Windows 10 and Plugable Docking Stations / USB Graphics Adapters

Update 7/26/16: In the year since the release of Windows 10, it has been installed on over 350 million PCs worldwide and most feedback has been quite positive.

Most of the challenges covered in the “Potential Issues” section of this post are no longer relevant thanks to the diligent work of DisplayLink and Microsoft updating their respective software to improve performance and stability over the past year.

The installation scenarios covered in this post will cease to become relevant with upcoming Windows 10 “Anniversary Update” (aka “Redstone”) release on August 2, 2016. The Anniversary Update brings with it big changes to how DisplayLink USB graphics functionality interacts with the Operating System, adding native support for our USB graphics devices and making the installation process even smoother while improving performance. Our blog post related to the Anniversary Update can be found here.

Summary: Windows 10 requires the latest drivers we recommend to be re-installed *after* OS upgrade is complete.

As we near the July 29th release of Windows 10, we’re getting frequent questions from customers who are excited about this new operating system and inquiring as to how things will behave when using their Plugable USB graphics device(s) with Microsoft’s new flagship OS. The purpose of this post is to provide some “best practices” guidance regarding Windows 10 and installation of Plugable’s docking stations and USB graphics adapters.

Most of the Plugable support crew are seasoned IT/support veterans, and as such we’re a cautious bunch when it comes to immediately migrating to a new operating system. (See here for our take on installing Windows 10 as soon as it’s available. The nutshell version is that as with any major OS upgrade, we suggest waiting a bit before installing on any mission-critical systems while initial issues are discovered are worked through.)

That being said, we realize, with all the excitement surrounding the upcoming release many users are going to want to dive right in. With that, here are our recommendations for how to approach different installation scenarios as well as some additional information about Windows 10:

Scenario 1: Upgrading to Windows 10 from an existing Windows 7/8 system
Scenario 2: Performing a “fresh” (non-upgrade) installation of Windows 10
Scenario 3: USB graphics not working after upgrading to Windows 10

Additional Information
Windows 10 Graphics Overview
Potential Issues
Feedback and Support

Scenario 1: Upgrading to Windows 10 from an existing Windows 7/8 system

This is likely to be the most common scenario for the majority of users. Please note that all previous DisplayLink drivers are not compatible with Windows 10. As such, we suggest the following steps for an upgrade installation of Windows 10:

  • Disconnect your Plugable docking station or graphics adapter(s). They will remain disconnected until prompted to plug the device back in.
  • Go to “Programs” and uninstall both the “DisplayLink Core Software” and “DisplayLink Graphics”.
  • Start the Windows 10 installation.
  • Grab a cup of coffee or a cold beverage, this will take an hour or so.
  • After Windows 10 has finished installing, run Windows Update. (Start button > Settings > Update). This is critical, as your system may be missing various drivers after installation.
  • After running Windows Update and rebooting, run Windows Update again. Repeat this process until there are no new updates found.
  • Download and install the latest DisplayLink drivers we recommend here. (Note: Your docking station or USB graphics adapter should still be disconnected!)
  • During installation of the DisplayLink drivers, you will be prompted to connect your USB graphics device/docking station. Do so when prompted.
  • After connecting your device, your displays will likely flash several times as everything is detected. You will be prompted for a reboot. Do so.
  • After rebooting, things should be working as expected; any additional displays should be active, and Ethernet/audio should be active if using a docking station.

Scenario 2: You’re doing a “fresh” (non-upgrade) installation of Windows 10

  • Disconnect your Plugable docking station or graphics adapter(s) prior to starting the install. Keep the device(s) disconnected until prompted to plug it back in.
  • Start the Windows 10 installation by booting from your installation DVD or flash drive.
  • Grab a cup of coffee or a cold beverage.
  • After Windows 10 has finished installing, run Windows Update (Start button > Settings > Update & security). This is critical, as your system may be missing various drivers after installation.
  • After you’ve run Windows Update and rebooted, run Windows Update again. Repeat this process until there are no new updates found.
  • Download and install the DisplayLink drivers we recommend here.
  • During installation of the DisplayLink drivers, you will be prompted to connect your USB graphics device/docking station. Do so when prompted.
  • After connecting your device, your displays will likely flash several times as everything is detected.
  • You will be prompted for a reboot. Do so, even if things appear to be working.
  • After rebooting, things should be functioning as expected; any additional displays should be active, and Ethernet/audio should be active if using a docking station.

