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Many of my co-workers and myself have a constant problem with docking and undocking our dell notebooks. Our company requires that we run a broad catalog software that starts at boot; but logically I would not think that any program should cause problems when docking or undocking.

Basically the problem is that we all have to move around multiple times a day. But, our office area is easier to code at so we’ll all head here to use our dual monitors when we are coding. Unfortunately, when docking and undocking we frequently loose functionality of our mouse, dual monitor output, and USB thumb drives. The thumb drives and mouse are USB, so perhaps there is a connection?

Has anybody ever had these problems and taken the time to track down what exactly the culprit is? Windows? Some third party Software? Hardware?

If your going to post that it’s a window malfunction please go into detail, I’m interesting in knowing the discrete OS design flaw. If you’ve ran across software that has had this side-effect feel free to drop name, and explanation of its design flaw as well.


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Any chance you could dump the Dells and get Thinkpads instead? The dock/undock support on them is incredible. Never an issue and it can autoswitch networks real slick too! Never used anything else that's been so friendly to being moved around. – Brian Knoblauch Jun 2 '09 at 15:19
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you have thumb drives connected via the dock's usb hub, you may be "upsetting" windows when removing the laptop from the dock without unmounting the thumbdrives. Otherwise, I would look into a driver update for the chipset/internal usbhub for the dell notebook in question.

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I can so relate to that :)

For the USB drives I suspect that may have to do with if the drive is stopped properly or not. Ideally the Undock command should do that.

I'm going to say it's a windows quirk, but not go into detail because I gave up on it. I had a couple of Dell's, undocking was un-reliable and usually I ended up needing to reboot to get it working again. I'm on Levono now and have the same issues. All very similiar to you.

If you want to un-dock, use the un-dock command, don't suspend or hibernate the computer or when it wakes up it will go, HUH? where's my stuff. I suspect you are already using the right command though :)

That said personally, I never use hibernate, suspend or undock anymore. The last time I used undock, I had my presentation all setup, undocked the computer (did not close the lid, just to be sure that didn't mess it up) went into a presentation and my computer locked up and we waited 10 minutes for it to restart after a hard shut down.

I've taken to remove everything I can from the startup to speed up boot and disable any un-needed services and I just shutdown between moves now.

Sorry for the bad news

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