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Windows Vista Aero compatibility with Belkin Docking Station

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-30-2007
=?Utf-8?B?R2VvIFdvbGZjYW5lcw==?=
 

Posts: n/a
Windows Vista Aero compatibility with Belkin Docking Station
I am currently considering purchasing a new laptop and I'm going through the
details to make sure it will be fully capable of handling all that Vista can
throw at it. To maximize versatility I want to get a small laptop and use a
docking station and larger monitor, etc. when at the desk. Getting to the
point, when I looked at the FAQs for the new Belkin high speed docking
station (F5U273) I see this:

Q: Will the High-Speed Docking Station work with Microsoft Windows Vista? A:
Yes, Belkin will be launching Vista drivers for the High-Speed Docking
Station in January.

Please note: that the Windows Vista Aero interface is not supported by the
High-Speed Docking Station due to a constraint imposed by the Windows Vista
operating system.

No other dock I looked at (Kensington, Sony, HP) mentioned anything about
Vista compatibility. Although, the Belkin is the only one that connects via
an express card slot. The others are either USB or proprietary port. I called
Belkin's and Sony's tech support and in both cases it seemed I knew more
about the issue than they did.
My question is whether this means that I won't be able to use Aero while
connected to any dock or is it an issue involving the interface (express card
slot vs. USB or proprietary port)?
Since this will be replacing my current desktop, this is a pivotal issue.
Thanks
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-30-2007
Publius
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Windows Vista Aero compatibility with Belkin Docking Station

I work at Belkin so let me explain the comment (and I will go back and
chat with Tech Support to ensure they have a better answer for future
folks).

Microsoft Vista does not support more than one WDDM graphics driver
working at the same time. WDDM graphics drivers are required for the
Aero interface. That means that, unless the dock has the same driver
for its graphics as your laptop (which is not the case for any current
aftermarket dock), either your main WDDM driver on your laptop will
have to be turned off, your dock will only work in mirror mode or your
computer will have to be switched to XPDM driver mode.

For more information, see:
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device...imonVista.mspx

By the way, I would love for Microsoft to change this. There is a lot
of great, really ground-breaking stuff we can do in the next few years
with dock stations that are severely limited by these restrictions.

Hope this helps!
Jamie


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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-30-2007
=?Utf-8?B?R2VvIFdvbGZjYW5lcw==?=
 

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Re: Windows Vista Aero compatibility with Belkin Docking Station
First of all thanks for responding with a detailed and informative answer. I
noticed though that you said "aftermarket" docks. Does this mean that a dock
made for a specific model laptop will be compatible, i.e. Sony SZ series
laptop with an SZ series dock/port replicator?

What I am mainly trying to accomplish is having a small highly moblie laptop
that can double as a desktop. I would like to not have to unplug 10 things to
go mobile but, can I just plug an external monitor into the back of any
laptop and skip the dock entirely? Do I have any other options?

Thanks again,
Chris


"Publius" wrote:

>
> I work at Belkin so let me explain the comment (and I will go back and
> chat with Tech Support to ensure they have a better answer for future
> folks).
>
> Microsoft Vista does not support more than one WDDM graphics driver
> working at the same time. WDDM graphics drivers are required for the
> Aero interface. That means that, unless the dock has the same driver
> for its graphics as your laptop (which is not the case for any current
> aftermarket dock), either your main WDDM driver on your laptop will
> have to be turned off, your dock will only work in mirror mode or your
> computer will have to be switched to XPDM driver mode.
>
> For more information, see:
> http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device...imonVista.mspx
>
> By the way, I would love for Microsoft to change this. There is a lot
> of great, really ground-breaking stuff we can do in the next few years
> with dock stations that are severely limited by these restrictions.
>
> Hope this helps!
> Jamie
>
>
> --
> Publius
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Publius's Profile: http://forums.techarena.in/member.php?userid=21451
> View this thread: http://forums.techarena.in/showthread.php?t=669394
>
> http://forums.techarena.in
>
>

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-30-2007
Publius
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Windows Vista Aero compatibility with Belkin Docking Station

A truly OEM dock using an OEM proprietary connector should be able to
use Vista Aero (there may be the odd one that does some funky
architectural things and for whom this is not the case... but I don't
know of any). The only thing to watch out for is that some OEMs brand
USB docks. Those docks will not work with Aero. Make sense?

Separately, the Belkin dock WILL work with Vista right now (just to
clarify). It is just WDDM that we have to deactivate. If the
transparent windows are not important to you, this product will work
for you. I am not aware of any USB video docks that work with Vista
yet (but I've only tested a few). I just wanted to clarify that.

Hope that helps!
Jamie

Geo Wolfcanes;2510969 Wrote:
> First of all thanks for responding with a detailed and informative
> answer. I
> noticed though that you said "aftermarket" docks. Does this mean that a
> dock
> made for a specific model laptop will be compatible, i.e. Sony SZ
> series
> laptop with an SZ series dock/port replicator?
>
> What I am mainly trying to accomplish is having a small highly moblie
> laptop
> that can double as a desktop. I would like to not have to unplug 10
> things to
> go mobile but, can I just plug an external monitor into the back of
> any
> laptop and skip the dock entirely? Do I have any other options?
>
> Thanks again,
> Chris
>
[/color]


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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-31-2007
=?Utf-8?B?R2VvIFdvbGZjYW5lcw==?=
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Windows Vista Aero compatibility with Belkin Docking Station
You have been a great help! I completely understand what is going on. I just
wish I had gotten your first response before logging off a chat session with
Dell tech support. It ended with them telling me not to worry, that the
Kensington docking Station w/video (USB interface) would work just fine with
vista/aero. Not belittling their tech-support but, misinformation is
dangerous and I hate that I wasn't able to inform them of their error. I read
your post just after closing that browser tab! Oh well, Thanks again!


