Firmware Updates for Surface Pro tablets

Microsoft ships firmware updates for its most recent Surface Pro tablets

firmware-updates

If there’s one thing that I’ve been very keen on keeping up with, its all of the updates that are coming down with the Windows 10 Windows Insider program.  I’m trying to stay on top of all of the changes to Windows 10, so that I can, at least, sound like I know what I’m talking about when something cool and exciting makes its way into the wild.  Sometimes it doesn’t seem like much is happening, and I end up waiting and waiting for what seems like forever. Other times, I’m so busy, I could pull my hair out.

So here’s an interesting development – it’s been reported that Microsoft recently released firmware updates for its more recent Surface Pro tablets, the Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro 3.  Specifically, these updates are intended to address the following issues on each respective device:

Surface Pro 3

The following updates will be listed as “System Firmware Updates – 5/19/2015″ in Windows Update.

  • Surface Pro 3 UEFI update (v3.11.850.0) includes changes needed for compatibility with the updated graphics driver noted below.

  • HD Graphics Family driver update (v10.18.14.4170) improves graphics performance and includes better Miracast (wireless display) support.

  • Display Audio driver update (v6.16.00.3172) improves audio experience and supports compatibility with the updated graphics driver.

Surface Pro 2

The following updates will be listed as “System Firmware Updates – 5/19/2015″ in Windows Update.

  • Surface Pro UEFI update (v2.5.250.0) includes changes needed for compatibility with the updated graphics driver noted below.

  • HD Graphics Family driver update (v10.18.14.4170) improves graphic performance and includes better Miracast (wireless display) support.

  • Display Audio driver update (v6.16.00.3172) improves audio experience and supports compatibility with the updated graphics driver.

From what I understand, the firmware update may have come a few days earlier than 2015-05-19 for some users.  For me, it came on 2015-05-14 and then again eight (8) more times (for a total of nine (9) times), including three (3) in the past two to three days.

This is a huge issue as far as I’m concerned.  While these firmware updates may have been released about two weeks ago, as of this writing, and even though my Surface Pro 3 shows that I have the latest version installed (you have to use MSINFO32.exe or Device Manager to see that…you can’t display a version number in the actual UEFI screen), for some reason Windows Update keeps telling me that this particular firmware version is available for me to install. I have no idea why.

What I find more concerning is that when the file does “install,” my Surface Pro 3 never seems to perform what I’ve come to understand is a full firmware update.  I’m used to seeing the device restart, enter into some obscure update mode requiring AC power to be attached, and then running through a hardware level update with all sorts of warnings that the PC shouldn’t be turned off or restarted while the update is applying, etc.

I’m not the only one bumping into this particular, firmware updates being presented more than once, issue.  A couple other really tech savvy, widely published friends of mine are also having similar experiences.

There seems to be a huge problem with these system hardware and firmware updates.  Microsoft needs to get a handle on these and get them fixed and resolved BEFORE the OS RTM’s in July 2015.  Once this hits a larger audience, having a single update come down and successfully install multiple times is going to cause a GREAT deal of confusion for the average consumer-based user.

If you haven’t installed these firmware updates yet, you should have by now.  If they’re still pending, then you may have something wrong with your Windows 10 installation. If you haven’t seen them install, you should likely check your Windows Update, Update History.

As we get nearer to Windows 10 RTM, your device is going to need those updates as part of your Windows 10 RTM migration.  Many of the drivers that your Surface Pro 2 or Surface Pro 3 device uses will be updated before the end of July. You’re either going to need those driver updates installed prior to installing Windows 10 on your device; or they will be updated post upgrade as part of a Windows Update installation.  However – and it happens every time there’s a major Windows OS update – Microsoft has a number of pre and post upgrade steps that it suggests users perform on their computers in order to both enable and finalize the upgrade.  Microsoft’s new update policy will have you installing them as they are made available under Windows 10, so it will likely be a good idea to start getting used to that process now.

If you have any issues updating your Surface Pro 2 or Surface Pro 3, let me know. I’m going to be interested to know who has what pre update problems on which devices and how Microsoft addresses them.  That will be telling on how well the Windows 10 migration will go in general, and will tell us how much work Microsoft may have in front of them, post migration, as well.  I’m assuming there are going to be a number of different common issues that are experienced. There always are, especially when it comes to migrating legacy hardware to a new platform.

This summer is going to be an interesting time in the Windows ecosystem.  It’s going to get a bit worse before it gets better, I think; but the first thing you’re going to need to do is make certain you have any and all firmware updates installed on your device.  If you haven’t already, again, you should install them now.

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