Yet another Surface Book 2 problem: GPU not detected. Microsoft doesn’t care.

In a situation eerily reminiscent of Surface Pro 4 screen Flickergate, many Surface Book 2 customers complain that the GPU suddenly disappears. Why doesn’t Microsoft come clean with an answer?

Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Michael Homnick

I don’t know why Microsoft refuses to address legitimate, repeated, massively documented complaints about its Surface devices. We saw it happen with “Flickergate” — the profusely documented tendency of some Surface Pro 4 machines to flicker like fireflies in heat. It took more than a year of complaints and threatened lawsuits before Microsoft finally owned up to the problem and offered refurbished replacements.

Now we’re seeing the customer-neglect pattern once again, this time with Surface Book 2 machines that suddenly forget they have a fancy, extra-cost graphics processing unit.

The basic Surface Book 2 ships with a pedestrian Intel UHD Graphics 620 chip on the motherboard. For a leeetle bit extra (part of a $500 upgrade package, at current prices), you can toss in an independent NVIDIA GTX 1050 with 2GB GDDR5. As you might imagine, folks who have their GPU suddenly cut off — for unknown reasons — aren’t real happy with the decapitation.

Microsoft Answers forum poster RajeevBhattAmbati fired the initial official shot, two months after the SB 2 originally shipped:

I bought surface book 2, 256 GB, NVIDIA GeForce 1050, 2GB model  in November, 2017 and it worked pretty well until recently. I don't know why it stopped detecting the GPU. It's not showing up in the display adapters. I tried detaching and attaching the screen it gets detected for a moment and goes off again. I tried one solution offered in the Microsoft page to uninstall the driver (checking the delete software ) and restart the PC but with no luck.

Is it a hardware problem or a frequent software problem ? I will be really glad if you can provide me a solution to this.

That question appeared on Jan. 25. Two months later, “Microsoft Agent” Greg posted this Answer:

Thank you for your feedback and the great information you’ve shared about the NVIDIA driver missing experience. We understand the concern, and are currently investigating a possible root cause and solution. Please continue to check for Surface and Windows Updates to ensure your device has the most current firmware and software available.

Marking as "Answered" to raise visibility for now. We will update this response once the fix has been published.

That was on March 19, and we haven’t heard a peep from Microsoft in the last four months.

Philip_Aaron posted an unofficial nine-step fix that doesn’t work in all cases.

Poster lisaelston says this is the latest response she’s received from Microsoft UK:

It is not a recognized flaw and past the first 30 days, I cannot process a refund. Beyond that the standard support options are available as previously discussed.

The official thread is now up to 37 pages, with more than one post about an attorney that may or may not be looking into the problem.

Frankly, I don’t think Microsoft learned anything at all from the Flickergate fiasco. If history is any guide, we can hope for a Friday afternoon news dump a year from now that says, “Oh golly shucks you folks can trade in your machines for refurbished SB 2s.”

Surface folks are fuming over on the AskWoody Lounge.

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