USB-A Peripherals NOT Working on VisionTek / Powercolor Thunderbolt 3 Mini Pro
 
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USB-A Peripherals NOT Working on VisionTek / Powercolor Thunderbolt 3 Mini Pro  

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Ker2322
(@ker2322)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

I would very much appreciate any assistance from anyone on the forum.

I have Win 10 Pro v10.0.18363.900 and Thunderbolt App v1.0.25.0 with Controller driver v.1.41.823.0 with NVM Firmware v77.0

The eGPU enclosure provides power (only) to the USB ports. I say this because I can put an LED decorated USB plug in and the LEDs light up. No peripherals work from the USB-A ports. They never have so this does not appear related to power-down/sleep states. The same peripherals work on other computers and work on this laptop using a USB 3.0/C to USB-A hub dongle.

The ethernet and the graphics card both work great on the enclosure. There is plenty of power coming back to the laptop through Thunderbolt 3 to charge it.

The laptop is Dell XPS 7390 13 inch 2-in-1; the recent (2019/2020) version. I have BIOS v1.4.0 (VERY recently released) and there are no "security levels" for Thunderbolt in BIOS other than Thunderbolt on/off; and whether to allow pre-boot devices using Thunderbolt. I have set Thunderbolt ON and disallowed pre-boot devices. Kernel DMA is active. PCIE Tunneling is Enabled.

The Thunderbolt App identifies TBX-240FU as being attached when it is attached. There is no option to authorize or manage any authorized devices.

I used HWINFO to compare my bus and driver list with this one. Mine does not indicate drivers from ASMedia are assigned to the bus "PCI Express x1 Bus #7." I believe they should be but cannot determine how to get those drivers assigned to my BUS. Windows is not cooperating although I have installed ASMedia USB xHCI driver 1.16.59.1_A16 from Dell. 

The DeviceInstanceID in my case is PCI\VEN\_8086&DEV_15C0&SUBSYS_5011148C&REV_01\0F224811E100AA0008

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@ker2322, I have observed the secondary Thunderbolt 3 controller not showing up when I have no devices connected during or prior to boot up. Have you tried changing the Thunderbolt settings to allow pre-boot devices and have something connected to USB-A ports prior to booting?

 

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Ker2322
(@ker2322)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

Although I am sure I've done this before, I went ahead and did so again. I turned on all three options in BIOS. (By default, Option 1 has always been on; Options 2 and 3 were always off.)

  1. Enable Thunderbolt Technology Support
  2. Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support
  3. Enable Thunderbolt (and PCIe behind TBT) pre-boot modules

After applying and exiting BIOS, it appeared to do a full shutdown. I placed a USB flashdrive in an enclosure port and turned the laptop on. This is the FIRST TIME I've seen the USB flashdrive light up indicating it has power. Previously only an LED-decorated USB cable had lit up. Booted normally but upon attempting to log in, using default local account (so, member of local admin group) the system froze. I forced shutdown from hardware power button. Note, the USB flashdrive is Kingston DataTraveler C10; formatted, not bootable.

I removed the USB flashdrive and rebooted. Windows/Dell auto-repair kicked in and I chose to just restart. But Windows stopcode "System Thread Exception Not Handled" continues to appear and it doesn't want to recover gracefully.

Booting again and back in BIOS I now am unable to use the integrated Touchpad. With an adaptor I can attach a USB mouse to the integrated USB-C/Thunderbolt port and use the interface as a workaround. Ran diagnosis and Critical Error Message comes back. And the only error was: charger not connected. 

Booting again with enclosure powered down and disconnected yielded same results: Windows won't boot.

Further steps/results, performed in order:

Hoping to identify a single error-causing config, I left option 1 enabled and option 3 enabled. I disabled option 2. Windows won't start normally. I disabled option 3 and re-enabled option 2. Windows won't start normally.

I disabled both options 2 and 3; leaving it just as it was a few minutes ago. Windows won't start normally.

I have booted successfully into safe mode and logged in as default account. Fun ...

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Ker2322
(@ker2322)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

I suspected something related to DMA was to blame. So I went back and turned on all 3 Thunderbolt options in BIOS. I put a known good USB flashdrive in the external case. I thought maybe reinstalling/refreshing with the settings on from the beginning would matter.

Attempting to recover the OS using native Dell "refresh" (BIOS-driven OS feature) failed ... at first. It went through its paces but then froze attempting OOBE (i.e. user setup after first-time turn-on).

Then I found this post and turned off (disabled) Intel Virtualization Technology for I/O devices. Note, all 3 Thunderbolt settings were left on. Rebooted and before the OOBE resumed (which it did, and completed, without freezing) the USB flashdrive lit up. Progress.

Will follow up with any important findings. Maybe this will help someone else.

