Windows 10 Bug Affecting All Versions Locks Out Hot-Swappable Devices Connected With Thunderbolt Dock

A rather odd bug has been discovered by a few Windows 10 OS users. The bug, affecting all versions of Windows 10 OS, including the latest 1909, locks out any device that has been connected to a computer through the Thunderbolt dock. Owing to the rarity of the instances involving a Thunderbolt dock, the Windows 10 bug may have remained undiscovered for quite some time. Microsoft has acknowledged the newly discovered bug but hasn’t indicated it would issue a fix soon.

Windows 10 Thunderbolt Dock Bug Affects All Versions Of Windows 10:

Microsoft has confirmed that a new Windows 10 bug could prevent devices connected via Thunderbolt dock from being detected. The bug prevents external devices connected via Thunderbolt dock from being detected. Interestingly, the devices that are connected but unusable, do show up in the Device Manager. Their status shows enabled and working. However, they remain inaccessible and inoperable.

The Windows 10 Thunderbolt Bug affects nearly all the recent versions of the operating system, including 1909, 1903, 1809, 1803, or 1709. Incidentally, for the bug to operate, users need to enable Fast Startup. The Fast Startup protocol, which was previously called Fast Boot, is essentially a combination of a cold shutdown and the hibernate feature that has been prevalent in Windows OS.

The Fast Boot method has always been a rather troublesome feature that does work well for the majority of users. However, with the advent of Solid State Drives (SSD), the Fast Boot feature has lost its importance. This is because SSDs offer exponentially fast boot-up times as compared to the traditional Hard Disk Drives. Nonetheless, Microsoft has retained the feature and attempted to improve the same in Windows 10.

Microsoft May Not Prioritize A Fix To The Thunderbolt Bug In Windows 10 But Here’s A Quick But Temporary Fix:

The Windows 10 Thunderbolt Bug affects a very small number of users. According to Microsoft, the issue occurs only 5 percent of the time. Moreover, Windows 10 users who come across the bug can simply fix the same by restarting their devices. Attempting to get the PC to recognize the devices without a restart is futile and needlessly time-consuming. Additionally, simply removing and reconnecting the Thunderbolt Dock does not fix the issue. Simply put, if Windows 10 users cannot get any external device, connected through a Thunderbolt  Dock to show up, they should just restart the PC.

The number of Windows 10 users facing the bug is exceptionally low simply because the Thunderbolt Dock or the Thunderbolt port isn’t a common feature on PCs running Windows 10. Microsoft’s own Surface lineup doesn’t come with Thunderbolt port.

Thunderbolt 1 and 2 use the same connector as Mini DisplayPort (MDP), whereas Thunderbolt 3 re-uses the USB-C connector from USB. Hence it is rather surprising to see Microsoft not offering the same in its own devices. The Thunderbolt ports are quite powerful and even more versatile than USB. In addition to being reversible through and through, Thunderbolt offers exceptional power delivery as compared to traditional USB ports.

Microsoft has shared the steps that could trigger the Thunderbolt bug which will disconnect all the external devices even if they are showing up in the Device Manager:

  • On a computer that is running Windows 10, version 1909, 1903, 1809, 1803, or 1709, you enable Fast Startup.
  • On a Thunderbolt Dock, several devices, such as a keyboard, mouse, and USB encryption key, are attached.
  • You repeatedly do the following steps:
    • You connect the Thunderbolt Dock to the computer. Devices on the Thunderbolt Dock are enumerated.
    • You press the power button to put the system into a Soft Off (S5) power state. After the screen turns off, you remove the Thunderbolt Dock.
    • You wait for the S5 process to finish, plug in the Thunderbolt Dock, and then wait five seconds for the Thunderbolt Dock to become idle.
    • You power on the computer. Then, you check whether the mouse, keyboard, and USB key are functional.
Alap Naik Desai
A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.