Scenario 3: Windows 10 was installed with a docking station or USB graphics devices attached and/or previous DisplayLink drivers installed, and things aren’t working after the upgrade

Background

Some will wonder why there might be issues using USB graphics with Windows 10 when these same USB devices generally work quite well with Windows 7 and Windows 8. The primary reason is Windows 10 introduces a new driver model (WDDM 2.0) for the graphics chips in PCs that are responsible for outputting video (known as GPUs).

The primary GPU and its drivers play a key role in the functionality of USB graphics, as the DisplayLink software interacts heavily with these drivers to enable graphical output via USB. Simply put, both the GPU drivers and DisplayLink drivers need to function together seamlessly for everything to work as it should.

So when Microsoft introduces a new graphics driver model such as WDDM 2.0, GPU manufacturers such as AMD, Intel, and Nvidia must update their drivers to support this new model, and so must DisplayLink. This shift to a new driver model generally enables better performance in the long term, but early in the release cycle, issues/bugs can appear that were not present in previous operating systems.

Potential Issues

Updated 6/26/16: We’re happy to report that most of the challenges covered in this list are no longer relevant thanks to the diligent work of DisplayLink, Microsoft, and others updating their respective software to improve performance and stability over the past year.

For the most part, we’ve had positive results testing our Plugable USB docking stations and graphics adapters with the final release build of Windows 10. We have encountered a few occasional issues which we’re documenting below:

  • On the Surface 3 (non-Pro), DisplayLink installation can cause a lock-up/black screen to occur, requiring the Surface 3 to be forced off by holding the power button for ~10 seconds. Updating to the newest Intel graphics driver prior to installing DisplayLink drivers seems to drastically improve this behavior.
  • Some systems will exhibit display corruption or artifacting when waking from sleep mode. Unplugging and replugging the USB graphics devices usually resolves the issue.
  • Upon resuming from system sleep mode, windows/applications will occasionally be positioned on the wrong display and/or be rendered larger or smaller than expected. A monitor/TV which is turned on from a previously “off” state can cause this behavior as well.Note: This issue is reproducible on traditional graphics cards (“GPUs”) on some displays, therefor it appears to be a Windows issue rather than an issue related to DisplayLink.
  • If a DisplayLink device is connected to the system without first installing the DisplayLink drivers, Windows will silently attempt to update the drivers via Windows Update. Often this will take between one and five minutes, while the user is given little or no indication that this is happening. If the DisplayLink device is unplugged during this process, the installation is silently terminated, and will not automatically resume, even if Windows Update is run manually. If your device is not working, the best steps will be to run the DisplayLink cleaner software and reinstall using the process outlined above in Scenario 3.
  • On some systems, performance of USB-attached displays may be slow when operating in “clam-shell” mode with the laptop lid shut. This appears to be a bug in the “Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework” (DPTF) driver which was also present for some users on Windows 8/8.1. As Windows 10 does not allow this driver to be disabled in the operating system, the best current workarounds are to use your system with the lid open, or disable DPTF in the UEFI system firmware. (Your system manufacturer may be the best resource for walking you through disabling the device in firmware, though if you’re a Plugable customer we’ll attempt to help provide steps for this process.)
  • Though it’s touched on above, Windows Updates are key. Microsoft released multiple substantial “Cumulative Update for Windows 10” Updates, which have helped with various issues.
  • In some cases, if you had previously made a change in the Windows audio settings regarding the “Preferred Playback Device”, these changes may need to be reapplied after driver installation.
  • In a few reported cases, Kaspersky Internet Security software is blocking the installation of the DisplayLink Ethernet Adapter driver needed in our docking stations. The workaround is to completely remove the Kaspersky Internet Security software and then follow the instructions from scenario 3 above to perform a clean install to resole the issue. Once the driver is installed the Kaspersky software can be re-installed
  • DisplayLink has released an important driver update (version 7.9M5) and all Windows 10 users are strongly encouraged to update to this version. Note: All of the links in this article have been updated to point to this newer driver.

