Surface Pro 4 Monitors will panic if Ethernet is plugged into dock

James_456

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Nov 18, 2016
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I've heard a lot of issues showing up with the surface dock lately but mine is kind of a weird one. I'm coming across an issue where the dock seems to flicker and freak out when an Ethernet cable (the standard RJ45) is plugged into it, when I say this I mean just the Ethernet cable causes the issue and sometimes when connecting a external drive it will also panic. My setup is as followed:

- 2 Dell 1913 monitors

- Surface Pro 4

- Different combinations of miniDP to DP and VGA adapter to miniDP (for testing)

- Basic USB Dell Keyboard plugged into dock

I have done the recent firmware update as of this month 11\8\2016 I think, and cleared the display cache with the registry edit provided by Microsoft here.

https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/support/hardware-and-drivers/troubleshoot-docking-station-surface-dock

All drivers are updated and I've tried a multitude of combinations such as one monitor at a time or a peripheral at a time slowly and cautiously. The issue doesn't show up until I plug in the Ethernet into the dock. I can run off of WiFi and be fine the screen never panics. The issue is the screen will flicker on and off and the plug in play sound will prompt every once and a while. The monitors will not settle until the Ethernet is unplugged. I have tried turning WiFi off then attempting to use the Ethernet port on the dock and still presenting problems. Once Ethernet is unplugged, everything is buttery smooth (10 minute test open tons of Google chrome windows\YouTube videos\apps trying to push the thing). I've found a work around using the Ethernet to USB dongle and it seems to calm things down. Is this a bandwidth issue with no possible fix? I find every surface dock I have used here for testing all present the same exact issue. There is no way all of them are like this by chance.

Please advise.

 
OK So the screen you are referring to is a monitor and not on the dock (as that doesn't have a screen). :) So the problem then is having that much connected, physically, to the dock and the problem seems to occur only when the Ethernet is connected.

When you disconnect any of the other things connected, say one monitor or the keyboard, and then use the Ethernet, do you get the same issue?

If no, then I would think that you are over tasking the dock.
 

James_456

Commendable
Nov 18, 2016
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1,510
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I'm going to assume the dock cannot handle this much in terms of peripherals, the thing that throws me off is it is just the network that craps it out. Any other configuration whether that be just one monitor, one keyboard or two monitors no keyboard. Once that network cable is plugged in it craps out. I've tried a shielded Ethernet CAT6 and a UN-shielded CAT5 both offering no change. Tested multiple docks all with the same problem.
 
I see. So it does it no matter what else is in. If that is the case either there is an error/fault in the dock, and I would contact the place you got it from or the manufacturer. Or, there is a power problem with the Ethernet. I had that once. There was a power surge going through mine in one place I lived. Caused no end of issues until figured out that it was power. Have you tried using this dock outside the home to test the connection with another Ethernet?
 

James_456

Commendable
Nov 18, 2016
3
0
1,510
0


This I will have to try as I have only tested it here on school campus, I'll see what funding wants to do about these surface docks.
 
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