Microsoft pulls faulty Surface Pro 2 firmware update

Microsoft has pulled its Surface Pro 2 firmware update that it delivered on December 10 due to reported problems with excessive battery drain.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Following reports by Surface Pro 2 customers of excessively fast battery drain after applying last week's firmware updates, Microsoft has pulled the update.


"To ensure the best experience for our customers during the holiday season we have taken steps to remove the update for Surface Pro 2 that was previously published through Windows Update on December 10th, 2013. We are working to release an alternative update package after the holidays," confirmed a Microsoft spokesperson.

Microsoft isn't offering users any kind of workaround or additional advice -- at least not at this point.

WinBeta.org reported word of the troublesome firmware update for Microsoft's second-generation Intel-based Surface on December 18. Some users also have been reporting that they were unable to install the update that seemingly was at fault, though that may have been due to a false error message, WinBeta noted.

The problematic update is one of several that Microsoft delivered on December 10, its most recent Patch Tuesday, across its range of Surface devices. The update for Surface Pro 2 included a patch that was designed to improve Surface Cover interaction including power-saving sleep functionality.

Instead, some users who've applied that update have found the opposite to be true. Their new Surface Pro 2 devices are losing battery power extremely rapidly, rather than hibernating properly. There are a number of reports about the problem on the Microsoft Answers forum.

As I noted last week, I've heard from some Surface Pro users that they've been having problems with spontaneous reboots after upgrading to Windows 8.1. There are a couple of threads on Microsoft's Answers site about this. This seems to be a separate issue that predating the December firmware updates and were focused on the first-generation Surface Pro. I still have not received any information about what Microsoft is advising users with this issue, but will keep asking.

I've also seen some users reporting that their ARM-based Surface RT and Surface 2 devices have been sporadically requesting their the Bitlocker Recovery key at boot after they applied recent firmware updates. I also haven't seen any acknowledgement by Microsoft of this issue or suggestions as to what users should do to attempt to circumvent it. I've got a question in to Microsoft on this one, as well. Some of my Microsoft sources have said there is a fix in the works for this one, but no word as to when it will be pushed out.

In the meantime, in case you haven't seen TechRadar's recent list of 15 fixes for Windows 8.1 "annoyances," it might be worth a look. The first fix is for those who've had problems with SkyDrive syncing since Microsoft integrated SkyDrive into Windows 8.1 -- something I've heard a number of folks have mentioned as having run into with their Surfaces and other Windows 8.1 PCs and devices.

Editorial standards