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Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

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jedisurfer1
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Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#1 Post by jedisurfer1 » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:00 am

Hi I've been using the dock for sometime and it's always transferred files for me around 50-65MB/s exceptions being a big ISO file will transfer at 60-80MB/s sustained. And if it's thousands of super small files and docs it's more like 30MB/s

I've assumed this was the norm. I sold it to a user and they were possibly expecting 100MB/s transfers. I'm trying to help them troubleshoot but I don't think 100MB/s sustained is possible via a normal rotational drive especially when transferring small files.

They have said they have the newer 3.0 driver. Are there any tips of suggestions you have that might help us. I know it was working on my w520 at 60MB/s with mixed files transferring the day I shipped it out. Which to me was the norm on an external portable usb 3.0 drive. I'd like to get a baseline on the speed that other users are getting.

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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#2 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:32 pm

I don't think 100MB/s sustained is possible via a normal rotational drive especially when transferring small files.
I agree. Transferring large files is easy because they can be read sequentially and in large blocks.

Having lots of small files is comparable to one big file that's badly fragmented: both result in lots and lots of jumping around the disk surface which of course causes the transfer speed to decrease substantially.

You can try a hard drive benchmarking tool to test the hard drive's performance. HD Tune is old but still useful enough for this task.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#3 Post by jcvjcvjcvjcv » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:37 pm

Older 2.5" drives won't even get to 80 MB/s
Ask them what external device they are using.

Also: USB (any version) is rather slow compared to eSata, especially when transferring small files.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#4 Post by mpcook » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:36 pm

I'm the one trying to get this dock working. I have three external drives, 2 Toshiba Canvio's, 2TB and 1.5TB and a brand new WD Passport Ultra 2TB. They all work fine in the internal USB 3.0 ports on the W520 and in my X220 (with ExpressCard USB 3.0). However, with the laptop in the dock, when each drive is plugged into the USB 3.0 port on the dock, I get: “This device can perform faster. This USB mass storage device can transfer information faster if you connect it to a Super-Speed USB 3.0 port”. I get read speeds well over 100MB/s on these drives, but copying the same files, I get in the 20-30MB/s range using the port on the dock (copying to an internal SSD C: drive on the W520). Write speeds are of course lower, but still significantly slower when using the port on the dock. I have uninstalled and reinstalled USB 3.0 drivers and tried different cables.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#5 Post by jdrou » Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:25 pm

What's the full "type" number of the dock? It looks like the only ones that have USB 3.0 are -15U and -35U. The older -10U, -20U, and -30U only have 2.0.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#6 Post by mpcook » Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:35 pm

It only says Type 4338 on it. However, it also states "with USB 3.0" on the bottom. And...it has a blue connector.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#7 Post by jcvjcvjcvjcv » Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:44 pm

Yes, and only that blue connector is USB 3.0

I did some searching, and apparently the *20 systems only do USB 2.0 speed on the dock, because the USB3.0 is implemented with a separate chip. The *30 systems have USB 3.0 integrated into the Intel chipset and can therefore also offer USB 3 speeds on the dock.

But since Lenovo's website is a bìtch, it seems to be impossible to find in the official documentation, but here is a Lenovo employee on their forum:

http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-Th ... rue#M25521
The issue remaining seems to be what the expected behavior of the Dock USB 3.0 ports with the W520 attached. I'm told that the dock will perform at USB 2.0 with the W520 installed because:



"The USB 3.0 controller of W520 is a discrete part (not built into the chipset), and I don't know how it would be technically possible to route it through the dock. I think it is only possible to get USB 2.0 through the dock, and this is what the screenshot is showing in Ron's post (#2 of the thread). The W530 works because USB 3.0 is built into the chipset."



I also inquired with our senior hardware team, and they indicated that :



"The new dock has no USB 3.0 capability with Huron River systems (520); USB 3.0 is with Chief River and beyond. The docs and web site are already being updated to make this clear."



Additionally, it seems that if the W530 (or other Chief River) system is running XP and docked, the port will also be limited to USB 2.0 speeds.
What system does the OP have? A *30?

