Problems with Surface Pro 4/Surface Book firmware update

Microsoft releases new round of firmware and driver updates for the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4. There’s no documentation and plenty of complaints.

Problems with Surface Pro 4/Surface Book firmware update
Microsoft

We have no way of knowing why Microsoft released the driver updates last Friday or what they’re supposed to accomplish. What we do know is that the last set of patches came just 10 days earlier, on July 11, when Microsoft added support for the new Surface Pro Type Cover and Signature Type Cover.

With two dozen major firmware and driver updates pushed onto the Surface Pro 4 since its release in October 2015, and a new Surface Pro 2017 currently on offer, it’s noteworthy that Microsoft is still trying to get the SP4 and SB drivers right.

Commenter Bespin on the OnMsft forum has a screenshot of the drivers just installed on his Surface Pro 4:

  • Surface driver update for Surface Management Engine
  • Surface driver update for Surface Pen Pairing
  • Marvell Semiconductor Inc. driver update for Marvell AVASTAR Bluetooth Radio Adapter
  • Surface driver update for Surface UEFI
  • Microsoft driver update for Surface Accessory Device
  • Surface driver update for Surface Embedded Controller Firmware
  • Marvell Semiconductor Inc. driver update for Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
  • Intel(R) Corporation driver update for Intel(R) Display Audio
  • Surface driver update for Surface Integration

I’ve also seen reports of a new “Intel Corporation driver update for Intel(R) HD Graphics 520.” Of course, until Microsoft graces us with a change list, we’re reduced to speculating about the changes.

Judging by the decibel level of complaints, the rollout has been anything but problem-free.

On Reddit, I see reports of a new power slider—accessible by hovering your mouse/pen over the power icon in the system tray—that lets you adjust the power mode from “Best battery life” to “Best performance.” Apparently, it’s the same slider available now in the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro 2017, and it seems identical to the one Microsoft has announced for the Fall (North America) Creators Update version 1709, due in September or October.

In the same Reddit thread, there are reports of new Wi-Fi problems, and there’s a divergence of opinion as to whether the new Pen driver improves matters.

On the Microsoft Answers forum, poster CDLeePatrick says:

I updated the latest update Jul 2017 and it bricks my type cover completely. Tried everthing, from reset, volume + and power, everthing including cleaning etc… I also cannot see the device under device manager after the update. I have wipe out my entire computer and do an install again. Not working. Pure waste of time.

It isn’t clear if that’s an isolated incident, or the vanguard of a new wave of complaints.

You'd think that a billion-dollar business inside Microsoft would deign to publish a changelog of pushed kernel-level patches.

Commiseration continues on the AskWoody Lounge.

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