Fixing Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 Bluescreens After January Firmware Installs

Fixing Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 Bluescreens After January Firmware Installs

Last week we noted that a firmware update for the Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 series of tablets was rolling out. At the time, there were also reports that the firmware was available for Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 units. However, that firmware option was never fully available, or reports were mistaken. Customers are still waiting to get a bulk fix for Microsoft’s latest Surface hardware – and waiting desperately. Those customers that ordered new devices back in December have started receiving notifications that the backordered units are now shipping. That’s a little over a month from order date. And, with the mounting complaints those customers are hoping that Microsoft has prepared a big update to arrive in time for their hardware to arrive.

So, the only Surface devices to get some update love so far in this new year is the Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3. Some have reported that the firmware fails to both download and install. For the others, the ones who were able to download and install the firmware successfully, there have been reported problems.

Last week when we reported that the firmware was available, I suggested that finger-crossing might be warranted, considering Microsoft’s updates can cause more problems than they fix. For some (not all) the problems have exhibited in bluescreens, frozen video that auto-reboots the tablet, random wakes from sleep mode, and other things. These issues are covered in the Microsoft support community thread: Issues after updated Surface Pro 3 firmware 19/01/2016

One individual in the thread has happened on a temporary fix for the bluescreen issue:

The BSOD seems to be something to do with the Surface Pen Driver as the additional information shows "0x9F_3_SurfacePenDriver!Unknown_Function" and "0x9F_3_POWER_DOWN_SurfacePenDriver!Unknown_Function"

Rolling back the "Surface Pen Settings" driver in device manager > human interface devices seems to have stopped the BSOD.

Rolling back that driver seems to have helped with sleep and battery life issues I was having since the 19/01/2016 firmware update too.

Running Windows 10 10586.63 and the firmware update shows as successfully installed.

Microsoft has yet to acknowledge problems with the firmware, nor has it reached out to talk about the pen driver issue.

Some have even suggested that the new firmware might have been to blame for a sideline outage during the AFC Championship game on Sunday. We know now that that is not the case at all.

So, for those having problems downloading and installing this month’s firmware, you’re one of the lucky ones, apparently. For those Enterprises that roll these out methodically, hold off until a fix is available.

P.S. I’ve not experienced any of these problems at all. The firmware is working just fine for me. In fact, I’ve had less video driver problems since installing it. It’s interesting to me how similar hardware, running similar software, can exhibit different problems or one can be error free while the other bombs constantly. But, such is the case in the Windows 10 world. I’ve had this discussion with many people and we’ve yet to pinpoint the exact cause.

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