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Anyone with 100% Functioning Surface Dock?

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
jnjroach, can you tell me if MS engineers ever respond to these forums? If you ARE that person, I apologize. :) If you are, can you tell us if the Dock's Mini DP and the Surface Book's Mini DP are somehow different? It's the only explanation from these posts. Maybe HDCP is treated differently? If not this, than what else might be different?

We appreciate the help!
I'm just an MVP not an engineer...Engineers are going to engage at the official Surface Support Forums (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum/).

Much of what we're seeing is DP 1.2 hasn't been consistently implemented by Monitor Makers and Cable Makers....
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Just received my new dock to go with the sp3. Absolutely no video output :/ doesn't detect the display, nadda (i have the dell u3415w)
 

ccates22

New Member
I finally gave up. I have two new 27" monitors, but they are not 4k and have DVI, VGA and HDMI inputs available. I tried every conceivable connection I could think of with the Surface dock and went through about 8-10 different DVI/HDMI/miniDP cables or adapters. I could only ever get one monitor to work. I had purchased two and tried them both.
I met an IT guy at a conference a couple of weeks ago who said he had deployed multiple Surface Books in a hoteling setup in his office using Dell universal docks and two external HDMI monitors each without any issues. So, ordered a Dell D3100 and am happily using both my monitors now. I am occasionally getting a display driver error from the SB, and have seen reference to it on other forums, but it is infrequent and so far has recovered itself quickly.
I haven't returned the two Surface docks yet, but probably will instead of waiting around for it to get some sort of driver update or whatever. The only downside for me is that with the Surface dock I could have the SB clipboard as a 3rd monitor by itself on a stand (similar to how the Surface Pro 3 dock worked) and that freed up all the desk space now used by the SB keyboard. I have a full keyboard and mouse via USB through the Dell dock also.
 

protip

Member
ccates22, I assume a third party dock uses some other form of connector, although I'm not sure what that would be. Is it USB? Does that provide sufficient bandwidth to power both your monitors at 60 Hz?

I suspect that a third-party dock isn't an option for those of us looking to power two 4K monitors (at 60 Hz no less). But I can sympathize with giving up on waiting for a solution. I'm on the slope toward building a proper workstation for my office that would definitely support the two 4K monitors (and more if I wanted). But I'm giving the Surface engineers a few more weeks to get the dock's 4K support figured out.
 

Telstar1948

Active Member
I have a Surface Book I got last week, and it has operated nearly flawlessly...until hooked it up to the MS Dock yesterday. I should say, the SB appears to still function as it has, but the dock? I have one 32" monitor it's hooked to and it runs it OK. At first, though, the external monitor was flashing off and on. I figured out this probably had something to the with the refresh rate, so I checked it. It was set at 59 with the option to set it at 60, which I did. The flashing stopped and things appeared to be fine.

The other things hooked up through the dock (USB stuff) all appears to be working correctly; however, I have a USB DVD drive that I use from time to time. All this same stuff was previously hooked up through my SP3 MS Dock to the SP3, and everything worked without any issue at all. Yesterday, I dropped an older game DVD in the USB DVD drive (one I'd played off and on with my previous SP3 setup) and it installed without issue. When I went to actually play it, the external monitor started the flashing on and off. I reset the refresh rate but that was still acting up some. By this morning, it seems to have settled down OK. Also, there's always background music going on when you open the game and are setting up for a new game. No sound through the new dock. Moved the USB DVD drive to the USB port on the SB...plays OK but no sound. Checked sound on the SB, and everything is working as it should. Videos of the internet fine with sound...also OK with just the SB and no dock.

So what I thought was a new dock issue looks like it has something to do with the SB, but I have no idea what it could be. Any ideas?
 

gustopher

New Member
I had similar issues with the Dock only ever displaying one screen at a time. Support were useless.

The answer is that the HDMI to mini DisplayPort adapters MUST be ACTIVE rather than passive. I'm not hugely sure of the technical stuff but in my simple language, the graphics card in the SB cannot transform the signal required to operate two monitors without help. Active adapters have a chip in them that will do this.

I swapped my two (£8) passive connectors after a frustrating time trying to get both to work. The Active ones were around £30 (there's that extra chip) but worked beautifully straight away. MS really should put this on their website...
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
still having trouble with the dock. When it works, it works flawlessly. However every morning when i wake up my surface, i have to go through a tedious dance unplugging the DP cable, changing it from port to port, and eventually it'll get detected and work.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I'm lucky, my new dock works pretty much flawlessly every day, I'm driving two DP monitors and have a couple of USB peripherals plugged into the dock...
 

gustopher

New Member
So having managed to get two monitors working with the Dock, I'm now unable to undock the SB without a reboot. Even just removing the Dock connector cause the screen to go black and nothing will wake it. Strangely, if I reconnect the SB it will happily wake up and function normally.

Same story if I undock the keyboard; screen flickers and turns black and nothing short of a reboot will recover it in tablet mode. But if I simply reattach it, all is well and it springs back into life.

I'm thinking driver but wondered if anyone had the same issues and/ or if anyone had any ideas on fixing it.
 

jamessml

New Member
I have had nothing but problems with my Surface book. Microsoft have just replaced it. Some things still do not work. I cannot display to an external monitor. Its a desperately poor product, and I am thinking of junking it and going to Dell. I am a CIO. I am so glad I did not specify these machines for my Corporation.
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
A shame, because most others seem to love them, with some owning multiple versions. Not quite sure why you felt the need to sign up just to a forum just to say you don't like a product (in an irrelevant thread no less) though :)
 
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