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FrustratedDude
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-12-2015
Location: Los Angeles
Views: 34,504
Message 1 of 7

Unable to connect to 3 monitors to Ultra Dock (Thinkpad W540) in Advanced Mode BIOS Setting

I have a Thinkpad W540 with a Lenovo Ultra Dock Docking Station (40A20170US). Here is the set up I am trying to get to work:

Display 1) VGA Planar PL2010M monitor

Display 2) DVI Planar PL1910M monitor

Display 3) DisplayPort Lenovo L2251x Wide monitor

Display 4) LCD monitor (off)

 

When I have selected Standard Mode under the BIOS display settings, I am able to connect two monitors plus the internal LCD at the same time: one on VGA and the other on DVI, or I can connect one on VGA and the other on DisplayPort.  This allows me to have three displays, including the LCD. 

 

My problem is that I am unable to get a third monitor to work as well.  When I connect a monitor via DisplayPort, the monitor on DVI stops working.  After reading forum posts and whatever else I found online, I learned (maybe I'm incorrect?) that I need to switch to Advanced Mode in the BIOS to be able to use three external monitors.  

 

I then uninstalled drivers (the BIOS instructions state that you are supposed to uninstall graphics drivers before switching to Advanced Mode), switched to Advanced Mode in the BIOS, started up the computer, reinstalled the latest drivers, but now the only screen working is my laptop's LCD screen.  None of monitors are detected by Windows no matter what I try. When I switch back to Standard Mode in the BIOS, two of my external monitors begin working again.

 

My docking station firmware is updated FYI.  

 

Any suggestions would be very greatly appreciated. Thank you!

 

FrustratedDude
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-12-2015
Location: Los Angeles
Views: 34,488
Message 2 of 7

Re: Unable to connect to 3 monitors to Ultra Dock (Thinkpad W540) in Advanced Mode BIOS Setting

So I fixed the issue for myself and just wanted to post in case somebody else had the same issue.  I took the following steps to fix the issue:

[Background: BIOS is in "Standard" display mode to begin with; I had already updated the docking station's firmware first with a program called fwdphb03.exe and then with Lenovo's update utility.]

1) In Windows, I uninstall drivers for the Intel Graphics and K1100 dedicated card.

2) Restart, go into BIOS, switch to "Advanced" mode under the Display tab.  I also have the option selected to start up on the docks in the BIOS Display tab.

3) Booted into Windows (8.1) and it looked like the Intel Graphics drivers were automatically downloaded. I then ran Lenovo's System Update utility to get the latest video drivers.  Under the optional tab in the Lenovo update utility, I selected the "Optimus" drivers and hit download/install.  It installed, and I had to restart.

4) Booted into Windows again, ran Lenovo update utility again, and again it had a video driver to install when I checked for updates.  I installed that, had to restart again.

5) Booted into windows, checked screen resolution and saw that no external monitors were showing.

6) I then decided to get a driver straight from the source.  Downloaded: the following file from  Nvidia: 334.95-quadro-notebook-win8-win7-64bit-international-whql.exe.  I ran the installation, it did a "Clean" installation with everything checked off. It automatically uninstalled existing drivers, reinstalled new ones, and then asked me to restart.  I restarted.

7) Booted back into windows, went to screen resolution settings, saw that the external monitors were there but not connected, changed the settings to extend desktop to those displays, and three external monitors connected to my docking station came alive.

 

So long story short, Lenovo's system utility did nothing. Download drivers from Nvidia and doing a "clean" install seemed to fix the problem.  The only problem that I am facing now is that my Novatek/Planar monitors are not showing proper resolution options, but whatever, at least they work.  If anybody has any info on how to fix resolution, that would be appreciated.  

