Surface Pro

Surface Pro (2017)

I really loved my Surface Pro 3 (purchased June 2014), but earlier this year, it became useless as a portable with a non functional battery. If I hadn’t encountered the (well known) battery issues, I would still be happily using my SP3. But being chained to AC outlets isn’t my idea of portability. I was hoping that Microsoft would offer a special trade in allowance for SP3 owners in light of the well publicized battery issues afflicting this model, but alas, it didn’t happen. Nevertheless, I decided to spend the money and splurge on the new Surface Pro, i7, 512/16 configuration. The form factor is perfect for me and the extreme portability (bad back) just can’t be equaled elsewhere.

After three days, my opinion is that this is a dream machine powerhouse.

sp1.2

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Get Miracast working on Surface Pro original with TH2 10586

 

I wrote about how Microsoft broke Miracast for Surface Pro original users when Windows 8.1 was released http://digitalmediaphile.com/index.php/2013/10/26/how-to-make-miracast-work-on-surface-pro/ and surprise, surprise, they’ve done it again with TH2 Build 10586. The supplied driver for the Marvell Wireless is not Miracast enabled. I don’t know why, as the chip is the same as the Surface Pro 2.

Here’s an unsupported way to get Miracast to work on your SP original with 10586.

Go to http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49042 and download Surface Pro 2\SurfacePro2_Win10_150818_0.zip. Open the archive and copy the WiFi folder from SurfacePro2_Win10_150818_0.zip\SurfacePro2_Win10_150818_0\Drivers\Network\WiFi to your desktop or other place where you can easily find it. Then follow these instructions:

  1. Type Device Manager in the Cortana/Search box and open it.
  2. Find Network adapters, expand it, right-click on Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller, and then select Update Driver Software.
  3. Select Browse my computer for driver software.
  4. Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
  5. Click Have Disk.
  6. Click Browse.
  7. Navigate to the Wifi folder (it has the INF file for the wifi driver), then click Open.

Go to the Action center, select Connect and your Miracast device should be discovered. Connect and enjoy!

mira sp1 working

Above shows a successful Miracast streaming session with my Surface Pro original happily connected to a Microsoft Display Adapter.

How to Make Miracast work on Surface Pro

 

Microsoft broke Miracast for Surface Pro (original) users on Windows 8.1. They have not officially commented on this or provided any information on a fix. As pointed out on Twitter by Rafael Rivera, you can work around this by disabling and re-enabling your WiFi connection. Every time you want to use it. Hat tip to Paul Thurrott for letting the Twitterverse know that the Surface Pro 2 firmware and driver pack was available. (Note: there is still no new driver for the Surface 2 so the WiFi toggle is the only option).

 

Microsoft just released a Surface Pro 2 firmware and driver pack. This is NOT for the original Surface. At your own risk, you CAN download and extract the Marvell WLAN network driver (the chipset in both the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 is the same) and fix your issue instead of cooling your heels waiting for the Microsoft Surface team to even acknowledge the issue.

1. Download the  file from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=40856

 

2. Drill down to to the x64 folder inside the Marvell\WLAN\win81 folder    ..\October2013SurfacePro2.zip\Marvell\WLAN\win81

 

3. Copy ONLY the x64 folder to another location or folder and rename it so you know what it is. Something like x64Marvell driver would be a good name.

getdriver

 

4.Open Device Manager and expand to show the Marvell Wireless Network Controller

miracast2

 

5. Right click/press and hold to display Properties and select the Driver tab, then select Update Driver.

miracast3

 

6. Browser to the folder where the driver is located and click OK.

miracast4

 

7.Windows display the path to the driver. Click Next and it will be installed.

 

miracast5

 

8. Reboot when prompted.

 

9. If you open Device Manager, you will see the new driver

miracast6

 

10. Windows will now find the Miracast device when you select Project. (If you did not try the previous work around of toggling WiFi off and on, you may need to use Add a wireless display the first time you want to you your Miracast device).

 

miracastworking

I thought my Surface Pro Died

As normal, I left my Surface Pro plugged in overnight. And yes, the white LED is lit.

When I tried to awaken it:

 

surfacepro died

The power supply WAS working. I plugged various things into the USB port on the brick and it is working. The LED tip is white as it should be.

I’d tried everything at http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/support/warranty-service-and-recovery/surface-pro-wont-turn-on and things like http://www.winrtsource.com/2013/01/16/microsoft-surface-wont-power-on-solution/

For whatever reason, after reading everything on the web about reviving Surface Pro’s, I tried one more thing.

I Held the power button down and pressed the volume UP button. Eureka. Crisis averted. Normal startup. I did a cold shutdown, reinserted the microSD card which I had pulled for trouble shooting.

The battery is not depleted:

surface is ok

Now, if someone from the Surface team can tell me what exactly happened here…

More Painting Fun on Surface Pro

 

The ability to use Wacom Wintab based pen drawing tools on my Surface Pro has really made a difference in my artistic workflow. I’ve been photo painting using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS 5.5 and Corel Painter 12 (I got one sweet deal when I called them to purchase, $159, good on three computers).

From what I have been reading online, it appears that the drivers that Wacom released will indeed by repackaged by Microsoft and released during some future update cycle. With the current Wacom supplied driver, my feeling is that this is the best experience I’ve had yet on a touch device with pen drawing.

The painting below has quite a lot of work yet to do, but I’m having a great time with my new digital art tools working on it.

tall ship-1

Hope to move on to watercolors soon.

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