Dual Monitors E6500 with Docking Station and Vista
Posted on 2009-04-27
So we have a Dell e6500 and we also have the basic docking station(port replicator) for it. This is the standard one and not the more "advanced" version of the docking station. I have a 21" widescreen dell monitor that I connected to the docking station. I would have used two monitors for this setup but I did not have two monitors that both supported DVI-D so I thought that using one monitor and then the laptop as the second monitor would work perfect for this situation. I spoke to the user and he was cool with the idea so I went to work.
After an initial strugle I was able to get it to span through both the laptop lcd and the 21" widescreen. Once I had it working I was a little nervous that as soon as the user undocked and came back we were going to have all sorts of problems getting this setup to work again. I only thought this because all of the laptops I have worked with that use Vista Business have a heck of a time working correctly when being undocked and docked again. Never had this problem with XP laptops a couple years ago but Vista has always given me a lot of trouble with docking stations.
So sure enough the user leaves for an extended business trip and returns. The laptop is off before he docks. Powers on the laptop in the dock with the lid open hoping that the same configuration would start up again. No luck, instead the widescreen monitor doesn't have any display and when you look in the Display settings in Vista it doesn't even see the Widescreen monitor. So I turn the laptop off, close the lid and power it back up. This time the widescreen works but comes up as the only display. If I open the lid on the laptop it stays blank and never turns on. So I power the laptop down again and this time open the lid and power it on. This time both monitors span without a problem. So it looks like I have to close the lid and turn it on, then shut it down and open the lid and then both monitors will return to the dual monitor "spanning" configuration.
This is obviously not ideal for the user to have to go through just to have dual monitor capability. Does anyone have any ideas of what could fix this issue or what is causing the issue in the first place?
Your help is appreciated.