DisplayLink also has a list of known issues they’re tracking here.

Feedback and Support

As always, we welcome comments and feedback below. Since we’re so early in the life cycle of Windows 10, if you encounter any consistently unexpected behavior, we encourage you to post details on DisplayLink’s Windows 10 forum as well, as they are tracking issues that require further investigation.

If you’re a user of a Plugable USB graphics device and are experiencing issues, we’re here to help! If support is needed, please run our PlugDebug tool found here to collect system logs, and send the resulting file to support@plugable.com along with a description of the behavior you’re experiencing and any additional details you feel are relevant.

27 comments on “Windows 10 and Plugable Docking Stations / USB Graphics Adapters”

  1. thefarelkid Reply

    I’ll leave my experience with the Windows 10 update today. I have a Plugable UD-3900 and a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro. I updated the driver as recommended before upgrading to 10. Upgrade went fine but then the only thing that worked was the USB. Ethernet and Audio showed in the device manager as present but not working. Video didn’t show at all. I uninstalled the DisplayLink Manager and installed fresh and now everything works perfectly!

  2. Glenn Dukes Reply

    I have a plugable UD3000. I upgraded to Windows 10 and had to replace the Microsoft driver for the Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller with the Intel Driver, much as I did on Windows 8.0 and 8.1. Note that I only had to replace the iusb3xhc.inf driver and not the iusb3hub.inf as well (both were required on 8.1). I used the directions on this page: http://plugable.com/2012/12/01/windows-8-and-intel-usb-3-0-host-controllers, installing the displaylink drivers after I replace the MS driver with the Intel one.

    • Gary Zeller Reply

      Hi Glenn,

      Interesting – I haven’t seen a situation requiring this type of .inf tinkering on Win 10 as of yet. Was the USB 3.0 controller completely non-functional prior to the info replacement, or was it in some sort of semi-working state?

      Thanks!
      Gary

  3. Frank Musco Reply

    Followed scenario 3 instructions to fix my problem with no display through a pluggable usb 3.0 docking station after Win 10 upgrade. Worked like a charm.

  4. Steve Walton Reply

    Video and USB ports all fine but no Audio through HDMI into TV.
    Have followed all the instructions but still no sound.
    Surface 2 Pro into a SONY TV.

    • Gary Zeller Reply

      Hi Steve,

      When you have a moment, can you please collect a set of system logs using our log-gathering tool at the page below:
      http://plugable.com/support/plugdebug

      It will save a .ZIP file which can be sent over for analysis. Please send the .ZIP file to support@plugable.com (with “Ticket 113133” in the subject) and we’ll take a look to see what the best approach will be to get audio back to working as it should.

      Thanks!
      Gary

  5. Matt Reply

    Is there any expected resolution for the sleep issue described in the 8/10 update? I find that more often than not, my USB-connected display does not work when resuming from sleep. My USB 3.0 flash drive connected to the same Plugable hub also seems to disappear from my drive list when waking from sleep. Thanks!

    • Gary Zeller Reply

      Hi Matt – we’ve found a few different things that can impact functionality upon wake-up. (USB charger software, outdated USB 3.0 drivers that stayed in place after the OS update, out-of-date firmware, etc.)

      Good clue regarding the flash drive not enumerating after wake-up – sounds like the USB 3.0 hub chipset in the dock isn’t waking (and as a result, the DisplayLink chip probably isn’t either).

      Can you please capture a set of system logs after wake-up when things aren’t working properly? Our tool on the page below will collect the logs into a .ZIP file that can be emailed over for us to have a look:
      http://plugable.com/support/plugdebug

      Please put “ticket 118995” in the email subject as well. Once we have the logs, we’ll have a look and see what the best approach will be.

      Thanks!
      Gary

  6. Toyman Reply

    Hi Gary,
    I have the UD3900 that’s running two 24″ Dell monitors, from a MS Surface 1. All is good with Win 8.1, but I’m seeing so many folks having problems with Win 10, I’m wondering if I’d be wise to wait awhile until the bugs shake out. I’d really like to get Win 10 installed, but am curious to know if ANYONE with my setup is problem free. Thanks.

