How to fix Lenovo ThinkPad Helix (with Dock) issues with Windows 8.1


Since the Windows 8.1 preview came out (and now fully released), I had to put up with a huge amount of issues with connecting external devices to either to the keyboard or the USB 3.0 dock. I couldn't connect to external monitor issues most of the time, wired connectivity kept on dropping and usb devices like my Wacom tablet had trouble connecting. The issue seem to start especially after undocking this beautiful tablet from its keyboard. The remedy had been to restart the computer, which you can imagine was very painful to do.

I had been religiously checking the Lenovo Software Updates and got excited everytime I see a new update. Unfortunately the fix is still a manual process.

How to do it? simple. Update the Helix to the latest DisplayLink driver. DisplayLink is the technology used by the keyboard to connect to the dock. As of this post was written, the version is at 7.5. Watch out as there is a dedicated version for Windows 8.1.

Go get the driver here:

  1. schmak01 says:

    I have a similar set up but a new issue. Whenever I undock my Helix from the keyboard to use as a tablet, and re-dock it to the keyboard (connected to the USB dock) it fails to re-recognize any device plugged into the USB ports. This even happens when I go back to tablet mode and plug something in the USB there. The only way to fix is to reboot, but that takes forever now, 6-7 minutes and ends up with a BSOD. I am going to post this up in the Lenovo forums, but was curious if you have had any similar issues,.

  2. ronaldwidha says:

    Funnily enough, I do have the same issue starting 2 weeks back, though restarting for me takes less than 2 mins and I havent seen the BSOD for a while. can you share me the link to your forum post. will chime in there

  3. schmak01 says:

    OK so I had to reformat the whole enchilada. Here is what I have done step by step: 1) Factory Reset for OS 2) Uninstall ALL Norton software (Modern UI app and in Control Panel) 3) Run the Norton Cleanup Utility to ensure its all gone 4) Install Windows Updates 5) Install Windows 8.1 6) Install Windows Updates * I am not installing the Intel Management Engine or Smart Connect, I have a feeling there is an issue there 7) Install all updates except those intel items from Lenovo System Update 8) Install USB Dock Software from Lenovo *not using the display link vendor driver unless I run into an issue 9) Installed Desktop Software (VMWare Horizon View, Office 365 and Chrome is about it) 10) Install all Modern UI apps Everything is still working at this point, with all my software back on. The only difference is I have not installed those 2 optional intel software items and the DisplayLInk vendor software. I am taking a new recovery image since for some reason they though it was better to not have system restore anymore so I am running recimg to make the new recovery image and then set that to default so I will not have to do this all over again and can keep playing without having to reinstall windows 8.1 again.

  4. ronaldwidha says:

    I took a lot less drastic measure, power cycling the USB Dock by unplugging the adapter and leaving it out for 10-15 seconds before plugging back in seems to fix most connectivity issues for me.

  5. schmak01 says:

    Then we may not have had the same issue. My issue wasn't with the USB dock, but with the tablet keyboard dock's USB ports. Those were no longer seeing anything plugged into them. USB Flash drives, mice, keyboards or the dock unless the item was plugged in on reboot.