Microsoft’s Surface line is full of excellent machines, including the Surface Pro, the Surface Book, the Surface Laptop, and the Surface Studio. Each is solidly built and brings something exciting to the table. But Surface has also been plagued with some technical glitches, particularly early in each machine’s life cycle.
The Surface Pro line is a case in point. Both the Surface Pro 3 and 4 suffered early battery life and sleep issues that tormented users for months. Firmware and driver fixes eventually cleaned things up, but the stigma of poor reliability remained. Now, the new 2017 Surface Pro is having some of the same issues, as On MSFT reports.
The issue first came to light on June 17, 2017, when users began reporting it at the Microsoft Community support forum. Users say the Surface Pro randomly shuts off without warning. It has been determined that the affected machines are deciding to hibernate at random intervals outside of whatever power settings have been configured.
Complaints continued to be posted to the support thread until Microsoft acknowledged the issue on June 28 and promised to investigate. A company support representative issued this response:
“We are aware of a small group of customers reporting a scenario with their new Surface Pro in which the device inadvertently hibernates. We are investigating this issue.”
The issue has suddenly become more visible given a story published by Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott. Like Thurrott, we did not experience the issue with our Surface Pro review unit, but enough users have reported the issue that it’s questionable if it’s only a “small group of customers” who are affected.
Some users are reporting data loss due to the issue, but if it’s indeed a hibernation problem, then data loss shouldn’t be much of a concern. If machines are simply shutting off, that would account for users losing data due to applications not being shut down cleanly.
As of July 10, Microsoft appears to have identified the issue, as Neowin reports. Microsoft employee BrianH posted the following in the community forum thread:
“Wanted to provide a quick update, we believe we have identified the issue, and are currently testing a fix that will be delivered via Windows Update.”
BrianH posted another update on July 13:
“Just wanted to provide additional information that this fix was not included in the 7/11 Windows update, as testing still continues. I will update this posting when the update is available, also the Surface Pro Update History page will also be updated with the details when it launches.”
With the Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4 machines, and to a lesser extent the Surface Book, Microsoft took a few months and numerous firmware and driver updates to resolve the ongoing issues. It appears this particular issue could be resolved more quickly, which would bode well for the Surface Pro’s reliability in general.
Updated: Added information on Microsoft identifiing the hibernation issue and reporting that a fix is in the works.
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