Those of you with a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 who are running Windows Insider beta builds, sit up and take note: Don’t turn off your machine.
Somehow Microsoft managed to release the latest beta build, 16288.1, to both the Fast and the Slow ring. If you install it on your Surface Pro 3 and try to reboot, you’ll see a “Surface” on a black screen, the dot-chasing “working” icon, and exactly nothing else. My SP3 has been bricked since yesterday, and the dots are still chasing each other.
How, you might question, could this have happened? Certainly anybody who installed 16288.1 on an SP3 machine didn’t ever get it to reboot. The build was pushed out to the Fast ring on Sept. 12. It went out on the Slow ring on Sept. 15. And I didn’t see any mention of the bug until Sept. 16. Is it possible that nobody inside or outside Microsoft rebooted a beta-enhanced Microsoft SP3 between Sept. 12 and Sept. 16?
There’s a report of a similar bug on the Microsoft Answers forum, dated Sept. 14, but that appears to be caused by having an SD card installed. The Surface Pro 3 won’t reboot if there’s an SD card in the slot.
There’s also a thread on Reddit with a similar complaint, but it concerns build 16362, the “Skip Ahead” (read: version 1803 or RS4 or Spring After Fall Creators Update) channel. That thread, though, drags the Surface Pro 4 into the bricked tar pit.
What to do if your Surface Pro 3 won't boot up
The only solution being proposed is a full reinstall from a bootable USB drive.
There’s a monstrous string of Surface Pro 3 laments attached to Dona Sarkar’s tweet from Sunday, promising us “more info on Monday.” Monday’s here, and there’s no notice as yet.
Of course, you shouldn’t run beta builds on hardware that you need to use. But … Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 3, this late in the beta testing cycle — and released to both Fast and Slow rings, fer heaven's sake? You have to wonder who’s running the show.
We’ll keep you posted on the latest missives from Microsoft on the AskWoody Lounge. In the interim, don’t shut down.