DisplayLink and OpenGL

I have a new HP laptop and I have been trying to do some OpenGL programming on it, but I keep running into a problem were my programs will not start up OpenGL when my laptop is docked with a DisplayLink dock. It was kind of weird because the program would run and report it was using OpenGL 4, but nothing would show on the screen.

Dell DisplayLink Dock

I ran into this before with my old laptop and the trick was to just keep the laptop lid open and then for whatever reason OpenGL would work on the monitors connected to the dock.

But with this new laptop that was not working. I looked around and found all kinds of theories. Some said it was a Windows 10 update that broke it. Some blamed the Nvidia driver and some blamed the Intel driver. So, I updated all my drivers and made sure Windows was all the way up to date. I also went to the DisplayLink website and updated the dock driver. Then gave it another test run.

This time I had a hard crash. I could not even catch the crash with a try/catch block in C++. My program was crashing on the line of code that starts up OpenGL “wglCreateContext()”. So I ran it on another computer to make sure I was not crazy and it worked fine.

After holding my face in my hands for a while I started looking around and noticed the driver I got from the HP website was older than the one Windows updates installed. So I went to the Intel website and noticed there was a new driver for this month that HP and Windows did not have. I downloaded the driver and attempted to install. But to my horror, I got this message.

Intel driver install error.

“The driver being installed is not validated for this computer. Please obtain the appropriate driver from the computer manufacturer.”

It would seem that HP was trying to lock me out of using official Intel drivers? But I refused to give up.

How to Fix the DisplayLink Dock

Before we start, let it be noted that I am using a Dell DisplayLink dock. Other companies like StarTech also make docks with the DisplayLink internals and they all seem to use the same drivers. So I assume this problem and fix applies to all of them but I may be wrong.

I ended up forcing the install of the official driver and that fixed all my problems with OpenGL and the Display Link dock. Here is how I did it.

1. First I downloaded the zip version of the driver from Intel and unzipped it into a folder.

Intel in device manager.

2. Then I opened up device manager and found my Intel video device.

3. Right-click that and click Properties.

Intel Device Manager Properties

4. Then click Update Driver.

Pick from a list.

5. Click “Browse my computer for driver software” then click “Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer”.

Have Disk.

6. Then click “Have Disk”.

.inf File

7. Now browse to the “.inf” file in the driver you just unzipped. In my case it was in a folder called Graphics.

8. And that is it. The Driver will install now and bypass the validated computer error.

It works!

OpenGL is working!

After I did that OpenGL works perfect with my DisplayLink dock. So maybe it was an Intel problem the whole time or some combo of problems that I fixed with other updates.

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