Neither Powercolor, Visiontek, Dell, nor the vendor made any suggestions to address DMA or the "Intel Virtualization Technology for I/O Devices" setting. This may be the golden ticket.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Ker2322
(@ker2322)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

Update:  Disabling Intel Virtualization Technology for I/O devices has not resolved the issue. After doing so, I verified using SystemInfo within the OS that Kernel DMA was disabled. This would be the logical result. But the USB ports did not become active in the OS and did not respond in pre-boot or BIOS conditions either. Subsequently re-enabling Intel Virtualization Technology for I/O devices in the BIOS caused a disk failure; which makes sense as it is a DMA device.

Once again, I'm refreshing/restoring the OS and leaving this post for others to follow; hopefully with better results. Other suggestions are welcome.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Ker2322
(@ker2322)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

Using Ubuntu 18.04.4 from bootable USB I used the following commands:

  • boltctl
  • lspci -k

In Ubuntu, the problem device (USB controller NOT WORKING) is apparently identified as:

  08:00.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation Device 15c1 (rev 01)

Can anyone identify what driver should be associated with this in Windows?

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@ker2322, that's the USB controller of the Thunderbolt controller. Did you try connecting a USB device before boot (such as a mouse or hard drive)?

 

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Ker2322
(@ker2322)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

@joevt, Yes, thank you for pointing that out. I have tried connecting the devices (USB, keyboard, mouse) prior to booting, rebooting, shutting down (in case fast-boot was to blame). No success with any USB devices on the enclosure. Only a couple false starts (detailed earlier, above).

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Ker2322
(@ker2322)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

Update: Working!

Solution: Received a new Mini Pro eGPU and substituted it (keeping all the same cabling and connections in place). Then, once the laptop was powered on, the Razer mouse plugged into the USB on the eGPU enclosure lit up. But once the OS began its boot, the mouse went dark; and didn't work. After logging in I never received any dialogs or sounds for any Plug & Play events. However, I rebooted again (which bypasses fastboot; unlike shutdown) and went into BIOS. There, I found the new eGPU's MAC address was listed as a potential UEFI Boot device over PXE for IPv4 and IPv6. This I'd not seen with the first enclosure even though its NIC had always worked just fine.

It seemed the OS (Kernel DMA?) was stopping an otherwise functional device. So after reading their descriptions carefully, even though it didn't help last time, I turned on all three Thunderbolt options again: 

  1. Enable Thunderbolt Technology Support
  2. Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support
  3. Enable Thunderbolt (and PCIe behind TBT) pre-boot modules

Then the eGPU USB ports became active at every boot and reboot; and continued to be available when Windows boots and users log in. It is working as it should (WITH its USB ports) and all OS drivers (probably from earlier attempts) are now assigned. With this enclosure (but not the first) I can readily find "ASMedia USB Root Hub" and "ASMedia USB3.1 eXtensible Host Controller" in Device Manager. HWINFO confirms drivers for ASMedia are assigned to the ASM1142 xHCI controller, just as ITSAGE shows here and here. These are the missing link; now found and fixed.

I can only say I was able to resolve the situation once I used a different enclosure (same type; Mini Pro; from the same vendor). Whether that means the first one was entirely faulty USB hardware or my attempts to troubleshoot it caused a catch-22 condition to occur ... well ... that I do not know.

If I troubleshoot any further, later, I'll share.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Ker2322
(@ker2322)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

Troubleshooting Notes:

For anyone that it helps, here are some final(?) observations. Keep in mind that your platform may not have the same way of handling USB-C and Thunderbolt in pre-boot (really a BIOS ROM in this case). Or maybe the daisy-chain design of this eGPU has more catch-22's in BIOS settings due to its bus layout.

After testing and reverting many incompatible combinations between them, I have the best success (stability/functionality) with the following settings:

  • Thunderbolt Option 1: ON
  • Thunderbolt Option 2: OFF
  • Thunderbolt Option 3: OFF
  • Secure Boot: ON
  • Fastboot: Minimal

I can boot with eGPU attached or hotplug it. The eGPU USB ports work in pre-boot, after Windows loads and before login, and after login. Kernel DMA Protection is active. The side effect I've noticed is a delay of several seconds at login, followed by plug & play sounds immediately; every time

At several points I was locked "out" of using the eGPU from BIOS adjustments or OS lockups. I found two "key" ways to regain expected behavior:

  1. Switch between hotplugging the eGPU after logging in on Windows (as an admin) and leaving it plugged in while restarting the machine
  2. Turn Secure Boot mode off (then reboot). Turn Thunderbolt options 2 and 3 (see above) off (then reboot). Turn Secure Boot mode ON.

Other notes: Turning Secure Boot OFF will stop Kernel DMA from being active; at which point you can change Thunderbolt Options 2 and 3 and degrade security in both pre-boot and in the OS. Secure Boot ON seems incompatible with turning Thunderbolt Options 2 and/or 3 on. With the settings above, and while eGPU is connected, PCR7 configuration is not possible. This PCR7 state matters if you are attempting to implement Bitlocker because Thunderbolt devices are (by default) part of the configuration being checked at system boot/unlock. 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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