Thee DocKtor's Blog

All About Docks

Software Trumps Hardware

software vs hardware


Software is too often the one technology product that ships with known bugs. The DocKtor is at heart a hardware engineer, and as such is in group two as described at, “Why Buggy Software Gets Shipped”  (Please feel free to post a reply with your vote.) Lately, I have come to appreciate, or rather start to appreciate my software brethren as their work applies to Targus Universal Docking Stations.

When the DocKtor first started helping Targus he was introduced, in a trial by fire, to the challenges of utilizing a universal docking approach as opposed to a proprietary one. There were hardware complications including design issues, tolerances stack up hitches, and plain old manufacturing QC concerns (all since addressed). At the same time the USB3.0 ecosystem was maturing. The USB Host Controllers in many PC were not functioning well at USB 3.0 speeds, drivers were constantly being modified in attempts to fix incompatibilities, and to make matters worse, a spread spectrum clocking scheme that overlapped the 2.4GHz wireless device spectrum was implemented for USB3.0, “USB 3.0 Radio Frequency Interference Impact on 2.4GHz Wireless Devices”. I am not saying that software came to the rescue in every instance, but most if not all of the above issues have been cleared up by the evolution of the USB3.0 industry, including better software, and software updates support the inevitable advances in hardware too.

Because of technology developments, there are the inevitable hardware changes made that determine how well a USB device, including a Targus Universal Docking Station, perform. As the Targus Universal Docking Station is ultimately a USB device, the best functionality will come from updated USB3.0 and Display Adapter drivers.

Most newer PC ship with compatible/functional albeit not always updated drivers.  Older PC may suffer from being out of date due to updates to these same drivers for other hardware compatibility changes or as manufacturers modify current designs for newer display monitor (LCD) as an example.  The PC OEM support sites contain validated updates (and sometimes Windows Update too).  Since these updates are recommended from the PC manufacturers, they are also recommended by Targus for function if not only performance.  This also holds true for using the Targus Universal Docking Stations with MacBooks, but of course in this case the updates come exclusively from Apple.

The good news is that again, most PC with post Intel “Sandy Bridge” architecture have good and stable hardware requiring fewer and fewer software driver updates, if any.  The DocKtor realizes that many enterprises distain updating drivers to a mass varying user base, but part of the beauty of the Targus software is it’s adaptability for various platforms.  It is one reason that the docking stations are universal.  Also, many IT departments find that the benefits of having only one docking station to support for any PC user, over several refresh cycles and the foreseeable future, out ways any fussing over driver updates to remain relevant with newer technology.

Right now is the perfect time to intersect the Universal Docking Station technology at a mature technology point, however, for older PC it may be necessary to update the USB and Display Adaptor drivers for proper function.  Targus is ready to help.

Categories: Did You Know, Update

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1 reply

  1. Finding the correct support source can be time consuming if you have not done this in the past, especially if you have multiple makes and models of computer. Here is a good starting point

    Note: The computer EOM support sites are the US based ones and you should change the region (usually an option at the top or bottom of the web page) so that the computer model number can be recognised. Sometimes non-US variations on computer model numbering are not recognised on the US based support pages, changing the region fixes this.

    If you cannot get the computer “OEM approved” updated drivers through the OEM support sites and your computer is still within warranty or under a support agreement then call the OEM and ask them to supply suitable updated USB 3.0 host controller and display adaptor drivers for your computers internal hardware. The OEM may be able to provide one package that delivers network distributable drivers for multiple models rather than for individual models.
    Even if you are outside any agreement/warranty you may be able to employ their help without incurring any fees, it is worth a try.

    Note: The “Start Simplified Update” button (as displayed in a Chrome browser) or the “Continue to Step 1” button (as displayed in Internet Explorer) helps to provide updated drivers from the actual chipset manufacturers and is made available as a fallback alternative where you have exhausted all the options of obtaining “OEM approved” updated drivers.
    Targus do not accept any liability for the drivers provided via this method, these drivers are supplied by the chipset manufacturers and may not be compatible with your specific computer hardware.


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