Dell Docking Station Doesn’t Detect USB Mouse and Keyboard

I’ve found myself in this situation with multiple Dell docking stations and multiple Dell laptops running various Windows operating systems.  I don’t know why the docking station stops recognizing my USB mouse and keyboard – it just does.  It’s black magic. 

Dell D/Dock Expansion Station Docking station - PCThe last time around I just starting plugging the mouse and keyboard into the docked laptop directly and went about my business (as if I wasn’t completing missing out on a couple of the core benefits of using a docking station.)  I guess that’s what happens when you forget how you got yourself out of the mess the last time around. 

I had been in this half-assed state for a couple of weeks now, but a coworker fortunately got themselves in and out of the same pickle this morning.  Procrastinate long enough and the solution will just come to you, right?

Here’s how to get yourself out of this mess:

  1. Undock your computer
  2. Unplug your docking station
  3. Count to an arbitrary number greater than 12.  (Not sure this is really required, but…)
  4. Plug your docking station back in
  5. Redock your machine

I put my machine to sleep before taking the aforementioned actions.  My coworker completely shutdown his laptop instead.  The steps worked on both of our Win 7 machines this morning and, who knows, it might just work for you too. 


  1. Works great! Thanks for posting this. I never would thought such an obscure action would fix that problem.

  2. Thank you for posting this advice. Worked for me too! Win XP Lenovo ThinkPad and docking station.

  3. You’re a scolar and a gent – worked perfectly on my PS2 keyboard and mouse as well (I know, I know, very 1990)

    Good work fella.

  4. Unfortunately after 3 tries, this remedy did not work for my Dell 620 laptop and it’s docking station. 🙁