Surface Pro 3
I had a bad experience with the September 29 firmware update for the Surface Pro 3 (bot not as bad as some). Unlike many other folks, my own wireless connectivity and speeds have been great with Windows 10, including using the .193 Marvell wireless driver. That was not the case for many, and a fix for some was to find the older .151 driver on the net and roll back to that. Or to use an external 802.11ac USB adapter (as I mentioned in a previous post).
The 9/29 firmware was unexpected as there had been one on 9/15. I installed it and rebooted and the wireless was MIA. I rebooted a second time and had connectivity, but it was intermittent, slow, and unreliable. Fortunately, I had the older zip files and drivers and was able to re-install the .193 driver and regain my great connectivity.
But this was not the case for others. Reports started appearing on the Surface Answers Forum and customers were reporting loss of wireless, BSOD loops and failed firmware updates in Windows Update history.
I sent emails to Microsoft on the issues and was forwarding threads for several days.
The update was pulled on Friday I believe (Edit 10/5/2015: I’m told it was pulled on 10/1, but if the computer has already pulled it down from WU, it can install anytime up to 10 days later). Customers are reporting getting hosed again but the update was probably already on their system awaiting installation. A couple of bad files were posted for SP3/W10 – both a zip and MSI file – neither of which contain wireless or bluetooth drivers for the SP3. This means there are no drivers posted on Microsoft’s site officially for Surface Pro 3 owners running Windows 10. I’ve always thought (and asked) that Microsoft should post all the drivers and leave older drivers available for those that need them.
Word came down that doing a system restore should get people up again followed by running the MSI to get the firmware/drivers installed, and the Forum owner posted that after doing a system restore, running the MSI file would take care of the issues. This has not been the case for many. And even getting to System Restore has been a problem for some.
Microsoft posted two files for 9/29. I looked inside and there are NO drivers for wireless or bluetooth. As of right now, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38826 has two files you should not use:
Here’s the best fix (minus the step to run the MSI) to get out from under the BSOD groundhog day issue if you are still impacted AND can get to System Restore or if you are having issues after this firmware update:
“1.Boot Surface using USB recovery media. If you do not have recovery media you can download from here: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/support/warranty-service-and-recovery/downloadablerecoveryimage. Once you have recovery media proceed to next steps.
2.Press and hold the volume-down button while you press and release the power button. When the Surface logo appears release the volume-down button.
3.When prompted select the language and keyboard layout you want.
4.Select Troubleshoot, then Advanced Options, followed by selecting System Restore then select the target operating system.
5.Use a system restore point
prior to applying the System Firmware update.Edit 10/5/2015: Be sure to use a restore point 9/28/2015 or earlier.
6.After moving to an earlier restore point you should boot into Windows.“
If you can’t get to restore or don’t have a restore point, it is going to get ugly. I already see this on the Answers Forum. I don’t have a magic bullet and I don’t know if Microsoft is working over the weekend on this.
There are a large number of Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 owners reporting severely slow wireless speeds, limited connectivity and other problems with the new Windows 10 Operating System. These issues are being widely reported on Microsoft’s Community forums, Reddit, and on third party sites. Examples:
So far, there’s been no real comment from Microsoft on whether or not they understand the issues or any information on timing of a fix. For some reason, Microsoft will not post the older Marvell wireless driver Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller: 15.68.3073.151 which some folks report resolves the issue. The driver is available elsewhere on the web, and although it is not legal to redistribute Microsoft software, it’s out there on the web. Some (but not all) customers are reporting relief using the .151 driver. (They need to force install the old driver from device manager using the browse, have disk, let me pick option, and also disable driver updates..). I’ve personally asked that the old driver be posted on the official drivers page at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38826 and have had only silence as a reply. Quite frankly don’t understand why Microsoft won’t post a driver that is known to help some customers with these issues. Most likely reason is that posting an older driver is admitting the existence of a problem. And it seems to be a marketing mantra to not acknowledge problems until a fix is available.
Given that it took Microsoft 9+ months to fix Wi-Fi driver problems on Windows 8.1, I’m not very optimistic. If you are severely impacted by slow/bad connectivity, you can throw a small amount of money at the problem and buy an external USB Wi-Fi adapter that should improve performance on at least the 5GHz band. I currently carry around one from Edimax which is less than $17 on Amazon. It works extremely well on Windows 10.
Should you need to spend money to fix something Microsoft broke? Absolutely not. But given the lack of engagement from Microsoft on this issue, it’s probably the only reliable option.