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USB-C Docks Troubleshooting

USB-C Docks -- Common Issues

Not all USB-C devices are created equal. While the new USB-C ports are very convenient, each manufacturer can set up each device model to support different levels of data, video and power. As such, compatibility with productivity accessories like the Kensington SD1500, SD4500 and SD4600P docks can vary. 

USB-C is a new technology and, unfortunately, it’s also a complicated technology. Users need to ensure the accessory is compatible with their host device, and can’t assume all accessories will work seamlessly. When the host device’s USB-C capabilities are fully compatible with our docking station features, and all software on your host device has been updated, the performance should be nearly flawless.

If you encounter performance issues after installing your docking station, the likely cause is a compatibility or settings problem.

 

Things to Know/Common Issues

  • Your laptop or device must have a USB-C port. (Using an adapter on a USB 3.0 Type-A port will not work.)
  • Your device must be running Windows 10, 8.1 or Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) or later, or Chrome OS (R53 or above).
  • For video output, your USB-C laptop or tablet must support DisplayPort Alt. Mode over USB-C.
  • Dual video is only supported on Windows 10 and 8.1 devices (Mac and Chrome USB-C devices do not support dual video over MST).
  • For the SD4600P dock to provide charging, your USB-C device must be designed to support Power Delivery (PD). Not all USB-C devices support PD.
  • Mac OS devices will need a one-time software driver download to support the Ethernet port.
  • Ensure the graphics driver (typically from Intel or AMD) on your USB-C device is up to date. Many video problems, such as flickering or fuzziness, can be fixed by running a system update on your device to update the driver.
  • The USB-C cable can be plugged into a Thunderbolt 3 port on your device. Please note that while the USB-C cable is compatible with the TB3 port, it will not support full TB3 speeds.

 

Problem:

The dock is not charging my laptop or tablet.

 

Possible Solutions:

  • USB-C power delivery (PD) is supported on SD4600P for up to 60W (Profile 4). Even if your laptop supports a higher wattage, the dock will still provide a charge to your device’s battery.
  • Ensure that your device supports Power Delivery (PD) over USB-C.  Not all USB-C ports on laptops are designed to support PD. If your laptop does not support PD, the laptop cannot take advantage of the charging capabilities of the SD4600P dock.  Please check your laptop’s user manual or contact the manufacturer to confirm your device is compatible with PD.

Problem:

I am trying to set up dual monitors on my desktop. However, only one of the two monitors is working. The other one is not showing anything.

 

Possible Solutions:

  • Ensure that you have the latest graphics driver from your PC’s manufacturer.
  • Check your graphics card setting (usually Intel or AMD), and ensure that the connected monitors are detected correctly, and are set as “Extended Desktop”.
  • Check your operating system’s display setting and ensure that your desired setting is selected correctly.

 

Problem:

There is no video on the monitors that are connected to the dock.

 

Possible Solutions:

  • For a video signal, please check if your laptop or tablet supports DisplayPort Alt mode over USB-C. If your device doesn’t support DisplayPort Alt mode over USB-C, this dock can’t output video signals.
  • The DisplayPort video output on the dock will only support a connection to a DisplayPort monitor.  An active adapter may be required if you would want to convert to an HDMI, DVI, or VGA connection.
  • The HDMI video output on the dock will only support a connection to an HDMI monitor, or to a DVI connection with a passive adapter.
  • Check your displays settings and that you are set up in “Extend Mode” (Fn+F8), then drag an open window on your laptop off the side of the laptop screen to see if it shows up on the monitor.

 

Problem:

My laptop/tablet supports DisplayPort Alt mode over USB-C, but I still cannot get video.

Possible Solution:

There may be some video compatibility issues, as we are still at a very early stage in the development of DisplayPort Alt mode over USB-C. We provide a firmware upgrade tool for our SD1500 USB-C Mobile Dock, CV4000H USB-C to HDMI Video Adapter, and CV2000V USB-C to VGA Video Adapter to help troubleshoot video compatibility issues for Windows.

Please visit software.kensington.com to see if a new firmware upgrade is available and follow the online instructions to download the firmware.

 

Problem: I have a 4K monitor that supports 4K at 60 HZ, but it does not work with the SD4500 or the SD4600P. Is there a work around?

Possible Solutions:

This may happen because the docking station is prioritizing bandwidth to USB devices on the dock. To resolve this, we suggest unplugging all the connected peripherals, then connect in the following order:

  • Power cable to the dock
  • USB-C cable between laptop and dock
  • Video cables
  • All the other peripherals (Ethernet, keyboard, mouse, etc.). 

This should help the dock to re-prioritize bandwidth to video ports. The bandwidth of the USB downstream ports (connecting to your peripherals) will then be downgraded to USB 2.0 and the Ethernet will support up to 100Mbps.

 

 

Problem:

My 2.4GHz wireless mouse/keyboard/presenter is slow or not working properly.

Possible Solution:

In some cases, because both your mouse and keyboard operate on the same wireless frequency, keyboards and mice may not perform optimally when connected to the same computer. If this happens, try plugging the wireless receiver for your mouse or keyboard into a USB 2.0 port if one is available. If there are no USB 2.0 ports available, you will continue to experience sub-optimal performance as this is a limitation of USB 3.0/3.1 technology.

 

Problem:

I have connected my laptop to the dock, but I cannot get audio on my external speakers/headset that I have connected to the dock. I am still getting audio out of my laptop. How do I fix this?

Possible Solution:

Sometimes the computer will not automatically default to the audio channel coming out of the dock (because a driver is not needed for the PC). If you experience this, go to Control Panel -> Sound -> and select USB Audio as the default audio channel.

Contact Us

If you are still having trouble with your Kensington USB-C docking station, please contact Kensington’s Technical Support team at 1-800-535-4242 in the U.S.