So, I've just bought a Lenovo USB-C hub (port replicator) which I want to use with my laptop and desktop computers. However, neither of my devices has USB-C ports and I can only use USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports with an adapter.

The hub in question is: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07FQD4KMV

The adapter in question is: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01J16IOIS

Turns out that my initially planned setup doesn't work. I'm not sure why but my guess is that the conversion of USB-C to USB-A renders the hub undetectable for Windows 10.

I had concerns whether either the hub or adapter are not functioning properly but after tests with other devices I concluded the problem is with the USB ports on the laptop and desktop.

Do you have any ideas how I can bypass this issue? I am thinking as last resort I may have to buy and install PCI Express USB-C adapter card on the desktop but I am clueless on what to do with the laptop.

  • 1
    When you say "devices" in the first paragraph, do you mean that neither of your computers has a USB-C port? – Christopher Hostage Dec 17 '18 at 22:09
  • USB standards are a complete mess right now. – Keltari Dec 17 '18 at 23:09
  • @ChristopherHostage indeed, neither my laptop nor my desktop have USB-C ports – kr3t3n Dec 19 '18 at 0:19

You have purchased a pretty sophisticated "port replicator", which is more like a "docking station", and it has a lot of auxiliary functionality like Power Delivery to charge a laptop "in reverse" (aka "accessory adapter"). This functionality requires full-blown PD communication over Type-C "CC channel", which employs sophisticated serial protocol. The female port (in normal modern laptop) must be able to communicate and respond properly.

To communicate over CC lines and have the Type-C port "flippable", the female receptacle must have serious electronics inside, at least a CC-PD controller, and a super-speed port swap multiplexer. It also must include a port power switch to be compliant with Type-C specifications (no VBUS unless connected), while classic USB ports have VBUS opwer always on.

Your "adapter", however, doesn't look like having any electronics at all, just a goofy cheap mechanical adapter, with no power switch and no responses to CC commands. That's why it doesn't work with a sophisticated port replicator. Maybe, only maybe some primitive USB devices will work with this dongle, but any serious multi-functional dual-role USB links won't. You need to examine this dongle for functionality and compliance to Type-C specifications, and likely need to get a better Type-A to Type-C converter.

  • Thanks for the explanation. I only tried the adapter with a memory card reader and it worked, thus I assume it works in general. Can you recommend an adapter that would be sufficient in my situation. Also, would it ever work with USB 2.0 port at all? – kr3t3n Dec 19 '18 at 0:20

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