Laptop Docking Station – 4 Ways To Troubleshoot

Laptop Docking Station

I have troubleshooted laptop docking stations for years and I have to tell you, they have gotten worse. The devices used to be a simple port replication unit. Now, there almost like their own computer with firmware updates and the like. The construction IMO has gotten worse too. Ok, rant over…… 

So without further ado, I will show you how to troubleshoot the most common problems with a docking station and laptop. 

Laptop Docking Station Will Not Connect 

The laptop has been docked yet it won’t connect to what’s hanging off it (i.e. Monitor, Mouse , Keyboard, Speakers, WebCam, etc…). this can be traced to a single point of failure. The actual connection from the dock to the laptop. You will need to reseat the laptop. The best way to do this is to undock and then re-dock the laptop. Depending on the manufacturer of your dock you may need to unlock with a slide lock (Lenovo) or a push lock (HP). Both manufacturers also have a new cube type USB-C dock that uses a simple power button.

I am sure there are other types out there but you get the picture. With the construction of some models you will have to hold the laptop firmly in place as you lock it. 

Laptop Docking Station Partially Connects 

This one is my favorite and a real pain in the ass. Some of the peripherals connect properly and some do not. I had a support experience where the user’s Monitors were working but their mouse and keyboard were not. The cause was a partially connected dock. Yes, that is possible. The fix was to make sure the laptop was completely perpendicular to the station while docking. Why? We have enough to think about! Using geometry while docking your laptop should not be one of those things…. 

Some Ports do not Connect

These can be isolated to a faulty cable or a cable that is not inserted fully. Reinsert the cable. Failing that, try a new cable. 

A New Laptop Docking Station Breaks Things

You give a user a brand new dock and all of a sudden things that used to work with the old dock no longer work with the new dock. For example, dual monitors do not work anymore or a sound bar stops working. This requires an upgrade to the laptop drivers, dock drivers or both. Go to the manufacturers website and perform the updates. All manufactures automate this process with an update connect tool. Examples include, Lenovo, HP and Dell

To narrow these things down have another dock handy. Unfortunately, this is not always the case so the above information is a great guide. 

Here is a quick TikTok Video about it. If TikTok is not your thing, go to YouTube , watch a video on it and subscribe!

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Happy IT’ing 


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I am an IT professional with over twenty years experience in the field. I have supported thousands of users over the years. The organizations I have worked for range in size from one person to hundreds of people. I have performed support from Help Desk, Network / Cloud Administration, Network Support, Application Support, Implementation and Security.

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