Anyone with 100% Functioning Surface Dock?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Book' started by BigZAJ, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. BigZAJ

    BigZAJ New Member

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    My Device:
    Surface Book
    Purchased a SB over the weekend and dock for work. I've been through two docks today using two external DVI monitors and they are detected but nothing is displayed. I've seen the same story numerous times thus far. Does anyone have a fully functioning dock setup they can share and WHAT they did to get it working (if anything)?
     
  2. protip

    protip Member

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    Sorry, BigZAJ, I cannot respond affirmatively to your question. But I did want to reply to let you know that there's at least one other dock owner confirming a similar experience. I have said elsewhere that the principal complaints I have with my Surface Book are actually either complaints about the dock or about Windows 10 in general (minor matters, but things I'd like to see fixed).

    My dock experiences:
    • Does not support my two 60 Hz DisplayPort 1.2 4K monitors simultaneously. Will only power one of them at a time. This remains true even if I force the monitors to 30 Hz or set them to DisplayPort 1.1 mode.
    • Trying to enable both 4K monitors sends the dock and Book into a continuous panic state where the monitors awake and go back to sleep repeatedly (about 5 seconds on, 5 seconds off, repeat) as the Book+dock apparently can never figure out what to do.
    • A few incidents of charging just stopping at some point even though the dock connector is still illuminated and the attached display and USB devices continue working. What I mean is that the Book starts running on its batteries (and adjusts the built-in display's brightness accordingly) even though the dock is still attached.
    • Routine (but not uniform) need to disconnect and re-connect the dock connector when re-attaching the Clipboard to the Surface Book base (to which my dock connector is more or less permanently affixed). When I attach the Clipboard to the base, the dock is sometimes not "detected" and the USB devices and external display do not awaken. Disconnecting and reconnecting the dock connector (and waiting about 30 seconds) usually resolves this matter.
    • Periodic video signal drops to the single external 4K monitor. This doesn't happen too frequently—in fact, of all of the problems, I'd say that I am most comfortable living with this defect indefinitely. But it's a bit of a signal that the dock is of suspect quality.
    It's a shame, really, because for me the dock is the weak link. The Surface Book itself is quite a delight to use. I love Windows Hello, I love the detachable tablet, I love the level of performance the device offers in such a small package.

    The Windows 10 gripes I have are mostly about how it handles external displays, especially when displays are variable at run-time (connecting and disconnecting from docked displays, notably). But these strike me as resolvable software problems.

    The Surface dock, though, I'm not sure if software alone can fix this.
     
    Telex likes this.
  3. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    I think some if not most or all of these problems can be traced back to the issue with the video drivers and should be corrected as soon as Intel and Microsoft can get on the same page
     
    robertcan likes this.
  4. BigZAJ

    BigZAJ New Member

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    My Device:
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    So the next question is what are the paths for resolution or how do we best elevate it to MSFT?

    - Called Tech Support (wanted me to completely reinstall windows 10, I said no)
    - Exchange (doesnt seem to be a hardware issue)
    - Go to Microsoft Store (will probably end up like 1 above?)
    - Throw dock through Panos Panay's window?
     
  5. protip

    protip Member

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    I am trying to remain optimistic that software updates can resolve the issues. On one hand, I am frustrated. But on the other hand, do I really believe Microsoft was just lying about supporting two 4K displays? No, not really. I think they earnestly aimed to support two 4Ks but shipped these devices before that was actually ready.

    I suppose my chief disappointment is just them not having the guts to acknowledge that it is a known limitation and they're working on it.

    I think that they're aware of it and giving them the benefit of the doubt, they are working on it. Several folks (not just here) have been posting about it in public forums and also to Microsoft's direct attention.

    So my advice—based on what I am personally doing—is to set a deadline after which you will decide to move on (or at least seriously evaluate other options). Maybe that deadline is before the end of your full refund period. For me, I am likely keeping the Surface Book regardless of the dock outcome. It's either going to be a "desktop replacement" with a dock, or it's just going to be the portable computer I use when I'm away from my desktop workstation.

    I'll probably be happy either way. If the dock ends up never doing what I want, I'll still have a very nice portable computer and I'll add a high-spec Skylake workstation to my office. But I do think my preference would be for the dock to work as advertised since there is so much less day-to-day friction when dealing with a singular computing device. Today's "cloud" just really doesn't fully address the frustrations of a multi-device life and I think we're still several years away from multi-device harmony.
     
    Telex likes this.
  6. suave

    suave New Member

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    My Device:
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    I have it. Worked flawlessly. Totally worth it to just unplug and go with all your work in tow.
     
  7. Nonseven

    Nonseven Member

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    I have an i5, 256gb/dGPU. Pretty close to 100% on the software I use which is mostly Office. Maybe a couple of display driver crashes per day using Edge but it recovers quickly and doesn't bother me much.
     
  8. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    If Microsoft was any more aware of the problem their ears would be falling off. They know!
     
  9. nathanandsusan

    nathanandsusan New Member

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    My Device:
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    I can get both displays to work on the SP3 but not on the SB with the new dock.
     
  10. BigZAJ

    BigZAJ New Member

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    My Device:
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    I was able to get my monitors to work if I connected one via DP cable and the other via MiniDP to VGA. That is my (hopefully temporary) work around.
     
  11. ccates22

    ccates22 New Member

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    Thought I had it working with one miniDP to DVI and one miniDP to HDMI, but that only worked for a day. I can get one external monitor working with the dock no problem, but the second one is killing me.
     
  12. ccates22

    ccates22 New Member

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    I talked to an IT guy at a conference last week who bought universal Dell docks and is successfully using them with the Surface Book and two external HDMI monitors.
     

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