Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book get second firmware updates

Users report the upgrades fix some problems, while others remain. There’s also a registry tweak available to improve Wi-Fi speed

Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book get second firmware updates
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft released firmware updates for the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book last night. They download and install through Windows Update on both the July 29 RTM version of Windows 10 (build 10240) and on the latest Insider build 10576.

From the Update history pages:

The following update will be listed as "System Firmware Update -- 11/2/2015" when you view your update history.

  • HD Graphics 520 driver update (v20.19.15.4308) addresses some display issues, including some scenarios that result in screen flickering.
  • Display audio driver update (v8.20.0.659) supports compatibility with the updated graphics driver.
  • Surface Embedded Controller Firmware update (v88.855.257.0) improves system stability.
  • Surface System Aggregator Firmware update (v88.853.258.0) improves the keyboard and trackpad experience.
  • Surface Pen Settings driver (v10.0.302.0) adds support for future functionality on Windows 10.

This is the second firmware update for both systems.

If you haven't installed it yet (and rebooted), click Start  > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Check for updates. As usual, Microsoft is rolling out the update in batches, which can result in delays. With so few systems in the wild, though, it's hard to imagine there is any technical reason for the delay.

While the general consensus is that the firmware update fixes many of the screen flickering and color problems I talked about last week, I'm still seeing reports of hot and unexpectedly discharged batteries while systems are in sleep mode, as well as a host of newly reported problems. For example, Reddit posters report:

  • Multiple problems with Firefox crashing. Some report Edge is crashing as well.
  • Blue screen Display_Scheduler_Internal_Error -- but only reported by one poster.
  • "SB still isn't outputting to my 4K monitor over a Mini DisplayPort cable. :-( SP3 is working fine."
  • "The update does not fix the boot up bug with the Type Cover flipped to the back."
  • "My SP4 still has less sensitivity to scroll initiation on the right side of the trackpad."

A number of people reported that the update took a long time -- 10 or 15 minutes -- to install, while others say it went by very quickly.

There's also a lot of buzz that the trackpad, in particular, works much better with this firmware update and the Win10 Insider build 10576, rather than the firmware upgrade with RTM 10240.

There's a manual fix for the slow Wi-Fi problem, posted by well-known contributor BryanTheCrow:

  1. Press Windows button. Search for regedit. Open it
  2. Navigate to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\mrvlpcie8897
  3. Find the item labeled "TXAMSDU".
  4. Double tap and modify the value from 1 to 0
  5. Restart the machine

The cause of the problem: "We have a known issue with .41 that results in low throughput with specific access points. The issue is specific to MAC layer aggregation (AMSDU over AMPDU) and only impacts a small subset of access points. We are working on a fix for an upcoming update. Until the fix is available, please update the registry key setting to work around this issue"

It's still early, but Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 customers seem pleased with the firmware update overall. They're also anxious to get all the bugs ironed out.

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