All in all the dock is pretty disappointing in a lot of ways; the DVI isn't Dual Link, the audio is completely useless (and buggy!), there is only one eSata port at best, but it's unpowered, no SP/DIF output (though audio in DP). Scrapping the eSata port for a USB 3 port that doesn't even work witht he *20 systems just tops it off.

Also note that Lenovo didn't release the USB 3.0 docks untill the *30 system were out. Since Lenovo likes dumping good thing in favor of bad things (16:9 nonsense, missing eSata on newer docks and W540, too short M.2 slot), they would probably have done it earlier if it actually worked with a *20.
Last edited by jcvjcvjcvjcv on Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#8 Post by mpcook » Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:49 pm

Well in that case, I have a dock for sale, one USB 3.0 or one eSata, take your pick because they are the same to me. This is news I was not able to find anywhere in the documentation or forums. Thanks for pointing this out.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#9 Post by jcvjcvjcvjcv » Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:52 pm

Also see my edit.

Well, you might look into eSata enclosures. No driver nonsense and higher throughput with lower CPU use.

If you go advertise the docks somewhere, make sure you make clear:

-USB 3.0 or eSata
-Keys present?
-keyed power connector or round?

I bought two used docks for my W520 and then some more for another thinkpadder around here, but very few sellers list these three basic points.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#10 Post by dr_st » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:25 am

As far as I remember, it's been confirmed, that at least in the case of X220, the USB3.0 works through the dock. It appears they did route the NEC/Renesas controller through the docking station. See for example here:
https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/X-Series-T ... rue#M59138
http://www.thinkpads.com/forum/viewtopi ... 48#p725748 (the definitive proof)

I'm trying to refresh my memory whether any definitive answer regarding other Huron River systems (T420s/W520) series was ever posted, but so far unsuccessfully.

With that said, 60-80MB/s sustained speed is definitely above the capabilities of USB2.0, so at least the available evidence suggests that USB3.0 is working.

It's really easy to check. You just need to open the Device Manager, view "Devices by Connection", find the hard drive in question, and see if it's dangling off the chipset USB2.0 controller, or the USB3.0 controller.

Keep in mind, of course, that there has to be a USB3.0 controller in the laptop for this to work. Which means it can only work on W520, T420s and select X220 (those with Core i7), not on any T420/T520.

Edit:

So, for starts, this explains why you are not getting USB3.0 speeds with your X220. Judging by your "via ExpressCard" comment, your X220 does not have an onboard USB3.0 controller, which means it cannot get USB3.0 through the dock.

And it looks like the W520 really does not wire the USB3.0 controller through the dock:
http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-Th ... d-p/811093
Now the problem -- when the USB3 hard drive is plugged into one of the USB3 ports on the un-docked W520, it shows up as connected through the Renesas USB3 controller (using the USBView shreware to see the entire USB tree). But when connected through the USB3 port on the new dock, it shows up as part of the USB2 tree, with nothing connected to the Renesas USB3 controller.
I think it makes sense at least in one aspect. The USB3.0 chip they used in the Huron River Thinkpads is the Renesas uPD720200, which has 2 ports. On the W520 both are routed to the chassis with no spare port. On the X220 i7 there is only one port on the chassis, which left a spare port, and it's reasonable that someone figured out how to route it to the dock (Planning ahead? No way!).

So, in theory, T420s can also support USB3.0 via the mini-dock, but so far I only found information that it does not.

Darn! I wish I had one of these docks to try out myself. :evil:
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#11 Post by mpcook » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:27 am

dr_st wrote:As far as I remember, it's been confirmed, that at least in the case of X220, the USB3.0 works through the dock. It appears they did route the NEC/Renesas controller through the docking station. See for example here:
https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/X-Series-T ... rue#M59138
http://www.thinkpads.com/forum/viewtopi ... 48#p725748 (the definitive proof)

I'm trying to refresh my memory whether any definitive answer regarding other Huron River systems (T420s/W520) series was ever posted, but so far unsuccessfully.

With that said, 60-80MB/s sustained speed is definitely above the capabilities of USB2.0, so at least the available evidence suggests that USB3.0 is working.

It's really easy to check. You just need to open the Device Manager, view "Devices by Connection", find the hard drive in question, and see if it's dangling off the chipset USB2.0 controller, or the USB3.0 controller.