Aeophile
What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-26-2015
Location: United States
Views: 34,344
Message 3 of 7

Re: Unable to connect to 3 monitors to Ultra Dock (Thinkpad W540) in Advanced Mode BIOS Setting

I recently purchased a W540, with the intention of doing the same thing, and read your post before even purchasing the docking station (fortutiously, it was the first post I came across, having just signed up as a member of this Lenovo forum five minutes prior).  I realize this doesn't exactly address the matter of connecting monitors to the dock, but it relates . . . 

 

For what purpose/functionality were you able to use the three monitors plus the LCD screen?  All one big extended desktop?  Mirror displays?  What I'm wondering is, if you happen to know, once one has three monitors connected and the LCD on the laptop functioning simultaneously, is there any way to have multiple users operating the computer at the same time on different monitors?  This probably belongs in a different forum post, but I'm not exactly sure where to post it.  My W540 has a pretty advanced configuration (powerful i7, lots of RAM, 2GB discrete graphics), and I've seen computers with half that capability run what I want to run for single users.  I'd like to have two users, with two monitors each (one can be the laptop's), simultaneously using the computer to independently run the same software programs. Two extended displays, on two sets of two monitors.  Two keyboards for each sets of two monitors.  Two mouse pointers, one for each set of two monitors.  Is this possible?  Would it require partitioning the hard drive and installing the operating system twice, once on each partition?  Or, perhaps just a copy of the software the two users would be running installed twice (Rhino 5, CAD, for fairly simple stuff, no complex rendering, so don't think the computing power is the problem, as I've done the same work with a computer 1/3rd as powerful)?  Or, as would relate to this thread, is there some graphics card and/or docking station-based way to do something like this?  Or, maybe some sort of splitting dongle/adapter?   Software?  If you don't know the answer, perhaps you could point me in the direction of where I might find it in these forums, or some keywords for which to search?  Thanks.

FrustratedDude
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-12-2015
Location: Los Angeles
Views: 34,320
Message 4 of 7

Re: Unable to connect to 3 monitors to Ultra Dock (Thinkpad W540) in Advanced Mode BIOS Setting

I am using my multiple monitors to extend my desktop onto multiple displays.  So each of my three external monitors adds desktop space and can show a different program (e.g. word open on one, outlook on another, chrome on another). Unfortunately I don't know what software you might be able to use to accomplish your goal.  Maybe somebody else here does?

havemercy
Paper Tape
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-19-2015
Location: FL
Views: 34,137
Message 5 of 7

Re: Unable to connect to 3 monitors to Ultra Dock (Thinkpad W540) in Advanced Mode BIOS Setting

Did you ever get the resolution fixed?  Any other updates since this thread was started?  Thanks I'm struglling getting 3 monitors to work.  Only one I can get to work is through a usb -> dvi adapter through doc....nothing on vga dvi or dp on doc....

AndieS
What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-15-2017
Location: US
Views: 30,210
Message 6 of 7

Re: Unable to connect to 3 monitors to Ultra Dock (Thinkpad W540) in Advanced Mode BIOS Setting

You rock FrustratedDude!
MrRainbow
What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-15-2018
Location: GB
Views: 2,212
Message 7 of 7

Re: Unable to connect to 3 monitors to Ultra Dock (Thinkpad W540) in Advanced Mode BIOS Setting

Re. Turning a PC into 2 PCs 

 

This kind of question comes up a lot these days i have noticed.  As of right now the software to do what you want doesn't really exist in a "user-friendly" type way (that is, a microsoft way). It doesn't matter how good your PC is, they have been good enough for years and years now. I can't see this changing soon, despite the increasing demand.

 

There are a few solutions using linux.. but i don't think any are yet a straight forward install, done type setup.

 

You could probably run a virtual machine (VM) on it, and configure it to use a certain keyb and mouse*. But it would be pants. Try Oracle Virtualbox and see. It's very good VM software, and free.

 

But you really don't want 2 PCs in your PC, trust me. Its just 4 times the pain.

 

I have a server in my house.  One day everyone will. It's awesome.

 

*but stopping them doing anything on the host pc might be difficult. Disable in host means a guest VM can still see? I doubt it.

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