    • Gary Zeller Reply

      Hi Toyman – Indeed, it’s a tough decision at this point. I will say that the majority of feedback we’ve had from users with setups similar to yours has been positive and things are working as they should after the Win10 upgrade.

      However, as with any OS upgrade, there will always be some percentage of users who encounter bad behavior. (Beyond just the docking station, I’ve seen various scattered reports of unusual Surface behavior post-Win10.)

      For *most* users who have issues with Win10, the rollback process to your previous OS goes fairly smoothly (though again, always going to be outliers where the rollback fails and a fresh install/refresh is needed).

      Sorry there’s not a definitive yes or no at this point – as with most things in life, your mileage may vary. 🙂 But hoping the additional context above is somewhat helpful for your decision.

      Cheers,
      Gary

  7. John Clark Reply

    Upgraded to windows 10 on an older Lenovo laptop which went well except for losing the ability to print over the network as well as all audio through my Plugable USB 2.0 docking station. My question, however, is that when I fire up the computer and have the docking station plugged in, as I always have, the initial screen freezes. The only way to proceed is to reboot and unplug the Plugable until the boot process proceeds to the login screen. I have gone through the option 3 process with the hope it would fix these issues, which I suspect are somehow related. Thank you for a great product!

    • Gary Zeller Reply

      Hi John, apologies for the delayed response – didn’t see this posted originally. My suspicion is that there’s some odd driver interaction causing the hanging. The few similar issues I’ve encountered seemed to be resolved by updating the system’s graphics drivers.

      If you’re still hitting the issue, please email support@plugable.com and we’ll help investigate. Thanks!

  8. AA Reply

    My 4 K adapter in the multimonitor setup is not being recognized by the windows 10 upgrade from windows 7. It worked first time then 2nd time around stopped working. Tried reinstalling and deinstalling several times.

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      Hi AA,

      Given your description of the behavior we’ll want to examine some log files from your system. I can you see you also reached out to us directly via support@plugable.com, so we will continue to work with you directly to get the logs and determine the next steps.

  9. Paul Reply

    Plugable 3.0 won’t play audio through docking station. Windows 10 on dell laptop. Isn’t that the purpose of this docking station is to remove connections to your laptop.

    • Patric Neumann Reply

      An additional step is needed. Go to control panel > sound > playback device tab and select the docking station instance to be your default device and to be your default communication device by right clicking the instance and setting the check marks.

  10. Denise C. Reply

    I purchased the plugable usb 3.0 docking station after purchasing a new HP computer with Windows 10 as my previous docking station (used w/my previous laptop) was not compatible with Windows 10. I use the docking station to connect my computer to a regular keyboard, a mouse and a larger monitor. The main reasons I want it are to have two screens for doing accounting work (primarily with QuickBooks and Excel) and to have a larger screen for creating Shutterfly photo albums. It seems to be working fine for the first goal, but when I use Shutterfly to try to make an album, it works for about a minute and then the monitor “disconnects” itself. It freezes with the website image, I hear the sound that indicates something has disconnected, and then the website image gets displayed on my laptop’s screen. I can continue working on it there, but can do nothing on the external monitor, which remains frozen until I completely unplug the docking station. I went through the steps outlined in Scenario 3 above, but still have the issue. I’ve tried it in both the Microsoft Edge and Firefox browsers. It may be some incompatibility with some program Shutterfly uses (I think they use Flash and Java), but if you have any suggestions, I would be extremely grateful.

    • Denise C. Reply

      Update to my previous post: the same thing just happened when using Facebook on my external monitor, so the issue is not only with Shutterfly if that helps shed any additional light on the problem. Thanks!

      • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

        Hi Denise,

        Thanks for the great detail about the behavior, that helps me a lot. Given your description, our next step is to examine some log files from your system. If you would, just after that behavior has occurred please keep everything connected (even though the dock has stopped working) and send the output of our diagnostic utility PlugDebug –> http://plugable.com/support/plugdebug to support@plugable.com and mention ‘Ticket 141596’ in the subject line as this will allow us to match everything up and examine some log files from your system to help determine the next steps. If you could also include your Amazon Order ID number in the email that would be most helpful.