Keep in mind, of course, that there has to be a USB3.0 controller in the laptop for this to work. Which means it can only work on W520, T420s and select X220 (those with Core i7), not on any T420/T520.

Edit:

So, for starts, this explains why you are not getting USB3.0 speeds with your X220. Judging by your "via ExpressCard" comment, your X220 does not have an onboard USB3.0 controller, which means it cannot get USB3.0 through the dock.

And it looks like the W520 really does not wire the USB3.0 controller through the dock:
http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-Th ... d-p/811093
Darn! I wish I had one of these docks to try out myself. :evil:
Yes, I did not expect my X220 i5 to operate with USB3 in the dock. I will check the tree for the W520. Speeds for W520 copying large file from external drive to internal SSD through USB3 port on dock=~20-30MB/s and through the W520 internal USB3 = ~80 to +100MB/s. That sounds to me like the dock USB3 port is operating at USB2 speeds.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#12 Post by mpcook » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:04 am

I have confirmed by looking at the tree that for a W520, the dock's USB 3.0 port operates at 2.0 speed via the "generic USB hub" along with the 2.0 ports. When connected directly to one of the two internal W520 USB 3.0 ports, the device operates through the Renesas USB 3.0 controller. So, this dock is dead to me, it's no more useful than any other W520 capable dock.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#13 Post by jcvjcvjcvjcv » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:30 pm

Worse; they sacrificed the eSata port for the fake USB 3 port. With eSata you at least had an option for really fast data transfer.

The reported speeds over USB 3.0 here are still worse than what I got six years ago with an eSata HDD :banana:

I didn't know about the X220 magic. But was the X220 fitting on that dock not a hack in the first place?
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#14 Post by mpcook » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:38 pm

jcvjcvjcvjcv wrote:Worse; they sacrificed the eSata port for the fake USB 3 port. With eSata you at least had an option for really fast data transfer.

The reported speeds over USB 3.0 here are still worse than what I got six years ago with an eSata HDD :banana:
USB 3.0 is fairly commonly available for peripherals, much more so than eSata and unfortunately I am not prepared to changeover all of my external drives and memory sticks to eSata enclosures. So, I will go back to using the internal USB 3.0 ports on the W520 and ignore the USB 3.0 and eSata ports on the two docks that I have. It's just a matter of practicality.
Current: 2 x W520 ET, 2 x X220 i7, T420, X230 i5, T420s, MacbookPro, Dell Venue 11 Pro, Dell XPS 8930, X1 Yoga 3GEN
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#15 Post by dr_st » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:50 pm

Yes, the fact that it is impossible to get both eSATA and USB3 on the docks is very disappointing.

I wonder if they just used the same pins on the connector to route both. But if they did, then I cannot understand how the same system can support both USB3 docks and eSATA docks (surely they are routed differently on the planar?). If they did not, then I cannot understand why they would not just sacrifice one of the 5 other USB2 ports.

The X220/X230 are fully compatible with all series 3 docks, by design. However, the X220/X230 tablets do not fit on these docks, although the connector is the same. It is possible there is a hack to make them fit, which is probably what you are remembering.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#16 Post by mpcook » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:54 pm

jcvjcvjcvjcv wrote: I didn't know about the X220 magic. But was the X220 fitting on that dock not a hack in the first place?
My X220 i5 fits and works perfectly on either dock (USB 3.0 or eSata version). These are both the docks that take the 170W AC adapter. Without, of course, USB 3.0 functionality through the dock.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#17 Post by jcvjcvjcvjcv » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:29 pm

mpcook wrote:
jcvjcvjcvjcv wrote:Worse; they sacrificed the eSata port for the fake USB 3 port. With eSata you at least had an option for really fast data transfer.

The reported speeds over USB 3.0 here are still worse than what I got six years ago with an eSata HDD :banana:
USB 3.0 is fairly commonly available for peripherals, much more so than eSata and unfortunately I am not prepared to changeover all of my external drives and memory sticks to eSata enclosures. So, I will go back to using the internal USB 3.0 ports on the W520 and ignore the USB 3.0 and eSata ports on the two docks that I have. It's just a matter of practicality.
Yes, sadly. For backups it makes a lot more sense to enjoy the higher performance (at lower CPU use) of eSata. WD doesn't even offer any eSata HDD's anymore.

