New Surface Pro 3 firmware update triggers BSOD

At least one customer is reporting blue screens with Microsoft's newly released Surface Pro firmware updates

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Microsoft continues to plug away at resolving Surface Pro 3 glitches -- particularly persistent Wi-Fi connection problems -- releasing its 10th firmware update for the Surface Pro 3 on Jan. 15. Although it's much too early to tell if this fix will have the stability problems encountered with earlier Surface Pro 3 firmware updates, as the fixes roll out slowly, there's already one report of a blue screen after installing the latest patch.

According to Microsoft's changelog, the Jan. 15 firmware update makes the following changes:

  • Surface Pro UEFI update (v3.11.450.0) adds support for updated HD Graphics Family driver.
  • HD Graphics Family driver update (v10.18.14.4029) enhances display stability and performance, improves user experience when using Miracast adapters. Improves compatibility with DisplayPort monitors and daisy chaining.
  • Wireless Network Controller and Bluetooth driver update (v15.68.3073.151) addresses connectivity issues while Hyper-V is enabled. Adds an advanced feature to control the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz band preference.
  • Surface Home Button driver update (v2.0.1179.0) ensures compatibility with the Surface Hub app.
  • Microsoft Docking Station Audio Device driver update (v1.31.35.7) improves the user experience while using the Surface Pro 3 Docking Station so that sound is available when a speaker is not connected to the docking station.

The 2.4/5GHz band switch answers a long-standing request, making it possible to tell the Surface Pro 3 to connect at 5GHz only -- a necessity for getting decent speeds from an 802.11ac router. Answers forum moderator Barb Bowman has a Microsoft Wiki article on how to force 5GHz connections only, through the Marvell Avastar Wi-Fi driver.

Notably, the Jan. 15 firmware update includes an older Intel graphics driver (dated Nov. 18, 2014). That's newer than the previous version, but still not up to the latest, which is version 4080. Poster J-Rock! on the Answers forum has detailed instructions for updating the driver to the latest version, thus enabling 60Hz refresh on a 4K external monitor.

The distressing report comes from Answers forum poster onurg:

BSOD after january firmware update with SP3 / I am getting blue screen after every reboot with firmware and can only recover with restore . I tried it twice same result

I expect we'll be hearing more about that shortly.

As always, you can see if the firmware patch is available and install it, by choosing Settings, PC Settings, Update and Recovery.

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