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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-31-2007
Publius
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Windows Vista Aero compatibility with Belkin Docking Station

No problem. Best of luck.


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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 02-07-2007
=?Utf-8?B?QW1p?=
 

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Re: Windows Vista Aero compatibility with Belkin Docking Station
Wow!

Publius, kudos to you for taking the time to share your knowledge. It's b/c
of people like you that make the Internet such a great resource.

I just want to clarify a few things.

Based on the information (and link to Multi-Monitor article you provided)
are you saying that it IS in fact possible to get the Vista Aero feature
working on an external LCD display hooked up to the DVI port on the Belkin
docking station?

I have a Dell XPS M1210 and it has a 12.1" display. I don't care if I have
to disable my primary laptop display b/c when I have it hooked up to the
docking station I don't want to use that small of a display anyway.

I tried downloading and installing the nVidia 7400 Windows XP drivers from
Dell's website on my Windows Vista OS but it seems I am getting nowhere fast.
I am having trouble "forcing" Vista to accept the older drivers and I am
having additional issues trying to keep the Belkin software from meddling
with my display settings.

I would be very greatful (as I'm sure many other users out there would be
too) if you might be able to provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to enable
the Vista Aero feature(s) on an external display hooked up to the Belkin
docking station.

Thanks a million in advance!!!

"Publius" wrote:

>
> I work at Belkin so let me explain the comment (and I will go back and
> chat with Tech Support to ensure they have a better answer for future
> folks).
>
> Microsoft Vista does not support more than one WDDM graphics driver
> working at the same time. WDDM graphics drivers are required for the
> Aero interface. That means that, unless the dock has the same driver
> for its graphics as your laptop (which is not the case for any current
> aftermarket dock), either your main WDDM driver on your laptop will
> have to be turned off, your dock will only work in mirror mode or your
> computer will have to be switched to XPDM driver mode.
>
> For more information, see:
> http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device...imonVista.mspx
>
> By the way, I would love for Microsoft to change this. There is a lot
> of great, really ground-breaking stuff we can do in the next few years
> with dock stations that are severely limited by these restrictions.
>
> Hope this helps!
> Jamie
>
>
> --
> Publius
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Publius's Profile: http://forums.techarena.in/member.php?userid=21451
> View this thread: http://forums.techarena.in/showthread.php?t=669394
>
> http://forums.techarena.in
>
>

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 02-07-2007
Publius
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Windows Vista Aero compatibility with Belkin Docking Station

Hi Ami,

Unfortunately, the bad news is that you won't be able to even force the
Belkin dock to support Aero. (I think it states this on the website
too.)

Having said that, all that SHOULD happen with the Belkin dock is that
when you plug it in, your Dell should revert to Vista Basic (i.e., lose
transparency). When you unplug it, your Dell should go back to Vista
Premium. Is that working correctly? If not, then we have a separate
issue.

Separately, how is the Belkin driver meddling with your display
settings? I should be able to help you on this.

Thanks.


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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 02-08-2007
=?Utf-8?B?QW1p?=
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Windows Vista Aero compatibility with Belkin Docking Station
What service!

I am REALLY bummed out about the "no-Aero" with the Belkin docking station.
I just know that Dell will come out with a newer laptop this summer that will
be identical to the one I just forked over $2600 for that will sport a DVI
port in addition to or instead of a VGA one.

As for the "meddling", here is basically what seems to be happening. Every
time I have my monitor settings just the way I want them (minus the Aero of
course) they all get jumbled around upon my next reboot. It's like Windows
and the Belking software don't know how to save my configuration to disk or
something. I will end up having my main display set to my notebook as opposed
to my large 20" desktop and the physical locations of the displays in Windows
are all wrong. It will do something crazy like put the laptop display on top
of the desktop display instead of to the left of it. It will also set the
resolution of the desktop display to that of a widescreen display (which it's
not) and that causes the icons to get stretched and skewed.

On a totally seperate note to anyone else out there reading this, I found a
bug with the DELL M1210 where pressing the "FN+F8" keys does not in fact
switch your display from laptop to external monitor but INSTEAD resizes all
of your computer's icons to the LARGEST size possible and will NOT under ANY
circumstances allow you to reset them back to being normal size again. Your
only recourse is performing a system restore to get back to where you were
before you hit "FN+F8".

Thanks again for your advice/help Publius.



"Publius" wrote:

>
> Hi Ami,
>
> Unfortunately, the bad news is that you won't be able to even force the
> Belkin dock to support Aero. (I think it states this on the website
> too.)
>
> Having said that, all that SHOULD happen with the Belkin dock is that
> when you plug it in, your Dell should revert to Vista Basic (i.e., lose
> transparency). When you unplug it, your Dell should go back to Vista
> Premium. Is that working correctly? If not, then we have a separate
> issue.
>
> Separately, how is the Belkin driver meddling with your display
> settings? I should be able to help you on this.
>
> Thanks.
>
>
> --
> Publius
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Publius's Profile: http://forums.techarena.in/member.php?userid=21451
> View this thread: http://forums.techarena.in/showthread.php?t=669394
>
> http://forums.techarena.in
>
>

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 02-08-2007
Publius
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Windows Vista Aero compatibility with Belkin Docking Station

Thanks for the message. Can you email us at eugenec@belkin.com and put
in the subject "Tech Arena"? We will look at your configuration and
try to determine what's causing these weird behaviors in Vista.
Frankly speaking, I have not heard of this sort of thing before.


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