Fortunately, there are separate enclosures available. Half my system's don't even have USB 3.0, but they do have eSata.
dr_st wrote:Yes, the fact that it is impossible to get both eSATA and USB3 on the docks is very disappointing.

I wonder if they just used the same pins on the connector to route both. But if they did, then I cannot understand how the same system can support both USB3 docks and eSATA docks (surely they are routed differently on the planar?). If they did not, then I cannot understand why they would not just sacrifice one of the 5 other USB2 ports.

The X220/X230 are fully compatible with all series 3 docks, by design. However, the X220/X230 tablets do not fit on these docks, although the connector is the same. It is possible there is a hack to make them fit, which is probably what you are remembering.
Maybe the dock tells the system what signals it wants? If not, then they probably did plan in advance and wilfully dumped eSata, just like they did on the W540, and leave yet another SATA lane from the chipset unused. The chipset in the W520 has six SATA ports; one unused, one for the dock, one for the eSata port, one for the mSata slot, one for the HDD bay and one for the ODD bay. On the W540 there are three unused.

As for the sacrificing a USB 2.0 port; there are six of them, not 5. On the 4337 docks with USB 3.0 they actually did that; they have 5 USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0

The only real reasons to get the 4338 dock for use with the W520 is the eSata port and the ability to output >1920x1200 on two screens. If you don't need either; save your money and get a 4337 dock. Even if 1920x1200 on one screen and 2560x1600, the 4337 dock is fine. The 4338 dock offers a 2nd DVI and 2nd DP, but can only use one of the two at a time. The 4337 dock can use both of it's single set.

See:
http://mobility4less.de/media/catalog/p ... 8/9876.gif

This strange stuff with the USB 3.0 port is about as stupid that the T520 can drive more external screens than the W520...

Yes, the tablet hack must be what I remembered.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#18 Post by dr_st » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:40 am

Ah, that's right. Now it was my memory that deceived me. I seem to have remembered that the eSATA replaced ones of the 6 USB ports, just like the USB3 port does. Now that I saw the picture, I know better. :)
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#19 Post by mpcook » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:10 am

That's not the 4337 dock. On the 4338, the USB 3.0 replaces the eSata and still leaves 6 USB 2.0 ports. The 4338 dock is required for a W520 because certain versions of 4338 can use the 170W AC adapter. I don't know that there is a 4337 that can take a 170W adapter, but I think my travails with docks are over for a while.
Current: 2 x W520 ET, 2 x X220 i7, T420, X230 i5, T420s, MacbookPro, Dell Venue 11 Pro, Dell XPS 8930, X1 Yoga 3GEN
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#20 Post by jcvjcvjcvjcv » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:55 pm

Woops, you might be right about the 170W thing.

But nothing a security Torx bit doesn't solve :banana:
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#21 Post by jdrou » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:11 pm

jcvjcvjcvjcv wrote: But nothing a security Torx bit doesn't solve :banana:
I'll never understand how requiring a slightly harder to find bit adds "security".
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#22 Post by kollya » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:50 pm

mpcook wrote:That's not the 4337 dock. On the 4338, the USB 3.0 replaces the eSata and still leaves 6 USB 2.0 ports. The 4338 dock is required for a W520 because certain versions of 4338 can use the 170W AC adapter. I don't know that there is a 4337 that can take a 170W adapter, but I think my travails with docks are over for a while.
I beleive that all 4338 docks are capable of using 170W power adapter. Mine dock is 4338-15U (i.e. comes with 90W) and works fine with 170W.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#23 Post by kollya » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:54 pm

Never tested the real transfer speed on the blue usb 3.0 port, will try and write here
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#24 Post by jcvjcvjcvjcv » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:23 pm

jdrou wrote:
jcvjcvjcvjcv wrote: But nothing a security Torx bit doesn't solve :banana:
I'll never understand how requiring a slightly harder to find bit adds "security".
Nope. There are plenty of 4338 docks that don't have the keyed connector to allow for the 170W supply. I have one and I simply got rid of the plastic inside the 170W tip with a security torx bit.

