have run the support tool and sent the zip file to the e-mail address you specified.

Michael


#6

Hi Michael,

Thanks for running the DisplayLink support tool and sending us the zip file. Please give us a couple of days to analyze the logs and get back to you regarding this issue.

Thanks for your patience!

Regards,
Roze


#7

Hi Roze,
Thank you for the instructions you sent. We have spent a few days applying your recommendations and using the specified steps.

We seem to have mixed results. The best that I can say is that the device is inconsistent.
Sometimes, when we restart and connect the docking station, the Dell activates right away.
Other times, it doesn’t “catch” and both screens remain dark. We then have to shut down again and go
through the whole process again - and then it either will or won’t come on.

The good news, I guess, is that once it does finally come on, we are good until we disconnect from the docking station. The bad news
is that this setup probably isn’t going to work for my parents long term, who are now scared to disconnect the laptop
from the docking station because they fear they won’t be able to get the Dell working again the next time they need to use
the larger monitor.

Please advise.

Thank you.
Michael


#8

Hi Michael,

This inconsistent behavior that you are seeing is totally unusual. It isn’t uncommon to consume time while trying to identify the cause of the issues. I don’t want your parents to suffer through while we try to figure out what is causing this unusual behavior and find the fix to it.

Product Quality and Customer Satisfaction is a top priority for us.We don’t ever want customers stuck with hardware that is causing them trouble. So we recommend you returning the Plugable Docking Station UD-160-A for a full refund.

We offer no-hassle 30-day returns via http://www.amazon.com/gp/css/returns/…

Let us know if you have any trouble with the Amazon process.

Regards,
Roze


#9

Hi Roze,

Thank you for your quick response. Nobody’s really suffering here - we understand the troubleshooting process - but I suppose it’s true we are disappointed that the device isn’t working consistently. I take it from your response and recommendation that this isn’t something other people have experienced, so we are dealing with a defective product. In that case, we will proceed with returning it through Amazon.

Thank you for your time. We appreciate all your efforts.

Michael


#10

Michael,

I really don’t think that the unit itself is defective! Or in other words, the issue is definitely not caused by the hardware side. If I thought the root cause was a faulty unit, I would have offered to send you a replacement right away. A replacement will not fix this issue.

It seems to be something unique on the system that is causing this issue. Figuring out which component on your system is causing the issue and finding the workaround or solution would take a lot of time. And from your post earlier today, I got the feeling that instead of being helpful to your parents as you intended it to be, it is causing trouble. And until we figure things out they would have to bear with it. Which is why I recommended the return.

If you are willing, we could keep trying to find the root cause of the issue. But just to set expectations right, it could take a while.

The choice is yours. Just let us know. :slight_smile:

Regards,
Roze


#11

Ok, I guess that gives us some hope. If you have anything specific that we should try or that might help, then we will do what you say.

If not, we will give it a few more days and see if we can’t find a pattern that will work on a consistent basis.

Thank you.


#12