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How to use IDEA Lab's external GPUs with Engineering IT's loanable laptops

This document details the steps required to make the IDEA Lab's loanable external GPUs (eGPUs) work with Engineering IT's loanable laptops.

Engineering IT's loanable laptops can be used with the Grainger IDEA Lab's loanable external GPUs (eGPUs). This is not specifically recommended since the mobile CPUs in the loanable laptops will likely result in a sub-par experience, however it is possible. As of this writing, Engineering IT has one model of laptop for loan that supports the Thunderbolt connection used by the eGPUs, which is a Dell Latitude 7400.

The laptop will come with the proper drivers, but the steps below must be followed to install them. Engineering IT cannot do this ahead of time as the eGPU must be plugged into the laptop to complete the install.
  1. Turn on the laptop and sign into Windows as your NetID, using your NetID's password (must be on a campus wired or wireless network).
  2. Plug the eGPU into power using the eGPU's provided power cable.
  3. Plug the eGPU into the laptop's USB-C port using the eGPU's provided USB-C cable.
  4. Plug the eGPU into a monitor (or other video output device) using an appropriate video cable.
  5. Search for "Device Manager" via the Start Menu and open it.
  6. In Device Manager, select the laptop's name at the top of the list (e.g. engrit-loan-c##), and click on Action -> Scan for hardware changes.
  7. Reboot the laptop. While booting, your video output device should begin receiving a signal mirroring what you see on the laptop's screen.
  8. Sign into Windows again.
  9. Connect to any network with internet access (Ethernet or wifi).
  10. Search for "Device Manager" via the Start Menu and open it.
  11. Expand "Display adapters". The laptop's built in display adapter (for the Latitude 7400) should show up as "Intel(R) UHD Graphics 620", and there should be one additional entry for the eGPU.
    • If the eGPU is already listed the correct GPU model name (i.e. NVIDIA GTX GeForce 1070), then you are done.
    • If the eGPU is listed as "Basic Microsoft Display Adapter" or something similar, then continue with the following steps.
    • If there is no additional display adapter listed, then the eGPU is not being detected at all. Try checking all of the cables and power, and performing the above steps again.
  12. Right click the "Basic Microsoft Display Adapter" entry, and select "Update driver". The proper drivers should be installed from the files included with the laptop, or from the internet. After this the eGPU should be recognized and listed in Device Manager as it's proper model name (i.e. NVIDIA GTX GeForce 1070), and you are done.
If you are unable to get the eGPU to be properly recognized, please contact Engineering IT or IDEA Lab for further support. Please note that Engineering IT cannot guarantee that this eGPU configuration will be supported and work for your particular use case, but will provide a best efforts attempt to support it.

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Keywords:idea lab external gpu egpu engrit engineering it loan loaner loanable laptop drivers   Doc ID:96406
Owner:Matthew S.Group:University of Illinois Engineering IT
Created:2019-12-04 16:28 CDTUpdated:2019-12-04 16:51 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois Engineering IT
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