New Surface Pro 4 driver restores Windows Hello — and this time it’s documented

Microsoft says the buggy, undocumented driver, pushed through Automatic Update earlier this week, caused problems on only 'a small number of devices'

New Surface Pro 4 driver restores Windows Hello

Last night, Microsoft released a new Surface Camera driver called “Surface – System – 7/31/2007 12:00:00 AM -” that is intended to fix the Windows Hello problem introduced by the completely undocumented driver “Surface - System - 7/21/2017 12:00:00 AM -” Many of you complained that after installing the buggy driver, your Surface Pro 4 no longer supported Windows Hello.

As best as I can tell, this driver update fixes the problem. But there’s more to the story.

The original, buggy driver was dated July 21, the files were dated July 26, and the driver was sent down the Automatic Update chute on July 29 without warning or description.

This new, presumably good driver is dated July 24, according to the download notes. The Microsoft Update Catalog says it was last updated July 31. If you download and look at the files, they're all dated Aug. 1. The Surface Pro 4 changelog says it was released on Aug. 2. In fact, it was released on Aug. 3.

There's a lot of monkey business going on with the dates.

Until yesterday, Microsoft didn't admit to the bug in the original patch. A user on the Microsoft Answers forum came up with the correct, complex steps necessary to roll back the buggy driver and keep it rolled back.

Microsoft employee BryanH (finally!) admitted to the problem in this Microsoft Answers forum post dated late on the night of Aug. 2:

The update to resolve this issue has gone live on Windows Update (you can obtain this fix by checking Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. Once installed, the update will require a reboot to initiate the change). The specific driver will be listed as “Surface – System –”.

This update addresses an issue that recently impacted the Windows Hello experience on a small number of Surface Pro 4 devices. For the majority of devices, this update will only increment the version number without any functional changes.

The phrase “small number of devices” is open to interpretation—and, increasingly, scorn.

Do you have a small number of devices? Fess up on the AskWoody Lounge.

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