It adds security against people not determined enough to open something up. People are more likely have to have flat, pz, ph and allen screwdrivers than security Torx. Torx in itself is a blessing however. It's so much better than allen, pz, flat, ph.

And Apple topped all the annoyance with the i-screw.
jdrou wrote:
jcvjcvjcvjcv wrote: But nothing a security Torx bit doesn't solve :banana:
I'll never understand how requiring a slightly harder to find bit adds "security".
Neither do I. In most cases you can just remove the pin anyway and use a normal Torx bit. The security Torx bits work nicely to remove the plastic parts inside the connector of the 170W PSU to make it compatible with docks that have the round connector.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#25 Post by dr_st » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:03 pm

mpcook wrote:That's not the 4337 dock. On the 4338, the USB 3.0 replaces the eSata and still leaves 6 USB 2.0 ports.
So I wasn't making things up. :P

Would it be possible for you to check something using USBView, for my curiosity? How are the USB ports routed on the 4338 dock? Is it a 7-port hub connected directly to the laptop? A hub behind a hub?
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#26 Post by mpcook » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:16 pm

dr_st wrote:So I wasn't making things up. :P

Would it be possible for you to check something using USBView, for my curiosity? How are the USB ports routed on the 4338 dock? Is it a 7-port hub connected directly to the laptop? A hub behind a hub?
I emailed you the image, I could not figure how to attach an image file to the post. Let us know what you think.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#27 Post by dr_st » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:32 pm

Thank you so much! :thumbs-UP:

There are no ways to attach the image to the post, as far as I know. I always upload them to my Photobucket, and link to them.

Here's the link to your picture:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v65/d ... 11fae9.jpg

It puts everything in order. It's indeed a 7-port USB hub, with the USB3-as-USB2-port being the 7th and last port.
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#28 Post by hero3616c » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:05 pm

Dock 4338 & thinkpad w520 usb 3.0 port works at usb 3.0 speeds only if you're using Lenovo usb 3 drivers link below. Tested on Windows 10 with two usb 3 devices (external harddisk 95 MB/s and Startech display link usb to display port converter. 3 monitor setup. All mini display port dell 2415u). Driver that Windows installs will make the dock usb 3 port funtion in usb 2.0 speed. If you read ppl talking about missing channels don't believe them :)

http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/downloads/ds015025

My next test will be to connect both external hdd and Startech adapter to a usb 3 hub that is connected to 4338 dock. It should work.


MOD edit: user supplied wrong info.

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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#29 Post by dr_st » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:04 am

Hi and welcome to the forum. :)

What you say is interesting and surprising, so I must be skeptical about it. All evidence gathered so far shows that the USB3 controller in the W520 routes both its ports to the chassis, none to the dock.

The driver you linked to appears to be a more or less generic driver for the Renesas uPD720200, perhaps with some customizations for Lenovo subsystem IDs. I can't think of a mechanism where such a driver can activate functionality if the ports are not actually passed through the docking connector. But it does mention in the release notes "(New) ThinkPad Series 3 Docking Station with USB 3.0 family" (without additional explanations).

If you can be so kind, could you please post a USBView screenshot, similar to the one in the post above, which shows the USB tree when your USB3 hard drive connected to the USB3 port on your 4338 dock, with your W520 docked in it?
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Re: Need some advice about USB 3.0 on w520 dock 4338

#30 Post by mpcook » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:32 am

hero3616c wrote:Dock 4338 & thinkpad w520 usb 3.0 port works at usb 3.0 speeds only if you're using Lenovo usb 3 drivers link below. Tested on Windows 10 with two usb 3 devices (external harddisk 95 MB/s and Startech display link usb to display port converter. 3 monitor setup. All mini display port dell 2415u). Driver that Windows installs will make the dock usb 3 port funtion in usb 2.0 speed. If you read ppl talking about missing channels don't believe them :)

http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/downloads/ds015025

My next test will be to connect both external hdd and Startech adapter to a usb 3 hub that is connected to 4338 dock. It should work.
I believe I tried this driver (several times) without success, so I am curious to see the USBView screenshot.
Last edited by mpcook on Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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