Microsoft blocks major Windows 10 update for Surface Book 2 after bug makes GPU vanish

It is the latest machine that Microsoft has blocked from receiving the Windows 10 May 2019 update after the upgrade had unintended consequences.
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

The latest major feature update to Windows 10 has been blocked on Microsoft's flagship Surface Book 2 after a bug made the main GPU undetectable on some machines.

It is the latest machine that Microsoft has blocked from receiving the Windows 10 May 2019 Update after the upgrade had unintended consequences and follows the earlier decision to block the update on PCs that use USB storage or SD cards.

The Surface Book 2 block was in response to reports that updated machines weren't always detecting the computer's Nvidia GPU, leading to crashes and poor performance in certain games and other 3D-heavy applications.

The issue also causes the Nvidia GPU, which sits alongside the integrated Intel GPU in higher end Surface Book 2 PCs, to disappear from Windows 10's Device Manager.

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF) (TechRepublic)  

"To safeguard your update experience, we have applied a compatibility hold on Surface Book 2 devices with Nvidia dGPUs from being offered Windows 10, version 1903, until this issue is resolved," the Microsoft advisory note reads.

Only the more expensive versions of the Surface Book 2 will be affected by the bug and the block, as lower-end machines lack the separate Nvidia GPU, with the option only available in machines sold from $1,700.  

For those Surface Book 2 owners who've already upgraded to the May update, also known as version 1903, Microsoft recommends restarting the device or selecting 'Scan for hardware changes' in the Action menu of the Device Manager to make the machine detect the Nvidia GPU. However, there are some reports of machines locking up after selecting 'Scan for hardware changes'.

Microsoft says it is working on solving the problem in a future update and recommends owners of a Surface Book 2 with a Nvidia GPU hold off manually applying the 1903 update until the fix is available.

Despite Windows 10 1903 being released a couple of months ago new problems are still being discovered with the update, most recently that initiating a Remote Desktop connection from an updated PC can result in a black screen -- a problem Microsoft says it is working to resolve.

The May update offers a variety of new features and tweaks aimed at home users and businesses.

Key additions include a simplified Start menu layout, a streamlined search option, the virtual assistant Cortana being spun off from Search, and new sign-in options for Windows Hello. Meanwhile, Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education users get a simple way to test programs in an isolated virtual environment using Windows Sandbox.

To see a full round-up of what's on offer, check out ZDNet's guide to the top new features and its comprehensive overview of the update, as well as TechRepublic's cheat sheet.

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This article was originally published on TechRepublic.

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