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Windows 7 Laptop Docking Problems???

    Question

  • I have a Latitude E6400 that I recently clean installed WIN7 ultimate on.  Everything was working great and continues to work great undocked.   When in the docking station (), however I tend do have problems.  I thought initially it was just related to the NIC card as it seemed to only start misbehaving under a lot of network activity and disabling the NIC and running only on wireless seemed to fix it, but in ALL cases I have to do a cold boot.  Simply restarting it would not help and when I finally would get logged back in after a simple restart, the CPU was already pegged.  Today, however it seems that even with the NIC disabled that it also exhibits the behavior although today I was using an external USB drive connected to the docking station.  i have since removed that as well to see if I can stabilize. I've downloaded and installed every latest driver/bios/firmware I could find.  Nothing has worked...

    What occurs is over time, and sometimes that's not long, my CPU quickly pegs at 100% and stays.  There are no particular processes pegging it either.  I can end process on many in my list with no change.  Over the last week I've only been in the office a couple of days using the docking station and on each occasion I have problems at least  2 - 3 times within the day.  The rest of the week I've been undocked and had no problems and I run this thing all day long.

    I have no messages in any logs that I've found indicating any type of problem.  Just extreme frustration.  

    I've talked to a couple of other D-Series users who suggested that they had a similar issue when docked but found some vista 'docking' drivers that fixed their issue although I can find nothing for the E-Series, no firmware, nothing...

    Dell had no ideas...

    Any ideas?  I'm about to have to roll back to XP and not excited about the thought as I need the docking station for multiple monitors, etc...

    Tks,

    Friday, December 18, 2009 9:54 PM

Answers

  • Hi Jntxas,

     

    What’s the model of your docking station?

     

    Since the Latitude E6400 works fine with Windows 7 undocked. The cause should be a compatibility issue between the laptop and the docking station.

     

    I would like to suggest you update the BIOS and the hardware drivers for Windows 7. You may also check if there is any firmware update for your docking station.

     

    If it does not work, you’d better also contact the manufacturer of your docking station for further assistance.

     

    Good luck!

     


    Arthur Li - MSFT
    Monday, December 21, 2009 6:20 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi jntxas,

    Can you grab a copy of Process Explorer, run it, and sort the CPU column in descending order when the problem happens?  I wonder if interrupts or DPCs are consuming excessive CPU, since you indicate no process or processes seem to account for the consumption.

    How are you determining that the CPU usage is at 100%?  How many cores / processors does the system have?
    Saturday, December 19, 2009 1:38 AM
  • Hi Jntxas,

     

    What’s the model of your docking station?

     

    Since the Latitude E6400 works fine with Windows 7 undocked. The cause should be a compatibility issue between the laptop and the docking station.

     

    I would like to suggest you update the BIOS and the hardware drivers for Windows 7. You may also check if there is any firmware update for your docking station.

     

    If it does not work, you’d better also contact the manufacturer of your docking station for further assistance.

     

    Good luck!

     


    Arthur Li - MSFT
    Monday, December 21, 2009 6:20 AM
    Moderator
  • I had the same problem, but with a different latitude and a HP.  My problems occurred when I tried to turn on either of my computers  (both with newly installed windows 7)  under the following conditions:

    (A) an external monitor and keyboard is attached, and

    (B) there USB are devices that start with AutoPlay and/or there are devices that need new drivers.  (I am not sure which, but I suspect the AutoPlay.

    I resolved my issues in the following way:

    (1) I turned off all AutoPlay features by going to START, CONTROL PANNEL, Hardware and Sound,  AutoPlay, and the unchecking "use AutoPlay for all media and devices" and then selected "Do Nothing" for every single pull down menu.  This had the added feature of getting rid of that blasted prompt ever time I plug in a device.

    (2)  I unplugged all USB connections and then started up windows (from the docking station in one case, and with an external monitor/keyboard in the other.)  Windows started fine.

    (3) One by one, I plugged in my USB devices, installing drives as needed.

    (4) I have not have any issues since (and have tried all sorts of reboot sequences.

    I am not sure if it is an issue of installing new devices when an external monitor is in place on a laptop, or if it is an issue of the autoplay.  If someone else wants to sort that out, let me know.

     

     

    Friday, August 27, 2010 2:33 AM