        Thank you,

        Bob
        Plugable Technologies
        http://www.plugable.com/support

  11. ruchirj Reply

    Hi – My problem is this.. .

    i followed the scenario 3 – twice and it started working the second time.

    however, when i started my machine this morning, it stopped working again… So the screen lighted up during startup but as soon as WIN 10 loaded up, it went dark again.

    The problem is – in Device Manager – it shows DL-165 as Disabled. If i try to enable it, it just comes up for one second and goes back down.

    What should i be doing ?

    • Patric Neumann Reply

      Hello – This sounds like we are dealing with another underlying issue. If we are dealing with a Plugable product, please contact us directly at support@plugable.com and use “Ticket #141884” as a reference to your post. I would need to take a closer look via PlugDebug. Head over to -> http://plugable.com/support/plugdebug. There you will find a download link as well as instructions. Be sure to have the display adapter plugged into the computer with its monitor attached when running this tool and attach the resulting zip file in this email so I can start analyzing the situation.

      Thanks,
      Patric

    • Patric Neumann Reply

      I am sorry, we only have expertise on our own products. Different manufacturers customize their hardware to their own needs. You can contact the manufacturer directly for support or return the product from the vendor you purchased it from. I apologize for the inconvenience.

  12. nobody Reply

    Still have windows 7 at work. One of our systems has two display port to dvi adapters to connect to two large monitors. One is plugged into the laptop display port, the other into the docking station. Until this week the system worked fine. Now, each time the system is restarted, the monitor connected to the docking station is not recognized until the cable is unplugged and re-plugged. Nothing has changed on the system except for Microsoft updates. Why would Microsoft be pushing updates to a windows 7 system that would effect displays. I have seen many posts on many sites, with issues due to recent pushes from Microsoft, that are intended to prep systems for windows 10 without informing the user of that purpose, and make then selectable options. Definitely not by default that would have to be de-selected. Many systems have completely crashed, and unrecoverable without complete reload, and careful selective updates.

    • Gary Zeller Reply

      Always tough to root-cause an unusual change in behavior like this. For our DisplayLink-based products such as those mentioned in this post, there are various system services and drivers that could impact things. Though with a more simple DP -> DVI adapter, there’s fewer elements in play and the primary graphics drivers would be a good focal point. (It doesn’t sound like there are Plugable products involved in the issue you describe, but if there are by all means feel free to contact support@plugable.com with the Amazon Order ID info and we can help investigate.)

  13. Chad Reply

    I have two Plugable USB 3.0 devices I use with my HP Elitebook Folio 9480m Windows 10 Pro laptop (Version 1511, OS Build 10586.420). The only difference between the devices is that I purchased them about 1.5 years apart. I keep one at home and one at work.

    The new one works fine. The other one gives me an error about every half hour indicating “Display Driver Stopped Responding and has Recovered. Display driver Intel HD Grahics Drivers for Windows 8 stopped responding & recovered automatically.”

    When it does this, the display on the monitor will no longer display properly. It gets all bitmapped and fragmented so I can’t use the screen any longer. To correct it, I unplug the USB and plug it back in. Sometimes it corrects it for hours and sometimes it only lasts for 30 minutes. As the day progresses, I typically don’t have the problem but in the first part of the day, I’ll have to unplug and replug it in 3-5 times every single day.

    I’ve tried to update the drivers but it says I have the latest drivers installed, which is weird because I am on Windows 10 and the messages refer to a Windows 8 driver. I’ve also updated Windows. I’m not sure what else to do.

    Hope you can help.

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      Typically the message you are receiving indicates a problem with the driver for the integrated graphics adapter in your system, upon which our adapter depends. The best way to proceed is just after the behavior has occurred run our diagnostic utility PlugDebug -> http://plugable.com/support/plugdebug and send the file it creates to support@plugable.com so we can examine some log files. If you could also include your Amazon Order ID number in your email that would be very helpful.

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